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Title: Makers of British Botany; a collection of biographies by living botanists
Author: Various
Language: English
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  [Illustration: Frontispiece _John Hutton Balfour (1878)_]



  Edited by


  at the University Press




The origin and scope of the present book will be found fully indicated
in the _Introduction_, so that it is not needful to refer to them here.
One change in the original scheme of the work has been made during its
passage through the press, viz. the inclusion of an additional chapter
from the pen of Prof. F. O. Bower dealing with the life of the late Sir
Joseph Hooker. Our veteran botanist passed away on Dec. 10, 1911, in
his 95th year, and in him botany loses its outstanding personality as
well as its principal link with the past. The history of botany in this
country during the Victorian period, when it comes to be written, must
of necessity be woven around the life of this great man.

For the excellent index to the book the reader is indebted to Dr E.
de Fraine, whose care and good judgment in this matter will be fully

  F. W. O.

  _October, 1912_



  Introduction                                                        1

  Robert Morison 1620-1683 and John Ray 1627-1705. By Sydney
  Howard Vines                                                        8

  Nehemiah Grew 1641-1712. By Agnes Arber                            44

  Stephen Hales 1677-1761. By Francis Darwin                         65

  John Hill 1716-1775. By T. G. Hill                                 84

  Robert Brown 1773-1858. By J. B. Farmer                           108

  Sir William Hooker 1785-1865. By F. O. Bower                      126

  John Stevens Henslow 1796-1861. By George Henslow                 151

  John Lindley 1799-1865. By Frederick Keeble                       164

  William Griffith 1810-1845. By W. H. Lang                         178

  Arthur Henfrey 1819-1859. By F. W. Oliver                         192

  William Henry Harvey 1811-1866. By R. Lloyd Praeger               204

  Miles Joseph Berkeley 1803-1889. By George Massee                 225

  Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert 1817-1901. By W. B. Bottomley            233

  William Crawford Williamson 1816-1895. By Dukinfield H. Scott     243

  Harry Marshall Ward 1854-1906. By Sir William Thiselton-Dyer      261

  A sketch of the Professors of Botany in Edinburgh from 1670 until
  1887. By Isaac Bayley Balfour                                     280

  Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker 1817-1911. By F. O. Bower                302

  INDEX                                                             324


  PLATE                                                    _To face p_.

  _Frontispiece_. John Hutton Balfour (1878).

  I.      Robert Morison                                              8

  II.     Great Gate of the Physic Garden, Oxford                    18

  III.    John Ray                                                   28

  IV.     Nehemiah Grew (1701)                                       44

  V.      Plate from _Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_, 1672             48

  VI.     Facsimile of a page from _The Comparative Anatomy of
              Trunks_, Nehemiah Grew, 1675                           52

  VII.    From Grew's _Anatomy_. Sheweth the Parts of a Goosberry.
              Part of a Vine Branch cut transversly, and splitt half
              way downe y^e midle                                    56

  VIII.   Stephen Hales (1759)                                       65

  IX.     Plate 18 from Hales's _Vegetable Staticks_                 82

  X.      John Hill                                                  84

  XI.     Robert Brown (_circa 1856_)                               108

  XII.    Sir William Jackson Hooker (1834)                         126

  XIII.   John Stevens Henslow (1851)                               151

  XIV.    John Lindley (1848)                                       164

  XV.     William Griffith (1843)                                   178

  XVI.    From Griffith's _Notulae_. Median section of the ovule of
              Cycas. Nucellar apex of Cycas with pollen chamber
              and pollen grains                                     188

  XVII.   William Henry Harvey                                      204

  XVIII.  Miles Joseph Berkeley                                     225

  XIX.    Joseph Henry Gilbert                                      233

  XX.     Henry Witham of Lartington.                               243

  XXI.    William Crawford Williamson (1876)                        246

  XXII.   Vascular system of stem of _Lepidodendron selaginoides_ in
              transverse section                                    250

  XXIII.  Root of _Calamites_ (_Astromyelon Williamsonis_) in transverse
              section                                               254

  XXIV.   Cone of _Calamostachys Binneyana_; sporangia and
              sporangiophores                                       256

  XXV.    Harry Marshall Ward (1895)                                261

  XXVI.   Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1868)                           302

  Text-fig. p. 77. Figure from _Vegetable Staticks_ showing a vine with
  mercury gauges in place to demonstrate root pressure.


The present volume represents in somewhat expanded form a course of
lectures arranged by the Board of Studies in Botany of the University
of London and delivered during the early part of 1911 in the Botanical
Department of University College, London.

These lectures, which were ten in number, were widely attended by
advanced and post-graduate students of the University and others
interested in the subject.

The ten lectures comprised in the course were delivered by various
botanists, the lecturer in each case being either a worker in the same
field as, or in some other way having a special qualification to deal
with, his allotted subject.

In view of the interest aroused by their delivery the hope found wide
expression that the lectures might be issued in book form. At the time
when the arrangements were being made for publication the University of
London Press had not yet reached the publishing stage, so hospitality
had to be sought elsewhere. That the book is issued from the Cambridge
University Press is largely due to the good offices of Prof. A. C.

In consenting to publish _The Makers of British Botany_ the Cambridge
University Press suggested that some additional chapters should be
prepared so that the work might be more fully representative. This has
been done so far as was possible in the time available.

The sixteen chapters forming the book include (1) the ten lectures,
which are printed essentially as they were delivered, (2) six
additional chapters specially written under the circumstances just
mentioned. As a rule each chapter will be found to deal with a single
Botanist; with the exception of the first and last chapters. In the
former Prof. Vines has linked together Morison and Ray, the founders
of Systematic Botany in this country, whilst in the last Prof. Bayley
Balfour has expanded what was originally intended as a sketch of his
father, the late Prof. J. Hutton Balfour, into a very interesting
account of his predecessors in the Edinburgh chair from the year 1670
almost down to the present time.

The subjects treated, the authors and the order of arrangement are as

  Subject                     |Born | Died |   Author
  *Robert Morison             |1620 | 1683}| } Prof. S. H. Vines, F.R.S.
  *John Ray                   |1627 | 1705}| }
  *Nehemiah Grew              |1641 | 1712 | Mrs Arber
  *Stephen Hales              |1677 | 1761 | Francis Darwin, F.R.S.
   John Hill                  |1716 | 1775 | T. G. Hill
  *Robert Brown               |1773 | 1858 | Prof. J. B. Farmer, F.R.S.
  *Sir William Hooker         |1785 | 1865 | Prof. F. O. Bower, F.R.S.
  *The Rev. J. S. Henslow     |1796 | 1861 | The Rev. Prof. Geo. Henslow
   John Lindley               |1799 | 1865 | Prof. Frederick Keeble
  *William Griffith           |1810 | 1845 | Prof. W. H. Lang, F.R.S.
  *Arthur Henfrey             |1819 | 1859 | Prof. F. W. Oliver, F.R.S.
  *William Henry Harvey       |1811 | 1866 | W. Lloyd Praeger
   The Rev. Miles Berkeley    |1803 | 1889 | George Massee
   Sir Joseph Gilbert         |1817 | 1901 | Prof. W. B. Bottomley
  *William Crawford Williamson|1816 | 1895 | Dr D. H. Scott, F.R.S.
   Harry Marshall Ward        |1854 | 1905 | Sir William Thiselton-Dyer,
       K.C.M.G., F.R.S.       |     |      |
   The Edinburgh Professors   |1670 | 1887 | Prof. I. Bayley Balfour,
                              |     |      |     F.R.S.
          * Was the subject of a lecture in the University Course.

The first three chapters deal with the founders of British Botany,
MORISON and RAY in the systematic field, GREW, the plant anatomist, and
HALES the physiologist. These are pioneers and the names of Ray, Grew,
and Hales must always remain illustrious in the annals of Botanical

JOHN HILL, with all his versatility, belongs to another plane, but his
inclusion here is justified on historical grounds, by the prominent
part he played in making known the method of the great Swedish
systematist Linnaeus, a method which took deep root and gave an immense
stimulus to systematic studies in this country.

In ROBERT BROWN we have the greatest botanist of his day, for thirty
years keeper of the Botanical Department of the British Museum. It is
doubtful if any greater intellect than Brown's has ever been devoted to
the service of Botanical Science.

SIR WILLIAM HOOKER was the first Director of Kew, and under his genial
administration the foundations of that great institution were most
truly laid. Born under the star of Linnaeus, his own researches lay in
the systematic field--more especially among the Ferns and Bryophytes.

J. S. HENSLOW was for many years Professor of Botany at Cambridge,
but it is his life as Rector of Hitcham in Suffolk that finds special
prominence in the interesting Memoir which formed the subject-matter of
his son's lecture. The account given of his educational methods will be
read with interest in these days when "Nature Study" has been sprung on
the world as a new thing.

JOHN LINDLEY was a man of the most amazing energy and his scientific
output was prodigious. Though he attained high distinction in many
fields of Botany, being an accomplished Systematist and Palaeobotanist,
probably his greatest service was on the scientific side of
Horticulture. Considering the scale of production, the work of Lindley
maintains a remarkably high level. It is recorded of him that he never
took a holiday till he reached the age of 52. His was the dominant
personality in Botany of the early and mid-Victorian era.

WILLIAM GRIFFITH had the energy and power of endurance of Lindley,
under whose influence he came. Trained to the practice of medicine he
took service under the East India Company where he was able to devote
the priceless intervals between his official duties to botanical
travel, collecting, and the morphological investigation of Indian
plants. The results of his brief but remarkable career are embodied
mainly in his voluminous illustrated notes which were published
posthumously in 1852. The name of Griffith has been happily linked with
that of Treub, his brilliant successor in our own times.

ARTHUR HENFREY belonged to a very different type. Compelled by
ill-health to the life of a recluse, his short life was mainly
devoted to making known in England the great discoveries of the
Hofmeisterian epoch. To Henfrey belongs the credit of being the first
of our countrymen to recognise the full significance of the new
morphology, the general recognition of which, however, he did not live
to see. Henfrey was an extremely competent all-round Botanist whose
single-minded devotion to his subject should not be allowed to fall
into oblivion.

WILLIAM HENRY HARVEY is a representative of a numerous class among the
followers of Botany in this country. A man of great personal charm
and high culture, he was attracted into the subject from the love of
collecting. His special field was that of the Marine Algae, in which he
stood unrivalled. Harvey was an exquisite delineator of the seaweeds
of which he was so enthusiastic a student. The memoir, based on his
journals and letters, which was published shortly after his death, is a
book well worth reading for its intimate sketches of the naturalists of
his day and the vivid notes on his extended travels in the colonies and

MILES JOSEPH BERKELEY, like his contemporary Harvey, was a cryptogamic
botanist. He was a voluminous contributor to the systematic literature
of the Fungi over a period of fifty years, as well as being a pioneer
in the field of plant pathology. The systematic collections accumulated
during his long life form one of the glories of the Kew Herbarium.

SIR JOSEPH HENRY GILBERT'S outlook on plants was entirely different
from that of any of the foregoing. He regarded the plant essentially
as the chemical offspring of the environment to which it was exposed.
His life was devoted to the study of soils and crops in conjunction
with Sir John Lawes. To these classic investigations carried out at
Rothamsted, Gilbert brought the trained skill of the chemist.

WILLIAM CRAWFORD WILLIAMSON was a great all-round naturalist of the
Victorian period whose work as a Zoologist gained him high distinction
long before his attention became seriously concentrated upon his famous
studies into the structure of the fossil plants of the Coal Measures.
Though these researches were pursued without any marked contemporary
encouragement, at any rate until the closing years of his life, the
field in which Williamson was so enthusiastic a pioneer has since
his time been generally recognised as of the first importance--more
especially in its bearing upon the pedigree of the vegetable kingdom.
To-day, no branch of Botany has more recruits or is more vigorously
pursued in this country than that of Palaeobotany, and so long as the
science remains will the memory of Williamson be green.

HARRY MARSHALL WARD belongs to a generation younger than any of the
foregoing. His student days coincided with the renaissance of Botany
in England in the seventies of the last century, and coming under the
influence of Huxley, Thiselton-Dyer, Vines and others, Ward early
revealed himself as an ardent investigator. For twenty-five years he
devoted his remarkable energies to a series of connected researches
bearing broadly on the nutrition of the Fungi and allied organisms with
especial reference to the relationships between host and parasite. The
notice of his career which appears in this volume is from the pen of
Sir William Thiselton-Dyer. Recently printed in the Obituary Notices
of Fellows of the Royal Society, we are indebted to the courtesy of
the author and of the Council of the Royal Society for permission to
include it here.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a book like the present, the work of a large number of distinct
contributors, it is evident that no continuous or homogeneous treatment
of the history and progress of Botany in this country is possible.
Judged even as a series of essays or studies of representative men,
_The Makers of British Botany_ will not escape criticism, so long as
special reference to the work of Priestley, Cavendish and Sénébier
finds no place in its pages, not to mention such obvious omissions as
Knight, Daubeny and Bentham. These omissions have not been deliberate
and it will no doubt be possible to repair them should a second edition
of the work be called for. The case of Charles Darwin is different.
Apart from the work for which he is most famous, Darwin was a great
investigator of the movements of plants and of the biology of flowers.
As this aspect of Darwin's work has received adequate treatment in
the recent centenary volume published by the Cambridge University
Press[1], it has not seemed necessary on the present occasion to
traverse the ground again.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader of _The Makers of British Botany_ will judge, and we think
rightly, that Botany has had its ups and downs in this country. At
the end of the seventeenth century England was contributing her full
share to the foundation and advancement of the subject. In the field
of Systematic Botany Ray, at any rate, left his permanent influence
as a taxonomist, whilst in Plant Anatomy, the offspring of the newly
invented microscope, Grew divided the honours with his brilliant
contemporary Malpighi. A few years later Stephen Hales was carrying
out the famous experiments which are embodied in his _Vegetable
Staticks_, entitling him to be justly regarded as the Father of plant
physiology. Notwithstanding so admirable a beginning, the next century
was almost a blank. The essay on John Hill serves to illustrate the
sterility of this period. The dominant influence in Botany in the
eighteenth century was that of Linnaeus, whose genius as a taxonomist
gave the most wonderful impulse to the study of Botany that it has ever
received. Shorn of its accumulated dead-weight of nomenclature, the
simplified Botany of Linnaeus took deep root in this country and here
for a century it reigned supreme as a source of inspiration. Fed on
unlimited collections of plants from all parts of a growing Empire, it
is hardly surprising that a great British school of Systematic Botany
led by Robert Brown, the Hookers, Lindley and Bentham should have
arisen. What is remarkable is the almost exclusive persistence of this
branch of Botany for more than a generation after the establishment and
recognition of other departments on the continent of Europe. Whilst we
made a shrine for the Linnaean collections, so far as we were concerned
Grew and Hales might never have lived; even the rational and scientific
morphology created by Hofmeister in the forties of last century failed
to deflect us from our course!

It was only in the later seventies that the New Botany came to England,
whither it was imported from Germany. For a while, as was to be
expected, our Universities were kept busy in training students in the
modern work and in the conduct of investigations in the fields thus
opened. With acclimatisation certain distinctive branches which may be
regarded as characteristic have come to the front. These include more
especially the study of anatomy in its phylogenetic aspects with which
is closely linked that of the palaeozoic fossils, so richly represented
in some of our coal-fields as to constitute a virtual monopoly. The
present wide-spread revival of interest in palaeobotany is in no small
measure attributable to Williamson, who, in spite of discouragement,
kept the subject alive till the modern movement was firmly enough
established to take up his work. Another productive field has been
that of the nuclear cytology of both higher and lower plants, whilst
physiology, especially on the chemical side, has attained pre-eminence.
On present indications it is to be expected that in the near future
physiology will receive much more attention than hitherto, partly as
an inevitable reaction from the field of pure structure, and partly
because of its fundamental importance in relation to agriculture.
Nor is this the only branch that should be greatly stimulated by the
forward movement in Agriculture that is now just beginning to be felt.
The science of plant breeding, too long neglected by the countrymen
of Darwin, has been pursued with much success for a decade, and has
already reached the "producing stage" in respect of new and improved
races of agricultural plants.

The youngest branch of Botany is Ecology or the study of vegetation
in relation to habitat--particularly soil in its widest sense.
This department deals with the recognition and distribution of the
different types of plant community in relation to topography and
the factors--chemical, physical and biologic--which determine this
distribution. Ecology has the great merit of taking its followers into
the field, where they are confronted with a wide range of problems not
hitherto regarded as strictly within the province of the botanist.
At the same time it exacts the most critical acquaintance with the
minutiae of the taxonomist, so that a new sphere of usefulness is
opened to the systematist. Ecology should have a great part to play
in helping to break down the frontiers which have too long tended to
separate Botany from the other sciences, and the maintenance of which
is not in the true interests of the subject.


[1] _Darwin and Modern Science_.


1620-1683          1627-1705


  Early systems of classification--Theophrastus--the
  Herbalists--Cesalpino's _De Plantis_--Caspar Bauhin's _Pinax
  Theatri Botanici_--MORISON--narrative--Botany at Oxford--the
  garden established--Jacob Bobart the elder--Morison's _Historia
  Plantarum_--completion by the younger Bobart--personal
  characteristics--Morison's works--the _Praeludia_--the
  _Hallucinationes_--the _Dialogus_--principles of method in his
  _Plantarum Umbelliferarum Distributio Nova_--posthumous publication
  of System--indebtedness to Cesalpino--Linnaeus' estimate of
  Morison--RAY--narrative--first attempt at a System--quarrel
  with Morison--the _Methodus Nova_--Dicotyledones and
  Monocotyledones--Linnaeus' criticisms--later Systems--the French
  school--Morison and Ray compared.

The literature of Botany can be traced back to a quite respectable
antiquity, to the period of Aristotle (B.C. 384-322) who seems to
have been the first to write of plants from the truly botanical
point of view. Unfortunately, his special treatise on plants--θεωρία
περὶ φυτῶν [Greek: theôria peri phytôn]--is lost; and although there
are many botanical passages scattered throughout his other writings
(which have been collected by Wimmer, _Phytologiae Aristotelicae
Fragmenta_, 1836), yet none of them gives any indication of what his
ideas of classification may have been. An echo of them is perhaps to
be found in the works of his favourite pupil, Theophrastus Eresius
(B.C. 371-286), who among all his fellows was the most successful in
pursuing the botanical studies that they had begun under the guidance
of the master. Theophrastus left behind him two important, though
incomplete, treatises on plants, the oldest that have survived: the
more familiar Latin titles of which are _De Historia Plantarum_ and
_De Causis Plantarum_. The latter is essentially physiological,
touching upon agriculture to a certain extent: the former is mainly
morphological, structural, descriptive, and it is here that the first
attempt at a classification of plants is to be found. In writing the
_Historia_, Theophrastus was endeavouring, as a Greek philosopher
rather than as a botanist, to "give account of" plants; and in order
to do so he found it necessary to arrange them in some kind of order.
Seizing upon obvious external features, he distinguished (_Lib._
I. _cap_. 5) and defined Tree, Shrub, Undershrub and Herb, giving
examples; adding, however, that the definitions are to be accepted
and understood as typical and general, "for some may seem perhaps
to deviate" from them. Simple as was this mode of arrangement,
Theophrastus further simplified it in the course of his work, by
treating trees and shrubs as one group, and undershrubs and herbs as
the other.

  [Illustration: _Plate I_ Robert Morison (Robertus Morison)

  _Quæ Morisone viro potuit contingere major
  Gloria, Pæonium quam superasse genus?

  Ipse tibi palmam Phœbus concedit Apollo,
  Laureaque est capiti quælibit herba tuo._

  _Archibaldi Pitcairne M.D_.]

It may seem, at first sight, singular that a lecture purporting to
discuss the state of systematic botany in England during the 17th
century should begin with a reference to the botany of the Greeks.
The explanation is that the elementary classification introduced
by Theophrastus persisted throughout the 17th century; the use of
the groups Trees, Shrubs, and Herbs came to an end only in the 18th
century, with the advent of Linnaeus. It seems almost incredible, but
it is a fact, that the lapse of the nearly 2000 years that separated
Theophrastus from Morison marked no material advance in the science of
classification. Botanical works, when they were something more than
commentaries on Theophrastus or Dioscorides, took cognizance of little
else than the properties, medicinal or otherwise, of plants, and their
economic uses.

A growing perception of the essential resemblances observable among
plants can be traced, however, in the later Herbals, as they became
less medical and economic and more definitely botanical. Thus, in the
well-known work of Leonhard Fuchs (Fuchsius), _De Historia Stirpium
Commentarii_, 1542, the plants are described in alphabetical order,
without any reference to their mutual relation. But in Kyber's
edition of Jerome Bock's (Tragus) _De Stirpium Nomenclatura, etc._,
_Commentariorum Libri Tres_, published in 1552 (with a preface by
Conrad Gesner), there is an attempt at a grouping of plants, though no
principles are enunciated and no names are given to the groups, which
resulted in the bringing together of labiate, leguminous, gramineous
and umbelliferous herbs. The _Cruydtboeck_ of Rembert Dodoens
(Dodonaeus), 1554, marks much the same stage of progress, whereas
the _Nova Stirpium Adversaria_ of Pierre Pena and Matthias de l'Obel
(Lobelius), issued in 1570, is a distinct step in advance. Here some
idea is incidentally given of the principles that have been followed
in the arrangement of the plants, but still no name is attached, as a
rule, to the resulting groups. The work begins with an account of the
herbaceous plants which, in modern terminology, are monocotyledonous:
and at the end of the section (p. 65) de l'Obel thus explains what he
has done:--"_Hactenus comparendo quot potuimus plantarum genera, quarum
effigies et naturae ordinis consequutione ita sibi mutuo haererent,
ut et facillime noscerentur et memoriae mandarentur, a Gramineis,
Segetibus, Harundinibus, ad Acoros, Irides, Cyperos, hincque Asphodelos
bulborum tuniceorum Caepaceorumve naturam praetervecti sumus._"
Cruciferous, caryophyllaceous, labiate and umbelliferous herbs are also
segregated to some extent in the course of the work: and the leguminous
herbs are brought together into a definite group, "_Alterum Frugum
genus nempe graminis Trifolii et Leguminum_," which is really the
origin of the modern N. O. Leguminosae: though a few altogether foreign
species, such as species of _Oxalis_, _Anemone Hepatica_, _Jasminum
fruticans_ L., and species of _Thalictrum_, are included among the
trifoliate forms, and _Dictamnus Fraxinella_ among the "Leguminosa."
The _Stirpium Historiae Pemptades Sex sive Libri XXX_ of Dodoens,
published in 1583, shows considerable progress in classification as
compared with his _Cruydtboeck_ of 1554, more particularly in the
recognition, apparently for the first time, of umbelliferous plants as
a distinct group in a chapter headed _De Umbelliferis Herbis_.

Possibly these attempts to introduce some sort of system into Botany
may have been inspired by the teachings of Conrad Gesner, that
universal genius, who lived about this time (1516-1565). Though but
fragments of his botanical writings have survived, it is clear from the
much-quoted passage in a letter of his dated Nov. 26, 1565 (_Epistolae
Medicae_, 1577, p. 113) that he too was seeking for the basis of a
natural system of classification and that he thought he had found it in
the flower and the fruit:--"_Ex his enim notis_ (_a fructu_, _semine_
and _flore_) _potius quam foliis, stirpium naturae et cognationes

Evidently at this period classification was in the air, and at length
it began to precipitate and to crystallise in the work of Andrea
Cesalpino (Caesalpinus: 1519-1603), Professor in the University of
Pisa, whose _De Plantis Libri XVI_, published in 1583, is one of the
most important landmarks in the history of systematic Botany. Here for
the first time a system is propounded which is based definitely upon
morphological observation. Cesalpino turns to the "fructification,"
that is the flower and the fruit, for his distinguishing characters.
"_Enitamur igitur_," he says (Lib. I. _cap._ xiv.), "_ex propriis quae
fructificationis gratia data sunt, plantarum genera investigare_"; and
he goes on to point out that the observable differences here depend on
number, position and form of the parts:--"_ad organorum constitutionem
tria maxime faciant, scilicet, partium numerus, situs et figura_."
These principles he illustrates as follows:--the flower being the
outermost covering of the fruit, a single flower may cover a single
seed, as in the Almond: or a single seed-receptacle as in the Rose:
or two seeds, as in the Umbelliferae: or two seed-receptacles, as in
the Cress: or three seeds, as in the genus _Tithymalus_ (_Euphorbia_);
or three receptacles, as in the Bulbaceous plants (petaloid
Monocotyledons): or four seeds, as in _Marrubium_: or four receptacles,
as in _Euonymus_: or many seeds, as in the Cichoriaceae: or many
receptacles, as in the Coniferae. The feature of the relative position
of the parts which he especially emphasizes is whether the flower
is inserted upon the top of the fruit (_i.e._ is epigynous): or is
inserted lower around the fruit (hypogynous or perigynous). Moreover,
the form of the seed, of the seed-receptacle, and of the flower, is to
be taken into account.

The practical application of these principles led to a classification
of plants which, though of course imperfect, was at least a good
beginning. Following Theophrastus, Cesalpino divided plants into two
main groups, (1) Trees and Shrubs, (2) Undershrubs and Herbs: each of
these groups was then subdivided according to the nature of the fruit
and of the flower. It will be observed that Cesalpino, as was customary
at that time, designated as "seeds" all indehiscent one-seeded fruits,
such as nuts and the varieties of achene. The following abstract will
suffice to give an adequate idea of the results obtained. The author's
own words are given as nearly as possible.

  ARBOREAE: =Seminibus saepius solitariis=:

  Glandiferae: _e.g._ _Quercus_.
  Vasculiferae: _Fagus_, _Castanea_.
  Nuciferae: _Juglans_, _Carpinus_, _Corylus_, _Ulmus_, _Tilia_,
                     _Acer_, &c.
  Pericarpio tectae; flore in sede fructus: _Prunus_, &c.
                     flore in apice fructus: _Viburnum_, _Aesculus_, &c.

      =Seminibus pluribus=:

  Flore carentes: _Ficus_.
  Flos in summo fructus: _Morus_, _Sambucus_, _Hedera_, _Rosa_, &c.
  Flos in sede fructus: _Vitis_, _Arbutus_, _Cornus_, &c.
  Sedes seminis multiplex tecta communi corpore: _Pyrus_, _Citrus_.
    "      "    in siliquam producta: leguminous plants.
    "      "    bipartita: _Nerium_, _Syringa_, _Populus_, _Betula_,
                      _Salix_, &c.
    "      "    tripartita: _Buxus_, _Myrtus_.
    "      "    quadripartita: _Vitex_, _Euonymus_.
    "      "    tecta proprio corpore: coniferous plants.

