Author Picture
5 December 1806 - 27 July 1893

Anne Pratt, afterwards Mrs. Pearless, was a botanist, born on 5 Dec, 1806 in Strood, Kent. The second of three daughters of Robert Pratt (1777–1819), a wholesale grocer of that town, by his wife, Sarah Bundock (1780–1845), of Huguenot descent.

Her childhood and youth were passed at Chatham, whither her father had removed, and she was educated by Mrs. Roffey at the Eastgate House school, Rochester. Her delicate health rendering her unfit for active pursuits, she devoted herself to literary study. A Scottish friend, Dr. Dods, undertook to teach her botany, and she soon became an ardent student. Aided by her elder sister, who collected for her, she formed an extensive herbarium, and supplemented her collection by making sketches of the specimens. The drawings afterwards formed illustrations for her books.

She left Chatham in 1846, and went to reside with friends at Brixton and other places, but subsequently settled at Dover in 1849. There she wrote her principal work, The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Great Britain. Other changes of residence followed.

On 4 Dec. 1866 she was married to John Pearless of East Grinstead, Sussex. She resided there for two and a half years. They settled for some years at Redhill, Surrey. She died on 27 July 1893 at Rylett Road, Shepherd's Bush, London.

Although her works were written in popular style, they were fairly accurate, and were instrumental in spreading a knowledge and love of botany, and were at one time acknowledged by a grant from the civil list.


 - A Biography by Bernard Barham Woodward,
Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 46