Herbals - Spanglefish

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Transcript Herbals - Spanglefish

The Art of the Botanist
2. Early printed works
• The OED defines a herbal as ‘a book containing the
names and descriptions of herbs, or of plants in
general, with their properties and virtues’. It was
essential not only to the herbalist, botanist, physician
and apothecary, but also invaluable go the
housewife, as in the 16th century only the rich could
afford adequate medical attendance, and most
people used the herbal in the home for looking up
remedies for various ailments.
Herbals (continued)
• It also supplied information about the herbs
needed in the kitchen and stillroom, and
provided remedies for such varied troubles as
evil dreams, sleeplessness, melancholy, and
clothes moths. Furthermore the lady of the
house went to its pages for knowledge upon
how to have ‘a fayre face’, stains for the nails,
and dyes for the hair.
Otto Brunfels’ Herbarum Vivae
• First volume of Herbarum Vivae Eicones (Living Portraits of
Plants) published in 1530. (Volume 2 in 1532 and Volume 3 in
1536 – although prefaces for vols 1 and 2 are dated 1530 and
1531, and both might have appeared in 1532).
• Brunfels was an industrious gleaner of miscellaneous material
from the well-worn pages of ‘ancient and trustworthy
authors’, with additional snippets from more recent Italian
• Text illustrated with ‘new and really lifelike figures’ – but as he
tried to base these on Dioscorides, and the flora of the
eastern Mediterranean being different from the Rhineland,
this causes confusion!
Illustrations in Brunfels’ herbal
• Hans Weiditz (Johannes Guidictius) was employed as
draughtsman and engraver, probably with a staff of
assistants. This artist, instead of following the
traditional plan of copying the drawings of his
predecessors, drew from the plants themselves; and
with these realistic illustrations, from which it is
possible to identify a large number of the species of
plants shown, Brunfels’ herbal is considered to have
opened the botanical renaissance.
Otto Brunfels
• Born in Mainz in 1489.
• After some years in a Carthusian monastery he
became a convert to Lutheranism in 1521.
• Settled down as school master and preacher in
Strasbourg. Appointed town physician in Berne in
• Herbarum Vivae Eicones a product of his ‘leisure
hours’. Final volume published two years after his
Brunfels: Herbarum Vivae Eicones
• 1530-1536
• Daffodil (Narcissus
pseudonarcissus) and
Spring Snowflake
(Leucojum vernum)
Narcissus pseudonarcissus and
Leucojum vernum
Brunfels: Herbarum Vivae Eicones
• 1530-1536
• Waterlily (Nymphaea
Nymphaea alba
Brunfels: Herbarum Vivae Eicones
• 1530-1536
• Violets (Viola canina
and V. odorata)
Viola canina and V. odorata
‘Helleborus niger’, H. viridis, Green
Hellebore, in Brunfels
‘Synnaw’, Alchemilla vulgaris,
Ladies’-mantle, in Brunfels
Lady’s mantle in later herbals
• Gerard (1597): “It is
applied to wounds … it
stoppeth bleeding, and
also the overmuch
flowing of the natural
sicknesse: it keeps
down maidens paps or
dugs, and when they be
too great or flaggy it
maketh them lesser or
• Culpeper (1652): almost wordfor-word from Gerard (whom he
doesn’t cite). In addition: “ the
distilled water drunk for twenty
days together helps conception,
and to retain the birth if the
woman do sometimes also sit in a
bath made of the decoction of
the herb … It quickly heals all
green wounds, not suffering any
corruption to remain behind, and
cures old sores, though fistulous
and hollow.”
Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566)
• The author of the De Historia Stirpium, (On the
History of Plants) Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566), is
known as the third of the German fathers of Botany,
after Otto Brunfels and Jerome Bock (whose 1539
New Kreütter Bůch appeared in illustrated form in
1546. As an author, the German botanist and
Lutheran pastor preferred to disguise his name Bock,
meaning ‘he-goat’, under its Graeco-Latin equivalent,
Hieronymus Tragus).
Strawberry, Fragaria, in Bock
Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566)
• Fuchs work was greatly inspired by the
Herbarum vivae eicones (1530-6) of Brunfels;
based upon personal observation, Brunfels
work was pioneering in dramatically changing
the quality of botanical illustration. Fuchs'
great herbal, however, was conceived on a
much larger scale than the herb books of his
immediate predecessors.
Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566)
• Born in Wemding in Bavaria in 1501.
• Opened his own school there at the age of 16!
• Went to Ingolstadt University in 1519 to study
classics, philosophy and subsequently medicine.
