Sussex horticultural societies

Sussex horticultural societies


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Sussex horticultural societies

Sussex horticultural societies were many societies or groups formed throughout the United Kingdom for the promotion of horticulture. Many are now defunct. The term Sussex horticultural society refers to a group of organisations in the UK and other countries, most being amateur or amateur-founded. However, the term is also used by writers for purposes unrelated to the horticultural.

Sussex horticultural societies were formed as part of the British national tradition of horticulturalism, which has a very long history and was promoted by some of the founding fathers of horticulture such as the Commissioners of Public Gardens. The oldest records of horticulture societies were found in the county of Sussex, which has led to an increasing interest in horticulture in that county. In addition, as the county is relatively compact, the records of societies are easily found in libraries, archives, and repositories. Many surviving societies are in the county of Sussex, as well as those from East Anglia and neighbouring counties.

This article concentrates on records of individual societies in the county of Sussex. Many links to records in other counties are provided in the notes. For details on other counties' horticultural societies, please see: East Anglia, Great Britain, Northumbria, South Wales, and West Wales.

Origins

Aristocrats

Many of the earliest horticultural societies were based on the interest of the aristocracy, starting with the "Welham Botanical Society" formed in 1758. The first societies for the promotion of horticulture within the county of Sussex formed in 1764. Many more were formed during the 19th century as the country's population expanded.

Gentlemen

Many horticultural societies in the country of Sussex have a strong tradition of being formed by the gentlemen of the area and are in addition by nature clubs (as opposed to a society where the admission fee was one shilling (6p)). The earliest horticultural societies founded in Sussex are referred to as gentleman's horticultural societies. Members of a gentlemen's horticultural society would normally be selected to promote the society through participation in horticultural events. As horticultural societies were mainly funded by members and subscribers, the funding of many of the gentlemen's societies was carefully watched to prevent political involvement. This was particularly a problem for the "Peach Tree Group" formed in 1872, which was a body of British conservative members of parliament. The lack of transparency of most gentlemen's horticultural societies also led to the later formation of horticultural societies which were founded by committees of members. To gain membership, a gentlemen's horticultural society might require that a member be a member of a local organisation such as a club. Unlike most clubs, there is no official statement of objectives.

In 1905, a petition by the Sussex Royal Horticultural Society (SRHS) was passed by the House of Commons which called for the creation of a system of friendly societies which were based on volunteerism. The SRHS, therefore, was founded as a fully paid up society with a membership fee (a penny for a year). These societies could only be charitable. In contrast, the gentlemen's horticultural societies of Sussex, such as the "Peach Tree Group" of 1872, required no membership fee, yet still required that all participants be gentlemen.

Patrons

Many horticultural societies were founded and largely funded by county gentry or landowners. These societies would have to be "patroned" by a member of a gentry family or position of importance in the county. Some of the more prominent horticultural societies of Sussex in the 19th century were founded by landowners.

Professional men

Some of the most successful horticultural societies were formed by the promotion of the social and professional advancement of the horticulturalists, sometimes through the "Association for Promoting the Arts". The "Sussex Horticultural Association" was formed in 1889 to represent the interests of the county horticulturalists and was active until it was dissolved in 1955. Many of its members were also founder members of the "Sussex County Horticultural Society".

Non-profit organizations

Many of the horticultural societies were founded as a non-profit organisations which would be tax-exempt, thus not requiring an annual registration of members and also not subject to an annual audit by a financial auditor. These organisations were ideal for many gentlemen's horticultural societies which did not have the financial resources to invest in buildings, plants or equipment. As a result, many horticultural societies have lost interest and have either closed down or passed on their assets to a suitable non-profit organisation.

Notes

References

Category:Horticultural organisations based in the United Kingdom

Category:History of Sussex

Category:19th century in Sussex

Category:20th century in Sussex

Category:Companies based in Sussex

Category:Organisations based in Sussex

Category:Organizations established in 1764

Category:Organizations established in 1905

Category:Organizations disestablished in 1955

Category:1764 establishments in Great Britain

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:Companies disestablished in 1955

Category:1872 establishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1905 establishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1872 establishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1905 establishments in the United Kingdom

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:Organisations based in East Sussex

Category:Organisations based in West Sussex

Category:Organizations established in 1872

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:Companies established in 1872

Category:1955 disestablishments in the United Kingdom

Category:Organisations based in East Sussex

Category:Organisations based in West Sussex

Category:1955 disestablishments in the


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