Thomas Johnson was born in Selby in the early 17th century. A ‘learned, amiable, brave man’, he was a leading herbalist of his day, recording many examples of the giant bellflower found on the banks of the River Ouse which flows through Selby. Johnson combined his work as an apothecary with botanical excursions around England and Wales, publishing many books about his discoveries. He later fought for the Royalists in the Civil War and was ‘mortally wounded’.
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