Henry Fletcher Hance

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Henry Fletcher Hance

Henry Fletcher Hance (4 August 1827 – 22 June 1886) was a British diplomat who devoted his spare time to the study of Chinese plants.

Born in Brompton, London, his first appointment was to Hong Kong in 1844. In May 1852 in Exeter he married his first wife Anne Edith Baylis, who accompanied him on his return to Hong Kong. He later became vice-consul (1861–1878) to Whampoa, consul (1878–1881) to Canton, and finally consul to Xiamen, where he died in 1886.[1] In 1873, Hance published a supplement to George Bentham's 1861 Flora Hongkongensis [es].[1]

He graduated as Philosophiae Doctor from the University of Giessen on 24 November 1849, during which time he was in China.[2]

He found, named and described (in Latin) Iris speculatrix in 1875.[3][4] He was the taxonomic author of many plants.[5] In 1857 Berthold Carl Seemann named the genus Hancea (family Euphorbiaceae) in his honour.[6] In 1878 Hance was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London.[1]

His first wife made paintings of flowers in Hong Kong. They had several children before she died in childbirth in 1872. His second wife was Charlotte Page Kneebone Hance (1846–1911).

Hance is buried with his second wife Charlotte in Hong Kong Cemetery.[7]


  1. ^ a b Desmond, Ray (25 February 1994). Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists Including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. pp. 313–314. ISBN 9780850668438.
  2. ^ Forbes, Francis Blackwell (January 1887). "Henry Fletcher Hance". The Journal of Botany, British and Foreign. 25 (289). London: West, Newman & Co.: 1–11.
  3. ^ "Thema: Die Planzengattung Iris ... (Gelesen 5316 mal)". orchideenkultur.net. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Journal of Botany British and Foreign". biodiversitylibrary.org. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. ^ IPNI List of plants described and co-described by Hance.
  6. ^ BHL Taxonomic literature : a selective guide to botanical publications
  7. ^ Lim, Patricia (5 May 2011). "List of Burials ordered by Name". gwulo.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  8. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Hance.
  • Fan, Fa-ti. British Naturalists in Qing China: Science, Empire, and Cultural Encounter (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 68–72.