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JOHN GERARD (1545-1612)

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Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 765 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN GERARD (1545-1612)  ,
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English herbalist and surgeon, was born towards the end of 1545 at
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Nantwich in
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Cheshire . He was educated at Wisterson, or Willaston, 2 M. from Nantwich, and eventually, after spending some time in travelling, took up his abode in
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London, where he exercised his profession . For more than twenty years he also acted as superintendent of the gardens in London and at Theobalds, in Hertfordshire, of William
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Cecil, Lord Burghley . In 1596 he published a catalogue of
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plants cultivated in his own garden in
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Holborn, London, 1039 in number, inclusive of varieties of the same
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species . Their English as well as their Latin names are given in a revised edition of the catalogue issued in 1599 . In 1597 appeared Gerard's well-known Herball, described by him in its preface as " the first fruits of these mine own labours," but more truly an adaptation of the Stirpium historiae pemptades of Rembert Dodoens (1518-1585), published in 1583, or rather of a
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translation of the whole or
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part of the same by Dr Priest, with M . Lobel's arrangement . Of the numerous illustrations of the Herball sixteen appear to be
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original, the remainder are mostly impressions from the wood blocks employed by Jacob Theodorus Tabernaemontanus in his Icones stir pium, published at
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Frankfort in 1590 . A second edition of the Herball, with considerable improvements and additions, was brought out by Thomas Johnson in 1633, and reprinted in 1636 . Gerard was elected a member of the court of assistants of the barber-surgeons in 1595, by which
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company he was appointed an examiner in 1598, junior
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warden in 16o5, and master in 16o8 . He died in
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February 1612, and was buried at St Andrews, Holborn . See Johnson's preface to his edition of the Herball; and A Catalogue of Plants cultivated in the Garden of John Gerard in the years 1596-1599, edited with Notes, References to Gerard's Herball, the Addition of
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modern Names, and a
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Life of the Author, by Benjamin Daydon Jackson, F.L.S., privately printed (London, 1876, 4to) .

End of Article: JOHN GERARD (1545-1612)
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