  HERBACEAE: =Solitariis Seminibus=:

  Semina nuda, papposa: _Valeriana_.
  Semina pericarpio obducta: _Daphne_, _Jasminum_.
  Flos in summo fructus: _Osyris_, _Valerianella_.
  Flos in sede fructus, semen calyce exceptum: _Urtica_, Chenopodiaceae,
    Polygonaceae, Gramineae, Cyperaceae, Typhaceae.

      =Solitariis Pericarpiis=:

  Flos exterius situs (Pomum): Cucurbitaceae.
  Flos inferius situs (Bacca): Solanaceae, _Ruscus_, _Arum_,
                               _Actaea_, &c.

      =Solitariis Vasculis=:

  Legumina: leguminous herbs.
  Capsulae: Caryophyllaceae, Primulaceae, Gentianaceae, &c.

      =Binis Seminibus=: (Genus Ferulaceum) Umbelliferae.

      =Binis Conceptaculis=:

  Semina solitaria in singulis alveolis: Rubiaceae.
    "    plura, flore continuo: Scrophulariaceae, &c.
    "      "    flore in foliola quaterna diviso: Cruciferae.

      =Triplici Principio, non-Bulbosae=:

  Semina nuda: _Thalictrum_.
     "   solitaria in tribus alveolis: Euphorbiaceae.
     "   plura in tribus alveolis: Convolvulaceae, Campanulaceae, &c.

      =Triplici Principio, Bulbosae=:

  Flos inferius sedet: bulbous Liliaceae.
  Flos in summo fructus: Amaryllidaceae.
  Bulbaceis ascribi desiderant: other Liliaceae, Iridaceae, Orchidaceae.

       =Quaternis Seminibus=: Boraginaceae, Labiatae.

      =Pluribus Seminibus in communi sede=: most Compositae.

  Lactescentes: Cichorieae.
  Acanaceae: Cynareae, _Dipsacus_, _Eryngium_, &c.

      =Pluribus Seminibus Flore communi=:

  Semina plene nuda: acheniferous Ranunculaceae and Rosaceae, &c.
  Aut conjunctis receptaculis: _e.g._ _Aristolochia_, _Nymphaea_,
                               _Papaver_, _Cistus_.
  Aut disjunctis receptaculis: _e.g._ _Sedum_, _Veratrum_, _Helleborus_,
                               _Delphinium_, _Dictamnus_.

      =Flore fructuque carentes=: Cryptogams.

In spite of its inherent imperfections and of errors of observation,
the method succeeded in bringing together a considerable number of the
plants dealt with, into groups which are still regarded as natural. For
instance, among the trees and shrubs, the leguminous genera, and the
coniferous genera, respectively, are so brought together: and among
herbs, the leguminous, umbelliferous, cruciferous and composite genera.
Moreover, though many of Cesalpino's sections consist of what seems to
be a heterogeneous assemblage of plants, yet they include groups of
closely allied genera, representing several of the natural orders of
more modern times, which his method was incapable of distinguishing.
With all its shortcomings, the method produced a classification of
plants which has proved to have been natural in no slight degree.

The very numerous botanical works which were published in the
century after the appearance of Cesalpino's _De Plantis_ afford
evidence that his system of classification did not meet with an
enthusiastic reception. Though his plant-names were generally
quoted, his arrangement was entirely ignored: in fact the very idea
of classification seems to have gradually faded out of the minds
of botanists, whose attention was more and more engrossed with the
description of the new species that the rapid extension of geographical
discovery was bringing to light. This condition of the science is
well illustrated by the most authoritative systematic work that the
17th century produced, the great _Pinax Theatri Botanici_ (1623) of
Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624), a work which contains about six thousand
plant-names, and was the product of forty years' labour. It might be
expected that in such a work, special attention would have been paid
to classification, that at least the best available system would have
been used: as a matter of fact, the arrangement adopted is far inferior
to that of Cesalpino and may be described as simply haphazard for the
most part. The general lines of it are indicated by the following
enumeration of the contents of the twelve Books of which the work
consists; the modern equivalents of his plant-names being given.


  Liber I. Gramineae, Juncaceae, Cyperaceae, Typhaceae, _Ephedra_,
  _Equisetum_, _Hippuris_, _Asphodelus_, some Iridaceae, and

  Liber II. De Bulbosis; bulbous Monocotyledons, including Orchids
  with Orobanche, _Monotropa_, and _Lathraea_.

  Liber III. Olera et Oleracea; most Cruciferae, Polygonaceae, and
  Chenopodiaceae, with some of the Compositae.

  Liber IV. Other Compositae; _Delphinium_, _Fumaria_; the
  Umbelliferae (so named); _Valeriana_.

  Liber V. Some Solanaceae, Papaveraceae, and Ranunculaceae;
  _Gentiana_, _Plantago_, _Pyrola_, _Statice_, _Sarracenia_,
  _Nymphaea_, _Trapa_, _Sagittaria_, _Arum_, _Asarum_, and some

  Liber VI. _Viola_; _Cheiranthus_, _Matthiola_, _Alyssum_,
  _Hesperis_; some Caryophyllaceae; _Polygala_, _Specularia_,
  _Glaux_, _Linum_, _Cuscuta_, most Labiatae and Scrophulariaceae;
  _Primula_, &c.

  Liber VII. _Lysimachia_, _Epilobium_, _Oenothera_, _Lythrum_, some
  more Labiatae, Scrophulariaceae, and Caryophyllaceae; Boraginaceae;
  some Compositae; _Alisma_; _Scabiosa_; _Hypericum_; Crassulaceae;
  _Aloe_; _Euphorbia_.

  Liber VIII. Various climbing plants; _Convolvulus_, _Smilax_,
  _Humulus_, _Vitis_; _Clematis_, _Lonicera_, _Hedera_; and
  Cucurbitaceae: also Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae, some Liliaceae,
  Malvaceae, Rosaceae, Leguminosae, with other genera scattered among
  them, as _Aristolochia_, _Dentaria_, _Paeonia_, _Geranium_.

  Liber IX. Rubiaceae; _Ruta_, _Thalictrum_; the remainder of the

  Liber X. Cryptogams in general: with a few scattered Phanerogams
  such as _Drosera_, _Oxalis sensitiva_, L. (_Herba viva foliis
  polypodii_); _Mimosa pudica_ (_Herba Mimosa foliis Foenugraeci
  sylvestris_); _Lemna_; and the remaining Compositae, the Thistles,
  with _Eryngium_, _Dipsacus_, and _Acanthus_.

  Liber XI. Trees and Shrubs: Leguminous and Rosaceous; also _Rhus_,
  _Laurus_, _Fraxinus_, _Juglans_, _Castanea_, _Fagus_, _Quercus_,
  _Corylus_, _Tilia_, _Ulmus_, _Betula_, _Alnus_, _Populus_, _Acer_,
  _Platanus_, _Ricinus_.

  Liber XII. _Mespilus_, _Crataegus_, _Berberis_, _Ribes_,
  _Sambucus_, _Ficus_, _Opuntia_, _Morus_, _Arbutus_, _Laurus_,
  _Daphne_, _Cistus_, _Myrtus_, _Vaccinium_, _Buxus_, _Olea_,
  _Salix_, _Ligustrum_, _Phillyrea_, _Rhamnus_, _Rubus Rosa_,
  _Tamarix_, _Erica_, Coniferous plants, _Palma_.

There was but one author, during this period, who made any material
contribution to the science of classification, and that was Joachim
Jung of Hamburg (1587-1657). Jung is best known by his _Isagoge
Phytoscopica_ (1678, ed. Vaget), the most philosophic and scientific
treatise on plants that had appeared since the time of Aristotle,
which is the foundation upon which the whole superstructure of
plant-morphology and descriptive botany has since been erected. But it
was in his _De Plantis Doxoscopiae Physicae Minores_ (1662, ed. Fogel)
that he expressed his views on systematic Botany. He did not propound
a system of his own, but he sought to arrive at the principles upon
which a classification should be based, with the logical result that he
rejected the time-honoured Theophrastian division of plants into Trees
and Herbs. Though Jung failed to produce any immediate impression upon
the Botany of his time, he powerfully influenced the great developments
which took place in the eighteenth century. It so happened that Ray, as
he mentions in his _Index Plantarum Agri Cantabrigiensis_ (1660), had
obtained through Samuel Hartlib a MS. of the whole or part of Jung's
_Isagoge_, which seems to have impressed him so much that he included
many of Jung's morphological definitions in the glossary appended to
the _Index_; and he subsequently embodied the _Isagoge_ in the first
volume of his _Historia Plantarum_ (1686). It was from Ray's _Historia_
that Linnaeus learned the morphological principles and terminology of
Jung which were the basis of his own work in descriptive Botany, and
rendered possible the elaboration of his system of classification. But,
in spite of Jung, the venerable division of plants into Trees and Herbs
continued to hold its own for a time. As will be seen, it was still
adhered to by Morison and by Ray, even after it had been shown to be
quite untenable by Rivinus (_Introductio Generalis in Rem Herbariam_)
in 1690, and did not finally disappear until the time of Linnaeus.

It was just when systematic Botany had fallen back to its lowest level
that Morison appeared upon the scene. He had been born at Aberdeen in
1620, and had there graduated Master of Arts with distinction by the
time he was eighteen years old. His further studies in the natural
sciences were interrupted by the Civil War, in which he took part on
the Royalist side, being severely wounded in the battle of the Brig of
Dee (1644). He fled to France, and there resumed his preparation for
a scientific career with such success that he obtained, in 1648, the
degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Angers. From that
time onwards he devoted himself entirely to the study of Botany, which
he pursued in Paris under the guidance of Vespasian Robin, Botanist
to the King of France. In 1650 Morison was appointed by the Duke of
Orleans, on Robin's recommendation, to take charge of the royal garden
at Blois, a post which he held for ten years. The Duke of Orleans,
shortly before his death early in 1660, had occasion to present Morison
to his nephew King Charles II who was about to return to his kingdom.
Soon after the Restoration, the King summoned Morison to London; and
in spite of tempting offers made to induce him to remain in France,
Morison obeyed the summons and was rewarded with the title of King's
Physician and Professor of Botany with a stipend of two hundred pounds
a year. During his tenure of these offices Morison found time to
complete his first botanical work, the _Praeludia Botanica_, which was
published in 1669; the same year in which he was appointed Professor of
Botany in the University of Oxford.

A few words may be devoted, at this point, to the rise and progress of
Botany in that University. In the year 1621, Lord Danvers (afterwards
Earl of Danby), thinking "that his money could not be better laid
out than to begin and finish a place whereby learning, especially
the Faculty of Medicine, might be improved," decided to endow the
University with a Physic Garden, such as was already possessed by
various Universities on the Continent. With this object, he gave a
sum of £250 to enable the University to purchase the lease of a plot
of ground, about five acres in extent, situated "without the East
Gate of Oxford, near the river Cherwell." A great deal of labour had
to be expended upon the land after it had been secured: it was so
low-lying that, as Anthony Wood says, "much soil was conveyed thither
for the raising of the ground to prevent the overflowing of the
waters" at the expense of Lord Danvers, who also caused to be built
what Baskerville describes as "a most stately wall of hewen stone 14
foot high with 3 very considerable Gates thereto, one whereof was to
the cost of at least five hundred pounds." The work proceeded but
slowly, in consequence of the troublous times through which the country
was passing, so that it was not completed until 1632. Even then the
actual installation of the garden was delayed. About 1637 the Earl
of Danby seems to have arranged with the well-known John Tradescant
to act as gardener, but there is no evidence that Tradescant ever
discharged the duties of the post: moreover, he died in the following
year. Very shortly after this, though the exact date is not known,
the Earl appointed Jacob Bobart to take charge of the Garden. Jacob
Bobart was a German, born at Brunswick about the year 1599. He was an
excellent gardener: under his care the garden flourished so well that
the catalogue which was published in 1648 anonymously, though doubtless
drawn up by Bobart, enumerated no less than 1600 species of plants in

It had been the intention of Lord Danby to provide the University not
only with a Physic Garden and a Gardener, but also with a Professor of
Botany. For this purpose he bequeathed certain revenues: "but so it was
that the times being unsettled, and the revenues falling short, nothing
was done in order to the settling of a Professor till 1669." When the
establishment of the Professorship had become possible, the University
proceeded to elect Morison the first Professor of Botany, being
influenced by the reputation which his recently published _Praeludia
Botanica_ had secured for him. Thus, after the lapse of nearly half a
century, was Lord Danby's design completely realised.

Morison's chief occupation at Oxford was the preparation of his
long promised _magnum opus_, the _Historia Plantarum Universalis
Oxoniensis_. It was planned on a most extensive scale, and proved to
be a laborious and costly undertaking. Morison impoverished himself
in the preparation even of the one volume of it that appeared in his
lifetime, though his many friends provided the cost of the 126 plates
of figures with which it is illustrated, and the University advanced
considerable sums of money. The work was to have been issued in three
parts: the first part was to be devoted to Trees and Shrubs, and the
other two parts to the Herbs. The volume published by Morison in 1680,
and described as _Pars Secunda_, deals with only five out of the
fifteen sections into which he classified herbaceous plants, although
it extends to more than 600 folio pages. In the preface he gives as
his reason for beginning with the Herbs rather than with the Trees and
Shrubs, that he wished to accomplish first the most difficult part of
his task lest, in the event of his death before the completion of the
_Historia_, it should fall into the hands of incompetent persons. He
did not live to finish his great undertaking. In November, 1683, he was
in London on business connected with it: as he was crossing the Strand
near Charing Cross, he was knocked down by a coach, and was so severely
injured that he died on the following day. He was buried in the church
of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

His unfinished work did not, as he feared, fall into incompetent hands.
It was entrusted by the University to Jacob Bobart the younger, who on
the death of his father in 1679, had succeeded him as Keeper of the
Physic Garden, and who also succeeded Morison as _Horti Praefectus_,
but not as _Professor Botanices_; the Professorship remained in
abeyance for nearly forty years. After much difficulty and delay, a
second and final instalment of the _Historia_, the _Pars Tertia_,
dealing with the remaining ten sections of herbaceous plants, was
published in 1699, as a folio of 657 pages with 168 plates. The
material at Bobart's disposal was fairly abundant, consisting of
Morison's MS. of four more of his sections of Herbs, with notes upon
the remaining six sections. But even so, the task of completion was a
laborious one, for it involved the incorporation of references to the
very many descriptions of new plants that had been published since
Morison's death: it has been generally admitted that Bobart discharged
it with commendable skill.

[Illustration: _Plate II_

Great Gate of the Physic Garden Oxford: the elder Bobart in the

The _Pars Prima_, that was to have been devoted to Trees and Shrubs,
was never written. All that exists to represent it, is a stout MS.
volume in the Library at the Botanic Garden, Oxford, apparently in
Bobart's hand-writing, containing a classification and an enumeration
of the species of trees and shrubs, which may possibly have been
written with a view to publication.

A most interesting feature of Bobart's _Pars Tertia_ is the _Vita
Roberti Morisoni M.D._ with which the book opens, written by one of
Morison's intimate friends, Dr Archibald Pitcairn. It is the source
of all the available information regarding Morison up to the time of
his coming to Oxford; after that time much may be gathered concerning
him from the records of the University. It is also a loyal defence
of Morison and his system of classification against the criticisms
to which, even then, he had been subjected. It concludes with a
personal account of Morison, in which he is described as being
"vigorous in body, having a mind trained to every kind of study, of
ingenuous manners, calling a spade a spade, eager for true knowledge,
a despiser of filthy lucre, considering the public advantage rather
than his private gain." A portrait of him, here reproduced, forms the
frontispiece to the volume.

Such was the life of the man whose botanical works are now to be
considered: works that are not nearly so numerous as they are
considerable, as will be seen from the following enumeration and brief
description of them.

_Praeludia Botanica_, 1669: a small 8vo volume of about 500 pages,
which consists of the following parts:

  (pp. 1-347): _Hortus Regius Blesensis Auctus._

  (pp. 351-459): _Hallucinationes Caspari Bauhini in Pinace, item
  Animadversiones in tres Tomos Universalis Historiae Johannis

  (pp. 463-499): _Dialogus inter Socium Collegii Regii Gresham dicti
  et Botanographum Regium_.

_Plantarum Umbelliferarum Distributio Nova, per Tabulas Cognationis et
Affinitatis, ex Libro Naturae observata et detecta_, 1672.

_Plantarum Historiae Universalis Oxoniensis Pars Secunda, seu Herbarum
Distributio Nova per Tabulas Cognationis et Affinitatis ex Libro
Naturae observata et detecta_, 1680.

The three distinct treatises of which the _Praeludia Botanica_
consists were written probably at different times, though published
simultaneously in 1669. The first of them is an alphabetical catalogue,
comprising about 2600 species, of the plants in the Royal garden at
Blois when under Morison's care: 260 of the species are marked as new,
and are fully described in an appendix. But the chief interest of
the _Hortus Regius Blesensis Auctus_ lies in the dedication to King
Charles II. Morison here narrates how, whilst at Blois, he had framed
a system of classification; how the King's Uncle, the Duke of Orleans,
had promised to undertake the publication of a book to illustrate
the system on an adequate scale, and how the sudden death of the
Duke in 1660 had destroyed all such hopes; and he ends by appealing
to the King to give him the patronage that he so much needed. "_Quod
si annuere hoc mihi digneris_," he wrote, "_polliceor Britanniam
vestram cum methodo exactissima (quae est naturae ipsius) imposterum,
in re Botanica gloriari posse, quemadmodum Italia, Gallia, Germania,
superiori saeculo, sine methodo, in Scientia Botanica gloriatae sunt._"
But the King does not appear to have been moved by this dazzling
promise. Morison evidently did not suffer from any lack of confidence
in himself or in his method, of which he speaks on a previous page of
the dedication, as "_methodus nova a natura data, a me solummodo (citra
jactantiam) observata: a nullo nisi meipso in hunc usque diem detecta,
quamvis mundi incunabilis sit coeva_," language which can hardly be
described as modest. And yet, curiously enough, Morison gives not the
slightest indication of the principles of this altogether new and
original method of classification.

The second treatise, the _Hallucinationes_, is a searching and acute
criticism of the published works of the brothers Bauhin: of the _Pinax_
of Caspar, and of the _Historia_ of John. Though he acknowledges in
the preface the great value of their botanical labours, Morison did
not fail to set out in detail the mistakes that they had made in both
classification and nomenclature, and to make corrections which were,
for the most part, justified. Probably it was the critical study
of the works of the Bauhins that led Morison to frame a system of
classification of his own.

The third and last treatise is the _Dialogus_: a dialogue between
himself, as _Botanographus Regius_, King's Botanist, and a Fellow
of the Royal Society, on the theme of classification. Here again
Morison asserts the superiority of his own method: "_Methodum me
observasse fateor: estque omnium quae unquam adhuc fuerunt exhibitae,
praestantissima et certissima quippe a natura data_." But he still
fails to give any definite account of it: all that he says amounts
merely to this, that the "_nota generica_" is not to be sought in the
properties of a plant, nor in the shape of its leaves, as had been
suggested by earlier writers, but in the fructification, that is, in
the flower and fruit (_essentiam plantarum desumendam ... a florum
forma at seminum conformatione_).

The mention of a system of classification based on the form of
the leaf evoked from _Botanographus_ a pointed allusion to a book
recently published by a Fellow of the Royal Society in which such a
classification had been used, with the following severe comment: "_Ego
tantum confusum Chaos: illic, de plantis legi, nec quicquam didici,
ut monstrabo tibi et lapsus et confusionem, alias_." The book so
criticised was the encyclopaedic work edited by Dr John Wilkins, Bishop
of Chester, and published by the Royal Society in 1668, entitled,
"_An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language_,"
to which John Ray had contributed the botanical article '_Tables of
Plants_.' This criticism was the beginning of the unfriendly relations
between Morison and Ray, of which some further account will be given

Another point of interest in the _Dialogus_ is the definite assertion
(p. 488) that Ferns are 'perfect' plants, having flower and seed (_quia
habent flores, qui fugiunt quasi obtutum, et semina quasi pulvisculum
in dorso alarum_), an assertion which was repeated with even greater
emphasis in Morison's preface to his edition of Boccone's _Icones at
Descriptiones Rariorum Plantarum_ etc. (Oxon. 1674), in opposition to
the views of earlier writers, Cesalpino in particular. Cesalpino had,
it is true, said of the group in which he had placed the Ferns and
other Cryptogams, "_quod nullum semen molitur_" (_De Plantis_, p.
591): but he had added, in the same paragraph,--"_ferunt enim in folio
quid, quod vicem seminis gerit, ut Filix et quae illi affinia sunt_."
It is a question if Morison was much nearer the truth than Cesalpino.

It is in the preface of his _Plantarum Umbelliferarum Distributio Nova_
(1672) that Morison first gave a definite statement of the principles
of his method, in the following terms: "_Cumque methodus sit omnis
doctrinae anima: idcirco nos tam in hac umbelliferarum dispositione,
quam in universali omnium stirpium digestione, quam pollicemur,
notas genericas et essentiales a seminibus eorumque similitudine
petitas, per tabulas cognationis et affinitatis disponentes stirpes
exhibebimus. Differentias autem specificas a partibus ignobilioribus,
scilicet radice, foliis et caulibus, odore, sapore, colore desumptas
adscribemus, singulis generibus singulas accersendo species: ita
species diversa facie cognoscibiles, sub generibus intermediis: genera
intermedia sub supremis, notis suis essentialibus et semper eodem
modo sese habentibus distincta militabunt. Hic est ordo a natura ipsa
stirpibus ab initio datus, a me primo jam observatus._"

It is not necessary to discuss in detail the merits of Morison's work
on the Umbelliferae. It will suffice to say that it was published as a
specimen of the great Historia that he had in preparation--_trigesimam
operis quod intendimus partem_--so that the learned world might
have some idea of what they were to expect from the completed work
"_quemadmodum aiunt ex ungue leonem_"; and further, that it was the
first monograph of a definite group of plants, and is remarkable for
the sense of relationship between the genera that inspires it. The
Umbelliferae constituted _Sectio IX_ among the fifteen sections in
which Morison distributed herbaceous plants.

At length, in 1680, appeared the _Pars Secunda_ of the _Plantarum
Historia Universalis Oxoniensis_ in which work Morison's long-expected
method of classification was to be exhibited and justified. However in
this respect it proved to be disappointing: partly because it was so
limited in its scope, dealing with but five of his fifteen _Sectiones_
of herbaceous plants: and partly because it did not contain any
complete outline of his system. It is most singular that, although he
wrote so much, Morison should have died without having published any
more definite information concerning his system of classification than
what has been here cited.

Morison's influence did not, however, cease with his death; his
tradition was maintained by the publication in 1699 of the _Pars
Tertia_ of the _Historia_, under the editorship of Bobart. This
volume threw some welcome light upon Morison's system, inasmuch as
it completed the description of the herbaceous plants, and gave a
clear statement, in the form of a _Botanologiae Summarium_, of the
classification resulting from the application of Morison's principles
to these plants. But, even so, the revelation of the system still
remained incomplete, in the absence of any account of the trees and

It was not till nearly forty years after Morison's death, not until
Bobart too was dead, that a full statement of Morison's method was
published. In 1720 there appeared at Oxford a small tract of but twelve
pages, the _Historiae Naturalis Sciagraphia_, containing an account of
a complete system of classification, which agrees in all essentials,
so far as herbaceous plants are concerned with that adopted by Morison
and by Bobart in their respective volumes of the _Historia_: and, as
regards trees and shrubs, with that in the MS. volume by Bobart which
has been already mentioned. The tract is anonymous, but the matter that
it contains is Bobart's work, whether it was written by himself or
by some one who had access to his papers. This classification may be
accepted as being essentially that of Morison, though somewhat modified
by Bobart, who had undoubtedly been influenced by Ray's systematic
writings which had appeared meanwhile. It is of such interest that it
may be reproduced here, somewhat compressed, with an indication of the
modern equivalents of the groups.


  Coniferae semper virentes: most coniferous genera.
      "     foliis deciduis: _Larix_, _Alnus_, _Betula_.
  Glandiferae: _Quercus_.
  Nuciferae: _Juglans_, _Fagus_, _Corylus_, _Laurus_, &c.
  Pruniferae: _Prunus_, _Olea_, &c.
  Pomiferae: _Pyrus_, _Citrus_, _Punica_, _Ficus_, &c.
  Bacciferae: _Taxus_, _Juniperus_, _Morus_, _Arbutus_, _Sorbus_, &c.
  Siliquosae: _Cercis_, and other leguminous trees.
  Fructu membranaceo: _Acer_, _Carpinus_, _Tilia_, _Fraxinus_, Ulmus.
  Lanigerae non Juliferae: _Platanus_, _Gossypium_.
  Juliferae et Lanigerae: _Populus_, _Salix_.
  Sui generis Arbor: _Palma_.


  Nuciferi: _Staphylea_.
  Pruniferi: _Cornus_.
  Bacciferi, foliis deciduis: _Viburnum_, _Rhus_, _Rosa_, _Ribes_, &c.
     "       semper virentes: _Ruscus_, _Phillyrea_, _Myrtus_,
                              _Buxus_, &c.
  Leguminosi: _Genista_, _Cytisus_, _Colutea_.
  Binis Loculamentis: _Justicia_, _Syringa_.
  Capsulis tetragonis: _Philadelphus_, _Tetragonia_.
    "      pentagonis: _Cistus_.
  Multicapsulares: _Spiraea_, _Erica_.
  Lanigeri: _Salix_, _Tamarix_, _Nerium_.


  Scandentes capreolis: _Vitis_, _Bignonia_, _Smilax_.
    "        viticulis: _Lonicera_, _Jasminum_, _Solanum_, &c.
    "        radiculis: _Hedera_.


  Sectio i. =Scandentes=: Bacciferae: _Bryonia_, _Tamus_, &c.
                          Pomiferae: most Cucurbitaceae.
                          Campanulatae: Convolvulaceae.

  Sectio ii. =Leguminosae, Papilionaceae siliquis bivalvibus=:
             Leguminous herbs.

  Sectio iii. =Siliquosae Tetrapetalae Bicapsulares=: Cruciferae
  (with _Veronica_ and _Polygala_).
              hisce adjiciuntur quaedam: _Chelidonium_, _Fumaria_,
                                         _Epilobium_, &c.

  Sectio iv. =Hexapetalae Tricapsulares=:
    Radicibus fusiformibus; _Asphodelus_, _Anthericum_.
        "     tuberosis; _Crocus_, _Gladiolus_, _Iris_.
        "     bulbosis; _Narcissus_, _Hyacinthus_, _Allium_.
        "     squamatis; _Lilium_.

  Sectio v. =A Numero Capsularum et Petalorum Dictae=:
    tricapsulares campanulatae; Campanulaceae.
         "        pentapetalae; _Hypericum_, _Viola_.
    bicapsulares monopetalae; Scrophulariaceae.
    quadricapsulares tetrapetalae; Rutaceae.
    quinquecapsulares pentapetalae; Geraniaceae.
    pentapetalae emollientes; Malvaceae.
         "       unicapsulares; Caryophyllaceae, Primulaceae.
         "       seminibus triangularibus; Polygonaceae.
         "            "    nigris splendentibus; Chenopodiaceae.

