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Born in Edinburgh in 1891 to Robert and Marion Anthony, John Anthony attended George Heriot's School and Edinburgh University, reading Arts and Science. His studies were interrupted by the First World War, with him spending eight years in service in France, Italy (where he won a Military Cross in 1918[?]), Egypt and Palestine, resuming University life in 1923.
After graduating in 1924 he worked on a rubber plantation in Malaya for five years, before becoming an assistant lecturer in Botany at the University College in Dundee on his return in 1932. In 1934 he became a lecturer in Forest Botany (amongst other things) at the University of Edinburgh, and so began his career with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He was a member of the teaching staff for 24 years, retiring in 1958. In his retirement he worked on producing a guide for indentifying trees, shrubs and undershrubs by their microscopic properties, and a Flora of Sutherland - the latter being published posthumously by the Botanical Society of Edinburgh [Scotland].
Born Denbighshire 1873; died London 1945
Educated at Loretto School, Musselburgh and gaining a BA at Oxford University in 1896, Frederick Balfour was initially employed in his family firm in London. He travelled extensively on business and made several expeditions to the Pacific coast of North America, on one occasion staying there for 4 years, acquiring a deep knowledge of forest trees. He introduced the cultivation of several pines including Picea brewiana and developed the Arboretum at the family estate at Dawyck near Peebles, which he had inherited from his father in 1886. Dawyck was already a well established estate with trees dating back to the late seventeenth century. In 1916 Balfour was sent to France to liaise with the French Army over supplies of timber, being appointed Lieut. Colonel for the purpose. His interest in forestry continued after the war and he travelled extensively to supplement the Dawyck collection. With many business interests and directorships, Balfour was a member of the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland, Royal Company of Archers and a local Justice of the Peace and Vice Lieutenant of the county in Peeblesshire.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists’; Gardeners Chronicle 1945; RBGE obituary folder.
Born Gloucestershire 1754; died London 1793
William Austin was a polymath. He initially studied botany at Oxford, graduating in 1776, and then medicine gaining his MD in 1783. However he also studied, and sometimes lectured in Hebrew, Arabic, Mathematics and Chemistry being elected professor in1785. In 1786 he moved from Oxford to London, building a lucrative medical practice while continuing his chemical studies. He was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, published papers for the Royal Society on ‘Heavy inflammable air’ and theorised (incorrectly) on the origin of kidney stones and hardening of the arteries.
- fl 1750-1799
Horticulturist, plantsman and garden writer.
- d 2019