Croydon Bibliographies for Regional Survey June 2003
Number 89 An annotated copy of Daniel Cooper's Flora Metropolitana ISSN 0309 - 8591
Published irregularly at Croydon by the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society Limited, registered office : 96a Brighton Road, SOUTH CROYDON, Surrey CR2 6AD

Edited by Paul W Sowan, CNHSS Librarian
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Contents (printed text and ms. annotations)  
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Flora Metropolitana

Flora Metropolitana was published by S. Highley in 1836. It is a series of lists of plant records for specific localities principally in Surrey and Kent, but also Essex, London, and Middlesex. Localities extend as far out from the capital as Tilbury in Essex, Uxbridge in Middlesex, Guildford and beyond in Surrey, and Rochester in Kent. There is also a short section devoted to records for molluscs. Locations are carefully noted in relation to specific chalk and sand pits (thus yielding important dating evidence for these), private and public houses, and other features. The Croydon Canal was evidently a popular destination for botanists in its last years in the 1830s, and there are also several pages of records of land and freshwater molluscs, including a number from the same canal. Inner London localities, now almost entirely built over, are well represented in the printed text. Quite apart from the inherent botanical interest and evidence of now lost habitats, the very detailed location details allow the reader to visualise the pre-railway and pre-suburbia landscape of Greater London and its regional setting.

The full publication details are as follows:

COOPER, Daniel, 1836, Flora Metropolitana; or, botanical rambles within thirty miles of London. Being the results of numerous excursions made in 1833, 34, 35, furnishing a list of those plants that have been found on the different heaths, woods, commons, hills, etc. surrounding the Metropolis (more particularly the Counties of Surrey and Kent) chiefly from actual observations, and the latest authorities. Intended for the student in practical botany, with a list of the land and fresh-water shells of the environs of London. London: S. Highley: xvi + 139pp

There is a list of subscribers in pages ix - xii, an index to the localities in pages xiii - xiv, a list of synonyms on page xv, and a list of abbreviations on page xvi. A list of the land and fresh-water shells found in the environs of London occupies pages 120 - 127, followed by an inserted Errata slip and an Index in pages 129 - 139.

In many instances the lists appear to have been compiled from first hand observation in the field by Cooper. However, there are also numerous lists incorporated from and acknowledged to others. It would be interesting to establish which of these records are from earlier published sources, and which from otherwise unpublished personal communications.

Daniel Cooper's ms. additions

The copy of Flora Metropolitana in the Society's Library is rendered even more interesting on account of extensive contemporary ms. additions.

A small printed bookplate of Arthur West dated 1854 has been altered in ms. to read R.G. Keeley from Arthur West, May 13 1856. Neither West nor Keeley are listed amongst the subscribers.

One ms. entry (Esher Common, on page 26) is dated 1836 and another on the final flyleaf is annotated D. Cooper 1836, so it seems likely that this was the author's own working copy, with extensive additions in his own hand.

Contents (printed text and ms. annotations)

The work includes printed lists and / or ms. additions as follows (many of the printed lists are annotated; entirely ms. entries are indicated in italics.) :

Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath, Wandsworth Common, Peckham Rye, Road-side up Forest Hill and in the Wood, Battersea Fields, About Clapham, Norwood, About Dulwich, Banks of the Croydon Canal between the Dartmouth Arms and Norwood, About Croydon, About Coombe & Coombe Wood, Shirley Common, Mitcham Common, Barnes Common, Streatham Common, River side between Hammersmith Bridge and Kew, About Richmond, About Ham, About Esher, Esher Common (bog behind the cottage, entering the Common from Esher [dated 1836], Thames Ditton, About Ditton, About Moulsey, About Walton-on-Thames, Fields between Sutton and Banstead Downs, Banstead Downs, River side between Kew Bridge and Richmond, About Coulsdon, Near Ewell, About Epsom, Leatherhead, Reigate Heath and adjacent wet copses, High bank just before you reach Mickleham on the left, About Mickleham, Road from Mickleham to Dorking, Lane opposite the Wooden Steps on the right between Mickleham and Dorking, River Mole at Burford Bridge foot of Box Hill, About Brockham, Box Hill and the Betchworth Hills, About Dorking, About Betchworth, Dorking chalk-pit, Near Guildford, Near Godalming, Milford Heath, Near Brook, Near Bertley, Witley Park, Barnacle Hill, Near Stroud House, Stroud Orchard, Stroud Copse, Hind Head Lane, Grayswood, Grays-Wood Hill, Clammer Hill, Near Haslemere, Devil's Punch Bowl, Mosses (collected near Stroud by Misses. J. and C. Perry), Left bank of the river Wey at Guildford (road to Southampton), About Weybridge, Guildford chalk-pit, Between church Cobham and Stoke, Between Stoke Bridge and Slyfield Mill, Road from Leatherhead across the Downs to Epsom race course, Lambeth, Norbury Park, Beeching Wood, Wanham [Wonham] near Buckland, Bagshot Heath, About Headley, About Tooting.

