Charles Packe FLS 1879-80

The following information about Charles Packe was kindly provided by the Linnean Society in which he was a Fellow, having been elected in 1870 and nominated by fellows: J. J. Bennett, H. Trimen, W. Carruthers, T. Howse, J. Ball, and M. P. Edgeworth. The Proceedings of the Linnean Society (1896-97, p. 66), includes the following obituary:

“Charles Packe was the eldest son of Captain Edmund Packe, of the Royal Horse Guards. Born in 1826, he was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, taking his degree in 1849. Having entered at the Inner Temple in 1847, he was called to the Bar in 1852, but never practised seriously, the charms of travel having early gained an ascendency in his mind. In 1857 he published his ‘Spirit of Travel,’ showing that he had already become familiar with the Swiss and French Alps; subsequently he devoted most of his holiday tours to the Pyrenees, of which he produced a ’Guide’ in 1862, which to this day has not been superseded. To perform this task, he actually spent a winter at Gavarnie, when wood was so scarce that the kitchen-fire was the only one in the house.

“In 1867 his uncle, Charles William Packe, of Prestwold, died and left him owner of Stretton Hall, Great Glen [near Leicester], and of the Branksome Tower estate at Bournemouth: he could not keep both, so selected the former as having been longer in the family that the latter; had se selected otherwise, he would have been a millionaire; but he never regretted his choice, his means were ample for his wants, books, travelling, and scientific instruments. His constitution was wonderful: he rejoiced to sleep in the open air among the mountains in his sheepskin-bag; and while his frame seemed feeble, his endurance was marvellous. He delighted to botanize amongst his beloved Pyrenees, and would take long journeys in search of some fancied plant for his alpine garden in Leicestershire.

“He was elected Fellow of this Society 7th April, 1870, but did not contribute to our publications, though the writer of this memoir remembers him once making a short speech at a meeting in 1874 or thereabout. He died on the 16th July, 1896.”

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