John Danvers' plate
The plants on this plate all have a specific type of dry fruit called a capsule, which splits along two edges (see second plant from right on top row), and flowers with four petals, arranged in a cross-like manner. This characteristic of plants in the cabbage family (Brassicaceae) gives the group its old name – Cruciferae. Images on the bottom row are of different sorts of wallflower, which were popular with gardeners of the period.
This plate is sponsored by John Danvers, who is described as a ‘grandchild’ of Henry Danvers (1573-1644), earl of Danby, the soldier and administrator, who funded the establishment of the Oxford Physic Garden in 1621 and is memorialised in the Danby Gate. Danvers and his elder brother Charles (c.1568-1601) murdered a man in October 1594, but were subsequently given a royal pardon; Charles was eventually executed for treason against the English crown. Their younger brother, John (1584/5-1655) was a regicide with a great interest in gardens. Henry died unmarried and childless. The inclusion of a Danvers’ family member as a sponsor of one of the Historia plates is to be expected.