Between the first appearance of Gerard's Herbal and the second edition, Parkinson had published his Paradisi in sole Paradisus terrestris, the most popular gardening work of this per10d. Although the medicinal properties are given a place in it, as in all early books on plants, it is quite distinct in character from these other Herbals. The title of the book is a play upon his name, Park-in-Sun's Earthly Paradise, and the quaintness, freshness, and originality of the title is characteristic of the whole book. Parkinson has the power of inspiring his readers with a love of flowers and a feeling for their beauty, and still, after a lapse of centuries, no gardener could fail to be refreshed and stimulated in his art by a perusal of the Earthly Paradise.*
Parkinson. from the title page for his "paradisus".
Parkinson was born in 1567, and, like all the botanists already mentioned, was an apothecary. He lived in London, and was possessed of an excellent garden, and that he had also travelled appears from his works. He was " apothecary to King James," and was made " Botanicus Regius Primarius," by Charles I. He dedicated his Paradise to Queen Henrietta Maria. The exact date of his death is uncertain, but it occurred soon after the publication of his work, entitled Theatrum Botanicum, in 1640. This book has more to do with botany than with gardening, and although he describes even more plants than are to be found in Gerard, there is no special improvement in classification, the arrangement being chiefly according to their medical qualities. The French botanists, Jean and Gaspard Bauhin, had brought out their works since the publication of Gerard's Herbal, and Parkinson made use of these, as well as of those of L'Obel. The blocks for Parkinson's illustrations were cut in England.* Those for Gerard and Johnson came from abroad, as did also the greater part of Turner's.
* The feelings that the book might inspire in children is very prettily shown in Mary's Meadow, by Juliana Horatia Ewing.
The busiest workers and collectors of foreign plants in the time of James I. and Charles I., were the three generations of John Tradescants. The grandfather, a Dutchman, came to England, probably early in the reign of James I. The next John, " the father," was gardener to the first Lord Salisbury, the Lord Treasurer; to Lord Wolton, to the Duke of Buckingham, and, in 1629, was made gardener to Charles I. They all travelled about Europe, the father in Barbary also, and the grandson made a voyage to Virginia. They collected curiosities during their travels, and formed a museum, called " Tra-descant's Ark," a catalogue of which was published in 1656, Museum Tradescanteanum. When the last Tradescant died, in 1662, he left the museum to Mr. Ashmole, who bequeathed it to the University of Oxford. Besides the museum, at their house in Lambeth they had a good garden, where they cultivated many of the plants they imported. This was visited by the King and Queen, and was the resort of the learned of all classes. The remains of this garden existed in 1749, at which date Sir William Watson wrote a paper describing it, for the Royal Society.† He noticed two very large arbutus trees, which had not suffered from the severe cold of 1729 and 1740, when " most of their kind were killed." " In the orchard" there was " a tree of Rhamnus Catharticus "
* For history of woodcuts see Pulteney's Sketches of the Progress of Botany, 1790. Chap. 12.
† Phil. Trans. Vol. 46, page 160.
(Buckthorn) twenty feet high, and near a foot in diameter." Watson also mentions a deciduous cypress, " Cupressus ameri-canus acacia foliis deciduis " (Taxodium distichum), a tree which the Tradescants introduced. The tulip-tree was also one of their importations. Evelyn thus refers to it : " Poplar of Virginia—I conceive it was first brought over by John Tradescant, under the name of tulip-tree (from the likeness of its flowers), but is not, that I find, taken much notice of in any of our Herbals. I wish we had more of them, but they are difficult to elevate at first."* Some other plants brought over by them have more fortunately preserved their memory. Tradescant's Daffodil, called, " the great rose daffodil," in Parkinson, is Plenissimus, still described as "the largest and richest yellow of all double daffodils." † Tradescant's Aster still bears their name, and the Tradescantias, or spiderworts, are a well-known genus. During his travels, Tradescant made purchases for his patron, the first Earl of Salisbury, and some of his original bills are preserved at Hatfield. Many of the items are of interest, showing not only the prices paid for known plants, but also for some new ones, which he was the first to introduce.
The following are extracts from this interesting series ‡ :—
"3 January, 1611—John Tradescant his bill for Routes flowers, seedes, trees and plants by him bought for my Lo : in Holland—Bought at Leyden in Holland—For roots of flowers of Roasses and shrubs of Strang and rare, £3.— . . . Also bought at Harlem in Holland of Ccrnellis Helin of the Rathe ripe cherry trees 32 at 4s. the peece, £6. 8s.—for flowers called anemones, 5s.—for 16 Province Roses, 8s.—for two mulbery trees 6s.-—for the great red currants 6 plants 1s.—for two arbor vita trees 1s.—fortye frittelarias at 3 pence the peece 10s. 5 January 1611—bought at Brussells and in Holland .... for the rathe ripe portingall quince on[e] tree, 6s.—for the lion's quince tree 3s.—for two great medlar trees of Naples 5s.—for tulipes roots at Harlem at ten shillings the hundred 800, £4.—for on dussin of great blacke curants 1s.—on excedyng great cherye called the boores cherye 12s.—on Aprycoke tree called the whit aprycoke 6s.—also bought of the archedukes gardener called peere vyens 10 sorts 20s.—on chery tree called the Archedukes cherye 12s.—Also bought of Mr. John Jokkat for the double Echatega the martygon pompone blanche, the martygon pompong orang coller an the Irys calsedonye and the Irys susyana £2. 5 January 1611—bought in France—Bought at Parrys. on pomgranat tree vithe many other small trees at the root 6s.—on bundell of genista hispayca 2s.—8 pots of orrang trees of on years growthe grafted at 10s. the pece £4. —ollvander trees 6 at halfe a crowne the pece 15s.— Myrtil trees 7 at halfe a crowne the peece 17s. 6d.—two fyg trees in an other baskit called the whit fygs vithe many other rare shrubs give me by Master Robyns 4s.—Also of vynes called muscat two bundals of plants 4s.—Cheryes called Biggandres at 2 the peece 24, £2.—Sypris trees at on shilling the peece 200, £10.—blak mulberry trees at 2s. the peece 17, £1. 14s.—peache the troye 4 trees at 2s. the pece, 8s. (also alberges, malecotton peaches same price) on pot of the dubble whit stok gillirlower and on pot of the other gilliflowers, 3s.
* One of the oldest tulip-trees is at Waltham, in Essex. " The largest and biggest that ever was seen, there being but one other, in Great Britain, and that at Lord Peterborough's."—History of Waltham, Farmer, 1735.
† Barr's English Daffodil Catalogue, 1893.
‡ From the original MS. at Hatfield, by the kind permission of the Marquess of Salisbury.