• By 1524, Master of Arts and Doctor of Medicine, and
a fervent protestant.
• Medical career took him to Munich, Ingolstadt and
• Appointed Professor of Medicine at Tübingen in 1535
where he spent the rest of his life.
Fuchs’ Herbal
• De Historia Stirpium, published by Isingrin of Basel in 1542, is
a folio of breathtaking splendour. Like most botanical books of
its time, “Fuchs’ Herbal” (as it is commonly known) consists
largely of “commentaries” on Dioscorides. His aim was to
reproduce each plant from life, and he stated in his dedicatory
epistle that this was done for no other reason than that 'a
picture expresses things more surely and fixes them more
deeply in the mind than the bare words of the text'. Each
illustration was therefore based upon the appearance of the
living plant; furthermore, 'we have not allowed the craftsmen
so to indulge their whims as to cause the drawing not to
correspond accurately to the truth.’
Fuchs as botanist
• Fuchs was a field botanist. His herbal contains
various asides such as the recording – from personal
experience(?) – that the sap of the celery-leaved
buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus) burns the skin,
and was used for this purpose by ‘roguish beggars,
who ought to be packed off to the devil’ to produce
bogus sores to deceive the innocent compassionate.
Most of his work, however, is that of an industrious
and methodical compiler, rather than an investigator.
Ranunculus sceleratus
Fuchs: De Historia Stirpium
• Asparagus (Asparagus
Fuchs: De Historia Stirpium.
Cherry and Rose
Fuchs on carrots
• Fuchs in 1542 described, in Latin, red and
yellow garden carrots and wild carrots, but
names them all Pastinaca. Fuchs illustrates
red and yellow carrots, although the red is
definitely shaded towards purple.
Fuchs on carrots
Fuchs on carrots
The artists involved with Fuchs’
• More than 500 full-page woodcuts. Preceded
by a portrait of the author in doctor’s robes,
and closing with portraits of the artists –
Albrecht Meyer, who drew the plants from
nature, Heinrich Füllmeyer, who transferred
the drawings to the blocks, and Veit Rudolf
Speckle who did the cutting.
Leonhart Fuchs
Meyer, Füllmeyer and Speckle
Additional illustrations
• A collection of drawings for the first edition,
and two further volumes not published, now
in the library in Vienna. Thought this had been
lost. On Fuchs’ death, passed to his son. For
sale for 300 gulden by a Viennese bookseller
in 1732. Re-appeared at a booksellers
congress in Vienna in 1954. Contains 1525
drawings in nine folio volumes.
Meyer for Fuchs
• Greater Celandine
(Chelidonium majus)
The first English printed herbal
• The first book devoted entirely to herbs to be
printed in England is a small quarto volume
published anonymously, in 1525, by the
London printer Richard Banckes. It is in black
letter, contains no illustrations, and is often
referred to as ‘Banckes’s herbal’. The origin of
the work is unknown, but it is probably
derived from an unknown medieval
Banckes’s herbal
• The title-page reads: ‘ Here begynnyth a newe mater,
the whiche sheweth and treateth of ye vertues &
proprytes of herbes, the whiche is called an herball.’
On the last page we find the words ‘Imprynted by me
Rycharde Banckes, dwellynge in London, a lytel fro ye
Stockes in ye Pultry.’
• Reprinted in 1526 by Banckes, and during the next 35
years a large number of editions of this small book
came from the presses of more than ten London
printers under various titles.
Rosemary in Banckes’s herbal
In cases where the virtues of the herbs are not strictly medicinal, they are
described in Banckes‘s herbal with more than a touch of poetry. For example, for
Rosemary he states ‘take the flowres and make powder therof and bynde it to the
ryght arme in a lynen clothe, and it shall make the lyght and mery... Also take the
flowres and put them in a chest amonge youre clothes or amonge bokes and
moughtes shall not hurte them.... Also boyle the leves in whyte wyne and wasshe
thy face therwith...thou shall have a fayre face. Also put the leves under thy
beddes heed, and thou shalbe delyvered of all evyll dremes.... Also take the leves
and put them into a vessel of wyne...yf thou sell that wyne, thou shall have good
lucke and spede in the sale.... Also make the a box of the wood and smell to it and
it shall preserne [preserve] thy youthe. Also put therof in thy doores or in thy
howse and thou shalbe without daunger of Adders and other venymous serpentes.
Also make the a barell therof and drynke thou of the drynke that standeth therin
and thou nedes to fere no poyson that shall hurte ye, and yf thou set it in thy
garden kepe it honestly for it is moche profytable.’
