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DateLecture
04 October 2018AGM & The botanic gardens of London before Kew
05 July 2018British Gold
07 June 2018The art of the steal: Nazi Looting during World War II
03 May 2018Tamara de Lempicka: Mistress of Art Deco
05 April 2018Historic Graffiti – the hidden story of the hopes, fears and desires of a Nation
01 March 2018Form & Fortune: Fifty Years of British Sculpture 1968-2018 CANCELLED owing to the weather, rearranged for April 2019
01 February 2018AVM Curiosities: Food, Art & History
07 December 2017Christmas and other Festivals in Modern Mexico
02 November 2017SMALLHYTHE PLACE AND OTHER HIDDEN GEMS: THE INTIMATE JEWELS OF DAME ELLEN TERRY
05 October 2017AGM followed by Dale Chihuly - the World's Foremost Glass Artist
06 July 2017Knights of Heaven: Warrior Angels and Saints in Medieval and Renaissance Art
01 June 2017'Sweet Thames Run Softly': the Thames Through Artists' Eyes
04 May 2017Looking at Portraits: a Very Engilsh Taste
06 April 2017The Court of the Gonzagas in Mantua
02 March 2017Cleopatra, Myth & Reality
02 February 2017King George IV, the Greatest Royal Collector of Art
01 December 2016Celebration of 20th Anniversary of Amersham DFAS (Drinks served 7pm - 7.30pm, speeches start in the auditorium at 7.45pm) followed by The Secret World of Charles Dickens: Mirth, Marvels and the Mysterious

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AGM & The botanic gardens of London before Kew Mark Spencer Thursday 04 October 2018

The 17th & 18th centuries saw the introduction of thousands of plant species from across the world into northern Europe. Many of these plants are now staples of our gardens: magnolias, lilies, pelargoniums & Michaelmas-daises to name a few. Long before Kew Gardens was established, these plants found new homes in the, then great, gardens of London and its environs; places such as, the long-lost garden at Westminster, Hampton Court under the care of George London, Fulham Palace home to Bishop Compton or the two great gardens of Chelsea, one of which survives – the Chelsea Physic Garden


Mark has been fascinated by plants since he was a small boy. Originally a horticulturist, he studied horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and also studied botany and mycology at university, after which he worked as a field botanist for a regional conservation organisation. After 12 years as a senior botany curator at the Natural History Museum, London he is now a consultant forensic botanist, public speaker and occasional radio and TV presenter. He is the honorary curator of Carl Linnaeus’s herbarium at the Linnean Society of London, one of the most significant collections in the history of science. Mark also has a strong interest in the history of botany and botanic gardens, invasive non-native species and the flora of North-West Europe.