From Philadelphia to Mill Hill
Annual General Meeting followed by a lecture:
From Philadelphia to Mill Hill – The story of botanists Peter Collinson and John Bartram with Letta Jones.
Peter Collinson FRS (January 1694 – 11 August 1768) was a Fellow of the Royal Society, an avid gardener, and the middleman for an international exchange of scientific ideas in mid-18th century London. He is best known for his horticultural friendship with John Bartram and his correspondence with Benjamin Franklin about electricity. Whilst living in Mill Hill, he lived in what is now the Ridgeway House boarding house of Mill Hill School. Furthermore, the school also has a Collinson House and more recently a Cedars House, named after the trees Collinson planted.
John Bartram (March 23, 1699 – September 22, 1777) was an early American botanist, horticulturist and explorer. Carl Linnaeus said he was the “greatest natural botanist in the world.” Bartram was born into a Quaker farm family in colonial Pennsylvania. He considered himself a plain farmer, with no formal education beyond the local school. He had a lifelong interest in medicine and medicinal plants, and read widely. His botanical career started with a small area of his farm devoted to growing plants he found interesting; later he made contact with European botanists and gardeners interested in North American plants, and developed his hobby into a thriving business.
Letta is an experienced and enthusiastic lecturer and researcher in the history of gardens, landscape and horticulture – an expert in botany and all things related. She regularly holds ‘walks and talks’ around London’s parks and gardens and shares a website with David Marsh and Stephen Smith at https://gardenhistorygrapevine.wordpress.com/