First printed illustrated English
• The first illustrated book on plants to be
published in England is The grete herball of
1526, which came from the press of Peter
Treveris. A much costlier production than
Banckes’s herbal, it is better known, and more
copies appear to exist, but it lacks much of the
simpler charm of the earlier work.
The grete herball
• The grete herball doesn’t claim to be original. At the end of
the index there is a note that it ‘is translated out ye Frensshe
in to Englysshe’, and it is in the main a translation of the
French Le grant herbier. The introduction and conclusion
seem to be derived from the German Herbarius and the Ortus
sanitatis. The use of English rather than Latin this early is
interesting. Between 1500 and 1640 a higher proportion of
scientific works were printed in the vernacular in England
than in any other country except Italy. For a book aimed at an
unlearned public it was, of course, almost obligatory to use
The grete herball: title page of
1526 edition
The grete herball: title page of
1561 edition
Illustrations in The grete herball
• Contains nearly 500 small illustrations –
mostly of plants, although figures of animals,
minerals, and some other subjects are
included. The majority of the woodcuts are
reduced and degenerate copies of those in the
German Herbarius, and the Ortus sanitatis,
and have little importance in the history of
botanical illustration.
The grete herball
Ivory in The grete herball (I couldn’t resist it!)
Mythology and Christianity
• In The grete herball Greek mythology finds a place,
side by side with Christianity. The discovery of
wormwood is attributed, as in the herbal of Apuleius
Platonicus, to Diana, who gave the plant to the
centaurs; but, in the event of being bitten by a mad
dog, the sufferer is recommended to appeal to the
Virgin Mary before employing any remedy: “As sone
as ye be byten go to the chyrche, and make thy
offrynge to our lady, and pray here to helpe and hele
the. Than rubbe ye sore with a newe clothe.”
William Turner
William Turner 1548 set out to produce reliable lists of English plants and
animals, which he published as Libellus de re herbaria novus in 1538
• Clergyman, physician, and naturalist, born in Morpeth, Northumberland,
NE England, UK. A fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, he became a
Protestant, and to escape religious persecution in England travelled
extensively abroad, studying medicine and botany in Italy.
• He is the author of the first original English works on plants, including The
names of herbes in Greke, Latin, Englishe Duche & Frenche (1548) and A
new herball (published in three parts, 1551, 1562 and 1568).
• He is often called the ‘Father of British botany.’
Libellus de re herbaria novus
William Turner Garden, Morpeth
• The William Turner Garden is a charming tribute to the Father
of English Botany who was born in Morpeth in 1508. Situated
on the edge of the Formal Gardens in Carlisle Park.
• In this garden you'll discover the different features of
gardening and medicine in Turner's Tudor times. The Physic
Garden contains medicinal herbs that Turner would have
prescribed. The Introductions Border contains plants that
were first brought to England in the 16th Century. The Knot
Garden is a miniature version of the type of formal garden
that became popular in Tudor times.
William Turner Garden, Morpeth
Turner’s Herbal
• A New Herball, (1551) is the first part of Turner's
great work. These volumes gave the first clear,
systematic survey of English plants, and with their
admirable woodcuts (mainly copied from Fuchs'
1542 De historia Stirpium) and detailed observations
based on Turner's own field studies put the herbal on
an altogether higher footing than in earlier works. At
the same time, however, Turner included an account
of their "uses and vertues," and in his preface admits
that some will accuse him of divulging to the general
public what should have been reserved for a
professional audience.
Turner’s Herball (1551, with the Royal Arms at the top
and ER –Edwardus Rex- for Edward VI)
Turner on carrots
• In the Names of Herbes (1548 - An index of English names, and an
identification of the plants enumerated) Turner made the following
There are many kyndes of Daucus after Dioscorides, three at the least,
wherof I knowe none suerly but one, whiche is called in latin pastinaca
syluestris, in english wild carot & in greeke Staphilinos agrios, for the other
kindes ye may use carawey seede, or carot seede. Some learned me not
without a cause hold that both the Saxifrages, that is the englishe, and the
Italion may be occupied for Dauco. Daucus is sharpe and heateth."
• Pastinaca.
Pastinaca is called in greeke Staphilinos in englishe a Carot, in duche
pasteney, in frenche Cariottes. Carettes growe in al countreis in plentie.”
