Ref NoMS/382 a & b
TitleSpecific characters of plants No. 1 and No. 2 - R.A. Salisbury
AdminHistoryRichard Anthony Salisbury (born Richard Anthony Markham; 1761 - 1829) was a British botanist.

Salisbury was born Richard Anthony Markham on 2 May 1761 in Leeds to Richard Markham, a cloth merchant. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh and there met James Edward Smith. He changed his surname to Salisbury in return for funding to study botany and gardening, at the request of Mrs Anna Salisbury, in memory of her brother, John Salisbury of Exeter. He lived first at Chapel Allerton, one of the estates of his father, and there established substantial gardens. He later purchased Ridgeway House, the former residence of Peter Collinson.

Salisbury married Caroline Staniforth in 1796 and they had one child, Eleanor, born in 1797. They were separated soon after and a dispute over finances arose between them which led to Salisbury declaring himself bankrupt. In 1809, Salisbury was appointed the first honorary secretary of the Horticultural Society but by 1810 the accounts were found to be in disarray and Joseph Sabine was appointed to replace him. Salisbury carried out valuable work in horticultural and botanical sciences but contemporary botanists were keen to distance themselves from his work. This was in part due to the fact that he opposed the use of Linnaeus's system for classifying plants, which led to a long-running dispute with James Edward Smith, and partly due to Salisbury's personal conduct which many, including Smith, regarded as unethical. He died on 23 March 1829.

Salisbury had befriended a Mr Burchell, a florist from Fulham, and Salisbury made his son, Dr William John Burchell (1782?-1863) his heir. On the death of William John Burchell in 1863 Salisbury's herbarium went to Kew. His sister, Miss Burchell, was approached by Dr John E. Gray regarding Salisbury's manuscripts and transferred them to him so as not mix them up with her late brother's papers. Gray used some of the manuscripts to publish the completed portion of the 'Genera Plantarum'. By 1866 he had given some of these manuscripts to the British Museum and intended to give more once he had organised them. Following his death in March 1875, his wife, Mrs Maria Emma Gray [née Smith], presented a large number of Salisbury's papers to the Linnean Society in May, and possibly July, 1875. [See letters 1-2 in MS/376 for further details of the donation].
DescriptionA treatise criticising Linnaeus' method of describing the characteristics of plants and advocating a new method.
Extent27 ff.
Related MaterialMS/376, MS/377, MS/378, MS/379, MS/380, MS/381, MS/383 a & b, MS/384, MS/385, MS/386 a & b
NotesThe date has been estimated by the cataloguer.
AcquisitionBelieved to have been presented by Mrs Gray in May 1875.
Creator NameSalisbury, Richard Anthony (né Markham) (1761-1829)
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