John Stackhouse (botanist)

Last updated

John Stackhouse (1742 – 22 November 1819) [1] was an English botanist, primarily interested in spermatophytes, algae and mycology. He was born in Probus, Cornwall, and built Acton Castle, above Stackhouse Cove, Cornwall, in order to further his studies about the propagation of algae from their spores. [2] He was the author of Nereis Britannica; or a Botanical Description of British Marine Plants, in Latin and English, accompanied with Drawings from Nature (1797). [3]

Contents

John Stackhouse, 1811 lithograph. John Stackhouse Theophrasti.jpg
John Stackhouse, 1811 lithograph.

Personal life

The second son of William Stackhouse, D.D. (d. 1771), rector of St. Erme, Cornwall, and nephew of Thomas Stackhouse, he was born at Trehane, Probus, in Cornwall. On 20 June 1758 he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, and was a Fellow of the college from 1761 to 1764. On succeeding his relative, Mrs. Grace Percival, sister of Sir William Pendarves, in the Pendarves estates in 1763, he resigned his fellowship, and, after travelling abroad for two or three years, settled on his newly acquired property. In 1804 he resigned the estate to his eldest surviving son, and retired to Bath. [3]

On 21 April 1773 Stackhouse married Susanna Acton, only daughter and heir of Edward Acton of Acton Scott, Shropshire and they had four sons and three daughters. The eldest son, John, died young. The second, Edward William, assumed the surname of Pendarves in 1815. The third son, Thomas Pendarves, succeeded to the estate of Acton Scott, and assumed the additional surname of Acton in 1834.

Stackhouse died at his house at Edgar Buildings, Bath, on 22 November 1819. His name was commemorated by Sir James Edward Smith in the Australian plant genus Stackhousia . [3]

Works

From an early period Stackhouse devoted himself to botany, and especially to the study of seaweeds and of the plants mentioned by Theophrastus. About 1775 he erected Acton Castle at Perranuthnoe to pursue his researches. He was one of the early fellows of the Linnean Society, elected in 1795. [3]

Stackhouse's major works were Nereis Britannica, Illustrationes Theophrasti, and his edition of Theophrastus's Historia Plantarum. The Nereis Britannica, which was issued in parts, deals mainly with the brown algal seawracks or fuci, and was based on his own researches, discussions with James Edward Smith, comments on proofs by friends [4] and the herbaria of Dillenius, Bobart, and Linnæus. [5] The complete work, which was printed privately and published in folio at Bath, with Latin and English text and twelve coloured plates by the author, appeared as part I in 1795, part II in 1797 and part III in 1801. [6] An enlarged edition, with twenty-four coloured plates, was published at Bath in 1801, in folio; and another at Oxford in 1816, in quarto, with Latin text only and twenty plates. The Illustrationes Theophrasti in usum Botanicorum præcipue peregrinantium, Oxford, 1811, contains a lexicon and three catalogues giving the Linnæan names of the plants mentioned. The edition of Theophrasti Eresii de Historia Plantarum libri decem, "perhaps the most unsatisfactory" ever published (according to Benjamin Daydon Jackson, Guide to the Literature of Botany (1881), p. 22), in 2 vols. 1813 and 1814, contains the Greek text, Latin notes, a glossary and Greek-Latin and Latin-Greek catalogues of the plants. From it Stackhouse reprinted in a separate form De Libanoto, Smyrna, et Balsamo Theophrasti Notitiæ, with prefatory Extracts from James Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia, Bath, 1815. [3]

Papers by Stackhouse were published in the Transactions of the Linnean Society (vols. iii. and v.), dated 1795 and 1798, in the Classical Journal, dated 1815 and 1816 (xi. 154–5, xiii. 445–8, xiv. 289–93), and one, entitled Tentamen Marino-cryptogamicum, and dated Bath, 1807, in the Mémoires de la Société des Naturalistes of Moscow, as a fellow (1809, ii. 50–97). [3]

Stackhouse also contributed a translation in English verse to the second edition of the Abbate Alberto Fortis's Dei Cataclismi sofferti dal nostro pianeta, saggio poetico (London, 1786), and he made contributions to William Coxe's Literary Life and Select Works of Benjamin Stillingfleet. [3]

The standard author abbreviation Stackh. is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name. [7]

Legacy

Letters and his notebooks related to the Nereis Britannica are in the Linnean Society archive. [5]

Notes

  1. "November 22nd, The Book of Days, Chambers, 1869" . Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  2. Ralfs, J. (1884) The Marine Algae of West Cornwall. Transactions of the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society. pp. 315-30
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Stackhouse, John"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  4. Thomas Jenkinson Woodward, Dawson Turner, Dr. Samuel Goodenough, Lilly Wigg, John Pitchford, and Colonel Thomas Velley
  5. 1 2 Beharrell, Will. "The Nereis Britannica: an illustrated compendium of brown algae endemic to the British seashore". Linnean Society. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  6. "Nereis Britannica; : continens species omnes fucorum in insulis Britannicis crescentium: descriptone latina et Anglica [...] containing all species of fuci [...] : An appendix, containing species recently delineated [...]". Linnean Society. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  7. IPNI.  Stackh.

Related Research Articles

Theophrastus Ancient greek philosopher

Theophrastus, a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. His given name was Tyrtamus (Τύρταμος); his nickname Θεόφραστος was given by Aristotle for his 'divine style of expression'.

