Gulielma Lister was the daughter of Arthur Lister (1830-1908) and the niece of the famous Quaker surgeon Joseph Lister (1827-1912). She and her father were both amateur naturalists as well as accomplished artists. They lived in Leytonstone and so visited the southern end of Epping Forest and in particular Wanstead Park on many occasions.
Their work on fungi in particular was important in the classification of these plants. Gulielma Lister's classic work on the Essex Mycetozoa (Lister, G.1918. The Mycetozoa. Essex Field Club Special Memoirs vi. Essex Field Club; Stratford, Essex) listed 18 species from Epping Forest as a whole, fourteen of which are noted as specifically occuring in Wanstead Park.
Educated primarily at home, Gulielma Lister was a founding member of the British Mycological Society (president in 1912 and 1932). She was a fellow, a council member and Vice-President of the Linnaean Society as well as President of the Essex Field Club. These were substantial accomplishments in a time before "women's rights"!
In 1941 she presented a paper :- THE FLORA OF WANSTEAD PARK DISTRICT, By GULIELMA LISTER, F.L.S. (Read 29th November, 1941) (Essex Naturalist, Vol. 27).
In this she lists about three hundred flowering plants growing in Wanstead Park and in those areas nearby which were formerly under the direction of the owners of Wanstead House. The areas covered are Wanstead Park proper, i.e., the part closed to the public at night, and also including the part always free of access lying between Heronry Pond ("the Boating pond") and the Blake Hall Road, the Warren Estate, the grave-yard of St. Mary's Church, the links of the Wanstead Golf Club, Bushwood and the Forest land around it and the grave-yard of the Society of Friends.
To view this list, together with amendments which indicate whether the species has been found in the same area in recent years, click here
Gulielma Lister died on May 18th 1949 in Sycamore House, 881 High Road, Leytonstone - the house in which she was born on October 28th 1860. Her ashes were scattered in the burial ground of the Quaker Meeting House in Bush Road, and she is commemorated at grave number 07.
Paul Ferris, 2009