Book - The Lord Treasurer of Botany

Book - The Lord Treasurer of Botany

Regular price £25.00
Regular price Sale price £25.00

Winner of the Society for the History of Natural History's John Thackray Medal 2017

An in-depth biography of the Linnean Society’s founder Sir James Edward Smith that also reveals the establishment and early years of the Linnean Society.

Lovers of the history of science and any person interested in Victorian views of natural history will enjoy this deep dive into our archives to reveal this story.

Follow Smith from his beginnings as a textile merchant’s son in 18th-century Norwich, to his becoming a focal point for the study of botany, and by extension natural history, in not only Great Britain but Europe as well.

In this first complete biography, archivist Tom Kennett uses Smith's letters, publications, manuscripts and travel diary to give an honest portrayal of Smith, from his unrealised medical career to his brushes with royalty, and his close allegiances and rivalries with other leading naturalists. Personal accounts, rich in detail, help paint a vivid picture of the social structures of the time, outlining epoch-making events like the French Revolution and foretelling the rise of the professional scientist. Find out about how Smith went on to establish the Linnean Society of London, currently the oldest biological society in the world, and how it became central to scientific study in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Beautifully illustrated, The Lord Treasurer of Botany is the first definitive biographical work on the Society’s founder, Sir James Edward Smith (1759–1828).

About the author

Tom Kennett FLS spent five years studying the life of the Linnean Society of London’s founder, Sir James Edward Smith, producing an in-depth catalogue of Smith’s correspondence held by the Society and writing several articles for Fellows’ magazine PuLSe. Cataloguing each of the 3,500 surviving letters made it clear that Smith’s extraordinary life was in pressing need of a modern interpretation, leading Tom to write the first full-length biography.

ISBN: 9780993551000

Author: Tom Kennett

Images: Black and white, and colour

Size: 238 x 163 x 21 mm. 0.82 kg.

Format: Flexibound. 416 pages

Provenance: Unknown

Publisher: The Linnean Society


We ship internationally, and all orders are picked and packed within 5 working days.

Delivery is by Royal Mail whose delivery aims are advertised on their website. As a rough guide these are:

  • Within UK 2-3 working days
  • Europe 3-5 working days
  • Rest of the world 5-7 working days

The delivery address needs to be entered before Postage & Packing costs can be calculated. This will be based on the TOTAL weight and size of your package. As a rough guide these are:

UK: FROM £4.75



Please see our full Shipping Policy for more details, and information on import taxes, fees and charges for international orders.

If you are in London, you can collect your order from us Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Closest tube stations are Green Park or Piccadilly Circus.

Returns & Exchanges

You have 30 days from receiving your order to request a refund or exchange. Please see our full Returns & Exchanges policy for more details.

View full details