Sarah Drake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sarah A. Drake
Born (1803-07-24)July 24, 1803
Skeyton, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Died July 9, 1857(1857-07-09) (aged 53)
United Kingdom
Nationality British
Known for Botanical art
Plate 1728 of Edwards's Botanical Register, Volume 20, signed "Miss Drake"

Sarah Ann Drake (1803–1857) was an English botanical illustrator.


Born on July 24, 1803, Drake came from the same area of Norfolk as the London University botanist John Lindley and went to school with Lindley's sister Anne. In 1830 "Ducky" (as she became known) moved into the Lindley home at Acton Green in London. She appears to have had a number of roles in the Lindley home, including that of governess, but eventually she took up botanical art, gradually taking over from Lindley the illustration of his botanical publications.[1] She created illustrations for his Sertum Orchidaceae, for example,[2] as well as over 1000 illustrations for the horticultural magazine Edwards's Botanical Register, which Lindley edited from 1829 to 1847. More than 300 of these drawing were of orchids and Lindley named the Western Australian orchid genus Drakaea in her honour.[3]

Drake is perhaps best known for her collaboration with Augusta Innes Withers on the drawings for the monumental Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala by James Bateman.[4] She also contributed some illustrations to Nathaniel Wallich's Plantae Asiaticae Rariores.[2]

Drake's career ended with the Botanical Register went out of business in 1847. She returned to Norfolk to care for elderly relatives and moved in with her uncle, Daniel Drake. In 1852 she married John Sutton Hastings, a wealthy farmer. She died on July 9, 1857, putatively from diabetes, but it has been speculated that she may have suffered from cumulative poisoning from her painting materials.[1]

Illustrations by Sarah Drake
Scarlet monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis
Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens
Adam's laburnum (+Laburnocytisus 'Adamii') 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hewson, Helen (1999). Australia: 300 years of botanical illustration. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 0-643-06366-8. 
  2. ^ a b Kramer, Jack. Women of Flowers: A Tribute to Victorian Women Illustrators. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1996.
  3. ^ Hopper, Stephen D.; Brown, Andrew P. (2007). "A revision of Australia' s hammer orchids (Drakaea: Orchidaceae), with some field data on species-specific sexually deceived wasp pollinators". Australian Systematic Botany. 20 (3): 262–264. doi:10.1071/SB06033. 
  4. ^ Schmidt, Alesandra M., and Trudy B. Jacoby. "Herbs to Orchids: Botanical Illustration in the Nineteenth Century". Watkinson Exhibition Catalogs, Paper 3, 1996.