Sir Charles James Fox Bunbury – Five Plant Studies 1824-8


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Charles’s first travels abroad with his parents and brothers Edward and Henry (and numerous servants) lasted nearly 2 years. The trip started in October 1827, and ended in September 1829. During their stay in Italy their mother suddenly died in Nervi, a small town on the coast, a few miles east of Genoa, (aged 39-40). At the time of her death her husband was absent on a short excursion he was making with his son Edward through the Alps near Turin, so she was alone with her sons Charles and Henry.

It was approximately one month after returning to England that Charles and Edward entered Trinity College, Cambridge.

Botanical works:

  1. Inscribed in ink; Anchusa sempervirens 1824 – watercolour on paper, 23 x 18.5 cm.
  2. Inscribed in blue and red ink; Listers guttatus C. Bunbury, September 1824-Sowerby’s English Botany – watercolour on paper, 18.5 x 23 cm.
  3. Inscribed in ink; C. J. F. B. Oct 1828 – watercolour on paper, 19.7 x 17 cm.
  4. Inscribed in ink; Ophrys aranifera Genoa C. J. F. B. Feb 1828 (This plant is mentioned on page 37 of his book ‘The life of Sir Charles J. F. Bunbury, Bart’. Vol 1.) – watercolour on paper, 18.4 x 11.5 cm.
  5. Inscribed in pencil; Alstroemeria pelegrina From Nature – watercolour on paper, 22.6 x 18 cm.


Pages from a scrap album: Chiefly comprising of early 19th century drawings and watercolours of botanical works by Caroline Amelia Fox (1795-1868) and the well-known naturalist Sir Charles James Fox Bunbury (1809-1886).

Title Page (written in pen and ink): Frances J (Joanna) Bunbury given me by my husband C J F (Charles James Fox) Bunbury – His Aunt’s drawings, (underlined in pencil under Aunt) – Lady (Caroline) Napier Wife of Sir William Napier. A copy of the title page will be included in the sale.

Charles Bunbury’s mother Louisa was very close to his Aunt Caroline which he commented on in his book ‘The Life of Sir Charles J. F. Bunbury, Bart. Page 29. I went with my mother to spend a few days with my Uncle William, and Aunt Caroline, who were living at Bromham, near Devizes. My mother and Aunt (two of the most admirable of women) loved each other most tenderly and truly. C.1826.


Bunbury, Sir Charles James Fox (1809-1886)

Sir Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th Baronet of Barton Hall, Suffolk, (4 February 1809-18 June 1886) was an English naturalist and Fellow of the Royal Society. Charles was born in Messina, the eldest son of Sir Henry Bunbury, 7th Baronet and Louisa Amelia Fox and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He married Frances Joanna Horner, daughter of Leonard Horner, on 31 May 1844 in London. They had no children. He was a Justice of the Peace and deputy lieutenant for Suffolk and in 1868 was appointed High Sheriff of Suffolk. A keen botanist and geologist with a particular interest in palaeobotany. Charles collected plant specimens on expeditions to South America in 1833 and South Africa in 1838. He also accompanied his great friend Sir Charles Lyell, the geologist, on an expedition to Madeira and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1851. Charles died at Barton Hall, Bury, Suffolk, in 1886 and was succeeded in his title by his younger brother Sir Edward Herbert Bunbury, 9th Baronet.