Links & Resources

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Online articles & background information

Ellen Hutchins – Wikipedia entry

Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815): Botanist and Artist – Paper by John Lucey and Madeline Hutchins on the provenance and background of Alicia Hutchins’ memoir on Ellen, and including the memoir itself. (2016)

Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) – Ireland’s first female botanist. Charlotte Salter-Townshend, Women’s Museum of Ireland (2015).

Ellen Hutchins- Ireland’s First Female Botanist. Sarah Dutton (Project coordinator in the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium), The New York Botanical Garden’s Talk Science Blog (2015). There is a video featuring Ellen Hutchins, as part of a Her Natural Histories event on 12 March 2019, and Ellen featured in their Plant Love event in the Herbarium on Valentine Weekend 2019. 

We’re here live with experts from the #nybglibrary and #nybgherbarium, discussing historic botanical illustrations and specimens created by women artists as part of Biodiversity Heritage Library’s #HerNaturalHistory project. Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Posted by New York Botanical Garden on Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ellen Hutchins: A Biographical Sketch. W.H.Pearson, The Bryologist 21:5 (1918)

Hutchins, Ellen (1785-1815) – botanist. Ann Secord in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). Dictionary entry reproduced here.

Miss Ellen Hutchins and the Garden at Ardnagashel, Bantry, Co. Cork. John Bevan (1981). Includes some family history and a map of the arboretum with tree/shrub lists.

Bantry Bay’s First Lady of Botany. John Ackeroyd, Sherkin Comment 50 p13 (2010)

Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815)  a paper by Mark Lawley (British Bryological Society).

National Committee for Science & Engineering Commemorative Plaques. A NCSEC plaque commemorating Ellen’s achievements as a scientist was erected at Ellen’s burial place in Garryvurcha graveyard, Bantry in August 2015.


M.E. Mitchell, Early observations on the flora of southwest Ireland
Selected letters of Ellen Hutchins and Dawson Turner 1807-1814,
Occasional Papers, 12 (Glasnevin, Dublin, 1999).

L.W. Dillwyn, British Confervae, 1809 including plates 107 and 109.

G.J. Lyne, ‘Lewis Dillwyn’s visit to Waterford, Cork and Tipperary in 1809’, Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, (1986), 85-104.

W.J. Hooker, British Jungermanniae, 1812-1816, including J. Hutchinsiae.

A. Hutchins, Ellen Hutchins: a botanist, MS 47, Representative Church Body Library, Dublin (RCB).

G.J. Lyne & M.E. Mitchell, ‘A scientific tour through Munster: the travels of Joseph Woods, architect and botanist, in 1809’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, 27 (1988), 15-61.

J.T. Mackay, ‘Systematic catalogue of rare plants found in Ireland’, Transactions of the Royal Dublin Society vol. 5, 1806, p. 121-183.

J.T. Mackay, Flora Hibernica, 1836, including Introduction p. x.

A. Secord, Nature’s Treasures, chapter in Dawson Turner A Norfolk Antiquary and his remarkable family, ed. N. Goodman, 2007

D. Turner Historia Fucorum (London, 1808-1819) including Vol. 3, Plate 1 and Vol. 4, 74.

The Ellen Hutchins Festival 2018 Reporting
We made it into the heritage week highlights – skip to 0.53 to see our Letter Writing Living History Event.

West Cork People 

National Heritage Week 2018 Highlights Video

Follow in the Footsteps of Ellen Hutchins at this Years Festival – August 18

Ellen Hutchins Heritage Trail is a Celebration of Botany – June 18

Blog posts about Past Ellen Hutchins Festivals

In the Footsteps of Ellen Hutchins Botanical Sketches & Other Stories, Shevaun Doherty, September 2015

Ellen Hutchins: The Short and Remarkable Life of Ireland’s First Female Botanist Finola Finlay, Roaringwater Journal, September 2015

Ellen Hutchins  John Crellin, Floral Images Brecon, September 2015

Newspaper articles:

West Cork People 

Trinity Exhibition Honours West Cork Botanist – March 17

Sorting Seaweed on Whiddy – October 16 Report on the Seaweed Event for Ellen Hutchins Festival 2016 run by Susan Steele on Whiddy Island.

Bantry Historical Society Rewarded at National Heritage Awards – July 16

Celebrating Ellen Hutchins – Irelands First Female Botanist – August 15

Other Newspapers

The Grapevine wrote a summary of the 2016 Festival which included coverage of the Lichen Foray with Howard Fox and Maria Cullen with relatives of Ellen’s at the Bantry Credit Union, and support for the annual Festival from Eileen O’Shea of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association.

