Winch, Nathaniel John (DNB00)
|←Winch, Humphrey||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 62
Winch, Nathaniel John
WINCH, NATHANIEL JOHN (1769?-1838), botanist, was born about 1769. He was throughout his life devoted to the study of plants, especially those of Northumberland, Cumberland, and Durham, and was one of the earliest writers to take 'philosophical views of geographical distribution. He studied cryptogams, especially mosses, as well as flowering plants, and accumulated an herbarium of some twelve thousand species. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1803 and an associate in 1821. For more than twenty years he acted as secretary to the Newcastle Infirmary. He died at his residence, Ridley Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 5 May 1838, aged 69. His manuscripts, library, and herbarium were bequeathed to the Linnean Society, but the greater part of them was subsequently handed over to the Natural History Society of Northumberland and Durham. His name was commemorated by De Candolle in the genus Winchia. Winch's principal publications were:
- 'The Botanist's Guide through … Northumberland and Durham,' 1805-7, 2 vols. 8vo, written in conjunction with John Thornhill and Richard Waugh, arranged according to the Linnean system and including cryptogams.
- 'Observations on the Geology of Northumberland and Durham,' 1814, 4to.
- 'Essay on the Geographical Distribution of Plants through … Northumberland, Cumberland, and Durham,' 1819, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1825.
- 'Remarks on the Flora of Cumberland,' 1825, 8vo, contributed to the 'Newcastle Magazine' during the preceding year, and reprinted as 'Contributions to the Flora of Cumberland,' 1833, 4to.
- 'Flora of Northumberland and Durham,' 1831, 4to; reprinted from the 'Transactions' of the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle, to which addenda were issued in 1836.
[Britten and Boulger's Biographical Index of Botanists, and authorities there cited.]