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Johnstone, James Todd

  • JJT
  • Persoon
  • 1883-1953

Born Edinburgh 1883; died Edinburgh 1953.
James Johnstone studied botany as part of his M.A. degree at Edinburgh University and as a young man assisted his father in his antiquarian bookshop, gaining a sound knowledge of books, bookbinding and printing. In 1912 he was appointed, by Prof. Isaac Bayley Balfour, to become the first librarian at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh whose library had, by that time, grown to a considerable size. It was housed in various rooms and corridors and the system used to find each of the 4,000 volumes was to record the location on its cover and in a master catalogue. Johnstone held the library post for 35 years, but included time spent in the army during the First World War, and for many years was also Assistant Secretary to the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and edited its Transactions. He also edited and contributed to ‘Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’ which Bayley Balfour had established in 1900 as the official scientific publication of the Garden. James Johnstone retired in 1946 and died in 1953.
Sources:HR Fletcher and WH Brown ‘The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 1670-1970’; Deni Bown, ‘4 Gardens in One’

Kerr, Arthur Francis George

  • GB/NNAF/P126288; ISNI: 0000 0003 9513 2753; VIAF ID: 289726718 (Personal)
  • Persoon
  • 1877-1942

Lace, John Henry

  • LAC
  • Persoon
  • 1857-1918

John Henry Lace C.I.E. F.L.S 1857-1918

1881: Gained the Diploma of the National School of Forestry at Nancy passing out 2nd. This was the premier College at that time. Appointed to the Forestry Dept. of India in the Punjab. Worked at Gujranwala and Chamba.
1900: Transferred to Calcutta and Simla as Assistant Inspector General of Forests and Superintendent of Working Plans.
1901: Appointed Conservator of Forests Bengal based at HQ Darjeeling.
1904 Transferred to Burma as Conservator then Chief Conservator in 1908. (From 1906-07 he was Principal of Dehra Dun College and its Silviculturist)
1913 Retired to England. Worked at Kew with W.G. Craib on the “Burma List”.
1918 Died at Exmouth.

In the Punjab, Lace collected forest flora over a wide area in the newly organised Forest Circle of British Baluchistan. Many specimens were sent back to Kew. The Linnean Society published his “Sketch of the Vegetation” in 1891. It remains the chief authority of Flora on the Quetta area.
In Calcutta and Simla, he extended his collection of flora before moving to Darjeeling with its higher altitude plants. His work here is his main claim to fame. “He was a great critic, and was at times hard to please, but always helped in anything that was sound, and was an excellent man to work under”. (From the Indian Forester)
In Burma his chief interest was the botanical study of the Maymyo Hills and the Shan States. He created the “List of the Trees, Shrubs and Climbers of Burma” which became a standard reference for botanists. This proved him to be a first class observer, memoriser and photographer. His labelling of plants was impeccable.
Distribution: Lace was generous in distributing his collections: one nearly complete went to Kew; others to Calcutta, Oxford and friends. His own complete collection came to RBG in Edinburgh. All his specimens were meticulously prepared.
Retirement: Lace spent much time at Kew working with W G Craib, expanding his “Burma List” and starting work on “Forest Flora of the Maymyo Hills”. Because of his untimely death, this work remained unfinished.
Family: Lace married the eldest daughter of W H Reynolds FRGS, Superintendent of the Indian Forest Services They had three daughters. The family settled in Exmouth, Devon, and after the outbreak of war in 1914, Lace served in the Exmouth Volunteers. While serving with them, Lace contracted a chill which lead to his untimely death. It is probable that if he had lived longer his reputation would have burgeoned still further.

McIntosh, Charles

  • MCI
  • Persoon
  • 1839-1922

Born Perthshire 1839; died Perthshire 1922
Charles McIntosh, sometimes known as ‘The Perthshire Naturalist’, was a postman whose rounds enabled him to observe and study the local flora and fauna of rural Perthshire. He was a member of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science and later the Cryptogamic Society of Scotland. He became friends with the young Beatrix Potter, then holidaying in the Dunkeld area, through their common interest in fungi, and helped improve the accuracy of her illustrations, taught her taxonomy and supplied live specimens to paint during the winter. McIntosh discovered thirteen species of fungus completely new to Britain and four new to science and some of his collection is now in the City of Perth museum. He contributed to FBW White’s ‘Fl. Perthshire’ published in1898.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists’;‘Perthshire Diary’ for 1922; City of Perth Council website

McNab, William

  • GB/NNAF/P139913
  • Persoon
  • 1780-1848

Born Ayrshire 1780; died Edinburgh 1848
Starting work as an apprentice gardener on estates in Scotland, William McNab moved to Kew in 1801, being promoted 3 years later to foreman. In 1810, on the recommendation of Joseph Banks, he was offered the post of principal gardener at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh by the Keeper, Daniel Rutherford. Despite inadequate funding he set about developing the Garden, increasing the overall collection dramatically and introducing many new or rare plants, including mimosas, Australian banksias, and tropical water lilies. McNab was instrumental in the successful move of the Garden from Leith Walk to Inverleith under the Keeper, Robert Graham. He adapted a machine for transplanting well established trees, some over 40 feet high, details of which are included in his published paper on hardy evergreens (1830). His other main contribution to the literature was a treatise on cape heaths. McNab was a founder member of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh in 1836. Despite ongoing disputes over his salary, as a gardener and horticulturalist McNab was held in high esteem, as witnessed by the records of his testimonial dinner in 1844. He died in 1848 to be succeeded as curator of the Botanic Garden by his son, James.
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists; HR Fletcher and WH Brown ‘The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 1670-1970’; Deni Bown, ‘4 Gardens in One’; Gardeners Chronicle 1848, p 812

Masters, Maxwell Tylden

  • MTT
  • Persoon
  • 1833-1907

English botanist and taxonomist, Masters was editor of the Gardener's Chronicle between 1866 and 1907.

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