Botany and the Reverend William Rufford
William Squire Rufford was an assistant curate at Badsey from 1813 to 1818. His interest in botany gives us a glimpse of the wealth of wild plants that were then growing in the Badsey area.
Charles Phillott, the vicar at that time, lived away from Badsey. Rufford would have carried out most of the vicar's duties. Between 1815 and 1818 the parish records show the baptisms of three daughters born to Rufford's wife Anne.
We know about Rufford's interest in botany from a recent article Worcestershire botany – the historical record by J J Day published in the Worcestershire Record Issue 14 (April 2003). The full article appears on the website of the Worcestershire Biological Records Centre & Worcestershire Recorders.
Some of the information comes from correspondence between Rufford and Thomas Purton who was a doctor of medicine at Alcester. Rufford's records provide a wealth of detail on the species and communities in the Vale of Evesham.
Day comments "The list is in many respects stunning. There would be no inkling of this assemblage, particularly the halophytes and arable weed spectrum, without Rufford's work. W. Cheshire visited the Badsey area in the 1850s, in an attempt to relocate rarities, but reported little of interest amidst an improved landscape and deeply dug drains."
Species recorded by the Rev. W. S. Rufford:
Records published 1817-1821 mainly, S.E.Worcs, especially, Badsey and Littleton area.
|Bolboschoenus maritimus||Sea Club-rush|
|Carex dioica||Dioecious Sedge|
|Cerastium arvense||Field Mouse-ear|
|Chaenorhinum minus||Small Toadflax|
|Erigeron acer||Blue Fleabane|
|Festuca pratensis x Lolium perenne|
|Geranium phaeum||Dusky Crane's-bill|
|Helictotrichon pratense||Meadow Oat-grass|
|Koeleria macrantha||Crested Hair-grass|
|Linaria vulgaris||Common Toadflax|
|Myosotis discolor||Changing Forget-me-not|
|Oenanthe aquatica||Fine-leaved Water-dropwort|
|Ophrys apifera||Bee Orchid|
|Pseudofumaria lutea||Yellow Corydalis|
|Pyrola minor||Common Wintergreen|
|Rorippa sylvestris||Creeping Yellow-cress|
|Sagina nodosa||Knotted Pearlwort|
|Sedum dasyphyllum||Thick-leaved Stonecrop|
|Senecio viscosus||Sticky Groundsel|
|Spergularia marina||Lesser Sea-spurrey|
|Verbascum virgatum||Twiggy Mullein|
|Vicia sylvatica||Wood Vetch|