Biographical notesJulia Alice Maltby appears in Kent & Allen's British and Irish Herbaria (1984) on account of her prize-winning entry in the Royal Horticultural Society's 1864 Botanical competition (silver medal, first place, County Durham). This collection remains untraced.
She was born at Longhorsley, late in 1840 or very early in 1841, thefirst child of Rev. Henry Joseph Maltby and Julia Katharina Bigge. Julia's father was the youngest son of the notoriously affluent Rev. Edward Maltby FRS, Bishop of Durham, and benefited greatly from his patronage. Her maternal grandfather was Charles Bigge FGS of Linden House, Northumberland, patriarch of an influential land-owning family. Julia's mother died days after giving birth to her next child, Edward Charles, when Julia was only two years old. Shortly after this Julia's father was presented by his father with the rich living of Egglescliffe, County Durham. In 1847 her father married Elizabeth Mary Bradford who bore him a further four children. Her bishop grandfather died in 1859 and her father in 1863, precipitating a move from Egglescliffe to accommodation in the Durham College where she resided with her step-mother and two of her younger half-siblings. In 1868 she married Rev Thomas Rogers, a minor canon of Durham Cathedral, and remained a Durham resident until 1884 when Thomas became vicar of Roxwell, Essex. After twelve years in Roxwell ill health forced Thomas to resign the living and retire to Canterbury, Kent, where he died in 1899. Julia remained a widow in Canterbury until her own death in 1927.
The influences which prompted her to enter the 1864 Botanical Competition seem to have been mainly from her late mother's family. Although she would have barely known her mother, and her father re-married when she was only seven years old, the Bigge family stayed in contact with her, and it was her uncle Rev. John F Bigge who officiated at her marriage in 1868. Although her grandfather, the Bishop, had been an FRS and was the president of Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, there is no evidence that he was an active field naturalist. Her paternal grandfather, however was a long-time member of the Geological Society with a strong interest in the Coal Measures (from which he derived some of his income?). Uncle Rev John Frederick Bigge was an active botanist and an exchange member of the London Botanical Society; the bulk of his herbarium is now in the Hancock Museum, Newcastle HAMU (Desmond, Kent & Allen). An interesting connection with another competitor in the 1864 is provided through another uncle, Matthew Robert Bigge, a bank manager and geologist. In 1862 he was a Wolverhampton resident and committee member of the Dudley and Midland Geological Society, serving on the same committee as Dr John Fraser, silver medal winner for Staffordshire.