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cene Five
    1642 PANEL



In 1642, civil war broke out in England, symbolically illustrated here by King Charles 1st confronting Cromwell.

Thomas Johnson MD c1596-1644 of Selby in Yorkshire was a botanist who became an apothecary in London with a physic garden on Snow Hill. A prominent member of the Society of Apothecaries, he went on many herborising excursions with them around the country. In 1603 he published his most important work ‘The Herbal …gathered by John Gerarde …very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson of London’. He added over 800 new species to the List and over 700 illustrations besides numerous corrections. In 1634 ‘Mercurius Botanicus’ and in 1641 he issued ‘Mercuri Bot, pars altera’, after visiting Wales and Snowdon and discovering many new plants. In 1642 he became a Colonel in the Royalist army as well as a BA of Physic at Oxford, then MD in 1643.

In 1644 near Basing House in a skirmish with Roundhead troops he received a shoulder wound from which he died 2 weeks later.


John Tradescant the Younger 1608-1662 like his father was a royal gardener and plant explorer. He owned two plots of land in Virginia and brought back many new species which are common in England today such as the Swamp Cypress and Sumach. On one of his journeys to the New World he went with Bertram Hobert and we see him in the lower picture showing him one of the treasures in the Tradescant Museum of Raratees that the Tradescants had in their home in South Lambeth. It was the first public museum in Britain and the largest in Europe. It later formed the basis of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Tradescant is shown holding the cloak of Indian Chief Powhatan (Also shown on  1607 panel). The other objects are as detailed by Tradescant himself:

(1)”A glass horne for anointing Kings. (2) Indian idol made of feathers, in the shape of a Dog. (3) A Brazen-ball to warme the Nunnes. (4) A Hand of jet usually given to children, in Turkey to preserve them from witchcraft. (5) A piece of the True Cross. (6) A piece of the stone of Diana’s Tomb. (7) A Trunion from Capt. Drake’s Ship. (8) A choice piece of perspective in a black Ivory case. (9) An Orange gathered from a Tree that grew over Zebulon’s Tombe. (10) A Circumcision-Knife of stone. (11) A piece of stone from St. John Baptist’s Tombe. (12) Blood that rained in the Isle of Wight, attested by Sir John Oglander”

Nicholas Culpeper 1616-1654. Kinsman of the Culpepers of Wakehurst, Sussex. Born in London. Cambridge student, he became astrologer, herbalist and physician with a highly regarded practice in Spitalfields, London. Prolific writer. Works detailed in G.A. Gordon’s collective edition of Culpeper’s works, 4 volumes published 1802, Edition includes (1) The English Physician enlarged or the Herbal. (2) The London Dispensatory, and (3) the Astrologicall Judgement. Culpeper fought as a Roundhead in the civil wars, was badly wounded but survived.



CHARLOCK  Sinapsis arvensis.  ‘It is called abouth the streets of Dublin before the flowers blow, by the name of CORN-CAIL, and used for boiled sallet’. Caleb Threlkeld.

SUMAC  Rhus myrtifolia.  ‘The seeds pouned, mixed with honie and the powder of Oken coles, healeth the Hemorrhoides ’. Gerard.

ASTER  Aster.  ‘It helpeth and prevaileth against the inflammation of the fundament, and the falling forth of the gut called SACCUS VENTRIS’. Gerard.

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