William Hudson FRS (1730 in
Kendal – 23 May 1793) was a British
botanist and apothecary based in London. His main work was Flora
Anglica, published in 1762. He was elected a fellow of the Royal
Society in 1761.
1 Life and work
2 Selected works
5 Further reading
Life and work
Hudson was born at the White Lion Inn, Kendal, which was kept by his
father, between 1730 and 1732. He was educated at
school, and apprenticed to a
London apothecary. He obtained the prize
for botany given by the Apothecaries' Company, a copy of Ray's
Synopsis; but he also paid attention to mollusca and insects. In
Pennant's British Zoology he is mentioned as the discoverer of Trochus
terrestris. From 1757 to 1768 Hudson was resident sub-librarian
of the British Museum, and his studies in the Sloane herbarium enabled
him to adapt the
Linnean nomenclature to the plants described by Ray
far more accurately than did Sir John Hill in his Flora Britannica of
In 1761 Hudson was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and in the
following year appeared the first edition of his Flora Anglica, which,
according to Pulteney and Sir J. E. Smith, "marks the establishment of
Linnean principles of botany in England." Smith writes that the work
was "composed under the auspices and advice of Benjamin
Stillingfleet". Hudson, at the time of its publication, was practising
as an apothecary in Panton Street, Haymarket, and from 1765 to 1771
acted as 'praefectus horti' to the Apothecaries' Company at Chelsea. A
considerably enlarged edition of the Flora appeared in 1778; but in
1783 the author's house in Panton Street took fire, his collections of
insects and many of his plants were destroyed, and the inmates
narrowly escaped with their lives. Hudson retired to Jermyn Street.
In 1791 he joined the newly established Linnean Society. He died in
Jermyn Street from paralysis on 23 May 1793, being, according to the
Gentleman's Magazine, in his sixtieth year. He bequeathed the remains
of his herbarium to the Apothecaries' Company. Linnaeus gave the name
Hudsonia to a North American genus of Cistaceae.
Hudson was buried in St James's Church in Westminster, London.
Flora Anglica (1762) –1798 printing
The standard author abbreviation Huds. is used to indicate this person
as the author when citing a botanical name.
^ Davey, F Hamilton (1909). Flora of Cornwall. Penryn: F Chegwidden.
^ "Elements of Natural History". 1802. p. 394. Retrieved 18 June
^ "Hudson, William (1730?-1793)". Dictionary of National
Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. Almost
all of this article is copied from this source.
^ Flora Britanica: sive, Synopsis methodica stirpium Britanicarum
[…] primum ad celeberrimi Caroli Linnæi methodum disposita.
^ Gorton, John (1851). A General Biographical Dictionary. 2. London:
Henry G. Bohn.
^ IPNI. Huds.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: "Hudson, William (1730?-1793)". Dictionary of
National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
Rees' Cyclopaedia article by Sir J. E. Smith
Cornelius Nicholson's Annals of Kendal, p. 345
Gentleman's Magazine 1793, i. 485
Henry Field and Robert Hunter Semple, Memoirs of the Botanic Garden at
Chelsea (1878), p. 88.
Trimen and Dyer's Flora of Middlesex, p. 392
Pulteney's Sketches of the Progress of Botany, ii. 351
Bromley's Catalogue of Portraits.
ISNI: 0000 0000 5114 3432