James Edward Smith English botanist (1759-1828)

Sir James Edward Smith was an English botanist and founder of the Linnean Society.

Sydenham Edwards

Sydenham Teast Edwards was a natural history illustrator. He illustrated plants, birds and importantly published an illustrated book on the breeds of dogs in Britain, Cynographia Britannica.

John Templeton (1766–1825) was an early Irish naturalist and botanist. He is often referred to as the "Father of Irish Botany". He was the father of naturalist, artist and entomologist Robert Templeton.

William Henry Harvey Irish botanist

William Henry Harvey, FRS FLS was an Irish botanist and phycologist who specialised in algae.

Probus, Cornwall

Probus is a civil parish and village in Cornwall, England, in the United Kingdom. It has the tallest church tower in Cornwall. The tower is 129 feet (39 m) high, and richly decorated with carvings. The place name originates from the church's dedication to Saint Probus. The parish population at the 2011 census was 2,299, whereas the ward population taken at the same census was 3,953.

The history of phycology is the history of the scientific study of algae. Human interest in plants as food goes back into the origins of the species and knowledge of algae can be traced back more than two thousand years. However, only in the last three hundred years has that knowledge evolved into a rapidly developing science.

Johann Jacob Paul Moldenhawer was a German botanist who made a number of important discoveries in plant anatomy.

<i>English Botany</i>

English Botany was a major publication of British plants comprising a 36 volume set, issued in 267 monthly parts over 23 years from 1791 to 1814. The work was conceived, illustrated, edited and published by the botanical illustrator and natural historian, James Sowerby. The brief, but formal descriptions were mostly supplied by the founder of the Linnean Society, Sir James Edward Smith. Initially Smith declined to have his name associated with the work as he considered his professional co-operation with a mere artisan such a Sowerby might degrade his standing in higher circles. However, following the phenomenal public success and general acceptance by the professional class of the work he insisted that the title page of the fourth and succeeding volumes include his name. The work, however, continued to be generally referred to as "Sowerby's Botany".

Sir Arthur Pendarves Vivian was a British industrialist, mine-owner and Liberal politician from the Vivian family, who worked in South Wales and Cornwall, and sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1885.

Edward William Wynne Pendarves was an English politician.

James Dickson (botanist)

James (Jacobus) J. Dickson (1738–1822) was a Scottish nurseryman, plant collector, botanist and mycologist. Between 1785 and 1801 he published his Fasciculus plantarum cryptogamicarum Britanniae, a four-volume work in which he published over 400 species of algae and fungi that occur in the British Isles He is also the author of Collection of Dried Plants, Named on the Authority of the Linnaean Herbarium and Other Original Collections. The plant genus Dicksonia is named after him.

Edward Rudge was an English botanist and antiquary.

Acton Castle Cornish historic building

Acton Castle is a small castellated mansion near Perranuthnoe, Cornwall. It is a Grade II* listed building. It was built c. 1775, and according to some sources around 1790, by John Stackhouse of Pendarves, who was a distinguished botanist with an interest in seaweed and plants mentioned by Theophrastus. Stackhouse constructed the castle, with the main purpose of studying marine algae. The primary material used for the construction is granite, with the facade and the chimneys made of dressed granite. It has a grouted roof with walls topped by embattled parapets. Wings of two storeys, with tripartite windows, were added at the beginning of the 20th century during its conversion to a country hotel.

Thomas Jenkinson Woodward (1745–1820) was an English botanist.

<i>The Paradisus Londinensis</i>

The Paradisus Londonensis is a book dated 1805–1808, printed by D.N. Shury, and published by William Hooker. It consists of coloured illustrations of 117 plants drawn by William Hooker, with explanatory text by Richard Anthony Salisbury.

<i>Historia Plantarum</i> (Theophrastus book)

Theophrastus's Enquiry into Plants or Historia Plantarum was, along with his mentor Aristotle's History of Animals, Pliny the Elder's Natural History and Dioscorides's De materia medica, one of the most important books of natural history written in ancient times, and like them it was influential in the Renaissance. Theophrastus looks at plant structure, reproduction and growth; the varieties of plant around the world; wood; wild and cultivated plants; and their uses. Book 9 in particular, on the medicinal uses of plants, is one of the first herbals, describing juices, gums and resins extracted from plants, and how to gather them.

Thomas Velley was an English botanist.

Frances Stackhouse Acton, known as Fanny, was a British botanist, archaeologist, writer and artist. Her father was noted botanist, Thomas Andrew Knight, who encouraged her education and included her in his experiments. She married an older land owner and, as they had no children, when he died she pursued her own interests, which included archaeology and architecture. She excavated a Roman villa, built a number of buildings and saved others in need of repair. She was keen on painting buildings and eventually went on to publish a charitable book The Castles & Old Mansions of Shropshire.

Elizabeth Andrew Warren (1786–1864) was a Cornish botanist and marine algologist who spent most of her career collecting along the southern coast of Cornwall. Her goal was to create a herbarium of indigenous plants of Cornwall, and to this end she organized a network of plant collectors for the Royal Horticultural Society of Cornwall and provided numerous specimens to William Hooker at Kew Gardens for his study of British flora.

References

Attribution

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Stackhouse, John". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.