DAVIES, HUGH (1739 - 1821), cleric and author of Welsh Botanology

Name: Hugh Davies
Date of birth: 1739
Date of death: 1821
Parent: Lewis Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric and author of Welsh Botanology
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Nature and Agriculture; Religion
Author: William Llewelyn Davies

Christened 5 April 1739, son of Lewis Davies, incumbent of Llandyfrydog, Anglesey; at 17 he went to Peter-house, Cambridge, where he graduated. He held the living of Llandegfan, Anglesey, 1778-87, and moved to that of Aber, Caernarfonshire, 1787.

Davies is remembered for his Welsh Botanology … A Systematic Catalogue of the Native Plants of Anglesey, in Latin, English, and Welsh … (London, 1813). He explains in his preface that 'a constitutional nervous sensibility' having rendered him unequal to the duties of his profession, he retired to Beaumaris and devoted himself to the production of this book. (For the bishop of Bangor's licence, 1810, to absent himself from his rectory at Aber for two years, see NLW MS 6666D .) He had assisted Thomas Pennant with his Indian Zoology , published in 1790, the year in which Davies had been made a Fellow of the newly-formed Linnaean Society. He also assisted several other naturalists, among them his friend William Hudson, author of Flora Anglica, whom he visited in London in 1792, Sir James E. Smith (Flora Britannica), and James Sowerby (English Botany). Letters to Davies from Smith, Sowerby, Sir Joseph Banks, William Bingley, Lewis Weston Dillwyn, Samuel Goodenough, and many others, including William Owen Pughe and David Thomas (Dafydd Ddu Eryri), are preserved in NLW MS 6665C , whilst in NLW MS 2594E , NLW MS 13221E , NLW MS 13222C , NLW MS 13223C , NLW MS 13224B , and NLW MS 14350A , are to be found letters from Davies to Thomas Pennant, John Williams (Treffos, Anglesey), and William Owen Pughe. He sent a note ('Four British Lichens') to the second volume of the Transactions of the Linnaean Society, and material found in Welsh Botanology is quoted by Alphonse de Candolle in Geographic botanique raisonnée (Paris, 1855). In 1801 he published a pamphlet, Cyngor Difrif Periglor i'w Blwyfolion, against the Methodists; a reply by Thomas Charles appeared in 1802.

Davies died at Beaumaris 16 February 1821; his herbarium was sent to the British Museum.


Published date: 1959

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