Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Queen Elizabeth’s elm

The herbarium of the Natural History Museum, London, contains a scrap of an unidentifed elm (Ulmus), collected at Burghley – presumably Burghley House, Cambridgeshire – on 5 February 1872, presumably by D.M. Higgins, probably Dorcas Martha Higgins, and annotated as ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Elm’.  Thus it can be assumed to be one of the many trees associated with Queen Elizabeth I.

Burghley House was built for Sir William Cecil, later the first Baron Burghley, who served as the Queen’s Lord High Treasurer from 1558 to 1587; although it contains a room traditionally known as ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Bedroom’, she never stayed there.

Any information on her elm tree, which most probably no longer exists, would be appreciated.

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