natstand logo

Wintle, George Samuel (1813 - 1884)

Biographical notes

George Samuel Wintle was a Gloucester wine merchant who, at the time of the RHS's 1864 botanical competition, was a well regarded figure and lived in reasonably opulent circumstances. He was in his early 50s and had been an established naturalist for several decades. He had been subscribing to the Ray Society's publications from since at least 1836 and by the early 1850s he was listed as the local secretary for the Society. George was a member of the short-lived British Pomological Society and in 1855 had submitted a collection of apples for their consideration; in 1862 his peaches won second prize at the Gloucester Flower Show. His natural history interests were not restricted to plants and in 1860 he appears on a list of British entomologists. A note to the Zoologist in 1864 reveals that he kept an aviary and also a tame fox.

In 1841 he had married Eliza, the daughter of a wealthy local farmer through whom he appears to have acquired gardens at Hucclecote. George and Eliza had a large family of 14 children although not all survived into adulthood. By the 1860 his fortunes went into decline and, following his wife's death in 1871 and a scandal involving one of his sons in an attempted murder, the family seems to have distintigrated with several of his sons emigrating to America and Canada. Little more is known of him until his death in Bristol in 1884, although a couple of references to plants found by him in Surrey (Watson 1883) may relate to a continued botanical interest after leaving Gloucester.


1813 Culham, Oxfordshire
1841 Census - Gloucester
1851 Census - 40 Eastgate-street, Gloucester
1861 Census - 40 Eastgate-street, Gloucester
1864 The Greenhouse, Stroud
1881 Census - Kingston on Thames, Surrey
1884 Redland, Bristol


