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John Gerard

One of the town's most famous figures is John Gerard, born in Nantwich, 1545. Gerard was a herbalist and is known for his 1,484-page publication named Herball, or A General Historie of Plantes.

Gerard attended school in Willaston before moving to London at the age of seventeen to become an apprentice to a barber-surgeon. After seven years, he was granted permission to open his own practice. Whilst studying, Gerard became fascinated by plants and began to develop his very own large garden in Holborn.

As his reputation grew, Gerard was presented with plants and seeds from across the world. He began to categorise and list the species, publishing his findings in Herball. Gerard's tome was first published in 1597 and featured over 1,000 plant species.

Unfortunately, claims of inaccuracies and plagiarism later arose, despite Gerard taking the entire credit for his work.

Herball proved to be extremely popular and became *the* book on plants and horticulture at the time. The book presented over 800 chapters, with names and descriptions of plant species, their uses and illustrations. Students used Gerard's book for 200-300 years.

Gerard was also appointed Royal Herbalist to King James I.

Today, a herb planter stands outside of the Nantwich Museum in honour of John Gerard and his work. Additionally, Gerard's story is a strong link to the Nantwich Walled Garden, and the society working to preserve this key piece of Nantwich's past.

Gerard's works were of huge inspiration to us during the development of our signature London dry, Nantwich Gin. Many herbs and botanicals Gerard studied and grew himself are present in the gin, such as lemon thyme, rose and lavender.

A drawn depiction of John Gerard with a plaque of text at the bottom, reading: London. Printed by Adam Norton and Richard Whitakers. Anno 1636.
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