  Sectio vi. =Corymbiferae=: (Compositae in part)
  floribus aureis; Artemisia, _Tanacetum_.
      "    rubris; _Adonis annua_ L.
      "    albis; _Bellis_, _Anthemis_, _Achillea_, &c.
      "    ianthinis; _Xeranthemum_, _Scabiosa_, _Globularia_.

  Sectio vii. =Flosculis Stellatis=: (the rest of the Compositae)
    lactescentes non papposae; _Cichorium_.
        "        papposae; _Lactuca_, _Sonchus_, _Hieracium_.
    papposae non lactescentes; _Senecio_, _Aster_, _Doronicum_, &c.
       "     capitatae; Cynareae.

  Sectio viii. =Culmiferae seu Calamiferae=: Gramineae, Cyperaceae,

  Sectio ix. =Umbelliferae.=
    Hisce adnectuntur Plantae Stellatae; Rubiaceae.

  Sectio x. =Tricoccae Purgatrices=: Euphorbiaceae.

  Sectio xi. =Monopetalae Tetracarpae Galeatae et Verticillatae=:
    Hisce adjiciuntur Galeatae non verticillatae; _Verbena_, _Euphrasia_.
    Et Verticillatae non Galeatae; _Urtica_.
    Sequuntur Monopetalae tetracarpae asperifoliae; Boraginaceae.

  Sectio xii. =Multisiliquae Polyspermae et Multicapsulares=:
    multisilquae; folliculate Ranunculaceae, _Sedum_, &c.
    multicapsulares; _Papaver_, _Nymphaea_, _Orchidaceae_,
                     _Aristolochia_, _Orobanche_, _Pyrola_, &c.

  Sectio xiii. =Bacciferae=: some _Solanaceae_, _Sambucus_, _Cornus_,
                             _Ruscus_, _Arum_, &c.

  Sectio xiv. =Capillares Epiphyllospermae=: Filices and

  Sectio xv. =Heteroclitae seu Anomalae=: consists of
        (_a_) Certain Phanerogams: _e.g._ _Piper_, _Acanthus_, _Apocynum_,
                   _Cuscuta_, _Reseda_, _Sagittaria_, _Alisma_, _Lemna_,
        (_b_) Pteridophyta other than Ferns: _Equisetum_, _Pilularia_,
        (_c_) Bryophyta, Algae, Fungi.

This then is the Morisonian method,--or at least the nearest available
approximation to it--in its entirety. The effect of its application
to the Vegetable Kingdom can hardly be accepted as a sufficient
justification of the superlatives with which its author had introduced
it. Of course it is not reasonable to judge this method, or any other
method of the past, by the standard of botanical knowledge as at
present existing: it can only be fairly judged from the standpoint
of its author. What has to be considered is (1) the soundness of the
principles adopted, and (2) the consistency in the application of
those principles. The conclusion to be drawn from such a consideration
of the foregoing table is that Morison was more fortunate in his
theory than in his practice. In spite of his statement that the
"_nota generica_" should be taken from the fructification, many of
the Sectiones are based upon quite other characters: such are (among
the Herbs) the Scandentes, the Corymbiferae, the Culmiferae. Had
Morison adhered more closely to his own principles, the results would
have been more in accordance with his sanguine anticipations: such
a heterogeneous group as _Sectio V_, for instance, would have been
impossible. It was, perhaps, on account of its inconsistency that
Morison's method never came into general use, although it was adopted
enthusiastically by Paul Amman, Professor at Leipzig, in his _Character
Plantarum Naturalis_ (ed. 1685); and, with some modifications, by
Christopher Knaut, Professor at Halle, in his _Enumeratio Plantarum
circa Halam Saxonum sponte provenientium_, 1687, as well as by Paul
Hermann, Professor at Leyden, in his _Florae Lugduno-Batavi Flores_
(ed. Zumbach), 1690.

Morison's writings evoked severe contemporary criticism, more on
account of their manner than of their matter. His constant reference
to the "_Hallucinationes_" of Caspar Bauhin especially, was considered
to be offensive even if warranted, for every botanist admitted a
debt of gratitude to the author of the _Pinax_. Equally resented was
Morison's oft-repeated statement that he had drawn the principles of
his classification, not from the works of other writers, but from the
book of Nature alone. It was urged against him that he had failed to
do justice to his predecessors, particularly to Cesalpino: and it must
be admitted that there is unfortunately some truth in this allegation.
Morison's indebtedness to Cesalpino is suggested by the fact that the
nature of the fruit, and in a secondary degree that of the flower,
was the basis of both their methods. From a comparison of the two
systems, as set out in this lecture, their fundamental resemblance can
be traced through the many differences of detail. Since Morison does
not quote Cesalpino in his books, it might be inferred that possibly
he had not read him. But there is convincing evidence to the contrary.
There is the fact that Morison's preface to the _Historia_ contains a
sentence taken _verbatim_, without acknowledgment, from the dedication
of Cesalpino's _De Plantis_. Further, there is in the Library at
the Oxford Botanic Garden a copy of the _De Plantis_containing many
marginal notes which could not have been written by any one but
Morison. The explanation of the position is probably this, that Morison
regarded his classification as so great an advance upon that of
Cesalpino, that he did not think it necessary to acknowledge what still
remained of the earlier writer's work: but in any case his omission to
mention Cesalpino was a grave error of judgment.

At this point it may well be asked, what are Morison's actual
merits if, as it appears, he borrowed the leading principles of his
classification from his predecessors? The most satisfactory answer to
this question is that which is provided by those who lived and wrote
at times but little removed from his own. Thus Tournefort, in his
_Elemens de Botanique_ (1694: p. 19) speaking of the work of Cesalpino
and of Colonna, said--"_Peut-être que la chose seroit encore à faire
si Morison ... ne s'étoit avisé de renouveller cette metode. On ne
sauroit assez louer cet auteur; mais il semble qu'il se loue lui-même
un peu trop: car bien loin de se contenter de la gloire d'avoir executé
une partie du plus beau projet que l'on jamais fait en Botanique, il
ose comparer ses découvertes à celles de Cristoffe Colomb, et sans
parler de Gesner, de Cesalpin, ni de Columna, il assure en plusieurs
endroits de ses ouvrages, qu'il n'a rien apris que de la nature même._"
Later, in his _Institutiones Rei Herbariae_ (1700, p. 53) Tournefort
expressed the same opinion in somewhat different words:--"_Legitima
igitur constituendorum generum ratio Gesnero et Columnae tribui debet,
eaque fortè in tenebris adhuc jaceret, nisi_ Robertus Morisonus ...
_eam quasi ab Herbariis abalienatam renovasset, instaurasset, et primus
ad usus quotidianos adjunxisset, qua in re summis laudibus excipiendus,
longe vero majoribus si a suis abstinuisset_."

The estimate formed of him by Linnaeus is clearly stated in a letter
addressed to Haller probably about the year 1737: "Morison was vain,
yet he cannot be sufficiently praised for having revived system
which was half expiring. If you look through Tournefort's genera you
will readily admit how much he owes to Morison, full as much as
the latter was indebted to Cesalpino, though Tournefort himself was
a conscientious investigator. All that is good in Morison is taken
from Cesalpino, from whose guidance he wanders in pursuit of natural
affinities rather than of characters" (see Smith's _Correspondence of
Linnaeus_, vol. ii. p. 281). If only Morison had frankly assumed the
role of the restorer of a method that had been forgotten, instead of
posing as its originator, his undoubted merits would have met with
their just recognition, and his memory would have been free from any
possible reproach.

Before Morison's method of classification could have come into general
use, there was a rival system in the field, which was destined to
achieve success, and in its course to absorb all that was good in
Morison's: this was the system of John Ray.

Ray was born at Black Notley, near Braintree, Essex, on Nov. 29, 1628;
so that he was not much junior to Morison. He studied and graduated
with such distinction at the University of Cambridge, that he was
in due course elected a Fellow of, and appointed a Lecturer in, his
College (Trinity). Here he remained until 1662, when he resigned his
Fellowship on his refusal to sign the declaration against 'the solemn
league and covenant' prescribed by the Act of Uniformity of 1661. After
leaving Cambridge he spent some years travelling both in Britain and on
the Continent; and eventually settled at his birth-place, Black Notley,
where he died on Jan. 17, 1704-5.

During his residence in Cambridge, Ray devoted much of his time to the
study of natural history, a study which afterwards became his chief
occupation. The first fruit of his labours in this direction was the
_Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium_, published in 1660,
followed in due course by many works, for he was a prolific author,
botanical and zoological as well as theological and literary, of which
only those can be considered at present which contributed materially to
the development of systematic botany.

[Illustration: _Plate III_ John Ray (Joannes Rajus)]

The first such work of Ray's was his contribution of the _Tables of
Plants_ to Dr John Wilkins's _Real Character and a Philosophical
Language_, published in 1669, which has already been mentioned in
the course of this lecture (p. 21). The following is a summary
of Ray's first attempt at a system of classification. He begins by
distinguishing Herbs, Shrubs, and Trees. Proceeding to the detailed
classification of Herbs, he divides them into _Imperfect_ "which either
do want or seem to want some of the more essential parts of Plants,
viz. either Root, Stalk, or Seed," the Cryptogamia of Linnaeus; and
_Perfect_ "having all the essential parts belonging to a Plant." The
Perfect Herbs are arranged in three main groups according to (1) their
leaves, (2) their flowers, (3) their seed-vessel, each group being
subdivided in various ways.


  With long Leaves: Frumentaceous, "such whose seed is used by men for
  food, either Bread, Pudding, Broth, or Drink" (Cereals): or
  Non-Frumentaceous (other Grasses, Sedges, Reeds).

    Gramineous Herbs of Bulbous Roots (Bulbous Monocotyledons).

    Herbs of Affinity to Bulbous Roots (other Monocotyledons).

  Herbs of Round Leaves (_e.g._ _Petasites_, _Viola_, _Pinguicula_,

  Herbs of Nervous Leaves (_e.g._ _Veratrum_, _Plantago_, _Gentiana_,

  Succulent Herbs (_Sedum_, _Saxifraga_).

  "Herbs considered according to the Superficies of their Leaves, or
  their Manner of Growing":

      more rough (_e.g._ _Borago_, _Anchusa_, _Echium_):

      less rough (_e.g._ _Pulmonaria_, _Symphytum_, _Heliotropium_):

      stellate leaves (_e.g._ _Asparagus_, _Galium_).

  besides the Cup which covers the flower":

  Herbs of Stamineous Flowers, "whose flower doth consist of threddy
  Filaments or Stamina, having no leaves besides the _Perianthium_: or
  those herbaceous leaves encompassing these stamina, which do not
  wither or fall away before the seed is ripe"; and not of grassy leaves,
  may be distributed into such whose seeds are

      Triangular (Polygonaceae);

      Round: "distinguishable by sex, of male and female; because from
      the same seed some plants are produced which bear flowers
      and no seeds, and others which bear seeds and no flowers"
      (_e.g._ _Cannabis_, _Humulus_, _Mercurialis_): not distinguishable
      by sex (_e.g._ Chenopodiaceae, Urticaceæ, Resedaceae).

  Herbs having a Compound Flower not Pappous }
                                             } (Compositae).
  Pappous Herbs                              }

  Umbelliferous Herbs (Umbelliferae, with _Valeriana_).

  Verticillate Fruticose Herbs     }
                                   } (Labiatae).
  Verticillate Not Fruticose Herbs }

  Spicate Herbs (a curious medley, including _Dipsacus_, _Eryngium_,
  _Echinops_, _Agrimonia_, _Circaea_, _Poterium Sanguisorba_, _Polygonum
  Persicaria_, _Trifolium stellatum_, _T. arvense_, and _Potamogeton

  Herbs bearing Many Seeds together in a Cluster or Button
  (_e.g._ _Geum_, _Potentilla_, _Anemone_, _Ranunculus_, _Adonis_,


  Of a divided Seed-vessel, which may be called Corniculate (_Paeonia_,
  _Dictamnus_, _Delphinium_, _Aquilegia_, _Aconitum_, _Geranium_,

  Of an entire Seed-vessel:

    Siliquous: Papilionaceous Climbing Herbs     }
                                                 } (Papilionaceae).
               Papilionaceous Herbs not Climbing }

               Not papilionaceous (mostly Cruciferae).

    Capsulate: bearing Flowers of Five Leaves (Caryophyllaceae,
               Hypericaceae, _Euphorbia_, _Linum_, _Lysimachia_, _Ruta_,

               whose flowers consist of three or four Leaves (some
               Cruciferae, _Epimedium_, _Papaver_, _Verbena_, _Statice_,

               Campanulate Herbs:

                 climbing (most Cucurbitaceae and Convolvulaceae):

                 erect (Campanulaceae, some Solanaceae, _Digitalis_).

               Not campanulate (Primulaceae, Scrophulariaceae,
               Acanthaceae, _Aristolochia_, _Vinca_).

    Bacciferous herbs: may be distinguished according to their Qualities:

               Esculent fruit: more pleasant (Strawberry),
                               less pleasant (Tomato).

               Esculent root (Potato):

               Malignant: of simple leaves (Nightshade, Mandrake),
                          of compound leaves (Herb Christopher, _Paris_).

    Or Manner of Growth:

               being climbers (_Bryonia_, _Tamus_, _Smilax_):

               not climbers (_Physalis Alkekengi_, _Cucubalus_, _Sambucus


  I. Bacciferous Spinous Shrubs of Deciduous Leaves

      (the genera _Rubus_ and _Rosa_, Gooseberry, Sloe, Barberry,
      _Rhamnus_, _Lycium_).

  II. Bacciferous Shrubs of Deciduous Leaves, not Spinous

      (Vine, Currant, Bilberry, _Viburnum_, White Beam, _Cornus_,
      _Prunus Padus_, _P. Mahaleb_, _Diospyros_, Honeysuckle, Pepper,
      _Daphne_, _Euonymus_, Privet, _Salicornia_).

  III. Bacciferous Sempervirent Shrubs

      (_Rhamnus Alaternus_, _Phillyraea_, _Arbutus_, _Daphne Laureola_,
      _Ruscus_, _Chamaerops humilis_, Laurustinus, Juniper, Myrtle,
      Ivy, Mistletoe).

  IV. Siliquous Shrubs

      (Lilac, _Cytisus_, _Colutea_, _Ulex_, _Genista_, _Mimosa_).

  V. Graniferous Deciduous Shrubs

      (_Vitex_, _Spiraea_, _Tamarix_, _Jasminum_, _Althaea_, _Elaeagnus_,
      _Clematis_, _Ampelopis_).

  VI. Graniferous Evergreen Shrubs

      (_Cistus_, Oleander, Rosemary, _Phlomis fruticosa_, _Erica_, &c.).


  I. Pomiferous Trees (Apple, Pear, &c., _Sorbus_, Fig, Pomegranate,
       Orange, Lemon, Banana).

  II. Pruniferous Trees (Peach, Plum, Cherry, &c., Olive, Date, Jujube).

  III. Bacciferous Trees (Mulberry, Elder, Sumach, _Celtis_, Bay, Yew,
       Holly, Box, &c.).

  IV. Nuciferous Trees (Walnut, Almond, Hazel, _Castanea_, Beech,
      Coco-Palm, Coffee, Cocoa, Cotton).

  V. Glandiferous and Coniferous Trees (Oak, Alder, Larch, Cedar,
     Pine, Spruce, Cypress).

  VI. Trees bearing their Seeds in Single Teguments or Coverings
      (Carob, Tamarind, Elm, Hornbeam, Maple, Poplar, Willow,
      Lime, Plane).

  VII. Trees considered according to their Woods or Barks (Lignum
       Vitae, Snakewood, Sandal-wood, Log-wood, Cinnamon, Cinchona,

  VIII. Trees considered according to their Gumms or Rosins (Myrrh,
        Gum Arabic, Copal, Benzoin, _Liquidambar_, Camphor).

Such is the classification of which Morison spoke so slightingly
in the _Dialogus_: though the character of the leaf is not made so
much of as his criticism implied. There is no need to dwell upon the
strained relations that arose between Ray and Morison; it may suffice
to say that Morison laid himself open to the charge of jealousy, and
that Ray never forgave the criticisms, both written and oral, that
Morison had made on him. Those who are interested in the unfortunate
quarrel will find an account of it, with a most loyal apology for
Morison, in Blair's _Botanical Essays_ (1720). Ray may certainly be
acquitted of plagiarism which is suggested by Blair, for he had no
opportunity of studying Morison's system in its entirety: since, as
already explained, it was not published in a complete form until the
appearance of the _Sciagraphia_ in 1720, long after Ray's death. When
Ray wrote the _Tables of Plants_ for Dr Wilkins, not even the _Preludia
Botanica_ had been published: the only work that he produced after the
publication of both parts of Morison's _Historia_ was the last edition
of his _Methodus Plantarum_ (1703) which displays principles of
classification of which Morison had no conception.

The _Tables of Plants_ does not illustrate any very definite
principles. It was a tentative production, written to order: in
fact, it appears (as explained in the preface to his _Methodus
emendata_, 1703) that Ray, in writing it, was not free to follow what
he really believed to be the order of Nature. It is interesting,
however, as being the first systematic work published in England.
The classification is based, to some extent, upon the character
of the fruit, a principle borrowed, probably not from Morison but
directly from Cesalpino. Before long it was superseded by a much more
comprehensive and ambitious attempt, the _Methodus Plantarum Nova_,
issued in 1682, two years after Morison's _Historia (Pars Secunda)_.

=Ray's= _Methodus Plantarum Nova_, 1682.


  Genus        i.  Imperfectae, flore et semine carentes: Algae, Fungi.
    "         ii.  Semine minutissimo: Bryophyta, most Pteridophyta.
    "        iii.  Acaules Epiphyllospermae, vulgo Capillares: Filices.
    "         iv.  Flore imperfecto, sexu distinctae: _e.g._ _Humulus_,
                           _Cannabis_, _Spinachia_, _Urtica_.
    "          v.    "   imperfecto, sexu carentes: _e.g._ _Chenopodium_,
                           _Alchemilla_, _Artemisia_.
    "         vi.    "   imperfecto, Monospermae, semine triquetro:
    "        vii.    "   composito, Lactescentes: Compositae, Cichorieae.
    "       viii.    "   discoide, Papposae: Compositae, most
                           Asteroideae and Senecionideae.
    "         ix.    "   discoide nudo, Papposae: Compositae,
                           _Eupatorium_, _Senecio_, _Gnaphalium_.
    "          x.    "   composito discoide, Corymbiferae: Compositae,
                           some Anthemideae.
    "         xi.    "   discoide nudo, Corymbiferae: Compositae, the
                           rest of the Anthemideae.
    "        xii.    "   ex flosculis fistularibus, Capitatae:
                           Compositae, Cynareae.
    "       xiii.    "   composito, Anomalae: _Dipsacus_, _Scabiosa_,
                           _Echinops_, _Armeria_.
    "        xiv.    "   perfecto, seminibus nudis singulis: _Valeriana_,
                           _Thalictrum_, _Statice_, _Agrimonia_, &c.
    "    xv, xvi.  Umbelliferae.
    "       xvii.  Stellatae dictae: Rubiaceae.
    "      xviii.  Asperifoliae: Boraginaceae.
    "    xix, xx.  Verticillatae: Labiatae.
    "  xxi, xxii.  Semine nudo, Polyspermae: acheniferous Ranunculaceae
                           and Rosaceae, Malvaceae.
    "      xxiii.  Pomiferae: Cucurbitaceae.
    "       xxiv.  Bacciferae: _e.g._ _Smilax_, _Bryonia_, _Tamus_,
                           some Solanaceae, &c.
    "        xxv.  Multisiliquae seu Corniculatae: folliculate
                          Ranunculaceae, _Sedum_, _Dictamnus_, &c.
    "       xxvi.  { Flore monopetalo uniformi: _e.g._ _Hyoscyamus_,
                          _Gentiana_, _Convolvulus_, _Campanula_.
    "      xxvii.  {
    "      xviii.  { Flore monopetalo difformi: _e.g._ _Impatiens_,
                          _Aristolochia_, most Scrophulariaceae.
    "  xxix, xxx, xxxi.  Flore tetrapetalo uniformi siliquosae:
    "      xxxii.  Flore tetrapetalo uniformi, Anomalae: _e.g._
                          _Papaver_, _Ruta_, _Plantago_, _Veronica_.
    "  xxxiii-vi.  Flore papilionaceo: Leguminosae.
    "     xxxvii.  Flore pentapetalo aut polypetalo, foliis conjugatim
                          dispositis: Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae,
    "    xxxviii.  Flore pentapetalo aut polypetalo, foliis nullo aut
                          alterno ordine dispositis: _e.g._ _Portulaca_,
                          _Viola_, _Reseda_, _Geranium_, _Linum_.
    "      xxxix.  Flore pentapetaloide, Anomalae: _e.g._ _Primula_,
                          _Asclepias_, _Erythraea_, _Verbascum_.
    "    xl, xli.  Culmiferae: Gramineae.
    "       xlii.  Graminifoliae non culmiferae: Cyperaceae, Juncaceae.
    "    xliii-v.  Radice bulbosa: bulbous Monocotyledons.
    "       xlvi.  Bulbosis Affines: _e.g._ _Iris_, _Aloe_, Orchidaceae,
                          Araceae, _Cyclamen_.
    "      xlvii.  Anomalae et sui generis: _e.g._ _Potamogeton_,
                          _Nymphaea_, _Callitriche_, _Trapa_,
                          _Stratiotes_, _Sagittaria_, _Cuscuta_,
                          _Adoxa_, _Polygala_.


  Genus   i.  Pomiferae: _Pyrus_, _Mespilus_, _Citrus_.
    "    ii.  Pruniferae: _Prunus_, _Cornus_, _Olea_, _Palma_.
    "   iii.  Bacciferae: _e.g._ _Myrtus_, _Laurus_, _Buxus_,
                          _Arbutus_, _Ilex_, _Juniperus_, _Taxus_.
    "    iv.  Nuciferae: _e.g._ _Juglans_, _Corylus_, _Quercus_,
                          _Castanea_, _Fagus_.
    "     v.  Coniferae: _Pinus_, _Cedrus_, _Abies_, _Cupressus_,
                          _Larix_, _Betula_, _Alnus_.
    "    vi.  Lanigerae: _Platanus_, _Tamarix_, _Salix_, _Populus_.
    "   vii.  Siliquosae: leguminous trees, _Syringa_.
    "  viii.  Vasculis seminum membranaceis et Anomalae: _Ulmus_,
                          _Fraxinus_, _Carpinus_, _Tilia_, _Acer_.


  Genus   i.  Bacciferi sempervirentes: _e.g._ _Vaccinium_, _Ruscus_,
                          _Hedera_, _Viscum_, _Juniperus_.
    "    ii.     "      foliis deciduis, non spinosi: _e.g._ _Vitis_,
                          _Lonicera_, _Cornus_, _Sambucus_.
    "   iii.     "      foliis deciduis, spinosi: _Crataegus_ sp.,
                          _Ribes_ sp., _Rosa_, _Berberis_, &c.
    "    iv.  Seminibus nudis, aut vasculis siccis inclusis: _e.g._
                          _Vitex_, _Rhus_, _Spiraea_, _Erica_.
    "     v.  Floribus papilionaceis: _e.g._ _Acacia_, _Genista_,
                          _Cytisus_, _Colutea_.
    "    vi.  Suffrutiscentes: a miscellaneous collection of species.

A comparison between the classification of the _Methodus Nova_ and
that of the _Tables of Plants_ shows that whilst he left the Trees and
the Shrubs almost unaltered, Ray remodelled his arrangement of the
Herbs. Whereas, in the _Tables_, he had proceeded along three distinct
lines of classification indicated by the characters of leaf, flower,
and seed-vessel respectively, all regarded as equally important;
in the _Methodus_, the leaf-character is subordinated to those of
flower and fruit, and these are not kept distinct but are combined; a
fundamental change of principle which is no doubt to be attributed to
Morison's criticisms on the _Tables_. As Ray put it in his Preface:
_Methodus haec differentias sumit a similitudine et convenientia
partium praecipuarum, radicis puta, floris et ejus calicis, seminis
ejusque conceptaculi_. The result is that many of the sub-divisions
consist of groups of plants which are really natural, the precursors
of several of the recognized Natural Orders of Phanerogams; such as
Polygonaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Compositae, Umbelliferae, Rubiaceae,
Boraginaceae, Labiatae, Cucurbitaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Cruciferae,
Leguminosae, Gramineae. The principles adopted were capable of yielding
even better results, had they been more rigorously applied and had the
investigation of the plants been more minute. For instance, in genera
xxi and xxii, with a little more attention to floral characters, the
Ranunculaceous might have been separated from the Rosaceous genera,
and all of them from the Malvaceae: similarly in genera xxvi-xxviii,
the Scrophulariaceous, and possibly also the Campanulaceous genera,
might have been segregated. One of the principal achievements is the
recognition of the group Stellatae (Rubiaceae) as independent of, but
related to, the Umbelliferae. For this, as well as other features, Ray
was indebted to Cesalpino (conf. p. 11), as he acknowledges in his
Preface. Nor does Ray fail to acknowledge his obligations to Joachim
Jung, and to Morison whose _Preludia_ and _Historia_ he cites.

But if Ray's _Methodus Nova_ owed something to Morison's _Historia_
(_Pars secunda_), at a later stage the _Historia_ (_Pars Tertia_) was
even more indebted to the _Methodus Nova_. It is striking to observe
how many of the groups constituted in the _Pars Tertia_ and in the
_Sciagraphia_ (see p. 23) agree with those of Ray. It is this close
association, amounting almost to mutual dependence, of the systems
of these two botanists, that makes comparative criticism of them an
impossibility. Their relative position may, in fact, be summed up in
the statement that both of them adopted the principles of Cesalpino,
and that Ray eventually proved to be more successful than Morison in
their application.

The _Methodus Nova_ is something more than a system of classification.
The systematic part of the work is preceded by five _Sectiones_
which are morphological essays bearing the following titles: I. _De
Plantarum seminibus observationes quaedam generales_: II. _De Foliis
Plantarum seminalibus dictis_: III. _De Plantula seminali reliquisque
semine contentis_: IV. _De Floribus Plantarum, eorumque partibus
et differentiis_: V. _De Divisione Plantarum generali in Arbores,
Frutices, Suffrutices at Herbas_. Beginning with the last, it is
a discussion of the propriety of retaining the old Theophrastian
sub-divisions: Ray agreed with Jung (see p. 15) that they are popular
rather than accurate and philosophical, but he retained them on
the ground of expediency. The fourth _Sectio_ is an outline of the
morphology of the flower based upon Jung's _Isagoge_ which Ray had
received in MS. from Dr John Worthington who had obtained it from
Samuel Hartlib, as is explained in the Preface. The first three
_Sectiones_ are of peculiar interest: they give an account of Ray's
observations upon seeds and seedlings, with quotations from Malpighi's
recent work on the same subject (_Anatomes Plantarum_, _Pars Prima_,
1675; _Pars altera_, 1679), recognizing the fact that the seedlings
of some plants have two seed-leaves or cotyledons (as Malpighi first
called them), those of others only one, a fact which came to be of
great systematic importance.