Additional links

Annotated family tree - the Wintles of Gloucester link
Creative Commons Licence

natstand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
1813 : Birth George Samuel was born in Culham, Oxfordshire, son of Rev. Henry and Anne Box Wintle. He was baptised on April 4th but an entry in a Wintle family birthday book held by Gloucester Museums indicates that he may have been born on January 10th.
1837 :
H C Watson
In H C Watson's Guide to the localities of the rarer plants of Britain, Wintle is credited with 33 plants around Gloucester.
1839 April 8 :
Change of occupation
On this day the partnership of Bower and Wintle, curriers, of Gloucester, was dissolved.
1845 : Elected Councillor, Gloucester 1845 November 8: ¹Gloucester Journal -
"MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS. - The result of the municipal elections in Gloucester, on Saturday last, was a gain of one to the number of Conservatives in the town council, Mr. G. S. Wintle having been elected for the East Ward ... Some of Mr. Wintles's friends were so hilarious in their triumph, that we are told they attempted in a body to carry his liquor stores by storm; and it was not without much difficulty and a displey of heroic valour on the part of the garrison of clerks, porters, and servants, that the gin casks were preserved ..."
1852 June 29 : Birth of son George and Eliza had at least 14 children - Ernest Douglas Wintle (their second child with this name) later emigrated to Canada where he authored The birds of Montreal in 1896.
[Biodiversity Heritage Library]
1854 : Sheriff of Gloucester 1854 November 11: ¹Gloucestershire Chronicle -
"THE RECENT MUNICIPAL CONTESTS. ... For the shrievality, however, two gentlemen were put forward, and the Conservatives carried the election of their candidate, Mr. G. S. Wintle. We may safely congratulate our fellow citizens on the choice made made by their representatives. The legal knowledge, acumen, and experience of their new chief magistrate, will render him highly valuable [the mayor]; while the honourable office of sheriff will not lose any of its dignity or importance in the keeping of our worthy and respected fellow citizen Mr Wintle."
1857 May 16 : Exhibition ¹Gloucester Journal
"GLOUCESTER HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. - The first show of the season was held at the Corn Exchange, on Wednesday last. The display was perhaps the best we have seen in Gloucester since the monster show of 1853 ... Mr. G. S. Wintle was by far the largest contributor, and the valuable and handsome collection of foliage plants sent by this gentleman constituted an imposing feature of the show ..."
1860 February 25 :
Gloucester Museum
¹Gloucester Journal -
This museum, which has for some time past been in course of formation under the able superintendence of Mr. John Jones, was formally opened on Thursday last. ...
Mr. G. S. Wintle has most munificently contributed about 700 or 800 volumes of rare, valuable old and modern books, chiefly treating on numismatology, botany, horticulture, the more abstruse branches of natural history and history in general ...
1861 June 21 : Letter The Phelps family of America had contacted Gloucester teacher and Parish Clerk John Atkins Swornsbourne about their origins in Gloucester. -
"... I met a very intelligent member of the Phelps' family, who felt an interest in the matter, and the result was my introduction to a gentleman of the name of G. S. Wintle, wine merchant, of the city of Gloucester, a man in very opulent circumstances, and no mean antiquary in the bargain ..."
1863 March 7 : Sale of
Hucclecote Gardens.
¹Gloucester Journal -
Two and a Half Miles from Gloucester, on the Barnwood and Cirencester Turnpike Road.
Have received instructions from G. S. WINTLE, ESq. (who has let the Gardens to Messrs. Adams,)
Upon the Premises, on Monday, the 9th of March, 1863, commencing at twelve o'clock in the morning, -
THE STOCK and EFFECTS in and about the above Gardens, viz., :- 1100 choice scarlet, pink and variegated Geraniums, 100 valuable Hot-house Plants ...
1864 :
Bronze Medal
He was awarded a bronze medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for the second best collection of plants from Gloucestershire in their Botanical Competition of that year.
1865 July 29 :
Silene dichotoma
¹Gloucester Journal -
"A NEW BRITISH PLANT. - We have no doubt that many of our readers will be interested to know that Mr. G. S. Wintle, in his botanical rambles, last month, near Painswick, discovered a new addition to the flora of Gloucestershire, and English Botany, in a beautiful plant names Silene dichotoma. According to Mr. Syme the plant occurs in south-eastern Europe (Austrian Hungary.) It has probably been introduced into this country accidentally; and it will be interseting to observe if it appears another year."
1867 August 27 :
Utricularia neglecta
The Journal of Botany p 279 -
CORRESPONDENCE - In my Botanical rambles this month I have beenso fortunate as to gather some fine specimens of Utricularia neglecta (Lehm.) in the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal (where I also find in great plenty Acorus Calamus). I have sent specimens of U. neglecta to J. B. Syme, Esq., who says it is certainly this plant. He says in Eng. Botany thet 'the palate is striated with numerous anastomosing bright red streaks;' and this is quite correct, although his new plate in Eng. Botany has them not.
1869 :
Cephalanthera rubra
In volume 9 of English Botany Boswell Syme records that he had been provided with a specimens of this plant by G S Wintle. It had been collected in 1864 and Syme exhibited at the Linnean society in June of that year.
1869 June 26 :
Business problems
¹Gloucester Journal -
"Notice to the Public.
G. S. WINTLE and CO.,
Beg to thank their Friends, Customers, and the Public, for the kind and liberal support extended to them for upwards of 30 years past, and to inform them that in consequence of the Premises in Eastgate Street having been sold, they are compelled for the present to Suspend Business ...
[Various reports show that his business had been in trouble since as early as 1863. The premises at 40 Eastgate-street were auctioned in March 1869 and later his library of gardening and botany books on June 15th.]
1871 September 11 : Death of wife 1871 September 16: ¹ Gloucestershire Chronicle -
"DEATHS. Sept. 11, at West-end-terrace, aged 53, Eliza, the beloved wife of G. S. Wintle, of this city; deeply regretted."
1877 December 1 : Sale ¹Gloucester Journal -
Bruton, Knowles, and Bruton,
... a small collection of STUFFED BIRDS and ANIMALS, (hitherto part of the Gloucester Museum Loan Collection), the Property of a Gentleman removing, Mr. G. S. WINTLE, and others.
1884 July 28 : Death Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
"George Samuel Wintle an annuitant died 28.7.1884 at 7 Cooper Rd, Redland, Bristol .. age 71. Eva Amelia Wintle dgh. Present at death Newlands, Elliston Rd, Redland, Bristol. "

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton : last updated 2016 March 19