Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman: Gumley Hall to New Guinea

One last fruit of my summer obsession with Gumley is the discovery of Lucy Evelyn Cheeman.

Her entry in Ray Desmond's Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists: Including Plant Collectors, Flower Painter and Garden Designer reads:

CHEESMAN, Lucy Evelyn (1881–1969)
b. Westwell, Kent 1881 d. 15 April 1969

FRES. Governess with Murray-Smith family, Gumley Hall, Leics. Botanised in Leics. Entomologist. Made a number of insect collecting expeditions on which she also collected plants. Pacific, 1924–25; New Hebrides, 1929–31; 1954–55; Papua, 1933–34; New Guinea, 1936, 1938–39; New Caledonia, 1949–50.

Things Worth While 1957.

Fl. Malesiana v.1, 1950, 106. Times 17 April 1969. Who was Who, 1961–1970 199. Entomol. Mon. Mag. 1969, 217–19 portr. A.L. Primavesi and P.A.Evans Fl. Leics. 1988, 78. M.Tinling Women into the Unknown 1989, 85–91.

Plants at BM(NH), Kew. British herb. not traced

There is more about her on Wikipedia, which says that she published many books (including Camping Adventures on Cannibal Islands) and had several reptiles and amphibians named after her.

Definitely a lady to investigate. I am sure that if Lord Bonkers every employed a governess she would be just like Lucy Cheesman.

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