William Turner's 1551 work is the first original scientific herbal written by an Englishman and the first published in the English language.  Both physician and botanist, he was also a supporter of the Reformation, and twice had to flee England.  During his enforced travels he recorded and collected European flora.  His 'Newe herball' was published in 1551, three years after returning from his first exile abroad.

To ensure his work would be of use to all members of the medical profession, Turner wrote in English rather than Latin.  "How many surgianes and apothecaries are there in England", he wrote, "which can understande Plini in Latin or Galene and Dioscorides, where as they wryte ether in Greke or translated into Latin". 

'A newe herball' contains vivid descriptions of 238 English plants, alphabetically arranged according to the Latin names of the herbs, but also with synonyms given in English and other languages.  The woodcut illustrations are poor copies from the octavo edition of Fuch's 'De historia stirpium'. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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