At home, Daniel was elected a Fellow of several societies, including the Linnaen (1855); The Chemical (1858); The Royal Microscopical (1867) and The Royal Society (1867).
He thought himself undeserving of Royal Society Fellowship, a rather harsh self-assessment for someone who devoted his entire life to his passion: the study of materia medica.
The Pharmacographia and Friedrich Flückiger:
Daniel’s studies culminated in his book: Pharmacographia : a history of the principal drugs of vegetable origin, met with in Great Britain and British India. The drugs included in the book are those ‘commonly kept in store by pharmacists’, or those ‘known in the drug and spice market of London’, and the work ‘contains a comparatively small number which belong to the Pharmacopoeia of India'. Entries include a drug’s botanical origin, when it was first used in medicine, its microscopic structure and chemical composition, with sections also on production, commerce and adulteration.
In the literature, there are various accounts of how he came to know Friedrich Flückiger, the book’s co-author. One is that Daniel’s articles on liquid storax, written for the Pharmaceutical Journal, led to Flückiger making contact; another that it was actually Daniel who reached out to Flückiger after reading one of his books on pharmacognosy. However, in his ‘obituary notice of Daniel Hanbury’ (translated into English) Flückiger states that Daniel’s ‘views on frankincense’ led to their acquaintanceship.
Friedrich Flückiger was a Professor of Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy at Bern (later at Strasbourg) University. The two began collaborating in 1867, and they became great friends. After Daniel retired from the family business in 1870, he could concentrate on their book, with Friedrich giving an insight into how they conducted their research:
‘The collections and libraries of London, Kew and Paris, the warehouses of the London docks, what the auctions of the drug brokers in the city offered for inspection, all these were repeatedly consulted or ransacked by the two friends together and compared by the aid of their mutual experiences and impressions.'
The Pharmacographia was reviewed in the BMJ in 1874, the year it was published, with high praise:
'It abounds in research of every kind, and is a labour of love of two eminent, conscientious and able men. It will be a classical work in its department of study.'
Hanbury Memorial Medal
Sadly, following a short illness, and soon after publication of the Pharmacographia, Daniel died of typhoid fever on 24 March 1875. Brother and sister, Thomas and Anna, were by his side. He was 49 years old. He is buried in Wandsworth in the Society of Friends’ burial ground.
Shortly after his death, Daniel’s friends and colleagues resolved to honour a life dedicated to science by awarding a medal in his memory for 'high excellence in the prosecution or promotion of original research in the Natural History and Chemistry of Drugs'.
From the outset, the Society decided to award it to ‘investigators in any part of the world'. As Professor Dragendorff of Dorpat said:
'[O]ur Science is confined to no single nationality, and [...] consequently he who labours for the advancement of pharmaceutical science acquires an international importance.'
In the early years, the Hanbury Medal was presented more frequently to international scientists and researchers, predominantly those from other European countries. Daniel Hanbury's collaborator on the Pharmacographia, Professor Flückiger, was its first recipient in 1881, the latest being Professor Alexander (Sandy) Taylor Florence in 2019.