Henry Baines (botanist)

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Thomas Joseph Banks' painting of Henry Baines (York Museums Trust)

Henry Baines (1793–1878) was a notable botanist who lived in York.


Baines was born on 15 May 1793 in a cottage over the cloisters of St. Leonard's Hospital, York. At that time, the cloisters were used by a Mr. Suttle, a wine merchant, to store his wares. Baines took up gardening aged 12, near to the site of the hospital. He spent some time in Halifax, during which he became acquainted with naturalists Samuel Gibson, Abraham Stansfield, John Nowell, and William Wilson, among others.[1]

Upon returning to York, he was appointed 'sub-curator' to the museum of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in 1828 or 1829, under John Phillips,[1] and by 1830 had already procured over 500 plants for their gardens.[2]

His main publication (1840) was his Flora of Yorkshire. During the compilation and publication of this, Richard Spruce was a frequent visitor to the Yorkshire Museum and Baines' residence, often spending Sunday afternoons there. Baines resigned his post in 1870 due to failing health, and due to his forty years' service was allowed to remain at his residence within the gardens. He died there on 1 April 1878.[2]


  1. ^ a b Wilkinson, Henry J. Historical account of the herbarium of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society, part 1 (no date; post-1859).
  2. ^ a b Annual Report of the Council of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for 1829 (dated 1830).
  3. ^ "Author Query for 'Baines'". International Plant Names Index. 

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