Blackheath, In Greenwich Park, West Coombe Park, Roadside from Blackheath to Shooter's Hill, On the Common, Castle Wood (top of Shooter's Hill), Near Shrewsbury House, About Woolwich, In Woolwich Warren, Sandpits about Woolwich, Marshes between Greenwich and Woolwich (including the Thames shore), Waste field near Charlton Church (road from Blackheath), Lane by Charlton Church (leading to the lower road), Charlton Wood (including Hanging Wood), Charlton chalk-pit (including the copse by the road side, near the pit), About Plumstead, Between Plumstead and Erith, About Erith, In Abbey Wood, Roadside between Crayford and Dartford, Dartford Heath, About Dartford (including old chalk pits, marshes, lane across the fields near the powder mills, roadside beyond St. John's Hole Turnpike, hedge near the Bull Inn, wood on the left, two miles west of Dartford, Heath between Dartford and Boxley), About Pinden near Dartford, Roadside from Dartford Heath to Green Street Green, Near the large White House before you come to the Fox and Hounds, Darent Wood (also called Darne Wood), Small chalk pit out of the wood, Stone chalk pit, About Swanscombe, Greenhithe chalk-pits, Gravel Hill (between Swanscomb [sic] and Northfleet, About Greenhithe, About Northfleet and Gravesend, Road-side between Shorne and Stroud [? Strood], About Rochester, Lewisham chalk-pit, Side of the Ravensbourne at Lewisham, Road-side between Lee and Eltham (including the ditch on the right), Barren ground opposite the Porcupine Inn at Mottingham, About Eltham, Hedges between Eltham and Shooter's Hill, About Chiselhurst [Chislehurst], Hedge to Mary Cray (on the Common), Bogs about Ch[islehurst], About the Crays, Keston Mark or Common, About Bromley, About Farnboro [Farnborough], About Sevenoaks, About Cobham, from Cobham to Cuxton through Bush.

About Walthamstow, About Woodford, Epping Forest (in the neighbourhood of Woodford, Highbeech, Leytonstone, &c.), Chingford, Chigwell, Loughton, Hainault Forest, West Ham, Plaistow, Barking, Ilford, About Ongar, Purfleet, Gray's Thurrock, Tilbury Fort, About Muncombe, About Thorndon, About Chelmsford, About Broomfield.

About London, Hampstead Heath (including Caen Wood), Lord Mansfield's Park, Bishop's Wood, About Hampstead, About Highgate, On Muswell Hill, About Islington, About Paddington, About Highbury Barn, About Hackney, About Stoke Newington, About Hornsey, About Tottenham, About Edmonton, About Enfield, About Colney-Hatch, About Finchley, About Kensington, About Acton, About Hanwell, About Greenford, About Hillingdon, About Uxbridge, About Harefield, Harefield Common, At Battleswell near Harefield, Old Park Wood near Harefield, In Hyde Park, About Chelsea, Ditch at Bishop's Walk (Fulham), About Isleworth, Hounslow Heath, About Twickenham, About Teddington, About Hampton Court, Roadside from Hampton to Sunbury, Roadside between Hampton and Hampton Court, About Sunbury, About Staines, About Southgate, About Teddington, About Kentish-Town, About Harrow, Isle of Dogs, About Hendon, Banks of the Lea river from Clapton to Tottenham; Addenda - Plants found on Warley Common (Essex)

Further ms. addenda

Four pages of ms. addenda at the back contain entries for:

Earl Spencer's Park (Wimbledon), Between Wimbledon Common and Kingston, Croome Hurst, [Croham Hurst] In the fields near the hill, Additions to Coulsdon, Merstham pools and banks adjoining, Between Red Hill and Nutfield, S. Bank of the River [Thames] between Putney & Hammersmith Bridges, About Cobham, Felbridge between Godstone and East Grinstead, Road between Croydon and Sanderstead [dated D. Cooper 1836], On Purley Downs near Sanderstead.

Chalky banks and fields between Down [Downe] and Cudham; Southfleet; Brasted; About Westerham; About Farningham.

Walham Green, About Whitton.

Paul W Sowan

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Last updated October 9th 2003
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