Rummaging through a box at the back of the herbarium earlier today we came across this lovely painting of a botanist (nothing like having a fern in the lapel to demonstrate your occupation!).
Looking at a display panel in the herbarium, we thought the man in the portrait looks rather similar to the daguerreotype of Richard Buxton aged 65 (on the right). What do you think?
Richard Buxton (1786 – 1865) was a very interesting man, born in Prestwich and apprenticed to be a children’s shoemaker, he decided to teach himself to read. From there, he moved on to educating himself about the plants he found growing around him, firstly by reading Culpeper’s Herbal, before reading more scientific texts which explained the Linnaean system for classifying plants. He became a renowned local botanist and wrote floras of the plants found around Manchester. We are proud to have plant material collected by such a remarkable man in our herbarium collections, and so we have some out on display in our Manchester Gallery.