Ellen Hutchins a scientific maverick. Denise Hall, Irish Examiner (2015)

Ballylickey’s famous botanist was among world’s finest plant experts. Robert Hume, Southern Star (2015)

The Cork scientists who were snubbed by sexism. Robert Hume, Irish Examiner (2014)

Radio pieces

Ellen Hutchins, botanist by Sean Moffatt. Broadcast 16th August 2015 on Sunday Miscellany, RTÉ Radio One.

Online herbaria

The New York Botanical Garden’s Virtual Herbarium, is free to search. This is a link to the search results of specimens collected by Ellen Hutchins and stored at the Steel Herbarium which includes Enterographa hutchinsiae and Polysiphonia fruticulosa

The Smith Herbarium: Images of the specimens from the Herbarium of Sir James Edward Smith (1759-1828) held at the Linnean Society of London which include some of Ellen’s specimens e.g. Jungermannia trichophylla.

Drawings of Fungi (dated 1839) by Ellen Hutchins’ third cousin, Thomas Taylor of Dunkerron, Kenmare, Co Kerry, are held in the Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, Mass. USA.

Academic institutions & other organisations holding Ellen Hutchins material

National Botanic Gardens of Ireland Glasnevin.  publishers of Early observations on the flora of Southwest Ireland: Selected letters of Ellen Hutchins and Dawson Turner 1807-1814. Mitchell, M. E. (1999). Scanned versions of books mentioning Ellen are also available online on their website e.g. Flora Hibernica (Mackay, J.T. 1836). The section on hepatics is particularly relevant. They hold a reference folder with photographs of twenty of Ellen’s watercolour drawings of seaweeds from the bound volume at Kew.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew – Library, Art & Archives. The largest collection of Ellen’s original drawings of seaweeds is held at Kew, in a bound volume, British Algae, and many of her specimens were here before their move to the Natural History Museum. Kew also holds fifty letters to Ellen from botanist Dawson Turner, six letters from James Mackay of Trinity College Dublin, and one letter from Ellen to William Jackson Hooker (later Director of Kew). There are silhouettes of botanists of her time, from a collection owned by Dawson Turner, and copies of Botany books, British Confervae by Lewis Dillwyn and Historia Fucorum by Dawson Turner, with Ellen’s illustrations engraved and hand coloured in them.

Natural History Museum, London. The majority of Ellen’s specimens are in the herbarium here, including at least seventeen Type Specimens. They were moved from Kew in a reorganisation of herbaria in the 1970s. The Library has the manuscript List of Irish Plants handwritten by Ellen, and complied by her from 1809 to 1811.

The Herbarium, Trinity College Dublin. Some of Ellen’s  specimens are in TCD’s herbarium, indeed the oldest algae specimens (1805-1810) in the herbarium are Ellen’s. (Webb, 1992). Letters from Ellen to James Mackay are also held in TCD’s herbarium correspondence.

Trinity College Cambridge, Wren Library. Ellen’s seventy letters to Dawson Turner are here, in bound volumes beside letters from all the leading botanists of her day, in this splendid building.

Sheffield City Museum. Forty six of Ellen drawings from 1809-1810 are in the museum’s archives. They hold one Ellen Hutchins specimen; a Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis).

Women in Technology and Science (WITS). Stars, Shells, and Bluebells : Women Scientists and Pioneers, a book published by WITS in 1997, includes a chapter about Ellen ‘The Young Lady of the Lichens’ (Chesney, H.C.G.).

New York Botanical Garden has digitised its European seaweeds and their collection includes over a hundred of Ellen’s specimens, and two drawings of hers. In the Cryptogamic Herbarium there are also a large number of Ellen’s specimens of lichens, mosses and liverworts that have not been digitised. One liverwort specimen is held between two sheets of glass from Ellen’s microscope.

The Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland

The Irish Society of Botanical Artists Their book, Abitir, the Irish Alphabet in Botanical Art, 2014, includes an introductory essay about Irish botanical artists.

Ellen Hutchins Festival venues, supporters and information

Heritage Week

Future Forests, Sea View House Hotel, Organico, Bantry Credit Union, Bantry Tourist Office, The Craft Shop Bantry, Bantry Bookshop, Forest and Flock, Bantry Historical Society, Bantry Library, Masters of Tradition, Bantry Bay Boat Hire, Garnish IslandArdnagashel and the Ellen Hutchins Arboretum, Bantry House, Bantry & EnvironsGlengarriff Woods Nature Reserve,Mannings Emporium BallylickeyGlengarriff Park Hotel,Whiddy Island.

Funders of the Ellen Hutchins Festival Events and Projects Past and Present

The Heritage Council

National Parks & Wildlife Service

FLAG South

Bantry Historical Society

Cork County Council

University College Cork Library

Bantry Credit Union

The Herbarium, Botany Department, Trinity CollegeDublin

Cork Port Authority