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Mr Henry John Elwes

Who was Henry John Elwes?

Henry Elwes was a botanist and plant collector. He was the author of 'Monograph of the Genus Lilium' (1880), and 'The Trees of Great Britain & Ireland' (1906–1913) with Augustine Henry, as well as numerous articles. Elwes left a collection of 25,000 moth and butterfly specimens to the Natural History Museum, including 11,370 specimens of Palaearctic butterflies.

Life and Work

Henry John Elwes was the eldest son of John Henry Elwes of Colesbourne Park near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

In 1870, after achieving a diploma in biology with a thesis in natural history, Elwes was made a member of a mission organised by the Geographical Section of the British Association which would take the party through to the Sikkim Himalaya, crossing the border into then-forbidden Tibet. The journey was inspired by reading Himalayan Journals, written by Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Elwes' horticultural interests largely concentrated on bulbs, and he was said to have the finest collection in private hands.

Associated Places