The classification of the _Methodus Nova_ was maintained by Ray in
his _Historia Plantarum_ (t. i, 1686), as well as in both the first
(1690) and second (1696) editions of his _Synopsis Methodica Stirpium
Britannicarum_, somewhat improved and more compact in form. His
ultimate views were expressed in the _Methodus Plantarum emendata et
aucta_, published in 1703 not long before his death. In many respects
this final form of his system is a great improvement upon that of
1682; more especially in the adoption of the number of the seed-leaves
as a systematic character. Ray, it is true, limited the application
of this character to herbaceous plants, as he had not brought
himself to give up the old categories of Herbs, Shrubs and Trees:
nevertheless, he founded in this work the groups of _Dicotyledones_ and
_Monocotyledones_ which persist, though materially altered as to their
content, to the present day.

=Ray's= _Methodus Emendata et Aucta_, 1703.

  DE HERBIS.  =Flore Destitutae.=

  Genus   i.  Submarinae: Algae, &c.
    "    ii.  Fungi.
    "   iii.  Musci: Bryophyta with _Lycopodium_.
    "    iv.  Capillares: Filices.
              Herbae sui generis: _Ophioglossum_, _Pilularia_,
                          _Salvinia_, _Salicornia_, &c.

           =Floriferae.= _Dicotyledones._

    "     v.  Flore stamineo: _e.g._ Urticaceae, Polygonaceae,
                       Chenopodiaceae, &c.
    "  vi-ix. Flore Composito seu aggregato: Compositae, with Dipsaceae,
                          _Eryngium_, _Globularia_.
    "     x.  Flore simplici, semine nudo solitario: _e.g._ _Valeriana_,
                          _Mirabilis_, _Agrimonia_.
    "    xi.  Umbelliferae.
    "   xii.  Stellatae: Rubiaceae.
    "  xiii.  Asperifoliae: Boraginaceae.
    "   xiv.  Verticillatae: Labiatae.
    "    xv.  Semine nudo, Polyspermae: _e.g._ _Alisma_, _Ranunculus_,
    "   xvi.  Pomiferae: Cucurbitaceae.
    "  xvii.  Bacciferae: _Bryonia_, _Tamus_, _Arum_, _Polygonatum_,
                       _Solanum_, &c.
    "  xviii. Multisiliquae: folliculate plants, _e.g._ _Delphinium_,
                       _Asclepias_, _Sedum_.
    "    xix. Vasculiferae Flore monopetalo: (capsulate Gamopetalae).
                Regulari; Campanulaceae, Primulaceae, Malvaceae,
                       Gentianaceae, &c.
                Irregulari; Scrophulariaceae, _Aristolochia_,
                       _Acanthus_, &c.
    "     xx. Tetrapetalae Siliquosae et Siliculosae: Cruciferae.
                Anomalae; _Papaver_, _Euphorbia_, _Epilobium_, &c.
    "    xxi. Flore Papilionaceo, sive Leguminosae.
    "   xxii. Pentapetalae Enangiospermae sive Vasculiferae: (capsulate
                       Polypetalae), _e.g._ Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae,
                       Hypericaceae, Geraniaceae, Violaceae.


  Genus  xxiii. Graminifoliae Tricapsulares, radice bulbosa, tuberosa,
                Flore fructus basi cohaerente; Liliaceae.
                Flore summo fructui insidente; Iridaceae, Amaryllidaceae.
                Bulbosis Affines: _Cyclamen_, Orchidaceae, Zingiberaceae.
    "    xxiv.  Graminifoliae Flore stamineo; Gramineae, Cyperaceae,
    "     xxv.  Anomalae aut Incertae Sedis: e.g. _Nymphaea_, _Trapa_,
                       _Epimedium_, _Sarracenia_, _Piper_, &c.

            A. =Flore a Fructu remoto=: (diclinous or dioecious plants).

  Genus  i. Coniferae: _Abies_, _Pinus_, _Cedrus_, _Cupressus_,
                       _Larix_, _Betula_, _Alnus_.
    "   ii. Non-Coniferae:
               Floribus racematim dispositis stamineis: _Buxus_,
                     "    in fasciculos congestis: _Empetrum_.
               Juliferae: nuciferae: _Juglans_, _Corylus_, _Carpinus_,
                               _Quercus_, _Fagus_.
                          piluliferae: _Platanus_.
                          lanigerae: _Populus_, _Salix_.
               Bacciferae: _Juniperus_, _Taxus_, _Morus_.

            B. =Flore Fructui contiguo=:

  Genus  i. Umbilicatae; flore summo fructui insidente:
              Pomifera: _Pyrus_, _Sorbus_, _Rosa_, _Punica_, &c.
              Bacciferae, Polypyrenae: _Ribes_, _Sambucus_, _Hedera_, &c.
                  "       Monopyrenae: _Viburnum_, _Cornus_, &c.
    "   ii. Non-Umbilicatae; flore basi fructus cohaerente:
              Pruniferae: _Prunus_, _Olea_.
              Pomiferae: _Citrus_.
              Bacciferae, Monopyrenae: _Viscum_, _Daphne_, _Rhamnus_ sp.
                  "       Polypyrenae: _e.g._ _Vitis_, _Rubus_,
                               _Ligustrum_, _Berberis_, &c.

    "   iii. Fructu sicco, non Siliquosae: _e.g._ _Acer_, _Fraxinus_,
                               _Tilia_, _Ulmus_, _Rhus_, _Syringa_.
    "    iv. Siliquosae Flore non papilionaceo: _Cassia_, _Mimosa_,
                               _Ceratonia_, _Nerium_, &c.
    "     v. Siliquosae Flore papilionaceo: papilionaceous plants.
    "    vi. Anomalae: _Ficus_.

  Foliis Arundinaceis: Monocotyledons; Palmaceae, _Dracaena_, _Bambusa_.

There can be no doubt that Ray was more fortunate than Morison in
the impression that he produced upon contemporary botanists and
upon those who immediately succeeded them. This, for instance, is
what Tournefort said of him (_Elemens de Botanique_, 1694, p. 19):
"_Monsieur Ray sans faire tant de bruit a beaucoup mieux réussi que
Morison. Sa modestie est louable, et l'Histoire des Plantes qu'il
nous a donnée est une Bibliotheque Botanique, dans laquelle on trouve
non seulement tout ce que les auteurs ont dit de meilleur sur chaque
plante; mais encore les caracteres des genres y sont designez d'une
maniere assez commode...._" In the _Classes Plantarum_ (1738) Linnaeus
gave a somewhat formal approval of Ray's work: "_Magna sunt opera J.
Raji in Scientia Botanica, qui constantia summa, omnia, quae beneficio
seculi innotuerant de plantis, manu plus quam ferrea descripsit._" But
perhaps a more genuine opinion is that expressed by Linnaeus in the
letter to Haller from which his estimate of Morison has already been
quoted (see p. 27): "You are here justly aware, that when the System of
Ray was spoken of as perfectly natural, all botanists must have been
blind, unless, like Dillenius, they hoped for a professorship, or were
compelled, by the authority of the English, to give to Ray supreme
honours. What was he? Undoubtedly an indefatigable man in collecting,
describing, etc.; but in the knowledge of generic principles, less
than nothing, and altogether deficient in the examination of flowers.
I beg of you to compare the first edition of his _Methodus_ with
the second and third, where he has learned to take everything from
Tournefort. I know not why the discoveries of Caesalpinus have escaped
all observation, whilst everything has stupidly been ascribed to Ray"
(Smith's _Correspondence of Linnaeus_, ii. p. 280-1). This rather
severe criticism does not, however, seem to have prejudiced Haller
against Ray, for in the former's well-known _Bibliotheca Botanica_
(vol. i. p. 500, 1771), in speaking of the rapid progress of Botany
in the latter part of the seventeenth century, he adds--"_Multa pars
horum incrementorum debetur Johanni Ray. Vir pius et modestus, V. D. M.
maximus ab hominum memoria botanicus, ea felicitate usus est, ut totos
quinquaginta annos dilecto studio ei licuerit impendere._"

Ray's system also became more popular than that of Morison, and was in
general use in England until the latter half of the eighteenth century,
when it was gradually superseded by the Linnean method which was first
applied to English botany in Dr J. Hill's _Flora Britannica_ (1760).

Ray was never engaged in teaching any branch of natural history.
Had there been, in his day, a Chair of Botany in the University
of Cambridge, he would, no doubt, have occupied it: however, the
professorship was not established until 1724, twenty years after his
death. He might very well have been chosen to succeed Morison at
Oxford: but, for some unstated reason, the professorship there was kept
in abeyance for nearly forty years after the death of Morison.

As has been explained, Morison and Ray revived the forgotten labours
of Cesalpino. The immediate result of the publication of their systems
was to stimulate their colleagues on the continent of Europe to a
noble emulation: there was scarcely a botanist of note who did not
elaborate a system of his own. After suffering from too little work in
the direction of classification, botany now began to suffer from too
much: one after the other, system followed system in rapid succession.
Those, for instance, of Christopher Knaut (1687), Paul Hermann (1690),
Boerhaave (1710), Rivinus (1690-1711), Ruppius (1718), Christian
Knaut (1716): and, in France, of Tournefort (1694, 1700), and of
Magnol (1720). Then came the _Methodus Sexualis_ of Linnaeus (_Systema
Naturae_, 1735). The effect of the general adoption of Linnaeus'
most useful but artificial method was the temporary arrest almost
everywhere, except in France, of the quest of the natural system.
Though this was the effect of the introduction of his method, it was
not at all the intention of Linnaeus: for in his _Classes Plantarum_
(1738, p. 485) he said, "_Primum et ultimum in parte Systematica
Botanices quaesitum est Methodus Naturalis_." On the same page of that
work he laid down, in a series of aphorisms, the principles upon which
alone the construction of such a method can be successfully attempted;
and he gave special emphasis to this one, that the classificatory
characters should not be taken from a single structure but from all:
"_nec una vel altera pars fructificationis, sed solum simplex symmetria
omnium partium_." It was just because they had failed to formulate
this principle that the earlier systematists,--whether Fructists, as
Cesalpino, Morison, Ray, Knaut and Hermann; or Corollists, as Rivinus
and Tournefort; or Calycists, as Magnol--were not more successful, and
that their systems, even the _Methodus emendata_ of Ray, were more or
less artificial.

It was in France that the carving out, as it were, of the Natural
Orders from the solid block of genera was carried on with the greatest
success. This process had become much less difficult since Tournefort
had begun to constitute genera in the modern sense of the term. Before
his time the word "genus" had been applied indiscriminately to every
kind of plant-group (see the systems of Cesalpino and Ray, pp. 12, 32):
the largest groups were the _summa genera_; the smaller, the _genera
subalterna_ or _infima_. Tournefort limited the application of the term
to the smallest groups of species, designating by the term _Classe_
the largest groups which he subdivided into _Sections_ (_Elemens de
Botanique_, 1694). It was Linnaeus (_Classes Plantarum_, p. 485) who
introduced the term _Ordo_ to designate the subordinate groups of the

Tournefort himself succeeded, by means of his corollist method, in
distinguishing for the first time the following _Sections_, describing
their flowers by terms which are now familiar as the names of natural
orders; _Flore Labiato_, _Cruciformi_, _Rosaceo_, _Caryophyllaceo_,
_Liliaceo_, _Papilionaceo_, _Amentaceo_; though these sections do
not all exactly agree with the modern Natural Orders of similar
designation. A remarkable, if not altogether successful, attempt in
the same direction was Adanson's _Familles des Plantes_ (1763), based
upon the sound Linnean principle, "_qu'il ne peut i avoir de Methode
naturele en Botanicke, que celle qui considere l'ensemble de toutes les
parties des Plantes_." The number of species and varieties known in his
day amounted to something over eighteen thousand: these, reduced into
1615 genera, he grouped into fifty-eight families. Several of those had
been already more or less well defined; but most of them were entirely
original, and not a few of them persist to the present day, though
Adanson is not credited with all that are his due. His lack of method
in naming his families, to say nothing of the fantastic nomenclature
of his genera, made it necessary for other names to be preferred to
his. Still some familiar names of natural orders are attributable
to him, such as _Hepaticae_, _Onagrae_, _Compositae_, _Caprifolia_,
_Borragines_, _Portulacae_, _Amaranthi_, _Papavera_, _Cisti_, though
most of them have since undergone some change in their termination. In
addition to these, there are several which would have been credited
to Adanson, had it not so happened that they had also been suggested
by Bernard de Jussieu: such are, _Palmae_, _Aristolochiae_, _Myrti_,
_Campanulae_, _Apocyna_, _Verbenae_, _Thymeleae_, _Gerania_, _Malvae_,
_Ranunculi_. Adanson was the first to publish these names (1763):
but Bernard de Jussieu had made use of them as early as 1759 in
laying out the Trianon Garden at Versailles, though they were not
actually published until 1789, when all the 65 orders devised by him
were included in the _Genera Plantarum secundum Ordines Naturales
disposita_ of his famous nephew Antoine Laurent de Jussieu. Here at
last was a fairly complete natural system, consisting of one hundred
natural orders arranged in fifteen classes, within the three great
subdivisions, _Acotyledones_, _Monocotyledones_, _Dicotyledones_,
constituting the framework of that which is accepted at the present
day. It has undergone many modifications, of which the first and
most important were those effected by A. P. de Candolle (_Théorie
Élémentaire_, 1813), who, while he improved upon Jussieu in various
ways, made the unfortunate, but happily unsuccessful, attempt to
substitute "_Endogenae_" for "_Monocotyledones_" and "_Exogenae_" for
"_Dicotyledones_." The system has proved itself capable of expansion to
accommodate all the new genera and natural orders that have since been
established: it has justified itself as a natural classification in its
susceptibility to development in precision as well as in extent, and in
that it has survived the many experiments made upon it during the first
century of its existence.

The glory of this crowning achievement belongs to Jussieu: he was the
capable man who appeared precisely at the psychological moment, and it
is the men that so appear who have made, and will continue to make, all
the great generalisations of science. Jussieu's achievement, like other
great scientific achievements, would have been impossible without the
labours and failures of his predecessors, of which some account has
been given in this lecture. He himself attributed much of his success
to the work of Tournefort, but it is clear that he owed at least as
much to Ray: if he learned from the former the systematic importance of
the gamopetalous and of the polypetalous corolla, he gleaned from the
latter the value of the cotyledonary characters upon which are based
his three primary subdivisions of the Vegetable Kingdom.

It has been necessary to go beyond the strict limits of the history
of British Botany in order to make it clear to what extent and at
what period our two distinguished fellow-countrymen contributed to
the development of the natural system of classification. Enough has
been said to establish the importance and the opportuneness of their
contributions: if Pisa was glorified by the birth of Systematic Botany,
and Paris by its adolescence, Oxford and Cambridge were honoured by its
renascence. The question concerning the respective merits of Morison
and Ray finds perhaps its most satisfactory answer in the words of
Linnaeus (_Classes Plantarum_, 1747, p. 65):--"_Quamprimum Morisonus
artis fundamentum restaurasset, eidem mox suam superstruxit methodum
Rajus, quam dein toties reparavit, usque dum in ultima senectute
emendatam et auctam emitteret_": Morison relaid the foundation upon
which Ray built. As Linnaeus points out, Ray enjoyed the advantage of
a very long period of productive activity: in the thirty-four years
that separated his _Tables of Plants_ from his _Methodus Emendata et
Aucta_, he had time to revise and remodel his system. Morison, on the
contrary, was prevented by unfavourable circumstances from beginning
the publication of his Method until late in life, and he was not
permitted to see more than a fragment of it issue from the press.

It is probable that Ray was more truly a naturalist than was Morison:
for in addition to his works on Method, he published not only his
_Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium_ (1660), but
also a _Catalogus_ of British plants (1670, 2nd ed. 1677), almost
the earliest work of the kind, only preceded by William How's
_Phytologia Britannica_ (1650), which developed into the first British
Flora arranged systematically, the _Synopsis Methodica Stirpium
Britannicarum_ (1690, 2nd ed. 1696). Morison published nothing on
field-botany; his volume of the _Historia_ contains, it is true,
occasional mention of plants found in or near Oxford, but the finder
of them seems always to have been the younger Bobart. Ray included in
the _Synopsis_ a list of plants that had been communicated to him by
Bobart, with whom he seems to have been intimate, and expressed his
indebtedness to Bobart's botanical skill.

But whether the palm be bestowed upon the one or the other, the fact
remains that both were men of exceptional capacity, and that both did
good work for British Botany, raising it to a level which commanded
the respect and admiration of the botanical world; from which, as
the succeeding lectures of this course will show, it was not allowed
to sink. What Linnaeus said of Morison may be applied equally to
Ray,--"_Roma certe non uno die, nec ab uno condebatur viro. Ille tamen
faces extinctas incendit, a quibus ignem mutuati sunt subsequentes,
quibus datum ad lucidum magis focum objecta rimare_" (_Classes
Plantarum_, p. 33).




  Ancestry and Life narrative--his versatility--state of
  Botany--Grew and Malpighi--Grew's _bona fides_ vindicated--_The
  Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_--seed structure--his treatise on
  the Root--its dedication--_The Anatomy of Trunks_--_The Anatomy
  of Plants_--illustrations--Grew's conception of cells and
  tissues--the plant as a textile fabric--analogy with the animal
  body--medullary rays--secondary thickening--his understanding
  of external morphology--physiological notions--suggestions
  for experiments--importance of the habitat--the sexes of
  flowers--floral and seed structure--estimate of his contributions
  to Botany.

Nehemiah Grew, who, with the Italian botanist Marcello Malpighi, may
be considered as co-founder of the science of Plant Anatomy, lived
in stirring and troubled times. His life[2] extended from 1641 to
1712; that is to say, he was born the year before King Charles I
proclaimed war upon the parliamentary forces, and he lived through the
Protectorate, the reigns of Charles II, James II, William and Mary,
and the greater part of the reign of Queen Anne. He came of a stock
remarkable for courage and independence of mind. His grandfather,
Francis Grew, is described as having been a layman, originally of
good estate, but "crush'd" by prosecutions for non-conformity in
the High Commission Court and Star Chamber. Francis Grew had a son
Obadiah, who was a student of Balliol, and entered the Church. When
the Civil War broke out, he sided with the parliamentary party, but
was by no means a blind adherent of Cromwell, with whom he is said
to have pleaded earnestly for the life of King Charles I. In 1662
Obadiah Grew resigned his living, being unable to comply with the
Act of Uniformity. Twenty years later, as a man of seventy-five, he
was convicted of a breach of the Five Mile Act, and imprisoned for six
months in Coventry Gaol. But though by this time his sight had failed,
his spirit was indomitable. Whilst in prison, he dictated a sermon
every week to an amanuensis, who read it to several shorthand writers,
each of whom undertook a number of copies; it was then distributed to
various secret religious meetings, at which it was read. Nehemiah Grew
was Obadiah's only son, and it is a curious fact that the year 1682,
which witnessed the father's imprisonment, was the year in which the
son published his _magnum opus_, _The Anatomy of Plants_, prefaced by
an Epistle Dedicatory to "His most sacred Majesty Charles II." So far
as one can gather, Nehemiah Grew's career seems to have been singularly
unaffected by the political crises that took place around him. The
deliberate style of his writing certainly suggests a studious and
unruffled life. He was an undergraduate at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge,
and afterwards took his doctor's degree in medicine at Leyden, at the
age of thirty. He seems to have been successful in his profession,
and we learn from the sermon[3] preached at his funeral that he died
suddenly, whilst still actively engaged in his practice. In the words
of the sermon, "It was his Honour and Happiness, to be Serviceable to
the last Moments of Life."

[Illustration: _Plate IV_ NEHEMIAH GREW (1701)

_Portrait of Nehemiah Grew_ after the portrait by R. White which is
reproduced in the _Cosmologia Sacra_, 1701]

Before turning to Grew's botanical work, it may be worth while to
refer very briefly to his writings on other subjects, showing as they
do the remarkable versatility of his mind. He produced a series of
chemical papers, and also pamphlets on the method of making sea-water
fresh, and on the nature of the salts present in the Epsom wells. In
1681 appeared his _Musæum Regalis Societatis_, a catalogue raisonné
of the objects in the Museum of the Royal Society, with which were
bound up some contributions to animal anatomy. The Catalogue is a
bulky volume, and it is hard to forbear a smile on reading that Grew
dedicated it to one Colwall, the founder of the Museum, in order that
the Royal Society "might always wear this Catalogue, as the Miniature
of [his] abundant Respects, near their Hearts." As we should expect,
this Catalogue is far more discursive than such a work would be if
it were drawn up at the present day, though Grew takes credit to
himself for not "medling with Mystick, Mythologick, or Hieroglyphick
matters." He manages, however, to introduce some general remarks which
are of interest. He realises, for instance, that it is possible to
group living creatures in a way which has some significance, and that
it is the business of the biologist to discover this grouping. He
blames Aldrovandus for beginning his history of quadrupeds with the
horse, because it is the most useful animal to man, and points out
that Gesner's arrangement, which is purely alphabetical, is even less
satisfactory. "The very Scale of the Creatures," he concludes, "is a
matter of high speculation." It is tempting to quote largely from the
Catalogue, but I will confine myself to one other remark of Grew's
which is perhaps particularly applicable to-day, when the quotation
of authorities is apt to become almost an obsession: "I have made the
Quotations," he says, "not to prove things well known, to be true; ...
as if _Aristotle_ must be brought to prove a Man hath ten Toes."

Grew's last work was the _Cosmologia Sacra_[4], a folio volume occupied
with a defence of Christianity, and an explanation of the author's
views on the nature of the Universe. There is a copy in the British
Museum, the earlier part of which is crowded with marginal and fly-leaf
notes, in some cases initialled or even signed in full by Samuel
Taylor Coleridge. One cannot help recalling Charles Lamb's humorous
complaint that books lent to Coleridge were apt to be returned "with
usury; enriched with annotations tripling their value ... in _matter_
oftentimes, and almost in _quantity_ not unfrequently, vying with the
originals." Coleridge seems to have accepted Grew quite seriously as a
thinker. In one of his manuscript notes we read, "It is from admiration
of Dr N. Grew, and my high estimate of his Powers, that I am almost
tempted to say, that the Reasonings in Chapt. III _ought_ to have led
him to the perception of the _essential phænomenality_ of Matter." That
these reasonings did _not_ so lead him, must, I think, be attributed
to the fact that Grew was above all things a naturalist, and Coleridge
a philosopher, and that between the two an intellectual gulf is often

After this somewhat lengthy introduction, it is more than time to turn
to our main subject,--the study of Nehemiah Grew's work as a botanist.

Botanical science was in a decidedly decadent condition when Grew
entered the field. The era of the herbal was closing. The last English
book of any importance which can strictly be included under this head,
Parkinson's _Theatrum Botanicum_, was published the year before Grew
was born, and a lull in this kind of work followed. It is true that
Culpeper's _Herbal_ appeared later, but this bombastic work was of no
botanical value. It was reserved for Morison and Ray to open a new
era in British Systematic Botany. At the same time, fresh inspiration
was being breathed into the science from quite a different quarter.
The herbalists studied plants primarily with a view to understanding
their medicinal properties. Nehemiah Grew also approached Botany in the
first instance from the medical standpoint, but it was his knowledge
of anatomy which opened his mind to the possibility of similar work,
with the bodies of plants, instead of those of animals, as the subject.
He tells us that he was impressed by the fact that the study of animal
anatomy had been carried on actively from early ages, whereas that
of vegetable anatomy had been scarcely so much as contemplated. "But
considering," he continues, "that both came at first out of the same
Hand, and are therefore the Contrivances of the same Wisdom; I thence
fully assured my self, that it could not be a vain Design, though
possibly unsuccessful, to seek it in both."

Grew was drawn to the study of plant structure at the age of
twenty-three, and seven years later he produced his earliest work on
the subject, _The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_, which was published by
the Royal Society in 1672. It will be remembered that the Royal Society
was then quite in its youth, its first beginnings only dating back to
about 1645[5]. By a curious coincidence,--recalling the classic case of
Darwin and Wallace at the Linnean Society,--on the very day that Grew
presented his treatise in print, the Secretary of the Royal Society
received Marcello Malpighi's manuscript dealing with the same subject.
Priority can however be fairly claimed for the Englishman, since he
had submitted his treatise to the Society in manuscript earlier in the
year. This question of priority, and also the question whether Grew was
guilty of plagiarism from Malpighi's writings, has been much discussed
at different times. Schleiden[6] in particular brought forward charges
of the most serious nature against Nehemiah Grew's good faith.
These accusations were, however, dealt with in detail in a pamphlet
by Pollender[7] in 1868, and shown to be groundless,--Schleiden's
information about the circumstances being wholly inaccurate. There
is now practically no doubt that Grew was an independent worker, and
was only definitely indebted to Malpighi, in so far as he himself
acknowledges it. In the preface to the second treatise, for instance,
he mentions the Italian botanist, and remarks in speaking of the
"Air-vessels"--"the manner of their Spiral Conformation (not observable
but by a Microscope) I first learned from Him, who hath given a very
elegant Description of them." If Grew had been a wholesale plunderer
from Malpighi's writings, he would scarcely have been likely to have
acknowledged indebtedness on a special point. It must be confessed,
however, that judging by present-day standards of scientific etiquette,
Grew should have referred more fully to the works[8] of the Italian
author, in his final book, _The Anatomy of Plants_.

