Johnson, Thomas

, an English botanist, of the seventeenth century, was born at Selby, in Yorkshire, and bred an apothecary in London. He afterwards kept a shop on Snow- hill, where, says Wood, by his unwearied pains and good natural parts, he attained to be the best herbalist of his age in England. He was first known to the public by a small piece under the title of “Iter in agrum Cantianum,1620; and “Ericetum Hamstedianum,” 16&2; which were the first local catalogues of plants published in England. He soon after acquired great credit by his new edition and emendation of Gerard’s “Herbal.” In the rebellion, “his zeal for the royal cause led him into the army, in which he greatly distinguished himself;- and the university of Oxford, in consideration of his merit, learning, and loyalty, conferred upon him the degree of M. D. May 9, 1643. In the army he had the rank of lieutenantcolonel to sir Marmaduke Rawdon, governor of Basinghouse. Near this place, in a skirmish with the enemy, in Sept. 1644, he received a shot in the shoulder, of which he died in a fortnight after, and, as there is reason to think, in the meridian of life. Besides the works abovementioned, and his improved edition of Gerard’s” Herbal,“which was twice printed in his life-time, in 1633 and in 1636, fol. he published in 1634,” Mercurius Botanicus, sive plantarum gratia suscepti Itineris, anno 1634, descriptio,“Lond. 8vo. This was the result of a journey, with some associates of the company of apothecaries, through Oxford, to Bath and Bristol, and back by Southampton, the Isle of Wight, and Guiklford, with the professed design to investigate rare plants. To this was added his small tract,” De Thermis Bathonicis,“with plans of the baths, and one of the city, which, to antiquaries, are now interesting. This was followed by a second part of his excursion,” Pars altera," which extends to Wales. He was among the earliest botanists who visited Wales and Snowdon, with the sole intention of | discovering the rarities of that country in the vegetable kingdom, He also translated the works of Ambrose Parey, the celebrated French surgeon, published at London in 1643, and reprinted in 1678. Miller consecrated the name of Johnson by assigning it to a berry-bearing shrub of Carolina, belonging to the tetrandrous class, but it has not been retained in the LinnaDan system, where the plant is called callicarpa. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. Lloyd’s Memoirs, fol. —Pulteney’s Sketches.