A BOOK written 150 years ago by a Bromsgrove botanist, book-seller and bank director is expected to fetch £9,000 when it is sold at Sotherby's in London.

"The Botanic Garden" in 16 volumes is the work of Benjamin Maund (1790-1864) who had shops in Market Place and High Street in the early 19th century.

On Christmas Day 1813 Maund buried his father and brought a printing and book selling business in Market Place which, he moved to High Street five years later.

The business served as a bookseller, printer, stationer, bookbinder and chemist - an unusual combination but quite common for the day. He was particularly known for veterinary medicines prepared to his own formula.

Maund was an active mover and shaker in the town and was the director of a bank, was a prime mover in the building of the Town Hall and Cattle Market. He also served as a churchwarden, was a member of several parish committees and was a prominent freemason.

But it was as a botanist that Benjamin Maund is best known. He used his large garden to experiment with growing seeds from around the world including varieties of wheat, which he exhibited in London.

Maund established an international reputation as a gardener and had many admirers including the King of Prussia who presented him with a gold snuffbox.

He eventually retired to the Isle of Wight where he died in 1864 but continued to be remembered in Bromsgrove. In 1928 a memorial tablet was unveiled at St John's Church depicting Maund's head surrounded by a wreath of acanthiordes - a plant he introduced to Britain.

Benjamin Maund was much more than just a successful Bromsgrove businessman and amateur gardener. He is included in the newly published £7,500 edition of the Directory of National Biography.

Hi botany book will go under the hammer at Sotherby's on Wednesday, November 18. In the catalogue it carries a presale estimate of £7,000-£9,000, but could go for more.