[Illustration: _Plate V_

Plate from _Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_, 1672]

_The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_ contains more that is of interest
from a morphological than from a strictly anatomical standpoint,
according to the modern sense of the terms. In botanical language, the
meaning of the word anatomy has become restricted since Grew's time,
until it is now often used to denote microscopic detail alone. Grew
devotes a good deal of space to the study of seed structure, dealing
chiefly with such features as can be observed with the naked eye (Pl.
5). He invented the term "radicle" for the embryonic root, and used the
word "plume" for the organ which we now speak of in the diminutive as
the plumule. The cotyledons he called "lobes," but he recognised that
they might in some cases appear above ground and turn green, becoming
in his terminology "dissimilar leaves." He took the Bean seed as his
principal type, and described it with the lucid picturesqueness which
is so characteristic of his writing. It is, he says[9], "cloathed
with a double Vest or Coat: These Coats, while the Bean is yet green
are separable and easily distinguished. When 'tis dry, they cleave
so closely together, that the Eye, not before instructed, will judge
them but one; the inner Coat likewise (which is of the most rare
contexture) so far shrinking up, as to seem only the roughness of the
outer, somewhat resembling Wafers under _Maquaroons_. At the thicker
end of the Bean, in the outer Coat, a very small _Foramen_ presents it
self: ... That this _Foramen_ is truly permeable even in old setting
_Beans_, appears upon their being soak'd for some time in Water: For
then taking them out, and crushing them a little, many small Bubbles
will alternately rise and break upon it."... The _Plume_ "is not, like
the _Radicle_, an entire Body, but divided at its loose end into divers
pieces, all very close set together, as Feathers in a Bunch; for which
reason it may be called the _Plume_. They are so close, that only two
or three of the outmost are at first seen: but upon a nice and curious
separation of these, the more interiour still may be discovered....
In a French Bean the two outmost are very fair and elegant. In the
great Garden-Bean, two extraordinary small Plumes, often, if not
always, stand one on either side the great one now describ'd." These
two "extraordinary small plumes" are, in other words, the structures
which we should now describe as buds in the axils of the cotyledons.
Grew also notices that two simplified leaves are borne next above the
cotyledons, or, as he expresses it, the "Plume" is "cooped up betwixt a
pair of Surfoyls."

Grew deals also with the vernation of leaves, and methods of bud
protection. He shews that their position and folding gives "two general
advantages to the Leaves, Elegance and Security, sc. in taking up,
so far as their Forms will bear, the least room; and in being so
conveniently couch'd, as to be capable of receiving protection from
other parts, or of giving it to one another; as for instance, First,
There is the _Plain-Lap_, where the Leaves are all laid somewhat
convexly one over another, but not plaited; being to the length,
breadth and number of Leaves most agreeable; as in the Buds of
_Pear-tree_, _Plum-tree_, etc. But where the Leaves are not thick set,
as to stand in the _Plain-lap_, there we have the _Plicature_; as in
_Rose-tree_, _Strawberry_, _Cinquefoyl_, _Burnet_ etc." Grew refers
also to rolled vernation, distinguishing between the "Fore-Rowl" and
the "Back-Rowl." He thus remarks on the hairy covering characteristic
of young leaves:--"the _Hairs_ being then in form of a _Down_, alwayes
very thick set, thus give that protection to the Leaves, which their
exceeding tenderness then requires; so that they seem to be vested with
a Coat of _Frieze_, or to be kept warm like young and dainty Chickens,
in Wooll."

In the year following the publication of _The Anatomy of Vegetables
Begun_, Nehemiah Grew produced a second treatise, under the title,
"An Idea of a Phytological History Propounded. Together with a
Continuation of the Anatomy of Vegetables; Particularly prosecuted
upon Roots. And an Account of the Vegetation of Roots Grounded chiefly
thereupon." In the dedications of his books Grew often reveals much
of his own personality, and of his attitude towards science, although
such revelations are apt to be mingled with the curious "conceits,"
and extravagant flattery, characteristic of the time. For instance he
dedicated this particular work to the President and Fellows of the
Royal Society, and after addressing to them some apologetic remarks
about his own performance, he takes heart of grace from the thought
that "how unpromising soever the Stock may be, yet the Fruit cannot
but be somewhat matured upon which You are pleas'd to shine." It
shews how strong the influence of fashion can be, when we find such
bombast coming from the pen of a man who, only a few lines earlier,
has written, with the perfection of simplicity, "Withal, I looked upon
Nature as a Treasure so infinitely full, that as all men together
cannot exhaust it; so no man, but may find out somewhat therein, if he
be resolved to try."

The most important part of this treatise is the account of the
comparative structure of roots, to which we will return later, when
discussing Grew's anatomical conceptions. With regard to the position
of the plant in the soil, he held somewhat mystical views. He believed
that the "air-vessels" or tracheal elements, tended to draw the plant
upwards, and the roots to pull it downwards. He says, for example, that
the upper part of the roots of most seedlings ascend, because the first
leaves being large and standing in the open air, "the _Air-vessels_ in
them have a dominion over the young _Root_, and so yielding themselves
to the sollicitation of the _Air upwards_, draw the _Root_ in part
after them."

In 1675 appeared Grew's third botanical work, _The Comparative Anatomy
of Trunks_, which dealt with stem structure, as the previous work dealt
with root structure. There is, in the British Museum, a particularly
interesting copy of this book, which is elaborately annotated in
manuscript. From internal evidence it seems almost certain that this
is the author's copy, corrected in his own handwriting[10]. Some,
though not by any means all, of the corrections are identical with the
alterations found in the 1682 edition. Above the first plate is written
"vide ye Book Interleavd," and we may perhaps hazard the guess that
in this copy we have Grew's first suggestions, whilst those which he
finally adopted in the second edition were inserted in the interleaved
copy whose whereabouts, if it still exists, is unknown at the present

Pl. 6 shews a typical page from the annotated copy. At the foot
we find the note "Air-Vessels out of Parenchyma, transformed, as
Caterpillars to Flys," shewing that Grew had arrived at some idea
of the formation of vessels. The whole section of the book to which
this page belongs is very much remodelled in the 1682 edition, but
the analogy just quoted is introduced and Grew proceeds accurately
to describe the origin of vessels. "And as the _Pith_ it self, by
the Rupture and Shrinking up of several _Rows_ of _Bladders_, doth
oftentimes become Tubulary: So is it also probable, that in the other
_Parenchymous Parts_, one single _Row_ or _File_ of _Bladders_ evenly
and perpendicularly piled; may sometimes, by the shrinking up of their
Horizontal _Fibres_, all regularly breakone [sic] into another and so
make one _continued Cavity_."

I have passed over these three treatises in a somewhat cursory fashion,
because Nehemiah Grew's botanical work is perhaps better studied in
his final pronouncement on the subject,--a folio volume published
in 1682 under the title of "The Anatomy of Plants. With an Idea of
a Philosophical History of Plants. And several other Lectures, Read
before the Royal Society." This work consists of second editions of
his three earlier treatises, largely rewritten, with a great deal of
additional matter, including a section on the anatomy of flowers, and
many new figures. Some of the plates are excellent, and especially
remarkable for the way in which Grew shews the anatomy in drawings
which represent the organ in three dimensions (Pl. 7). He himself
laid great stress on this. In his own words, "In the _Plates_, for
the clearer conception of the _Part_ described, I have represented
it, generally, as entire, as its being magnified to some good degree,
would bear.... So, for instance, not the _Barque_, _Wood_, or _Pith_
of a _Root_ or _Tree_, by it self; but at least, some portion of all
three together: Whereby, both their _Texture_, and also their Relation
one to another, and the _Fabrick_ of the whole, may be observed at one
_View_." One cannot help wishing that botanists of the present day
would more often take the trouble to illustrate their papers on this

[Illustration: _Plate VI_

A page from _The Comparative Anatomy of Trunks_, Nehemiah Grew, 1675.
The annotations are believed to be in the author's own handwriting.
[British Museum. Printed Books Dept. (_972.a.10_)]]

It is as a plant anatomist that Grew is chiefly famous, and it is
important to try to realise exactly how far his conception of the
anatomical structure of plants has been confirmed by more recent
research. In appraising his work it must be remembered that he
was essentially the pioneer of the science. It is true that some
observations on plant anatomy occur in Robert Hooke's _Micrographia_,
which was published six years before Grew sent in his first manuscript
to the Royal Society; but Hooke never really attempted to make a
systematic study of the subject. He had succeeded in greatly improving
the microscope, and his chief interest was in applying his instrument
to all kinds of bodies, vegetable and otherwise. Cork, charcoal, pith,
etc., came under his observation, and to some extent he understood
their structure. Grew acknowledges indebtedness to "the Learned and
most Ingenious Naturalist M^r _Hook_," and tells us that some of the
results which Hooke obtained, inspired him to study certain of his
plants again with a better microscope. For instance Hooke was able
to see smaller pores in wood than Grew had been able to detect, but,
with better glasses, he confirmed the accuracy of Hooke's observation.
However, although Hooke must certainly be credited with priority in
the discovery of the fact that plant tissues are characterised by a
cellular structure, his botanical work, considered in its entirety, is
of very slight significance compared with that of Grew.

Grew's clearest account of plant cells is perhaps to be found in his
description of root parenchyma, which he compares to "the Froth of
_Beer_ or _Eggs_" or to "a fine piece of _Manchet_[11]," or again, to
"a most curious and exquisitely fine-wrought Sponge." He quotes with
approval Hooke's description of _Elder-Pith_ as "an heap of _Bubbles_."
It would be unsafe however to conclude that he had really arrived at
what is known as the Cell Theory. His conception of the nature of
plant tissues was not by any means that of the modern botanist. He
believed the cell-walls to consist of inter-woven fibres, which were
continuous from cell to cell. He did not consider that these fibres
were invariably wrought together in such a fashion as to enclose
bladder-like spaces, or cells; in some cases he held that the tissue
was non-cellular, consisting simply of interwoven fibres. It was these
hypothetical fibres, rather than the cells, which he regarded as
of fundamental importance. His idea, which is somewhat confusing, is
perhaps best understood from his comparison of plant structure with
pillow lace. The "most unfeigned and proper resemblance we can," he
writes, "at present make of the whole _Body_ of a _Plant_, is, To a
piece of _fine Bone-Lace_, when the Women are working it upon the
_Cushion_, For the _Pith_, _Insertions_[12], and _Parenchyma_ of the
_Barque_, are all extream Fine and Perfect _Lace-Work_: the _Fibres_
of the _Pith_ running _Horizontally_, as do the _Threds_ in a Piece of
_Lace_; and bounding the several _Bladders_ of the _Pith_ and _Barque_,
as the _Threds_ do the several _Holes_ of the _Lace_; and making up the
_Insertions_ without _Bladders_, or with very small ones, as the same
_Threds_ likewise do the _close_ Parts of the _Lace_, which they call
the _Cloth-Work_. And lastly, both the _Lignous_ and _Aer-Vessels_,
stand all _Perpendicular_, and so cross to the _Horizontal Fibres_ of
all the said _Parenchymous Parts_; even as in a Piece of _Lace_ upon
the _Cushion_, the _Pins_ do to the _Threds_. The _Pins_ being also
conceived to be _Tubular_, and prolonged to any length; and the same
_Lace-Work_ to be wrought many Thousands of times over and over again,
to any thickness or hight, according to the hight of any _Plant_. And
this is the true _Texture_ of a _Plant_."

Grew thus visualised the inner structure of the plant as a textile
fabric, and the analogy between vegetable substance and woven threads
seems to have been constantly present in his mind. The same idea also
occurs, for instance, in the dedication of his _magnum opus_, where he
says, "one who walks about with the meanest _Stick_, holds a Piece of
Nature's Handicraft, which far surpasses the most elaborate _Woof_ or
_Needle-Work_ in the World."

The notions at which Nehemiah Grew arrived on the subject of the
vascular anatomy of plants were more advanced than his ideas on the
ultimate nature of the tissues. There is no doubt that the comparison
with animal anatomy, which was constantly in his mind, was on the whole
helpful, though it led to some errors. The following paragraph, which
occurs in the _Cosmologia Sacra_, seems to be an instance in which the
analogy with the animal kingdom, helped him to take a broad view. "In
the Woody Parts of Plants, which are their Bones; the Principles are so
compounded, as to make them Flexible without Joynts, and also Elastick.
That so their Roots may yield to Stones, and their Trunks to the Wind,
or other force, with a power of Restitution. Whereas the Bones of
Animals, being joynted, are made Inflexible."

In plants, as in animals, Grew looked for "vessels," and discovered
by means of a simple experiment that continuous tubes, worthy of
being called by this name, existed in the outer parts of the root,
whereas the pith consisted of closed chambers. He cut a fresh root
transversely, and then gently pressed the side of it with his finger
nail. He was able to detect the vessels with the naked eye, and he
observed that where they occurred, sap oozed out under pressure, but
was sucked in again when the pressure was removed. The pressure also
expressed a certain amount of sap from the pith, where vessels were
absent, but here the sap was not sucked in again when the root was no
longer squeezed, shewing that the liquid had only been forced out by
the wounding of the cells. Had they been open tubes like the vessels,
the release of the pressure would have caused the sap to disappear.
Grew recognised that the vascular tissue of the root is centrally
placed, whereas in the stem it is circumferential, and he points out
that this difference is connected with the diverse mechanical needs
of the two organs. It should also be noted that he discovered that
concentration of the vascular system is characteristic of climbing
plants, the wood, in his own words, standing "more close and round
together in or near the Center, thereby making a round, and slender
_Trunk_. To the end, it may be more tractable, to the power of the
external _Motor_, what ever that may be: and also more secure from
breaking by its winding _Motion_." He observed the radial arrangement
of the xylem in the root, and offered an explanation of it, which
is however scarcely free from obscurity. "Some of the more Æthereal
and Subtile parts of the _Aer_, as they stream through the _Root_,
it should seem, by a certain _Magnetisme_, do gradually dispose the
_Aer-Vessels_, where there are any store of them, into _Rays_." Amongst
other details of root anatomy, Grew discovered that all the tissues
outside the central cylinder sometimes peel off when the root becomes
old, or as he says, "the whole body of the Perpendicular _Roots_,
except the woody _Fibre_ in the Centre, becomes the second _skin_."
Turning to stem structure, we find that he understood the difference
in origin between stem buds and adventitious roots. The stem bud, he
writes, "carries along with it, some portion of every _Part_ in the
_Trunk_ or _Stalk_; whereof it is a _Compendium_." The adventitious
root, on the other hand, "always shoots forth, by making a Rupture in
the _Barque_, which it leaves behind, and proceeds only from the inner
part of the _Stalk_." He describes the vascular bundles of the stem
as "fibres" perforated by numerous "pores." It would be a mistake,
however, to suppose that he had no understanding of their structure, at
least as regards the xylem, for he goes on to say that "each _Fibre_,
though it seem to the bare eye to be but _one_, yet is, indeed, a
great number of _Fibres_ together; and every _Pore_, being not meerly
a space betwixt the several parts of the Wood, but the _Concave_ of
a _Fiber_." He noticed the medullary rays, for which he uses the
expressive term "Insertions." "These _Insertions_," he says, "are
likewise very conspicuous in Sawing of _Trees_ length-ways into Boards,
and those plain'd, and wrought into _Leaves_ for _Tables_, _Wainscot_,
_Trenchers_, and the like. In all which, ... there are many parts which
have a greater smoothness than the rest; and are so many _inserted
Pieces_ of the _Cortical Body_; which being by those of the _Lignous_,
frequently intercepted, seem to be discontinuous, although in the
_Trunk_ they are really extended, in continued Plates, throughout its

Nehemiah Grew was interested in the process of secondary thickening,
but he only arrived at a dim notion of how it took place. He grasped,
however, the important point that in a tree trunk the meristematic
zone lies near the surface, "the young _Vessels_ and _Parenchymous
Parts_" being formed annually "betwixt the _Wood_ and _Barque_." He
describes how, "every year, the _Barque_ of a _Tree_ is divided into
Two Parts, and distributed two _contrary_ ways. The outer Part falleth
off towards the _Skin_; and at length becomes the _Skin_ it self....
The inmost portion of the _Barque_, is annually distributed and added
to the _Wood_; the _Parenchymous Part_ thereof making a new addition
to the _Insertions_ within the _Wood_; and the _Lymphæducts_ a new
addition to the _Lignous pieces_ betwixt which the _Insertions_ stand.
So that a _Ring_ of _Lymphæducts_ in the _Barque_ this year, will be a
_Ring_ of _Wood_ the next; and so another _Ring_ of _Lymphæducts_, and
of _Wood_, successively, from year to year." Exactly what Grew meant
by the term "Lymphæduct" is not always clear. In some cases he seems
to refer to the phloem and cambium by this name, and in other cases to
the perimedullary zone. The annual rings in Oak, Elm, Ash, etc. came
under his observation, and he remarks that the difference between the
Spring and Autumn wood, as we should now call it, arises from the fact
that "the _Aer-Vessels_ that stand in the inner _margin_ of each annual
_Ring_, are all vastly bigger, than any of those that stand in the
outer part of the _Ring_."

[Illustration: _Plate VII_

From Grew's _Anatomy_

Sheweth the Parts of a Goosberry

Part of a Vine Branch cut transversly, and splitt half way downe y^e

Grew did not enter into the minuter details of histology, except in
his description of the spiral tracheids, to which, as we have seen,
his attention was first called by Malpighi's observations. He speaks
of the spiral as formed of "Two or More round and true _Fibres_,
although standing collaterally together, yet perfectly distinct.
Neither are these Single _Fibres_ themselves _flat_, like a _Zone_; but
of a _round_ forme, like a most fine _Thred_." He makes the curious
statement that the direction of the spiral is constant, being "in
the _Root_, by _South_, from _West_ to _East_: but in the _Trunk_,
contrarily, by _South_, from _East_ to _West_."

Although it is as an anatomist that Nehemiah Grew is best known, his
grasp of external morphology is perhaps even more remarkable. His work
on seed structure has already been quoted. He seems to have quite
readily detected the true nature of modified stems. He examined for
instance the thorns of the Hawthorn, and saw that their structure
was axial. In his own words, they "are constituted of all the same
substantial _Parts_ whereof the _Germen_ or _Bud_ it self [is], and
in a like proportion: which also in their Infancy are set with the
resemblances of divers minute _Leaves_." It should be recalled that
Albertus Magnus, the great scholastic philosopher, writing in the
thirteenth century, distinguished between thorns and prickles, and
noticed transitions between the former and leafy branches[13]. There
is no reason to suppose, however, that our author was acquainted with
the work of Albertus. Grew realised the nature of Bulbs, and points out
that "the _Strings_ only, are absolute _Roots_; the _Bulb_, actually
containing those _Parts_, which springing up, make the _Leaves_ or
_Body_; and is, as it were, a Great _Bud_ under ground."

Nehemiah Grew was interested in plant physiology, although the state
of chemical and physical knowledge at the time did not allow of his
advancing so far in this, as in the morphological side of the subject.
His turn of mind, too, appears to have naturally led him to the study
of form rather than that of function. As regards the absorption of
water, his idea was simply that the roots sucked up water like a
sponge, because the parenchyma was of a spongy nature. He supposed
that the liquid was rendered purer by being strained through the skin,
which, according to whether it was of a texture resembling brown
paper, cotton, or leather, would produce a different effect upon
any solution passing through it. His explanation of the ascent of
the sap had really much in common with the "Kletterbewegung" theory
propounded by Westermaier[14] almost exactly two hundred years later.
Grew argued that "considering to what height and plenty, the _Sap_
sometimes ascends; it is not intelligible, how it should thus ascend,
by virtue of any one _Part_ of a _Plant_, alone; that is neither by
virtue of the _Parenchyma_, nor by virtue of the _Vessels_, alone."
He pointed out that the parenchyma might suck up a liquid for a short
distance, and also the vessels, like "small _Glass-Pipes_ immersed in
Water, will give it an ascent for some Inches; yet there is a certain
_period_, according to the _bore_ of the _Pipe_, beyond which it will
not rise." To account for the rise he supposes that the vessels and
parenchyma work together, the turgidity of the surrounding parenchyma
cells both compressing the vessels, and thus causing the liquid in them
to ascend, and also actually forcing some of their own contents into
them. Grew performed a few experiments, especially in the direction of
plant chemistry. This was a natural line of work for a doctor, since
the extraction of various vegetable substances had long been practised
in medicine. He noticed, amongst other points, that the green infusion
obtained by treating a plant with olive oil would, at least in the
case of certain aromatic plants, appear of a green colour in a small
drop, but of a red, or deep yellow, when a quantity of it was held
up against a candle. In other words, Grew seems to have observed the
characteristic fluorescence of chlorophyll.

He was interested also in the subject of geotropism, and succeeded in
proving that there is an innate tendency for the root to grow down
and the stem to grow up; and that it is not merely a case of the root
seeking the soil, and the stem the air. His directions for performing
the experiment are as follows:--"Take a Box of _Moulds_, with a hole
bored in the bottom, wide enough to admit the _Stalk_ of a _Plant_,
and set it upon stilts half a yard or more above ground. Then lodg in
the _Mould_ some _Plant_, for Example a _Bean_, in such sort, that
the _Root_ of the _Bean_ standing in the _Moulds_ may poynt upwards,
the _Stalk_ towards the ground. As the _Plant_ grows, it will follow,
that at length the _Stalk_ will rise upward, and the _Root_ on the
contrary, arch it self downward. Which evidently shews, That it is
not sufficient, that the _Root_ hath _Earth_ to shoot into, or that
its _Motion_ is only an _Appetite_ of being therein lodged, which way
soever that be: but that its nature is, though within the _Earth_
already, yet to change its _Position_, and to _move Downwards_. And so
likewise of the _Trunk_, that it rises, when a _Seed_ sprouts, out of
the Ground, not meerly because it hath an _Appetite_ of being in the
open _Aer_; for in this Experiment it is so already; yet now makes a
new _Motion_ upwards."

Although Grew cannot be called a great experimenter, he frequently
took the easier course of throwing out suggestions for such work.
"The generation of Experiments" he describes as "being like that
of Discourse, where one thing introduceth an hundred more which
otherwise would never have been thought of." Amongst other proposals
he recommends that trial should be made of growing plants in common
water, snow water, milk, oil, wine, ink, etc., or in any of these with
solid bodies, such as nitre and salt, dissolved in them. He points out
that the effect both on the plant and on the liquid should be noted.
The solid body should be weighed before solution, and then, after the
experiment is over, the liquid should be evaporated and the solid again

Another instance in which he suggested an experiment, apparently
without carrying it out, was in relation to the movements of the stems
of non-climbing plants. He seems to have anticipated the nineteenth
century discovery of nutation amongst plants other than climbers,
though he stopped short of actually proving it. In his account of the
Motions of Trunks he remarks, "The _Convolution_ of _Plants_, hath been
observed only in those that Climb. But it seems probable, that many
others do also _wind_; ... Whether it be so, or not the Experiment
may easily be made by tying a _Thred_ upon any of the _Branches_;
setting down the respect it then hath to any Quarter in the _Heavens_:
for, if it shall appear in two or three Months, to have changed its
Situation towards some other Quarter; it is certain proof hereof." He
noticed that some plants twine "by _South_ from _East_ to _West_" and
others "from _West_ to _East_," and attributed this to their being
respectively under the influence of the sun and the moon.

Whenever Grew's notions of plant physiology depended upon chemistry,
they became, according to our modern ideas, extremely difficult to
follow. He held, among many other curious beliefs, that salts obtained
from any plant have a tendency to crystallise out in a form resembling
that plant, and adds, as an illustration from the animal world, "though
I have not seen it my self, yet I have been told by one that doth not
use to phancy things, that the Volatile Salt of _Vipers_, will figure
it self into the semblance of little _Vipers_."

The mystical belief that characteristic "principles" permeate all
things, finds expression in his idea that the "frost flowers,"
sometimes to be seen on a window pane, are evidence that the air
is impregnated with "_Vegetable Principles_." Another fact, which
he brings forward in support of the same view, is that the ground
or water, when exposed for some time to air, turns green. His
explanation, in this latter case, was not far from the truth, for, as
we now know, the greenness is due to the vegetation of minute algæ,
which, in their dormant state, may be carried from place to place by
the wind.

It is usual to regard Ecology as a very recent development of botanical
science, but Nehemiah Grew seems to have been alive to the importance
of the ecological standpoint,--though he did not describe it by this
name. He writes "The proper _Places_ also of _Plants_, or such wherein
they have ... a Spontaneous growth, should be considered. And that as
to the _Climate_; whether in one Colder, Temperate, or more Hot. The
_Region_; Continent, or Island. The _Seat_; as Sea, or Land, Watry,
Boggy, or Dry; Hills, Plains, or Vallies; Open, in Woods, or under
Hedges; against _Walls_, rooted in them, or on their Tops; and the

Grew's most interesting contribution to science was, perhaps, his
publication of the fact that the flowering plants, like animals,
shew the phenomena of sex. He never, however, actually proved this
contention in an experimental way. At the time that his earliest
work[15] was published, he was frankly puzzled by the stamens, or,
as he calls them, the "Attire." He recognised their use to insects,
to whom flowers serve, in his own words, as "their Lodging and their
Dining-Room." He also fully realised their value to man as increasing
the beauty of the blossom, but he was broad-minded enough to feel that
these must be secondary uses, and that "the primary and private use
of the _attire_" remained to be discovered. Ten years later, in the
second edition of his work, he tells us that it was suggested to him in
conversation by Sir Thomas Millington that the stamens were the male
organs. It seems probable that, although Grew gives Millington the
credit for this discovery, he had really arrived at it independently,
for he tells us that when Millington made the suggestion, he
"immediately reply'd that [he] was of the same Opinion; and gave him
some reasons for it, and answered some _Objections_, which might oppose

Besides his belief in the male nature of the stamen, Nehemiah Grew
came to some rather mysterious conclusions as to their serving to
draw off the redundant part of the sap, not needed to produce the
seed. He also used the word "attire" for the florets of the Compositæ,
but qualified it by calling the stamens the "seminal attire," and the
florets of compound flowers the "florid attire." He says that "every
_Flower_ with the _Florid attire_" (or, as we should now say, "every
composite flower") "Embosomes, or is, a _Posy_ of perfect _Flowers_."
He recognised the "globulets" (pollen grains) as being of the same
nature as those in the anthers of simple flowers. He describes the disk
florets with remarkable accuracy, but falls into the error of supposing
that the pollen grains are in some cases originally produced by the
style and stigmas, which he calls the "Blade," and which he did not
recognise as part of the female organ. His figures make it clear that
he mistook the stylar hairs for little stalks organically connecting
the pollen grains and the style. In other cases, however, he observed
that the pollen grains occurred on the inner side of what we now know
as the staminal tube.

Grew enters into considerable detail as regards the structure of
flowers, and it is only possible to mention here a few of the points
to which he draws attention. He observed the frequent occurrence of
capitate glandular hairs, which he describes as "like so many little
_Mushrooms_ sprouting out of the _Flower_," their heads sometimes
exuding a "_Gummy_ or _Balsamick Juyce_." He describes the varieties
of aestivation of the floral leaves, and notes that, in the Poppy,
the large size and fewness of the petals prevents their being folded
into a compact body by any of the ordinary methods. "For which reason,
they are cramb'd up within the _Empalement_[16] by hundreds of
little _Wrinckles_ or _Puckers_; as if Three or Four Fine _Cambrick
Handcherchifs_ were thrust into ones _Pocket_."

