About this collection

Mus. Martyn contains the oldest plants in the herbarium, the earliest dated 1703. The specimens were brought to Cambridge by John Martyn (1699-1768), Professor of Botany at Cambridge from 1732 until 1766, and his son, Thomas Martyn (1735-1825), professor of Botany at Cambridge from 1767 until 1825. When Thomas died, John Stevens Henslow (Darwin’s mentor) took over the Professorship and found the Martyn collection in quite a sorry state with many plants broken and mouldy. He remounted most of the collection on fresh sheets of paper, carefully transferring all the labels he found that were still legible.