Cuckoo-pint in Turner
Arum maculatum: Cuckoo-pint
Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585)
• The famous Flemish physician and botanist Rembertus Dodonaeus is best
known for his herbal Cruydeboeck (more precisely: Cruijdeboeck, as the
title is printed on the title page), written in old Flemish and published in
1554. The scans that follow were made from a coloured copy, which is in
the library of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland. All wood cuts,
initials of the chapters and title pages are hand coloured, by the Dutch
artist Hans Liefrinck (1520-1573). His work was illustrated by 715
woodcuts of plants, including many copies from those in Fuch's herbal and
he used Fuchs as his model for the description of each plant. The method
of arrangement is his own. He indicates the localities and times of
flowering in the Low Countries, information that could not have been
derived from an earlier writer. It is written in Latin and later translated and
enhanced by Henry Lyte.
Yellow, red and wild carrots
Henry Lyte (1529-1607)
• Lyte was descended from an old family of his name
living at Lytescary in Somerset. Born 1529. Student at
Oxford, but probably didn’t take his degree. Travelled
on the continent, then returned ‘to his patrimony
where, by the advantage of a good foundation of
literature made in the university and abroad, he
became a most excellent scholar in several sorts of
learning’ (Wood, Athenae oxoniensis). Managed his
father’s estates in Somerset from 1559 (succeeded to
the estate in 1566 on the death of his father) and
died in 1607.
Lytes Cary, Somerset
Lyte’s Herbal
• Henry Lyte published A nievve herball (1578), which was a
translation of de l’Écluses’s French version of Dodoens’s
Cruydeboeck (Antwerp, 1564). This herbal, or historie of
plants was subtitled "Wherein is contained the whole
discourse and perfect description of all sorts of herbs and
• He did not perhaps add very greatly to the knowledge of
English botany, but he did a valuable service in introducing
Dodoens' herbal into England.
Lyte’s Herbal
• The title of Lyte's book is as follows: 'A Nievve Herball or
Historie of Plantes : wherin is contayned the whole discourse
and perfect description of all sortes of Herbes and Plantes :
their divers and sundry kindes : their straunge Figures,
Fashions, and Shapes : their Names, Natures, Operations, and
Vertues : and that not onely of those which are here growyng
in this our Countrie of Englande, but of all others also of
forrayne Realmes, commonly used in Physicke. First set foorth
in the Doutche or Almaigne tongue, by that learned D.
Rembert Dodoens, Physition to the Emperour : And nowe first
translated out of French into English, by Henry Lyte Esquyer.’
Lyte’s Herbal
Carnations and pinks in Lyte
Lyte on carrots
Lyte on carrots
• The Kinds - There be three sortes of Carrots, yealow and red whereof two
be tame of the garden, the third is wild growing of it selfe.
• The Description • 1.The yealow Carrot hath dark greene leaves, all cut and hackt almost like
the leaves of Chervil, but a great deal browner, larger, stronger, and
smaller cut. The root is thicke and long, yealow both without and within
and is used to be eaten in meates.
• 2. The red Carrot is like to the aforesaid in the cuts of his leaves, and in
stalks, flowers and seed. The root is likewise long and thicke, but of a
purple red colour both within and without.
• 3. The wilde is not much unlike garden Carrot, in leaves stalks and flowers,
saving the leaves be a little rougher, and not so much cut or jagged. In the
middle of the flowry tufts amongst the white flowers groweth one or two
little purple marks or specks. The seede is rougher and the root smaller and
harder than the other Carrots.
Lyte on carrots
• The Place - 1 & 2 the manured or tamed Carrot is sowne in gardens; 3 the
wild groweth in the borders of fields, by high waies & paths, and in rough
untoiled places.
• The Time -Carrots do flower in June and July, and their seed is ripe in
• He went on to describe its vertues which included, "cleaning evil blood";
"seeds to provoketh urine"; "this root hath the power to increase love".
• The roots made into powder helped the "liver, spleen, kidnies and guarded
against gravel".
• Wild Carrot provoketh womens flowers, and drunk with wine helped in
childbirth. It also good against venom and the bitings & stings of
venomous beasts.
• The greene leaves of Carrots "boiled with honey and laid to, do cleanse and
mundifie (purify) uncleane and fretting sores" (- a type of poultice).
John Gerard (1545-1612),
Gardener and Surgeon
• John Gerard was born at Nantwich in Cheshire in 1545. But at
some point prior to 1577 he moved to London, where he
would remain for the rest of his life.
• Gardener
• He lived in a house in Holborn and his own garden was
probably attached to the house, or it may have been a plot in
Fetter Lane (mentioned in the minutes of the Court of the
Barber-Surgeons in 1596), leased for that purpose.
• In 1596 he issued a list of the plants he had cultivated in his
own garden. This was the first complete catalogue of any one
garden ever published.