We have said something about Grew's work on seeds, in dealing with his
first treatise. He was always much interested in this subject, and
returned to it again in his later work. He mentions the mucilaginous
testa possessed by many seeds, but which only becomes noticeable
when they have been moistened. That of "_Nasturtium Hortense_" he
describes as very large, "even emulous of the inner Pulp surrounding
a _Gooseberry-Seed_." He suggests that the value of putting a Clary
seed into the eye to bring out a foreign body, which may have lodged
there, is due to the presence of the mucilaginous coat. The same seed
is still, I believe, used for this purpose, under the name of "eye
seed." Grew understood the difference between seeds with, and without
endosperm, and gives perfectly clear representations of such albuminous
seeds as _Ricinus_. He describes the cotyledons of the Dock as being
immersed in the endosperm, "as in a _Tub_ of _Meal_ or a little pot
of pure refin'd _Mould_, necessary for the first _Vegetation_ of the

Grew naturally reckoned the spores of Ferns among seeds. The seed-case
of the Harts-tongue is, he says, "of a _Silver Colour_ ... of a
_spherick Figure_, and girded about with a sturdy _Tendon_ or _Spring_,
of the _Colour_ of _Gold_: ... So soon as ... this _Spring_ is become
stark enough, it suddenly breaks the _Case_ into two halfs, like two
little _cups_, and so flings the _Seed_," of which "ten Thousand are
not so big as a white _Pepper Corn_."

To give any kind of short summary of Grew's botanical work is well-nigh
impossible. Some men are remembered for individual discoveries, and in
such cases it is not difficult to give a précis of their contributions.
But Nehemiah Grew is remembered because, contemporaneously with
Malpighi, he actually created the science of plant anatomy,--a subject
which, before his day, was practically non-existent. Modern botanists,
conscious how small an addition to the fabric is now regarded as a
satisfactory life-work, must stand amazed and somewhat humbled before
the broad and sound foundations laid by this seventeenth century
physician. It is no less than two hundred and forty years since Grew
sent in his first treatise to the Royal Society, so it is scarcely
wonderful that a number of his results have been rejected in course of
time. It is far more remarkable that so many of his conclusions--and
those the more essential ones--have been merely confirmed and extended
by later work. Great however as were his actual contributions to
botanical knowledge, they were perhaps less important than the
far-reaching service which he rendered in helping to free biological
thought from the cramping belief that the one and only object of
the existence of the organic world was for the use and pleasure of
man. Grew believed that the "Outward Elegancies of _Plants_" might
be for the purpose of giving delight to the human race, but he was
the first to point out that as the "Inward Ones, which, generally,
are as Precise and Various as the Outward," are so seldom seen, their
purpose can hardly be for this, but must be for the benefit of the
plants themselves, "That the _Corn_ might grow, _so_; and the _Flower_,
_so_, whether or no Men had a mind, leisure, or ability, to understand


[2] _Dict. Nat. Biog._, edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, vol.
XXIII. 1890.

[3] Enoch's Translation. A Funeral Sermon Upon the Sudden Death of Dr
Nehemiah Grew, Fellow of the College of Physicians. Who died March
25th, 1712. Preach'd at Old-Jewry. By John Shower. London. 1712.

[4] 1701.

[5] Life of Robert Boyle by Thomas Birch, p. 83, 1744.

[6] M. J. Schleiden, _Grundzüge der wissenschaftlichen Botanik_, Vol.
I. p. 198, 1842. The incorrect statement that Grew was Secretary of the
Royal Society at the time that Malpighi's manuscript was received by
that body, is also repeated in the English translation of Schleiden's
work [Schleiden's _Principles of Scientific Botany_, translated by
Edwin Lankester, London, 1849, p. 38].

[7] Aloys Pollender, _Wem gebührt die Priorität in der Anatomie der
Pflanzen dem Grew oder dem Malpighi?_ Bonn, 1868.

[8] Marcellus Malpighi, _Anatome Plantarum_, 2 pts, London, 1875
and 1879 (see also Marcellus Malpighi, _Die Anatomie der Pflanzen,
Bearbeitet von M. Möbius_, Leipzig, 1901. In this little book the more
important parts of Malpighi's work are translated into German, and a
number of the figures reproduced).

[9] The order of the paragraphs cited is slightly altered from that of
the original.

[10] By the courtesy of the Council of the Royal Society, I have been
able to compare these annotations with certain manuscript letters of
Nehemiah Grew's preserved in the Society's Library. This comparison
confirms the view that the annotations are in Grew's own handwriting.

[11] Manchet = a loaf of fine wheaten bread. (_An Etymological
Dictionary of the English Language._ W. W. Skeat. New ed. 1910.)

[12] Medullary rays.

[13] Ernst H. F. Meyer, _Geschichte der Botanik_, vol. IV. p. 60, 1857.

[14] M. Westermaier, "Zur Kenntniss der osmotischen Leistungen des
lebenden Parenchym's." _Ber. d. deutsch. bot. Gesellsch._ Bd I. p. 371,

[15] _The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun_, 1672.

[16] Calyx.

[Illustration: _Plate VIII_ STEPHEN HALES (1759)]




  An error corrected--Hales' scientific contemporaries--Physiology
  or Physics--Hales the Founder of the experimental method in
  Physiology--His style--Cambridge days--Teddington--_Vegetable
  Staticks_--Experiments described--Transpiration--Root
  Pressure--Assimilation--Practical application to
  greenhouses--Distribution of growth first measured--Hales' other
  activities--Sachs' tribute.

In attempting to give a picture of any man's life and work it is well
to follow the rule of the _Dictionary of National Biography_, and
begin with the dates of his birth and death. Stephen Hales was born in
1677 and died in 1761, having had experiences of the reigns of seven

The authorities for the life of Hales are given in my article on him in
the _Dictionary of National Biography_. Botanists in general probably
take their knowledge of the main facts of his life from Sachs' _History
of Botany_. It is therefore worth while to point out that both the
original and the English translation (1890) contain the incorrect
statement that Hales was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, and
that he held the living of Riddington, whereas he is one of the glories
of Corpus, and was perpetual curate of Teddington. These inaccuracies
however are trifles in relation to the great and striking merits of
Sachs' _History_, a work which to my thinking exhibits the strength and
brilliance of the author's mind as clearly as any of his more technical
writings. Sachs was no niggling biographer, and his broad vigorous
outlines must form the basis of what anyone, who follows him, has to
say about the Botanists of a past day.

To return to Hales' birth: it is of interest to note how he fits
into the changing procession of lives, to see what great men overlap
his youth, who were his contemporaries in his maturity, and who were
appearing on the scientific stage as he was leaving it.

Sir Isaac Newton was the dominant figure in English science while Hales
was developing. He died in 1727, the year in which Hales published
his _Vegetable Staticks_, a book, which like the _Origin of Species_,
appeared when its author was 50 years of age; Newton was at the zenith
of his fame when Hales was a little boy of 10--his _Principia_ having
been published in 1687. And when Hales went up to Cambridge in 1696
he must have seen the great man coming from his rooms[17] in the N.E.
corner of the Great Court of Trinity--that corner where Newton's and
other more modern ghosts surely walk--Macaulay who used to read, pacing
to and fro by the chapel[18], and Thackeray who, like his own Esmond,
lived "near to the famous Mr Newton's lodgings." In any case there
can be no doubt that the genius of Newton cast its light on Hales, as
Sachs has clearly pointed out (_Hist. Bot._, Eng. Tr., p. 477). Another
great man who influenced Hales was Robert Boyle, who was born 1627
and died 1691. John Mayow again, that brilliant son of Oxford, whose
premature death at 39 in 1679 was so heavy a blow to science, belongs
to the same school as Hales--the school which was within an ace of
founding a rational chemistry, but which was separated from the more
obvious founders of that science by the phlogiston-theory of Becchers
and Stahl. I do not find any evidence that Hales was influenced by the
phlogistic writers and this is comprehensible enough, if, as I think,
he belongs to the school of Mayow and Boyle.

The later discoverers in chemistry are of the following dates, Black
1728-1799, Cavendish 1731-1810, Priestley 1733-1804, Scheele 1742-1786,
Lavoisier 1743, guillotined 1794. These were all born about the time
of Hales' zenith, nor did he live[19] to see the great results they
accomplished. But it should not be forgotten that Hales' chemical work
made more easy the triumphant road they trod.

I have spoken of Hales in relation to chemists and physicists because,
though essentially a physiologist, he seems to me to have been a
chemist and physicist who turned his knowledge to the study of life,
rather than a physiologist who had some chemical knowledge.

Whewell points out in his _History of the Inductive Sciences_[20] that
the Physiologist asks questions of Nature in a sense differing from
that of the Physicist. The _Why?_ of the Physicist meant _Through what
causes?_ that of the Physiologist--To what end? This distinction no
longer holds good, and if it is to be applied to Hales it is a test
which shows him to be a physicist. For, as Sachs shows, though Hales
was necessarily a teleologist in the theological sense, he always asked
for purely mechanical explanations. He was the most unvitalistic of
physiologists, and I think his explanations suffered from this cause.
For instance, he seems to have held that to compare the effect of heat
on a growing root to the action of the same cause on a thermometer[21]
was a quite satisfactory proceeding. And there are many other passages
in _Vegetable Staticks_ where one feels that his speculations are too
heavy for his knowledge.

Something must be said of Hales' relation to his predecessors and
successors in Botanical work. The most striking of his immediate
predecessors were Malpighi 1628-1694, Grew 1628-1711, Ray 1627-1705,
and Mariotte (birth unknown, died 1684); and of these the three first
were born one hundred years before the publication of _Vegetable
Staticks_. Malpighi and Grew were essentially plant-anatomists, though
both dealt in physiological speculations. Their works were known to
Hales, but they do not seem to have influenced him. We have seen
that as a chemist Hales is somewhat of a solitary figure, standing
between what may be called the periods of Boyle and of Cavendish.
This is even more striking in his Botanical position, for here he
stands in the solitude of all great original inquirers. We must go
back to Van Helmont, 1577-1644, to find anyone comparable to him as an
experimentalist. His successors have discovered much that was hidden
from him, but consciously or unconsciously they have all learned from
him the true method and spirit of physiological work.

It may be urged that in exalting Hales I am unfair to Malpighi. It
may be fairer to follow Sachs in linking these great men together and
to insist on the wonderful fact that before Malpighi's book in 1671,
vegetable physiology was still where Aristotle left it, whereas 56
years later in 1727 we find in Hales' book an experimental science in
the modern sense.

It should not be forgotten that students of animal physiology agree
with botanists as to Hales' greatness. A writer in the _Encyclopædia
Britannica_ speaks of him as "the true founder of the modern
experimental method in physiology."

According to Sachs, Ray made some interesting observations on the
transmission of water, but on the whole what he says on this subject is
not important. There is no evidence that he influenced Hales.

Mariotte the physicist came to one physiological conclusion of great
weight[22]; namely, that the different qualities of plants, e.g.
taste, odour, etc., do not depend on the absorption from the soil of
differently scented or flavoured principles, as the Aristotelians
imagined, but on _specific differences_ in the way in which different
plants deal with identical food material--an idea which is at the
root of a sane physiological outlook. These views were published in
1679[23], and may have been known to Hales. He certainly was interested
in such ideas, as is indicated by his attempts to give flavour to
fruit by supplying them with medicated fluids. He probably did not
expect success for he remarks, p. 360: "The specifick differences of
vegetables, which are all sustained and grow from the same nourishment,
is [_sic_] doubtless owing to the very different formation of their
minute vessels, whereby an almost infinite variety of combinations
of the common principles of vegetables is made." He continues in the
following delightful passage: "And could our eyes attain to a sight of
the admirable texture of the parts on which the specific differences
in plants depends [_sic_] what an amazing and beautiful scene of
inimitable embroidery should we behold? what a variety of masterly
strokes of machinery? what evident marks of consummate wisdom should
we be entertained with?" To conclude what has been said on Hales'
chronological position--Ingenhousz, the chief founder of the modern
point of view on plant nutrition, was born 1730 and published his book
_On Vegetables_, etc. in 1779. So that what was said of Hales' chemical
position is again true of him considered in relation to nutrition; he
did not live to see the great discoveries made at the close of the 18th

There is in his writing a limpid truthfulness and simplicity,
unconsciously decorated with pretty 18th century words and
half-rusticities which give it a perennial charm. And inasmuch as I
desire to represent Hales not merely as a man to be respected but also
to be loved, it will be as well to give what is known of the personal
side of his character before going on to a detailed account of his work.

He was, as we have seen, entered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,
in June, 1696. In February, 1702-3, he was admitted a fellow of the
College. It was during his life as a fellow that he began to work
at chemistry in what he calls "the elaboratory in Trinity College."
The room is now occupied by the Senior Bursar and forms part of the
beautiful range of buildings in the bowling green, which, freed from
stucco and other desecration, are made visible in their ancient
guise by the piety of a son of Trinity and the wisdom of the College
authorities. It was here, according to Dr Bentley, that "the thieving
Bursars of the old set embezzled the College timber[24]," and it was
this room that was fitted up as "an elegant laboratory" in 1706 for
John Francis Vigani, an Italian chemist, who had taught unofficially
in the University for some years and became the first Professor of
Chemistry at Cambridge in 1703.

Judging from his book, _Medulla Chymiae_, 1682, Vigani was an eminently
practical person who cared greatly about the proper make of a furnace
and the form of a retort, but was not cumbered with theories.

Hales vacated his fellowship and became minister or perpetual curate of
Teddington[25] in 1708-9 and there he lived until his death, fifty-two
years afterwards. He was married (? 1719) and his wife died without
issue in 1721.

He attracted the attention of Royalty, and received plants from the
King's garden at Hampton Court. Frederick Prince of Wales, the father
of George III, is said to have been fond of surprising him in his
laboratory at Teddington. This must surely be a unique habit in a
prince, but we may remember that, in the words of the Prince's mock
epitaph, "since it is only Fred there's no more to be said." He became
Clerk of the Closet to the Dowager Princess and this "mother of the
best of Kings" as she calls herself put up his monument in Westminster
Abbey. Hales had the honour of receiving the Copley Medal from the
Royal Society in 1739, and Oxford made him a D.D. in 1733.

Some years ago I made a pilgrimage to Teddington and found, in the
parish registers, many interesting entries by his hand; the last in
a tremulous writing is on November 4th, 1760, two months before he
died. He was clearly an active parish priest. He made his female
parishioners do public penance when he thought they deserved it: he did
much for the fabric of the church. "In 1754[26] he helped the parish
to a decent water supply and characteristically records, in the parish
register, that the outflow was such as to fill a two-quart vessel in
'three swings of a pendulum beating seconds, which pendulum was 39 +
2/10 inches long from the suspending nail to the middle of the plumbet
or bob'." Under the tower he helped to build (which now serves as a
porch) Stephen Hales is buried, and the stone which covers his body
is being worn away by the feet of the faithful. By the piety of a few
botanists a mural tablet, on which the epitaph is restored, has been
placed near the grave.

Horace Walpole called Hales "a poor, good, primitive creature" and
Pope[27] (who was his neighbour) said "I shall be very glad to see Dr
Hales, and always love to see him, he is so worthy and good a man."
Peter Collinson writes of "his constant serenity and cheerfulness of
mind"; it is also recorded that "he could look even upon wicked men,
and those who did him unkind offices, without any emotion of particular
indignation; not from want of discernment or sensibility; but he
used to consider them only like those experiments which, upon trial,
he found could never be applied to any useful purpose, and which he
therefore calmly and dispassionately laid aside."

Hales' work may be divided into three heads:

  I.   Physiological, animal and vegetable;
  II.  Chemical;
  III. Inventions and miscellaneous essays.

Under No. I. I shall deal only with his work on plants. The last
heading (No. III.) I shall only refer to slightly, but the variety and
ingenuity of his miscellaneous publications is perhaps worth mention
here as an indication of the quality of his mind. It seems to me to
have had something in common with the versatile ingenuity of Erasmus
Darwin and of his grandson Francis Galton. The miscellaneous work
also exhibits Hales as a philanthropist, who cared passionately for
bettering the health and comfort of his fellow creatures by improving
their conditions of life.

His chief book from the physiological and chemical point of view is
his _Vegetable Staticks_. It will be convenient to begin with the
physiological part of this book, and refer to the chemistry later.
_Vegetable Staticks_ is a small 8vo of 376 pages, dated on the
title-page 1727. The "_Imprimatur_ Isaac Newton Pr. Reg. Soc." is dated
February 16, 1726/7, and this date is of some slight interest, for
Newton died on March 20, and _Vegetable Staticks_ must have been one of
the last books he signed.

The dedication is to George Prince of Wales, afterwards George III.
The author cannot quite avoid the style of his day, for instance: "And
as _Solomon_ the greatest and wisest of men, deigned[28] to inquire
into the nature of Plants, _from the Cedar of Lebanon, to the Hyssop
that springeth out of the wall_. So it will not, I presume, be an
unacceptable entertainment to your Royal Highness," etc.

But the real interest of the dedication is its clear statement of
his views on the nutrition of plants. He asserts that plants obtain
nourishment, not only from the earth, "but also more sublimed and
exalted food from the air, that wonderful fluid, which is of such
importance to the life of Vegetables and Animals," etc. We shall see
that his later statement is not so definite, and it is well to rescue
this downright assertion from oblivion.

His book begins with the research for which he is best known, namely
that on transpiration. He took a sunflower growing in a flower-pot,
covering the surface of the earth with a plate of thin milled lead,
and cemented it so that no vapour could pass, leaving a corked hole to
allow of the plant being watered. He did not take steps to prevent loss
through the pot, but at the end of the experiment cut off the plant,
cemented the stump and found that the "unglazed porous pot" perspired 2
ozs. in 12 hours, and for this he made due allowance.

The plant so prepared he proceeded to weigh at stated intervals. He
obtained the area of the leaves by dividing them into parcels according
to their several sizes and measuring one leaf[29] of each parcel. The
loss of water in 12 hours converted to the metric system is 1·3 c.c.
per 100 sq. cm. of leaf-surface; and this is of the same order of
magnitude as Sachs' result[30], namely 2·2 c.c. per 100 sq. cm. He
goes on to measure the surface of the roots[31] and to estimate the
rate of absorption per area. The calculation is of no value, since
he did not know how small a part of the roots is absorbent, nor how
enormously the surface of that part is increased by the presence of
root-hairs. He goes on to estimate the rate of the flow of water up
the stem; this would be 34 cubic inches in 12 hours if the stem (which
was one square inch in section) were a hollow tube. He then allowed a
sunflower stem to wither and to become completely dry, and found that
it had lost ¾ of its weight, and assuming that the ¼ of the "solid
parts" left was useless for the transmission of water he increases his
34 by ⅓ and gives 45⅓ cubic inches in 12 hours as the rate. But
the solid matter which he neglected contained the vessels and he would
have been nearer to the truth had he corrected his figures on this
basis. The simplest plan is to compare his results with those obtained
by Sachs[32] in allowing plants to absorb solutions of lithium-salts.
If the flow takes place through conduits equivalent to a quarter of a
square inch in area, the fluid will rise in 12 hours to a height of
4 × 34 or 136 inches or in one hour to 28·3 cm.[33] This is a result
comparable to, though very much smaller than, Sachs' result with the
sunflower, viz. 63 cm. per hour.

The data are however hardly worth treating in this manner. But it
is of historic interest to note that when Sachs was at work on his
_Pflanzenphysiologie_, published in 1865, he was compelled to go back
nearly 140 years to find any results with which he could compare his

We need not follow Hales into his comparison between the "perspiration"
of the sunflower and that of a man, nor into his other transpiration
experiments on the cabbage, vine, apple, etc. But one or two points
must be noted. He found[34] the "middle rate of perspiration" of a
sunflower in 12 hours of daylight to be 20 ounces, and that of a "dry
warm night" about 3 ounces; thus the day transpiration was roughly
seven times the nocturnal rate. This difference may be accounted for by
the closure of the stomata at night.

Hales of course knew nothing of stomata, but it is surprising to find
Sachs in 1865 discussing the problem of transpiration with hardly a
reference to the effect of stomatal closure.

Hales[35] notes another point which a knowledge of stomatal behaviour
might have explained, viz. that with "scanty watering the perspiration
much abated," he does not attempt an explanation but merely refers to
it as a "healthy latitude of perspiration in this Sunflower."

In the course of his work on sunflowers he notices that the flower
follows the sun, he says however that it is "not by turning round with
the sun," i.e. that it is not a twisting of the stalk, and goes on to
call it _nutation_ which must be the _locus classicus_ for the term
used in this sense.

An experiment[36] that I do not remember to have seen quoted elsewhere
is worth describing. It is one of the many experiments that show the
generous scale on which his work was planned. An apple bough five feet
long was fixed to a vertical glass tube nine feet long. The tube being
above and the branch hanging below the pressure of the column of water
would act in concert with the suck of the transpiring leaves instead of
in opposition to this force. He then cut the bare stem of his branch
in two, placing the apical half of the specimen (bearing side branches
and leaves) with its cut end in a glass vessel of water, the basal and
leafless half of the branch remained attached to the vertical tube of
water. In the next 30 hours only 6 ounces dripped through the leafless
branch, whereas the leafy branch absorbed 18 ounces. This, as he says,
shows the great power of perspiration. And though he does not pursue
the experiment, it is worthy of note as an attempt like those of
Janse[37] and others to correlate the flow of water under pressure with
the flow due to transpiration.

It is interesting to find that Hales used the three methods of
estimating transpiration which have been employed in modern times,
namely, (i) weighing, (ii) a rough sort of potometer, (iii) enclosing a
branch in a glass balloon and collecting the precipitated moisture, the
well-known plan followed by various French observers.

He (_Vegetable Staticks_, p. 51) concluded his balance of loss and
gain in transpiring plants by estimating the amount of available water
in the soil to a depth of three feet, and calculating how long his
sunflower would exist without watering. He further concludes (p. 57)
that an annual rainfall (of 22 inches) is "sufficient for all the
purposes of nature, in such flat countries as this about Teddington."

He constantly notes small points of interest, e.g. (p. 82) that with
cut branches the water absorbed diminishes each day and that the
former vigour of absorption may be partly renewed by cutting a fresh

He also showed (p. 89) that the transpiration current can flow
perfectly well from apex to base when the apical end is immersed in

These are familiar facts to us, but we should realise that it is to
the industry and ingenuity of Hales that we owe them. In a repetition
(p. 90) of the last experiment, we have the first mention of a fact
fundamentally important. He took two branches (which with a clerical
touch he calls _M_ and _N_) and having removed the bark from a part of
the branch dipped the ends in water, _N_ with the great end downwards,
but _M_ upside down. In this way he showed that the bark was not
necessary for the absorption or transmission of water[39]. I suspect
that one branch was inverted out of respect for the hypothesis of
sap-circulation. He perhaps thought that water could travel apically by
the wood, but only by the bark in the opposite direction.

Later in his book (pp. 128 and 131) he gives definite arguments against
the hypothesis in question.

Next in order (p. 95) comes his well-known experiment on the pressure
exerted by peas increasing in size as they imbibe water. There
are, however, pitfalls in this result of which Hales was unaware,
and perhaps the chief interest to us now is that he considered the
imbibition of the peas[40] to be the same order of phenomenon as the
absorption of water by a cut branch--notwithstanding the fact that he
knew[41] the absorption to depend largely on the leaves. It may be
noticed that Sachs with his imbibitional view of water-transport may be
counted a follower of Hales.

In order to ascertain "whether there was any lateral communication
of the sap and sap vessels, as there is of blood in animals," Hales
(p. 121) made the experiment which has been repeated in modern
laboratories[42], i.e. cutting a "gap to the pith" and another opposite
to it and a few inches above. This he did on an oak branch six feet
long whose basal end was placed in water. The branch continued to
"perspire" for two days, but gave off only about half the amount of
water transpired by a normal branch[43]. He does not trouble himself
about this difference, being satisfied of "great quantities of liquor
having passed laterally by the gap."

He is interested in the fact of lateral transmission in connexion
with the experiment of the suspended tree (Fig. 24, p. 126), which
is dependent on the neighbours to which it is grafted for its water
supply. This seems to be one of the results that convinced him that
there is a distribution of food material which cannot be described as
circulation of sap in the sense that was then in vogue.

Hales (p. 143) was one of the first[44] to make the well-known
experiment--the removal of a ring of bark, with the result that the
edge of bark nearest the base of the branch swells and thickens in a
characteristic manner. He points out that if a number of rings are
made one above the other, the swelling is seen at the lower edge of
each isolated piece of bark, and therefore (p. 143) the swelling
must be attributed "to some other cause than the stoppage of the sap
in its return downwards," because the first gap in the bark should be
sufficient to check the whole of the flowing sap[45]. He must in fact
have seen that there is a redistribution of plastic material in each
section of bark.

We now for the moment leave the subject of transpiration and pass on to
that of root-pressure on which Hales is equally illuminating.

[Illustration: Figure from _Vegetable Staticks_ showing a vine with
mercury gauges in place to demonstrate root-pressure.]

His first experiment, _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 100, was with a
vine to which he attached a vertical pipe made of three lengths of
glass-tubing jointed together. His method is worth notice. He attached
the stump to the manometer with a "stiff cement made of melted Beeswax
and Turpentine, and bound it over with several folds of wet bladder
and pack-thread." We cannot wonder that the making of water-tight
connexions was a great difficulty, and we can sympathise with his
belief that he could have got a column more than 21 feet high but for
the leaking of the joints on several occasions. He notes the familiar
fact that the vine-stump absorbed water before it began to extrude it.

He afterwards (pp. 106-7) used a mercury gauge and registered a
root-pressure of 32½ inches or 36 feet 5⅓ inches of water which
he proceeds to compare with his own determination of the blood-pressure
of the horse (8 feet) and of other animals. Perhaps the most
interesting of his root-pressure experiments was that (p. 110) in which
several manometers were attached to the branches of a bleeding vine and
showed a result which convinced him that "the force is not from the
root only, but must proceed from some power in the stem and branches,"
a conclusion which some modern workers have also arrived at. The figure
on page 77 is a simplified reproduction of the plate (Fig. 19) in
_Vegetable Staticks_.


Hales' belief that plants draw part of their food from the air, and
again that air is the breath of life, of vegetables as well as of
animals (p. 148), are based upon a series of chemical experiments
performed by himself. Not being satisfied with what he knew of the
relation between "air" (by which he meant gas) and the solid bodies
in which he supposed gases to be fixed, he delayed the publication of
_Vegetable Staticks_ for some two years, and carried out the series of
observations which are mentioned in his title-page as "An attempt to
analyse the air, by a great variety of chymio-statical experiments"
occupying 162 pages of his book[46].

The theme of his inquiry he takes (_Vegetable Staticks_, p. 165) from
"the illustrious Sir _Isaac Newton_," who believed that "Dense bodies
by fermentation rarify into several sorts of Air; and this Air by
fermentation, and sometimes without it, returns into dense bodies."

