On This Day
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, there is a separate and independent National Trust for Scotland.
The Trust was founded in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley to “promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest”. It was given statutory powers, starting with the National Trust Act 1907. Historically, the Trust acquired land by gift and sometimes by public subscription and appeal, but after World War II the loss of country houses resulted in many such properties being acquired either by gift from the former owners, or through the National Land Fund. Country houses and estates still make up a significant part of its holdings, but it is also known for its protection of wild landscapes such as in the Lake District and Peak District. As well as the great estates of titled families, it has acquired smaller houses including some whose significance is not architectural but through their association with famous people, for example the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
One of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, the Trust owns over 248,000 hectares (610,000 acres; 2,480 km2; 960 sq mi) of land and 780 miles of coast. Its properties include over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves. Most properties are open to the public for a charge (members have free entry), while open spaces are free to all. The Trust has an annual income of over £630 million, largely from membership subscriptions, donations and legacies, investments, entrance fees to properties, and profits from its shops and restaurants. It also receives grants from a variety of organisations including other charities, government departments, local authorities and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Born On This Day
1799 – Priscilla Susan Bury, British botanist (d. 1872)
Priscilla Susan Bury, born Falkner (12 January 1799 Liverpool – 8 March 1872 Croydon), was an English botanist and illustrator.
Priscilla Susan Bury was born in Rainhill, Liverpool. Her parents were Edward Dean and Bridgett (nee Tarleton) Falkner.
She married Edward Bury (1794-1858), a noted railway engineer, on 4 March 1830. The couple had at least three sons, born between 1831 and 1835. Between 1852 and 1860 the family lived at Hillsborough Hall near Sheffield and later moved to Croft Lodge, Ambleside in the Lake District.
In 1860 she published an account of her husband, Recollections of Edward Bury, Fellow of the Royal Society, Member of the institute of Civil Engineers, Member of the Smeatonian Society, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Fellow of the Royal Historic Society by his widow.
By 1866 she had moved to Fairfield, Thornton Heath, Croydon where she died of bronchitis and cerebral congestion on 8 March 1872.
Although she was not trained as a botanist or commissioned as a professional artist, she was the author of several artistic and scientific plant illustrations
She began to draw plants from the glasshouse at her family home ‘Fairfield’, and by 1829 had enough studies of lilies and allied plants for publication. The 1829 Drawings of lilies, as lithographs by Hullmandel, features her illustrations accompanied by short notes. This was modelled on a book, and its publicity materials, by William Roscoe.
From 1831-1834, her drawings were published in A Selection of Hexandrian Plants. The engraving was entrusted to the Londoner Robert Havell, engraver of the John James Audubon (1785-1851) plates. The book was carried out in aquatint and the 350 plant drawings painted in part by hand. The subscribers to this large folio numbered only 79, mostly from the Lancashire region, Audubon being one of them. The book was described as “one of the most effective colour-plate folios of its period” by Wilfrid Jasper Walter Blunt in his The Art of Botanical Illustration.
Her later work after 1836 consisted of eight plates for Maund and Henslow’s The Botanist and photographs of her drawings were included in Figures of Remarkable Forms of Polycystins, or Allied Organisms, in the Barbados Chalk deposit in 1860–1861, followed by new expanded editions in 1865 and 1869. The fossils had been collected by John Davy and prepared for microscopy by Christopher Johnson of Lancaster.
The standard author abbreviation Bury is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
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