John Gerard (1545-1612),
• According to this catalogue, among other things, he grew;
• Cowslips, Primula veris
Deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna
Henbane, Hyoscyamus niger
Houseleek, Sempervivum tectorum
Mint, Mentha pulegium
Plane tree
Pomegranate tree, Punica granatum
Purple foxe gloves, Digitalis purpurea
Rosa gallica
Rosemarie, Rosmarinus officinalis
Saffron, Crocus sativus
Saxifrage, Saxifraga cuneifolia
Time, Thymus vulgaris
Valerian, Valeriana officinalis
Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium
John Gerard (1545-1612),
• For twenty years, he superintended the gardens belonging to Lord
Burleigh, in the Strand and at Theobalds in Hertfordshire, prior to Lord
Burleigh’s death in 1598.
• His interest in Botany was obviously well known to the Barber-Surgeons
Company. In 1596 he was commissioned to seek a better place for a ‘fruitgrounde’ for the Barber-Surgeons Company than the current site at East
• In the same year he was appointed Junior Warden of the Barber-Surgeons,
he published the work by which his name was made famous, ‘The Herbal,
or General Historie of Plants’. Although largely based on the authoritative
work of Dodoens, Gerard added about 182 English plants as well as
English locations from his own observations and that of his many friends
and correspondents. Gerard’s innovation was to add a list of plants
discovered by explorers of the New World: this included the potato.
John Gerard (1545-1612),
• His vivid and lively prose observations on the beauty of
flowers, their medicinal and economic value and
contemporary folklore ensured its domination of the herbal
market, no new works being published for 36 years.
• He had a good practical knowledge of plants and due to his
powerful connections at court and elsewhere was able to add
many new and previously unseen plants to his gardens. He
drew attention to and popularized botany in a way none of his
peers did. He is remembered today for his work on Botany.
John Gerard (1545-1612), Surgeon
• Surgeon
• Gerard became a well-regarded surgeon of his time.
He was elected a member of the Court Assistants of
the Barber-Surgeons on June 19th, 1595. In 1597 he
was appointed Junior Warden. In 1608 he was
elected Master of the Barber-Surgeons.
• He died in February 1611-2 and was buried in St.
Andrew’s Church Holborn.
Gerard’s Herbal
Title page of Gerard’s Herbal (2nd
Gerard’s Herbal
• Maize or Sweet Corn
(Zea mays)
Gerard’s Herbal
• Marigolds (Calendula
Gerard’s Herbal
Gerard on carrots
Gerard on carrots
• "Of Carrots - Chap 390
• There are two kinds of Pastinaca with jagged leaves, called in English,
Carrots, and of those with jagged narrow leaves on is wilde.
• The roote is long thicke and single, of a faire yellow colour, pleasant to be
eaten, and very sweete in taste. There are to be sowen in April; they bring
foorth their flowers and seeds the yeere after they be sowen.
• There is another kinde hereof like to be the former in all partes, and
differeth from it onely in the colour of the roote, which in this is not yellow,
but of a blackish red colour.
• The roote of the yellow Carrot is most commonly boiled with fat flesh and
eaten. The nourishment therof is not much, and not verie good.; it is
something windie, but not so much as Turneps, and doth so soone as they
passe through the bodies. It doth breaketh and consumeth windinesse,
provoketh urine, as doth the wilde Carrot.
Gerard on carrots
• "Of Wilde Carrot - Chap 391
• It groweth in untoiled places, flowers in June and July
and the seede is ripe in August.
• The seede of this wilde Carrot, and likewise, the root
is hot and drie in the second degree, and doth withall
open. The roote boiled and eaten, or boiled with
wine, and the decooction drunke, provoketh urine,
expelleth the stone, bringeth foorth the birth; it also
procureth bodily lust.”
Gerard on carrots
Gerard on mandrake
• Gerard pours scorn on the Mandrake legend.
• ‘There have been,' he says, 'many ridiculous
tales brought up of this plant, whether of old
wives or runnegate surgeons or phisick
mongers, I know not, all which dreames and
old wives tales you shall from henceforth cast
out your bookes of memorie.’
Parkinson: Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris (1629)
Parkinson: Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris (1629)
Parkinson: Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris (1629)
John Evelyn: Sylva (1664)
Evelyn : Silva (1776 edition)
Hooke: Micrographia (1665)
Malpighi: Anatome plantarum (1675-1679)
Grew: The Anatomy of Plants (1682)
Grew: The Anatomy of Plants (1682)
Grew: The Anatomy of Plants (1682)
Grew: The Anatomy of Plants (1682)
Grew: The Anatomy of Plants (1682)