Hales' method consisted in heating a variety of substances, e.g.
wheat-grains, pease, wood, hog's blood, fallow-deer's horn,
oyster-shells, red-lead, gold, etc., and measuring the "air" given
off from them. He also tried the effect of acid on iron filings,
oyster-shells, etc. In the true spirit of experiment he began by
strongly heating his retorts (one of which was a musket barrel) to
make sure that no air arose from them. It is not evident to me why he
continued at this subject so long. He had no means of distinguishing
one gas from another, and almost the only quality noted is a want of
permanence, e.g. when the CO_2 produced was dissolved by the water
over which he collected it. Sir E. Thorpe[47] points out that Hales
must have prepared hydrogen, carbonic acid, carbonic oxide, sulphur
dioxide, marsh gas, etc. It may, I think, be said that Hales deserved
the title usually given to Priestley, viz. "the father of pneumatic[48]

Perhaps the most interesting experiment made by Hales is the heating
of minium (red-lead) with the production of oxygen. It proves that
he knew, as Boyle, Hooke and Mayow did before him, that a body gains
weight in oxidation. Thus Hales remarks: "That the sulphurous and
aereal particles of the fire are lodged in many of those bodies which
it acts upon, and thereby considerably augments their weight, is very
evident in Minium or Red Lead which is observed to increase in weight
in undergoing the action of the fire. The acquired redness of the
Minium indicating the addition of plenty of sulphur in the operation."
He also speaks of the gas distilled from minium, and remarks "It
was doubtless this quantity of air in the minium which burst the
hermetically sealed glasses of the excellent Mr _Boyle_, when he heated
the Minium contained in them by a burning glass" (p. 287).

This was the method also used by Priestley in his celebrated experiment
of heating red-lead in hydrogen; whereby the metallic lead reappears
and the hydrogen disappears by combining with the oxygen set free.
This was expressed in the language of the day as the reconstruction of
metallic lead by the addition of phlogiston (the hydrogen) to the calx
of lead (minium). Thorpe points out the magnitude of the discovery that
Priestley missed, and it may be said that Hales too was on the track
and had he known as much as Priestley it would not have been phlogiston
that kept him from becoming a Cavendish or Lavoisier. What chiefly
concerns us however is the bearing of Hales' chemical work on his
theories of nutrition. He concludes that "air makes a very considerable
part of the substance of Vegetables," and goes on to say (p. 211)
that "many of these particles of air" are "in a fixt state strongly
adhering to and wrought into the substance of" plants[49]. He has some
idea of the instability of complex substances and of the importance of
the fact, for he says[50] that "if all the parts of matter were only
endued with a strongly attracting power, [the] whole [of] nature would
then become one unactive cohering lump." This may remind us of Herbert
Spencer's words: "Thus the essential characteristic of living organic
matter, is that it unites this large quantity of contained motion with
a degree of cohesion that permits temporary fixity of arrangement,"
_First Principles_, § 103. With regard to the way in which plants
absorb and fix the "air" which he finds in their tissues, Hales is
not clear; he does not in any way distinguish between respiration and
assimilation. But as I have already said he definitely asserts that
plants draw "sublimed and exalted food" from the air.

As regards the action of light on plants, he suggests (p. 327) that
"by freely entering the expanded surfaces of leaves and flowers" light
may "contribute much to the ennobling principles of vegetation."
He goes on to quote Newton (_Opticks, query 30_): "The change of
bodies into light, and of light into bodies is very conformable to
the course of nature, which seems delighted with transformations."
It is a problem for the antiquary to determine whether or no Swift
took from Newton the idea of bottling and recapturing sunshine as
practised by the philosopher of Lagado. He could hardly have got it
from Hales since _Gulliver's Travels_ was published in 1726, a year
before _Vegetable Staticks_. Timiriazeff, in his Croonian Lecture[51],
was the first to see the connexion between photosynthesis and the
Lagado research. Nevertheless Hales is not quite consistent about
the action of light; thus (p. 351) he speaks of the dull light in a
closely planted wood as checking the perspiration of the lower branches
so that "drawing little nourishment, they perish." This is doubtless
one effect of bad illumination under the above-named conditions, but
the check to photosynthesis is a more serious result. In his final
remarks on vegetation (p. 375) Hales says in relation to greenhouses,
"it is certainly of as great importance to the life of the plants to
discharge that infected rancid air by the admission of fresh, as it is
to defend them from the extream cold of the outward air." This idea
of ventilating greenhouses he carried out in a plant house designed
by him for the Dowager Princess of Wales, in which warm fresh air was
admitted. The house in question was built in 1761 in the Princess's
garden at Kew, which afterwards became what we now know as Kew Gardens.
The site of Hales' greenhouse, which was only pulled down in 1861, is
marked by a big _Wistaria_ which formerly grew on the greenhouse wall.
It should be recorded that Sir W. Thiselton-Dyer[52] planned a similar
arrangement independently of Hales, and found it produced a marked
improvement of the well-being of the plants.

It is an illuminating fact that though Hales must have known Malpighi's
theory of the function of leaves (which was broadly speaking the same
as his own), he does not as far as I know refer to it. In his preface,
p. ii, he regrets that Malpighi and Grew, whose anatomical knowledge he
appreciated, had not "fortuned to have fallen into this _statical_[53]
way of inquiry." I believe he means an inquiry of an experimental
nature, and I think it was because Malpighi's theory was dependent on
analogy rather than on ascertained facts, that it influenced Hales so

There is another part of physiology on which Hales threw light. He
was the first I believe to investigate the distribution of growth in
developing shoots and growing leaves by marking them and measuring the
distance between the marks after an interval of time. He describes (p.
330) and figures (p. 344) with his usual thoroughness the apparatus
employed: this was a comb-like object, shown in Plate IX, made by
fixing five pins into a handle, ¼ inch apart from one another: the
points being dipped in red-lead and oil, a young vine-shoot was marked
with ten dots ¼ inch apart. In the autumn he examined his specimen
and finds that the youngest internode or "joynt" had grown most, and
the basal part having been "almost hardened" when he marked, had
"extended very little." In this--a tentative experiment--he made the
mistake of not re-measuring his plants at short intervals of time, but
it was an admirable beginning and the direct ancestor of Sachs'[54]
great research on the subject.

In his discussion on growth it is interesting to find the idea of
turgescence supplying the motive force for extension. This conception
he takes from Borelli[55].

Hales sees in the nodes of plants "plinths or abutments for the
dilating pith to exert its force on" (p. 335); but he acutely foresees
a modern objection[56] to the explanation of growth as regulated solely
by the hydrostatic pressure in the cell. Hales says (p. 335): "but a
dilating spongy substance, by equally expanding itself every way, would
not produce an oblong shoot, but rather a globose one."

It is not my place to speak of Hales' work in animal physiology, nor
of those researches bearing on the welfare of the human race which
occupied his later years. Thus he wrote against the habit of drinking
spirits, and made experiments on ventilation by which he benefited both
English and French prisons, and even the House of Commons; then too he
was occupied in attempts to improve the method of distilling potable
water at sea, and of preserving meat and biscuit on long voyages[57].

[Illustration: _Plate IX_

Plate 18 from Hales's _Vegetable Staticks_

Fig. 40. Instrument devised by Hales to make prick-marks on a young
shoot of Vine (Fig. 41); the distribution of stretching after growth is
shown in Fig. 42. The use of a similar instrument for marking surfaces
is shown in Figs. 43 and 44]

We are concerned with him simply as a vegetable physiologist and in
that character his fame is imperishable. Of the book which I have been
using as my text, namely, _Vegetable Staticks_, Sachs says: "It was
the first comprehensive work the world had seen which was devoted to
the nutrition of plants and the movement of their sap.... Hales had
the art of making plants reveal themselves. By experiments carefully
planned and cunningly carried out he forced them to betray the energies
hidden in their apparently inactive bodies[58]." These words, spoken by
a great physiologist of our day, form a fitting tribute to one who is
justly described as the father of physiology.


[17] In 1699 Newton was made master of the Mint and appointed Whiston
his Deputy in the Lucasian Professorship, an office he finally resigned
in 1703 (Brewster's _Life of Newton_, 1831, p. 249).

[18] "There, if anywhere, his dear shade must linger," Trevelyan, _Life
and Letters of Lord Macaulay_, 1 volume edit. 1881, p. 55.

[19] Black's discovery of CO_2, however, was published in 1754, seven
years before Hales died, but Priestley's, Cavendish's and Lavoisier's
work on O and H was later.

[20] 1837, III. p. 389.

[21] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 346.

[22] Sachs, _Geschichte_, p. 502. Malpighi held similar views.

[23] _Ibid._, p. 499.

[24] Quoted by Caröe, in his paper read before the _Cambridge
Archaeological Society_ on _King's Hostel_ etc., and "Printed for the
Master and Fellows of Trinity Coll." in 1909.

[25] He also held the living of Farringdon in Hampshire where he
occasionally resided.

[26] _Dict. Nat. Biog._

[27] With a certain idleness Pope reduces him to plain Parson Hale, for
the sake of a rhyme in the _Epistle of Martha Blount_, 1. 198.

[28] The original reads "deigned not," an obvious slip.

[29] This he does by means of a network of threads ¼ inch apart.
Pfeffer, _Pflanzenphysiologie_, ed. 1, 1. p. 142, recommends the method
and gives Hales as his authority.

[30] _Pflanzenphysiologie_, 1865 (Fr. Trans. 1868), p. 254.

[31] He gives it as 15·8 square inches, the only instance I have come
across of his use of decimals.

[32] _Arbeiten_, II. p. 182.

[33] See Sachs' _Pflanzenphys._ 1865 (Fr. Trans. 1868), p. 257, where
the above correction is applied to Hales' work.

[34] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 5.

[35] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 14.

[36] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 41.

[37] Janse in _Pringsheinis Jahrb._ XVIII. p. 38. The later literature
is given by Dixon in _Progressus Rei Bot._ III., 1909, p. 58.

[38] Compare F. von Höhnel, _Bot. Zeitung_, 1879, p. 318.

[39] This is also shown by experiment XC, _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 123.

[40] The method by which Hales proposed to record the depth of the sea
is a variant of this apparatus.

[41] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 92.

[42] According to Sachs (_Geschichte_, p. 509) Ray employed this method.

[43] Other facts show that the "gapped" branches did not behave quite

[44] He refers (p. 141) to what is in principle the same experiment
(see Fig. 27) as due to Mr Brotherton, and published in the _Abridgment
of the Phil. Trans._ II. p. 708.

[45] He notices that the swelling of the bark is connected with the
presence of buds. The only ring of bark which had no bud showed no

[46] It appears that Mayow made similar experiments. _Dict. Nat. Biog._
s.v. Mayow.

[47] _History of Chemistry_, 1909, I. p. 69.

[48] Hales made use of a rough pneumatic trough, the invention of which
is usually ascribed to Priestley (Thorpe's _History of Chemistry_, I.
p. 79).

[49] He speaks here merely of the apples used in a certain experiment,
but it is clear that he applies the conclusion to other plants.

[50] _Vegetable Staticks_, p. 313. It should be noted that Hales speaks
of organic as well as inorganic substances.

[51] _Proc. R. Soc._ LXXII., p. 30, 1903.

[52] The above account of Hales' connexion with the Royal Gardens at
Kew is from the _Kew Bulletin_, 1891, p. 289.

[53] I am indebted to Sir E. Thorpe for a definition of _statical_.
"_Statical_ (Med.) noting the physical phenomena presented by organised
bodies in contradiction to the organic or vital." (Worcester's
_Dictionary_, 1889.)

[54] _Arbeiten_, I.

[55] Borelli, _De Motu Animalium_, Pt II. Ch. xiii. According to Sachs,
_Ges. d. Botanik_, p. 582, Mariotte (1679) had suggested the same idea.

[56] Nägeli, _Stärkekorner_, p. 279

[57] See his _Philosophical Experiments_, 1739.

[58] _Geschichte d. Botanik_, p. 515 (free translation).




  Narrative--chequered career--journalism--attack on the Royal
  Society--literary activities--Botanical works--structure
  of Timber--the sleep of Plants--Mimosa and Abrus--views on
  Pollen--Hill's _Herbal_--his admiration of Linnaeus--with
  qualifications--Hill's _Vegetable System_--an ambitious
  work--financial losses--estimate of Hill's character.

It has recently been remarked that the number of the biographies of
eminent men is inversely proportional to the known facts concerning
them. Although this generalisation is probably incorrect, it is, to
a certain extent, true of John Hill; for, although he finds a place
in biographical dictionaries, apparently no extended account of his
life has appeared. This is a little surprising since, apart from his
scientific work, he occupied a prominent position in the middle of the
eighteenth century.

[Illustration: _Plate X_ JOHN HILL]

John Hill was the second son of the Rev. Theophilous Hill, and was
born either at Spalding or at Peterborough in the year 1716 or 1717.
Nothing appears to be known regarding his early education; according to
Hawkins[59] he did not receive an academical education, but there is
no doubt that, as was usual for those who desired to practise medicine
at that and at much later times, he served his apprenticeship to an
apothecary, it is said, at Westminster; also he attended the lectures
on Botany given under the auspices of the Apothecaries' Company at the
Chelsea Physic Garden. He first practised in St Martin's Lane in a
shop which, according to Woodward[60], was little more than a shed;
from there he moved to Westminster, and it appears that at the age of
twenty-one he had a practice in Covent Garden. He early experienced
financial difficulties; indeed, it is stated that, at times, he was
unable to provide himself with the bare necessities of life. His
marriage with a dowerless maiden, Miss Travers, did not improve his
prospects, and he sought to add to his income by the utilization of
his botanical knowledge. He travelled over the country collecting
plants, which he dried, put up into sets with descriptions and sold
by subscription; also he arranged the collections and gardens of the
Duke of Richmond and Lord Petrie. Hill soon found that Botany, from
the monetary point of view, was unprofitable; he therefore decided to
try his fortune on the stage, and appeared at the Haymarket and Covent

Woodward[61] gives a very amusing account of him in his new profession.
After giving examples to shew Hill's limitations, he remarks:
"There was a time at the celebrated Theatre of _May Fair_ he [Marr]
represented _Altamont_, and the _Great Inspector_ [Hill] attempted
_Lothario_; and the polite Audience of that Place all choruss'd and
agreed with you, when you dying, said, 'O Altamont! thy Genius is the
stronger.'... Can I forget, great Sir, your acting _Constant_, in the
_Provok'd Wife_, and your _innocent_ Rape of Mrs Woffington; when, in
a certain Passage, where, at least, a seeming Manliness was necessary,
you handled her so awkwardly, that she joined the Audience in laughing
at you."

Woodward's account may be accepted as being substantially correct, for
in many ways Hill shewed that he lacked the qualities requisite for a
successful career on the stage in those days.

Having thus failed as an actor, Hill returned to the practice of
medicine and seemingly with more success, for in 1746 he was serving
as a regimental surgeon, a position doubtless not very remunerative
but helping to keep the wolf from the door. This same year saw the
publication of Theophrastus's treatise on gems. In its new guise the
value of the work was much enhanced since Hill intercalated much
information that was lacking in the original; further, the work was so
well executed that it gained him the attention and good-will of eminent
Fellows of the Royal Society.

The publication of this work was probably the turning point in Hill's
career, and its success must have influenced him not a little in the
determination of following a literary career. In 1846 he edited the
_British Magazine_, a periodical which lived but four years. His
activities in this direction were phenomenal, and it is hard to realize
how he managed to find time for so much work, for in addition to his
botanical publications, which will be considered hereafter, he wrote
on such diverse subjects as the art of acting, the conduct of married
life, theology, naval history, astronomy, entomology, human anatomy and
other medical subjects. Also he wrote an opera, two farces, and certain
novels. Much of this output represents mere hack work, but it shews
that Hill had an enormous capacity for work, indeed on one occasion
when he was sick, he confessed to a friend that he had overtaxed his
strength in writing seven works at the same time.

The _Dictionary of National Biography_ gives 76 titles of his
publications, exclusive of eight which are generally attributed to him.
Hill's output was probably even more extensive, for towards the latter
part of his career he sometimes used to publish under a pseudonym. It
is the more remarkable since he found time to enjoy the good things of
the world, without which indulgence, according to his biographer[62],
"he could not have undergone the fatigue and study inseparable from the
execution of his vast designs." Again, according to Fitzgerald[63], he
was "invariably in the front row at the theatres, exciting attention by
his splendid dress and singular behaviour. When there was loud applause
for the King, the doctor was seen to rise, and bow gravely to his

The next few years were eventful ones for Hill. In 1751 he contributed
a daily letter, called the _Inspector_, to the _London Advertiser and
Literary Gazette_; although they came to an end in 1753, the Inspectors
were highly remunerative, thus it is stated that in one year Hill
profited to the extent of £1500 by their sale, a very large sum for
journalistic work in those days. They thus brought him very prominently
before the public, and incidentally proved a source of some trouble to

In connexion with the _Inspector_ justice has not been altogether
done to Hill: no doubt, as Isaac Disraeli[64] states, that in them
he retailed all the great matters relating to himself and all the
little matters relating to others, but they were not all concerned in
retailing the tales of scandal heard in the Coffee Houses and other
places of public resort; nor were they always rendered palatable by
these means as is stated in Rose's _Biographical Dictionary_[65].
They, in addition to comments and criticisms on current affairs,
treated of many subjects. For instance, one considers the proposal
for uniting the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, another is a
very sympathetic and laudatory review of Gray's _Elegy_, whilst a
third treats of the art of embalming. Many are concerned with Natural
History, and these are important as they shew Hill in another and
very important character, namely that of a popular writer on Natural
History, especially Botany. In one number he described the structure
of a common flower, including an account of the movements of a bee
in collecting pollen; and in another he described the appearance of
microscopic organisms paying marked attention to their activities.
These particular Inspectors are very pleasing and are well and clearly
written; one especially is of outstanding importance, as it shews that
Hill was in some respects far in advance of his times. He put forward a
suggestion that Botany would be much improved by the delivery of public
lectures in the museum with the living plants before the lecturer and
the members of the audience. This scheme has yet to be carried out; as
they are, museums are a means of education for the few, but a source of
confusion to the many. For the latter their educative value would be
enormously increased by the delivery of lectures illustrated by the
exhibits, for the spoken word is more abiding than the printed label.

The methods of criticism pursued by Hill in the _Inspector_ soon
involved him in controversy with various people. It is a difficult
matter to appraise him in these respects; possibly his success had
turned his head for, according to Baker[66], he shewed "an unbounded
store of vanity and self-sufficiency, which had for years lain dormant
behind the mask of their direct opposite qualities of humility and
diffidence; a pride which was perpetually laying claim to homage by
no means his due, and a vindictiveness which never could forgive
the refusal of it to him." Baker then goes on to remark that as a
consequence of this, every affront however slight was revenged by Hill
by a public attack on the morals etc. of the maker.

On the other hand his criticisms may have been honest, at any rate in
part; and the fact that they landed him into difficulties does not
necessarily indicate that he was a dishonest fellow; most people are
impatient of adverse criticism, and in those days such impatience
found a vent in a pamphlet war or in personal violence. Nowadays the
aggrieved manager, for instance, can shut his theatre doors against the
distasteful critic; or, in other cases, an action for libel appears to
be not altogether unfashionable.

_His attack on the Royal Society._

The real origin of Hill's attack on this learned society is somewhat

At the time of his death Chambers was engaged in the preparation of
a supplement to his _Cyclopaedia_. The publishers then commissioned
John Lewis Scott to prepare the work, but as Scott was soon afterwards
appointed tutor to the royal princes it was entrusted to Hill. It
is stated that the botanical articles were quite good, but that the
more general parts were done with Hill's "characteristic carelessness
and self-sufficiency." When the work was approaching completion the
publishers considered that the title-page would look better if Hill had
the right of adding F.R.S. after his name. He, in consequence, and, it
is stated, contrary to the advice of Folkes, endeavoured to obtain the
necessary qualification for candidature; but he was disliked to such
an extent that he could not obtain the requisite number of signatures,
three, for his certificate, notwithstanding the fact that the number
of Fellows was about three hundred. This perhaps was hardly surprising
since he had criticized his contemporary scientists very adversely,
designating them by such terms as "butterfly hunters," "cockle shell
merchants" and "medal scrapers." This reverse must have been a severe
blow to his vanity, for there can be no doubt that his claims to the
Fellowship, on scientific grounds, were as strong as any and stronger
than those of most of the Fellows. And this Hill, who was by no
means lacking in self-confidence, knew. His criticism of the Society
culminated in his _Review of the Works of the Royal Society of London_
(1751)[67], which was in appearance like that of the _Transactions_,
and consisted of reviews of several papers with comments by Hill. The
work was dedicated to Martin Folkes, the President, on whom he placed
the responsibility for publication, for, wrote he in his dedication,
"The Purport of the more considerable of them has been long since
delivered to you in conversation; and if you had thought the Society
deserved to escape the Censure that must attend this Method of laying
them before the World, you might have prevented it, by making the
necessary Use of them in private.

"Nor is this, Sir, the only Sense in which you have been the great
Instrument of their Production; since it cannot but be acknowledged,
that if any body, except your great Self, had been in the high Office
you so worthily fill at present, the Occasions of many of the more
remarkable of them could not have been received by the Body, under
whose Countenance alone they claim their Places in this Work."

He then charges Folkes with unworthy conduct towards him, and, in
brief, he considered that Folkes and Baker were his enemies. The
reason for this, according to Hill, was as follows. An eminent French
correspondent had taxed him, supposing him to be a Fellow, with "one
of the errors of the Society"; Hill in reply wrote, "I have already
set right the error you complain of; but you are to know, that I have
the Honour not to be a Member of the Royal Society of London." Before
he had sealed this letter he was called out of the room, and before he
had returned a visitor, a Fellow of the Society, was shown into Hill's
study and read the letter containing the above-quoted passage. Hence
the friction. Hill denies that he ever became a candidate for election,
and states that although he attended the meetings he would not become a
member on account of the Society's method of performing that which they
were founded to do.

These statements are not lacking in definition; with regard to the
incident of the letter it is impossible to judge of the truth; but
with regard to the main features of the controversy the present
writer thinks it extremely probable that the account first given is
substantially correct, notwithstanding the statement that Hill's
explanation was never contradicted[68].

As regards the _Review_, Hill wrote that "he pretends to nothing but
the knowing more than the Royal Society of London appears by its
publications to know! and surely a Man may do that and yet be very

The intention of the _Review_ was to point out to the Society its
shortcomings, doubtless in order that it might reform itself.

There can be no doubt whatever that a candid critic was necessary, for
some of the papers were absolute rubbish, so much so indeed that a
scientific training does not appear necessary to detect their futility.
To take a brief example; in one paper the author describes a method to
make trees grow very large; the seeds are to be sown at the absolute
moment of the entry of the sun into the vernal equinox, and then to
transplant them at the moment when the moon is full.

Hill himself sometimes falls into error in his criticisms; thus he
adversely comments on the truth of the power of cobwebs to catch

At the beginning of Part VII of his _Review_, which treats of plants,
he thrusts very deep. He says, "This is a Branch of Natural Knowledge,
which, it will appear, that the Royal Society of London have looked so
very deeply into, that their rejecting the Linnean System of Botany,
when offered by its Author will no longer be wondered at."

In this Part he is particularly severe upon Baker, and, in reading it,
one is forced to the conclusion that although adverse criticism was
warranted, there was a good deal of personal feeling behind it.

This attack on the Royal Society appears to have been much resented,
and Hill's credit consequently was much damaged, for it was considered
that Folkes and Baker had befriended him in his earlier days. With
regard to Folkes it has been seen that Hill considered that he was
doing a public duty; and with regard to Baker, Hill suffered under a
real or imaginary grievance which, assuming Baker had helped him in
the past, cancelled all obligations due from him to Baker. If this
be not so then Hill, in addition to his other faults, was lacking in
gratitude. With regard to this point his anonymous biographer[70] wrote
that "we have nowhere learnt that ingratitude had the smallest share in
the composition of the character of Sir John Hill."

The attack, however, was not altogether fruitless, as Disraeli[71]
remarks, "Yet Sir John Hill, this despised man, after all the fertile
absurdities of his literary life, performed more for the improvement of
the Philosophical Transactions, and was the cause of diffusing a more
general taste for the science of botany, than any other contemporary."

It is hardly necessary to remark that Hill was never elected to the
Royal Society.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus by his methods of criticism Hill brought to an end a period of
highly remunerative literary work; it was therefore necessary for him
to seek other pastures. He returned, in part, to the practice of
medicine in the shape of herbalist, preparing remedies from various
plants such as valerian, water-dock and centaury; also he wrote on the
virtues of these and other plants. The source from which he obtained
his plants was in the first instance the Chelsea Physic Garden, but
it is stated that he was eventually forbidden its use owing to his
depredations; later he grew the requisite plants in his own garden
which was situated where now is Lancaster Gate. There was a good deal
of common sense in his remedies; thus in his _Virtues of British Herbs_
he remarks that "He who seeks the herb for its cure, will find it half
effected by the walk."

By the sale of his medicines and of his pamphlets relating to medicinal
plants, some of which ran through many editions, he made large sums of

Before passing on to a consideration of Hill's botanical work brief
comment may be made on his literary activities other than those already
alluded to. It has already been mentioned that much of his output
represented mere hack work, so that it is not surprising to learn, in
view of the large amount of work he did, that a certain proportion of
it was careless and slovenly, and shewed marked signs of undue haste
in production, with the result that his reputation suffered. One
work, entitled _Letters from the Inspector to a Lady with the genuine
Answers_ (1752), is an amorous correspondence not remarkable for its
reticence of statement; it reminds one of a similar, but more proper,
correspondence, which had a vogue a few years ago.

Hill did not always write for gain, thus _Thoughts concerning God and
Nature_ (1755) shews him in a different light. This was written from
conscientious and religious motives in answer to a book written by
Henry St John Viscount Bolingbroke, and was published at a loss, for
the number printed, even if all were sold, would not have paid the
expenses of production.

His dramatic pieces were of a mediocre nature, and with regard to
his novels and other works Baker[72] states that "In some parts of
his novels incidents are not disagreeably related, but most of them
are nothing more than narratives of private intrigues, containing,
throughout, the grossest calumnies, and aiming at the blackening and
undermining the private characters of many respectable and amiable
personages. In his essays, which are by much the best of his writings,
there is, in general, a liveliness of imagination, and a prettiness in
the manner of extending perhaps some very trivial thought; which, at
the first _coup-d'œil_, is pleasing enough, and may, with many, be
mistaken for it; but, on a nearer examination, the imagined sterling
will be found to dwindle down into mere French plate."

In addition to his literary work Hill found time to undertake official
duties. In 1760 he was gardener at Kensington Palace, a post which
brought him in an income of £2000 per annum[73]; also he was Justice of
the Peace for Westminster. According to Mrs Hill[74] he was nominated
Superintendent of the Royal Gardens, Kew, and as such he is described
on his portrait; his nomination, however, does not appear to have been
confirmed, for Thiselton-Dyer[75] states that there is no evidence of
his ever having occupied such a position. Hill also advised, at the
request of the Earl of Bute, the governors of various islands regarding
their cultivation, for which work he received no remuneration[76].


