Scheuchzer (1708)

Johann Jacob Scheuchzer


A volume that deserves a mention, though neither a herbal nor a flower book, is a general study of the Swiss Alps published in London in 1708 with the title,Helveticus. Written in Latin, it is by Johann Jacob Scheuchzer (1672-1733), a Doctor of Medicine at Zurich and a Fellow of the Royal Society, London. It is well illustrated by copperplate engravings, including several on natural history subjects. The plates were sponsored by various distinguished people such as Tancred Robinson, Sir Hans Sloane, and Martin Lister, as is acknowledged at the foot of each plate. Of special interest to us in Wales is that Plate XX, which shows four alpine plants, was paid for by Edward Lhuyd of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in the year before he died. The RBLA also hold a later edition of this work, dated 1723.

The volume's frontispiece depcits Scheuchzer examining specimens which he has presumably collected in the mountains behind.