Ref NoMS/501
TitleProofs of woodcuts of plants - W.G. Smith
AdminHistoryWorthington George Smith (1835-1917) was an English cartoonist and illustrator, archaeologist, plant pathologist, and mycologist.

Smith was born in Shoreditch, London on 25 March 1835 and initially pursued a career in architecture. He worked for the architect Sir Horace Jones (1819-1887), becoming an expert draughtsman and a member of the Architectural Association, but then switched to working freelance as an illustrator and used his background in architecture to produce illustrations for 'The Builder' magazine.

Smith also had a passion for botany and gardening, and made many botanical drawings, especially of fungi. He was awarded the Banksian gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1865 for his drawings and also wrote a paper on the corona of Narcissus for the International Botanical Congress in the following year. As others took notice of his work, Smith became involved with many publications and periodicals including, 'Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms', 'The Gardeners' Chronicle' and the 'Floral Magazine', the latter of which he became the editor of until 1876. He was also made a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London on 5 March 1868.

Aside from botany, Smith was a keen archaeologist and became the local county secretary for the Society of Antiquaries in 1897. In 1902 he was awarded a civil-list pension of £50 per annum "for services to archaeology" on the recommendation of Lord Avebury and Sir John Evans. By the end of 1910 he had found a total of 1043 palaeolithic implements in the Thames Valley alone, and a further 800 in other districts, which were all dispersed to private and public collections including at the British Museum, Museum of London and Luton Museum. After moving to his wife's hometown of Dunstable, Bedfordshire, Smith also performed a lot of historical research for the town and was awarded with the title of "freeman" for his services, making him the first to recieve this honour in the borough.

Smith was also known for his work, 'Clavis Agaricinorum', which was reprinted in the Journal of Botany; a series of watercolour drawings of large British fungi he made for a public gallery at the Natural History Museum, and publishing the 'Guide book to Sowerby's Models of British Fungi' for the British Museum, who he had previously also painted the clay models for. In 1907 he received a further honour from the Royal Horticultural Society in the Veitchian medal for his services to gardening and continued to publish works on fungi for the British Museum and the Journal of Horticulture.

Smith died in Dunstable on 27 October 1917.
Description1 bound volume containing 59 woodcut proofs of plants used in publications by W.G. Smith.

Includes letter of transmittal from his son, A.E. Smith, dated 29 June 1925.
Date1877 - 1925
LevelItem
Extent1 volume
LanguageEnglish
Creator NameSmith, Worthington George (1835-1917)
Access_StatusOpen
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024