26
February
17.00
Cost: Free

The Syon Abbey Herbal: The Last Monastic Herbal in England

Ordinary Meeting of Fellows (Fellows and Guests Only)

The Syon Abbey Herbal: The Last Monastic Herbal in England

Lecture by John Adams, FSA, and Stuart Forbes

About the Syon Abbey Herbal, before AD 1517: Syon Abbey, to the west of London, was founded in 1415 by Henry V, and closed in 1539. In its short 125 year life, it established itself as centre for preaching in English, literacy and publishing. Its 25 Brothers and 60 Sisters were, uniquely in England, all subject to the Abbess. It produced two famous sons: Richard Reynolds (skiled in Hebrew and Greek), executed 1534 for refusing to take the oath of supremacy to Henry VIII; and Thomas Betson, Librarian from 1481 to his death in 1517.  Betson wrote the celebrated Syon Library Catalogue (still surviving—the library's 1747 volumes have almost completely vanished). He also compiled the last monastic herbal in England, containing 700 plant entries and 425 Remedies, many for women's ailments. The text has now been brought into print by John Adams (SOA) and Stuart Forbes.

Event Location

Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House