This beautifully illustrated book explores sources for botany and gardening in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Ireland. It investigates the contributions of individuals such as Philip O’Sullivan Beare and Thomas Molyneux in the seventeenth century, and, for the eighteenth century, focuses on the Revd Caleb Threlkeld, whose Synopsis stirpium Hibernicarum (Dublin, 1726) was the first botanical book published in Ireland. Chapters shed light on the books in early eighteenth-century libraries, such as that of Dr Edward Worth and of Marsh’s Library in Dublin, and demonstrate the impact of the explorations of the Dutch East India Company on knowledge of the flora of distant lands. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the glorious botanical works in the Fagel Collection, bought by Trinity College Dublin in 1802. The changing nature of eighteenth-century gardens and landscapes and the factors affecting their growth and renown bring the book to a close.
Charles Nelson FLS, VMM, was horticultural taxonomist in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin (1976–1995). His research publications include books and numerous papers relating to the history of Irish horticulture and botany, and he was co-author of ‘The brightest jewel’: a history of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin (1987).
Dr Emer Lawlor, a Trustee of the Worth Library, is a retired medical practitioner who was awarded an M. Litt. by TCD, in 2016 for her thesis ’Enquiries into vegetables: botanists in Ireland and their sources 1680–1775’.
Elizabethanne Boran is the Librarian of the Edward Worth Library. She is the Secretary General of the International Commission for the History of Universities and has published extensively on the history of ideas in the early modern period.
Table of Contents
Recollecting Ireland’s flora: botanical information in the ‘Zoilomastix’ (c.1626) of Philip O’Sullivan Beare
Irish wild plants before 1690
The Molyneux brothers, the New Science and the Dublin Philosophical Society in the late seventeenth century
Caleb Threlkeld: Dissenting minister, physician and botanist
Caleb Threlkeld’s plant records
Caleb Threlkeld and ecology in early eighteenth-century Dublin
Botany and gardens at the Edward Worth Library, Dublin
Botanical works in the collections of Marsh’s Library, Dublin
Pleasure gardens and gardening for pleasure in the Fagel collection at the Library of Trinity College Dublin
The physic garden at Trinity College, Dublin, in the early eighteenth century
Gardening at Mitchelstown: John K’Eogh’s Botanalogia universalis Hibernica (Cork, 1735)
Gothic features in eighteenth-century Irish landscapes
The nursery and seed trade in Dublin before 1800
Ellen Hutchins (1785–1815), botanist in West Cork: How did her garden grow?