Anatomical investigations during the eighteenth century were very
barren of results, no real advance upon the discoveries of Grew,
Malpighi and others being made. The work of Hill in this field forms
no exception to this statement; and, although he accomplished a fair
amount of anatomical work, his investigations apparently were without
result in the advancement of this particular branch of knowledge.

In 1770 Hill published a small octavo volume on _The Construction
of Timber_. In order that other investigators might benefit from his
experience he fully described and figured the instruments used; of
particular interest is a small hand microtome with which he cut his
sections. This ingenious tool was the invention of Cummings, and does
not differ in essentials markedly from some the writer has seen in use;
Hill claims that when the cutter was particularly sharp sections no
thicker than a 2000th part of an inch could be obtained. The microscope
was made by Adams under the direction of Hill and his patron, unnamed
in the book, but in all probability Lord Bute, and embodied some
improvements on earlier instruments. This microscope is figured in
Carpenter's work on _The Microscope and its Revelations_[77].

The _Construction of Timber_ is well arranged: the work begins with a
general description of the tissues and their disposition in a thickened
stem; then follows a more detailed account of the separate tissues; and
finally much space is devoted to a comparison of different tissues in
various plants.

Hill's account is fully illustrated with copper plates; his figures of
sections are not highly magnified, some not more than twelve times, and
their quality is not equal to the best in Grew's _Anatomy_.

Hill principally studied transverse sections, and consequently fell
into errors which he might have avoided by the careful observation of
longitudinal ones; also he used macerated material, but as his method
preserved only the stronger walled elements he did not gain to any
great extent from their use.

The parts devoted to comparative anatomy are not at all bad, and they
give a concrete idea of the differences obtaining in the different

He apparently understood the nature of the annual rings, and of them
he wrote as follows: "These are the several coats of Wood, added from
season to season. It has been supposed that each circle is the growth
of a year; but a careful attention to the encrease of wood has shewn
me, beyond a doubt, that two such are formed each year; the one in the
Spring, the other soon after Midsummer." His illustration, however, is
not so clear as his statement. Also he realized that the wood vessels
were in some way connected with water:

"These vessels arise in the substance of the Wood, principally towards
the outer edge of each circle. They are very large in the outermost
coat; and smaller in the others: and there are also irregular ranges
of them, running thro' the thicknesses of the circles; besides these
principal ones of the outer course. They have solid, and firm, coats;
and they contain in Spring, and at Midsummer, a limpid liquor, like
water, but with a slight acidity: at all other seasons of the year
they appear empty, their sides only being moistened with the same acid
liquor. Those who examined them at such seasons, thought them air
vessels; and in that opinion, formed a construction for them, which
Nature does not avow."

Although Hill recognized the entity of the cell he had, in common with
his contemporaries, no clear conception of its real nature.

In describing the pith of the rose he does not go astray, and he fully
appreciated that the seemingly double contour of the cell walls, when
seen in some sections, is due to the thickness of the section with
consequent overlapping of the cells; on the other hand he went very
wrong in the case of the pith of the walnut, the cavities of which he
supposed to be cells like those of the rose, only very much larger and
uniseriate as the following quotation shews:

"The Pith of the Walnut consists only of one range of these bladders
['Blebs' or cells], smaller at the edges, largest in the middle, and
laid very exactly one upon the other."

When he considers the structure of more or less square or oblong cells
his ideas are very wrong. In such cases he thought that the transverse
walls were spaces, and the longitudinal walls vessels; curiously enough
Hedwig made a similar mistake some years later, possibly he was led
astray by Hill's misconception.

Hill adversely criticized the theory that the pith is an organ of
propagation, and substituted the view that the corona--i.e. the
peri-medullary zone--is all important in this connexion, "From it
arises the branches, and encrease of the tree."

Hill had considerable technical ability and, I think, was capable of
greatly advancing anatomical botany; unfortunately, however, he gave
too little time and thought to his investigations.


The eighteenth century saw the birth of vegetable physiology, Hales
and Knight being the two great pioneers in this country. The former
flourished in the early part of the century, whilst Knight, although
born in 1758, published his great work in 1806.

The chief physiological work of Hill is embodied in a pamphlet of
59 pages, entitled _The Sleep of Plants and Causes of Motion in the
Sensitive Plant explain'd_, published in London in 1757, a year
previous to the appearance of Du Hamel's _Physique des Arbres_. The
paper is in the form of a letter to Linnaeus, and in it the author
explains his position with regard to his earlier criticisms of the
Linnaean system of classification.

The work is divided into sections, the first of which consists of a
brief historical _resumé_, the opinions of Acosta, Alpinus, Ray and
Linnaeus on this subject being alluded to. No mention, however, is made
of the observations of Bonnet and of Mairan to the effect that the
periodic movements of _Mimosa pudica_ continued when the plant was kept
in prolonged darkness.

In Section 2, after describing the structure of a leaf, Hill
remarks that "Leaves are always surrounded by the air; and they are
occasionally and variously influenced by heat, light, and moisture.
They are naturally complicated, and they act on most occasions
together. We are therefore to observe, first, what effects result from
their mutual combinations in a state of nature: and having assigned in
these cases the effect to the proper and particular cause, from this
power of that agent, whichsoever it is, that acts thus in concert with
the rest, we may deduce its operations singly."

This passage, although not particularly clear, indicates that Hill
fully appreciated the fact that the reaction exhibited by a plant organ
is a response to the resultant of a number of forces, and that each
factor must be examined separately.

He then goes on to describe his observations on _Abrus_; the structure
of the leaf, more especially the course of the vascular bundles, is
first dealt with, and then an explanation of the action of light is
given. Needless to say, in view of the state of physical science at
this period, his explanation, although ingenious, is wide of the mark.
He wrote that "Light is subtile, active, and penetrating: by the
smallness of its constituent parts, it is capable of entering bodies;
and by the violence of its motion, of producing great effects and
changes in them. These are not permanent, because those rays which
occasion them, are, in that very action, extinguished and lost.

"Bodies may act on light without contact; for the rays may become
reflected when they come extreamly near: but light can act on bodies
only by contact; and in that contact the rays are lost. The change
produced in the position of the leaves of plants by light, is the
result of a motion occasioned by its rays among their fibres: to
excite this motion, the light must touch those fibres; and where
light touches, it adheres, and becomes immediately extinguished....
The raising of the lobes in these leaves will be owing to the power
of those rays which at any one instance fall upon them: these become
extinguished; but others immediately succeed to them, so long as the
air in which the plants stands, is enlightened."

Although it was not until 1822, when Dutrochet pointed out the true
significance of the pulvini, Hill recognized that these structures
were concerned with the movements of the leaflets, not only in the
case of _Abrus_, but also in _Mimosa_. He remarked that "It is on the
operation of light upon these interwoven clusters of fibres [which are
placed at the bases of the main rib, and of the several foot-stalks of
the lobes], that the motion of the leaves in gaining their different
positions depends; and consequently, the motion itself is various
according to the construction of these fibres.

"In the Abrus they are large, and of a lax composition; consequently
the lobes are capable of a drooping, an horizontal, and an oblique
upward position: in the Tamarind, and the broad-leaved Robinia, they
are more compact, and hence all the motion of which those leaves are
capable, is an expanding open and a closing sideways; which the
direction and course of the fibres also favours: in the Parkinsonia
they are smaller, and yet more compact; and the consequence of this
is, that its lobes have no farther possible motion, than the expanding

Again, "The clusters of fibres are as a kind of joints on which their
lobes are capable, under the influence of light, of a certain limited

Further, with regard to _Mimosa_, he remarks that "To propagate the
motion when the leaves are in a state to shew it, there requires a
perfect and confirmed state of those clusters of fibres lodged at their
base." Hill then describes the experiments upon which he based his
conclusions; these shew that he was fully awake to the importance of
keeping the conditions of an experiment, other than those of light, as
near constant as possible, and that the position assumed by the leaves
depends upon the intensity of the light.

His final experiment was to place the _Abrus_ in a bookcase in such a
position that the sun shone full upon it; when the leaves were fully
expanded he closed the doors and found that in an hour "The lobes were
all drop't, and it was in the same state that it would have shewn at
midnight. On reopening the doors the elevated position of the leaves
was assumed in twenty minutes."

Hill offers the same explanation of the movements of _Mimosa_
as of those exhibited by _Abrus_, the reason for their greater
conspicuousness in the former plant being due to the fact that in
_Mimosa_ "As there are no less than three sets of these clusters [of
fibres which are placed at the bases of the foot-stalks], the effects
of the same principle are naturally much greater than in the Abrus
where there is only one."

Hill carefully observed the sequence of motion in the _Mimosa_, and
points out that the effect of absolute darkness on the plant is greater
than the rudest touch. He also found that the contact stimulus must
be of a sufficient intensity, and that the degree of the subsequent
motion depended upon the potency of the stimulus. He further observed
that shaking the plant had the same effect as contact stimulation;
also he remarks upon the fact that the movements of the _Mimosa_ and
of the Tamarind are less well-marked at a temperature lower than that
in which the plants have been reared. Hill considered that "This is
probably due to the juices stagnating in the clusters of fibres, and to
the contraction of the bark by cold." His explanation of the response
to the contact stimulus is of course quite wrong; it may, however, be
quoted as an illustration of the view, current at that time, that such
motion was due to the fibres which acted like those of muscle. "The
vibration of the parts is that which keeps the leaves of the sensitive
plant in their expanded and elevated state: this is owing to a delicate
motion continued through every fibre of them. When we touch the leaf,
we give it another motion more violent than the first: this overcomes
the first: the vibration is stopped by the rude shock: and the leaves
close, and their foot stalks fall, because that vibrating motion is
destroyed, which kept them elevated and expanded.... That the power of
motion in the sensitive plant depends upon the effect of light on the
expanded surface of the leaves, is certain; for till they are expanded,
they have no such power. The young leaves, even when grown to half an
inch in length have no motion on the touch, tho' rough and sudden."

Hill fully appreciated the importance of comparative observations; he
compared the movements, in response to light, of _Abrus_ and _Mimosa_,
which plants he placed side by side so that the conditions of the
experiment might be the same for each. He found that "In these and
in all others, the degree of elevation or expansion in the lobes,
is exactly proportional to the quality of the light: and is solely
dependent upon it."

Reference also may be made to Hill's views on reproduction[78]; he
considered that the pollen grain contained the embryo which was set
free by the bursting of the grain after it had been deposited upon
the stigma. The stigmatic hairs or papillae were supposed to be the
ends of tubes into which the embryos entered, made their way into the
placenta, and thus arrived into the "shells of the seeds" (the ovules).
It is unnecessary to point out the absurdities of these ideas, but it
may be mentioned that Hill's interpretations of his observations were
at fault rather than the observations themselves. Thus, judging from
his figures, he saw the contents of the pollen grain, the appearance of
which, under the conditions of observation, might easily suggest the
idea of an embryo. Also he noticed that the pollen grains burst in a
little while when placed in water, a phenomenon which was rediscovered
138 years later[79], and he therefore thought that a similar bursting,
with a consequent setting free of the embryo, would take place on the
wet stigma of the lily, for example.


One of Hill's more interesting works in this branch of Botany is his
_British Herbal_[80]. In it are described a large number of plants
which are illustrated by 75 copper plates engraved by various artists.
None of these plates are of outstanding excellence, indeed many of
them are very poor, and their quality is uneven. Those in the folio
consulted by the present writer were ruined by being coloured.

The plants described are arranged on a system which is not altogether
without interest as it, in a small degree, foreshadows later systems.
It may be indicated by giving the characters of the first four classes.

  Class 1. Plants whose flower consists of several petals, with
  numerous threads in the center, and is followed by a cluster of
  naked seeds.

  Class 2. Plants whose flower consists of several petals, with
  numerous threads in the center, and whose seeds are contained in
  several pods.

  Class 3. Plants whose flower consists of a single petal, and is
  succeeded by several capsules.

  Class 4. Plants with the flower formed of a single petal, plain,
  and of a regular form and succeeded by a single capsule.

It will be seen that Hill relied much on the characters of the corolla
and the gynaeceum. But the chief interest in this work is, perhaps,
Hill's criticisms of Linnaeus. One example will suffice; Linnaeus is
criticised for placing _Myosurus_ among the pentandria polygynia and
thus separating it from _Ranunculus_, _Adonis_, etc. Hill remarked that
thus to separate these plants merely because the number of stamens in
_Myosurus_ is less than in _Ranunculus_ is unreasonable since they
agree in all other essentials. He himself, however, made a similar
error, for it will be observed that in the system followed in the
Herbal, _Ranunculus_ falls into the first class and _Helleborus_ into
the second.

These criticisms of Linnaeus, however, are not all of an adverse
nature; in many places Hill does not stint his praise; and he does
not fail, after describing each Genus, to mention its position in the
Linnaean System.

Pulteney[81] found it difficult "to reconcile the praises this author
bestows on Linnaeus, in many of his writings, with the censures
contained in his British Herbal." The difficulty is not very apparent;
Hill sufficiently indicated his position in the following passage taken
from the _Sleep of Plants_. "If our opinions have differed, 'tis upon
a single Point; your arrangement of plants. In regard to that much
greater article, the establishing their distinctions, and ascertaining
their characters, I have always admired and reverenced you: to dispute
your determinations there, were to deny the characters of nature.

"Free in the tribute of applause on this head, I have on the other been
as open in my censures; equally uninfluenced by envy, and by fear. It
is thus science may be advanced; and you will permit me to say, thus
men of candour should treat one another."

Linnaeus is also criticised in the _Vegetable System_, more
particularly for his unnecessary introduction of new names for plants;
but here again Hill is full of praises for Linnaeus's descriptions of

Although opposed to the Linnaean system Hill recognised its value as
a means of evolving order out of chaos, and to him falls the credit
of introducing it into England. Its first introduction was in his
_History of Plants_ (1751), but it was unsatisfactory since the
_Species Plantarum_ was not published until 1753. Hill next explained
it in 1758[82], but it was not until two years later that the first
_British Flora_, arranged on this system, appeared[83]. According to
Pulteney[84], Hill performed this task "in a manner so unworthy of
his abilities, that his work can have no claim to the merit of having
answered the occasion: and thus the credit of the atchievement fell to
the lot of Mr William Hudson F.R.S."

Mention has been made of Hill's _Vegetable System_[85]: a work which
consists of 26 folio volumes and was undertaken at the suggestion
of Lord Bute. It was commenced in 1759, and the date of the last
volume is 1775, the year of Hill's death. No expense was spared in
its production, the paper is of the best, and there are 1600 plates:
with regard to these the title-page of the work states that they were
designed and engraved by the author, but it appears from other sources
that they cost four guineas each to engrave, and since it is stated
on the auctioneer's announcement of the sale of the copyright (1782),
together with some of the original drawings and the remaining sets,
that the engravings were made by the best masters under the immediate
supervision of the author, it must be concluded that Hill was not
the actual engraver although he may have made the original drawings.
Attention is drawn to this point, since it casts some doubts as to
whether Hill engraved those plates, signed by him, illustrating some of
his other works, for instance, _The British Herbal_, and _A Method of
Producing Double Flowers from Single_[86], of which some are very good
indeed, and, if Hill were the engraver, shew that he had considerable
artistic and technical ability. Naturally the plates in the _Vegetable
System_ are of uneven quality, some are very good and not only are
pleasing from the artistic point of view, but also give a concrete
idea of the plants represented. It is impossible here to criticize
this work in detail; but some idea of its scope may be given. The
first volume and part of the second is concerned with the history of
Botany; the origin of Systematic Botany; the Systems of Caesalpinus,
Morison, Ray, Tournefort, Boerhaave, Linnaeus, and others; morphology,
anatomy, physiology; and the effect of heat, light, air, soil and water
on vegetation. The rest of the work is occupied by descriptions of
plants, both British and foreign, when the latter, the native country
is mentioned; in all cases the medicinal properties are given.

It is hardly necessary to remark that notwithstanding the price of the
work, 38 guineas plain and 160 guineas coloured, Hill lost considerably
over its publication. From Mrs Hill's account[87], it appears that
Bute undertook that Hill's circumstances should not be injured by the
venture, an undertaking which was not kept; and further, after the
death of Hill, Bute refused to compensate Mrs Hill for the unfinished
last volume or to take the materials which had accumulated for it out
of her hands. Allowing some discount for the natural exaggeration of
a bereaved lady suffering from a grievance, there appears but little
doubt that the Earl of Bute proved lacking in good faith.

       *       *       *       *       *

Considered as a systematist there can be no doubt that Hill knew his
plants; and although the systematists of the period were overshadowed
by Linnaeus, Hill preserved his independence of thought, and did not
hesitate to express his opinions when they differed from those of
his great contemporary. Although he highly appreciated the work of
Linnaeus he disliked his system of classification on account of its
artificiality, and he intended to bring forward a natural system of
his own. It is not, I think, too much to say that time has justified
his criticism; and many of his minor differences have been warranted.
For instance, Linnaeus merged the genera _Valerianella_ and _Linaria_
into those of _Valeriana_ and _Antirrhinum_ respectively; Hill however
recognized the generic rank of the two former[88].

Incidentally, it may be remarked that the acceptance of the year 1753
as the starting-point for the citation of names by the Vienna Botanical
Congress has been the cause of more general recognition of Hill's
activity in this direction; thus in recent editions of _British Flora_
his name is appended to many genera and species[89].

The _Vegetable System_ gained Hill the Order of Vasa, from the King
of Sweden, in 1774, so that he styled himself Sir John; he was also a
Member of the Imperial Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of
Sciences, Bordeaux.

Hill died of gout on the 21st of November, 1775, at about the age of
59, in Golden Square, and was buried at Denham. Notwithstanding the
large sums of money he had made, he died heavily in debt owing to the
great expense entailed by the publication of the _Vegetable System_ and
his own personal extravagance. His library was sold in 1776-7, and it
has already been mentioned that the copyright of the _Vegetable System_
was disposed of by auction.

It is always a matter of difficulty to appraise a man's character, and
more particularly is this true of Hill whose character, as Whiston[90]
has truly remarked, was so "mixed that none but himself can be his
parallel." In the _Sleep of Plants_ the following passage occurs:
"There is a freedom of style, and assumed manner peculiar to this kind
of correspondence, which would be too assuming in works addressed
immediately to the public; and might not unnaturally draw upon the
author a censure of self-sufficiency and vanity. This explanation, I
hope, will defend me from so unfair a charge: for indeed no one knows
more the narrow limits of human knowledge; or entertains an humbler
opinion of the returns of years of application." Nothing could be more
proper than this, but against it must be set the opinion of men of his
own time, as expressed in the quotation on p. 88, taken from Baker's
_Biographica Dramatica_.

Many estimates of the character of Hill have been put forward, the
first of any authority being that of Johnson[91]:--"The King then
asked him what he thought of Dr Hill. Johnson answered, that he was an
ingenious man, but had no veracity; and immediately mentioned, as an
instance of it, an assertion of that writer, that he had seen objects
magnified to a much greater degree by using three or four microscopes
at a time than by using one. 'Now,' added Johnson, 'everyone acquainted
with microscopes knows, that the more of them he looks through,
the less the object will appear.'... 'I now,' said Johnson to his
friends, when relating what had passed, 'began to consider that I was
depreciating the man in the estimation of his sovereign, and thought
it was time for me to say something that might be more favourable.' He
added, therefore, that Dr Hill was, notwithstanding, a very curious
observer; and if he would have been contented to tell the world no more
than he knew, he might have been a very considerable man, and needed
not to have recourse to such mean expedients to raise his reputation."

If Hill's reputation for lying rests on no surer foundation than this,
he must be held acquitted of much that is charged him. In the above
quotation the term microscopes must be read lenses; thus Johnson's
reason for his opinion is unfortunate and clearly shews, as Bishop
Elrington has remarked, that Johnson was talking of things he knew
nothing about. This is the more to be regretted since the opinion of
a man of Johnson's rank, who was contemporary with Hill, might have
biassed the judgment of smaller and later men.

According to Fitzgerald[92], Hill was a "quack and blustering
adventurer," the "Holloway of his day," endowed with "cowardice that
seemed a disease." This author is, I think, prejudiced, and his
estimate appears to be based upon the least creditable of Hill's
performances without giving a proper value to the better side of his
nature and work. On the other hand the author--a grateful patient--of
the short account of the life of Hill[93] went to the other extreme.
This account is entirely laudatory, and describes Hill as being little
short of a genius surrounded and continually attacked by "envious and
malevolent persons" who "did not fail to make use of every engine
malevolence could invent, to depreciate the character and the works of
a man, whom they saw, with regret, every way so far their superior."

Disraeli[94] speaks of Hill as the "Cain of Literature," and, whilst
being fully alive to his "egregious egotism" and other defects of
character, he appreciates his worth and recognizes that Hill was born
fifty years too soon. Also he gives him credit for his moral courage in
enduring "with undiminished spirit the most biting satires, the most
wounding epigrams, and more palpable castigations."

The general consensus of opinion, much of which does not appear to have
been independently arrived at, is that Hill's nature contained little
that was commendable. At the same time his remarkable industry and
versatility were recognised. His independent and quarrelsome nature,
coupled with his mode of attack and fearlessness in expressing his
opinions, made him cordially hated, and caused much that he did to be
viewed with a prejudiced eye; for instance, it is generally stated that
he obtained his degree of Doctor of Medicine (St Andrews, 1750) by
dishonourable means. Mr Anderson, Librarian and Keeper of the Records
of St Andrews University, has kindly looked the matter up and informs
me that there is nothing whatever to warrant such a statement; the
degree was granted according to the practice of the time.

It is important to remember that Hill in his earlier days suffered
much from penury, which, to a certain extent, may have embittered his
nature. However this may be, he learnt subsequently the advantages
conferred by a good income, and was not desirous of becoming
reacquainted with his earlier experiences. This may explain much of his
peculiar behaviour. Disraeli[95] suggests that, in offering himself
as Keeper of the Sloane Collection, at the time of its purchase for
the British Museum, Hill was merely indulging in an advertisement.
Hill probably was sufficiently shrewd to realize that a ready sale for
his wares would obtain so long as he kept within the public eye, and
much of his extraordinary behaviour in public may have been merely

The portrait of Hill prefacing this sketch is after Neudramini's
engraving of Coates's portrait (1757); the plant represented is a spray
of a species of _Hillia_, named in honour of Hill by Jacquin.


[59] Sir John Hawkins, _Life of Samuel Johnson_, London. 1787.

[60] A Letter from Henry Woodward, ... to Dr Hill ... London, 1752.

[61] _Loc. cit._

[62] _Short Account of the Life, Writings and Character of the late Sir
John Hill, M.D.,_Edinburgh, 1779.

[63] Fitzgerald, _Life of Garrick_, London, 1868.

[64] Isaac Disraeli, _The Calamities and Quarrels of Authors_, London,

[65] London, 1848.

[66] _Biographica Dramatica_, 1812.

[67] See also _Lucine sine concubitu_. A Letter addressed to the Royal
Society, London, 1750. _A Dissertation on Royal Societies_, London,

[68] _Short Account of the Life, Writings and Character of the late Sir
John Hill, M.D._, Edinburgh 1779.

[69] See Bates, _The Naturalist on the River Amazons_. Edited by Ed.
Clodd; London, 1892, p. 80.

[70] _Short Life_, _loc. cit._

[71] _Loc. cit._

[72] _Biographica Dramatica._

[73] _Dict. Nat. Biog._

[74] His second wife, the Hon. Henrietta Jones, sister of Charles
Viscount Ranelagh. She published "An Address to the Public setting
forth the Consequencies of the late Sir John Hill's acquaintance with
the Earl of Bute," 1788.

[75] _Historical Account of Kew to 1841_, _Kew Bulletin_, 1891.

[76] Further information relating to Hill's public Life will be found
in the following works. Arthur Murphy, _The Life of David Garrick_,
London, 1801; _A narrative of the affair between Mr Brown and the
Inspector_, London, 1752; _The Covent Garden Journal_, 1752; Frederick
Lawrence, _Life of Fielding_, London, 1855.

[77] Ed. by Dallinger, London, 1891.

[78] _Outlines of a System of Vegetable Generation_, London, 1758.

[79] By Lindforss in 1896.

[80] _The British Herbal; an History of Plants, and Trees, natives of
Britain, cultivated for use, or raised for Beauty_, London, 1756.

[81] _Historical and Biographical Sketches of the Progress of Botany in
England_, London, 1790.

[82] _The Gardeners New Kalendar ... The System of Linnaeus also
explained_, London, 1758.

[83] _Flora Britanica sive Synopsis methodica stirpium Britanicarum
post tertiam editionem synopseos Raianae ... nunc primum ad C. Linnaei
methodum disposita_, London, 1760 (some copies are dated 1759).

[84] _Loc. cit._

[85] _The Vegetable System Or, the Internal Structure and The Life of
Plants; Their Parts and Nourishment Explained; Their Classes, Orders,
Genera, and Species, Ascertained and Described...._ London, 1759-1775.

[86] London, 1758.

[87] _An Address to the Public ... loc. cit._

[88] See _Helleborine_ Hill v. _Epipactis_ Adans. G. Claridge Druce,
_Journal of Botany_, XLVI. 1908.

[89] Babington's _Manual of British Botany_, ed. by Groves, London.
Hayward's _Botanist's Pocket Book_, ed. by Druce, London, 1909.

[90] John Nichols, _Literary Anecdotes_, 1812.

[91] Boswell's _Life of Johnson_, ed. by Fitzgerald, London, 1897.

[92] _Ibid._; _Life of Garrick_, _loc. cit._

[93] Edinburgh, 1779, _loc. cit._

[94] _Loc. cit._

[95] _Loc. cit._




  Position of Botany before Brown--narrative--diary--naturalist to
  the Flinders expedition--travels in Australia--his method in the
  field--Essay and Prodromus on the vegetation of New Holland--the
  Proteaceae and Asclepiadaceae--Brown's digressions--his
  tenacity and caution--impregnation--views on the morphology
  of the Gymnosperms in the memoir on _Kingia_--foundation
  of ovular morphology--cell nucleus discussed--the simple
  microscope--"Brownian movement" investigated--summary of
  other work--Bryophytes--interest in fossil plants--personal
  characteristics--Asa Gray's story--the Banksian collections--the
  British Museum and Linnean Society--contemporary appreciation--his
  outstanding merits.

Someone has affirmed that no man is greater than the age in which
he lives. A cryptic utterance, savouring perhaps of a certain dash
of impressionism, and not altogether false as it is assuredly not
wholly true. If, however, we endeavour dispassionately to appraise the
performance of the world's great (though perhaps we should exclude
the few greatest) men we shall probably discover that the implied
limitation is justified, at least in part, by history and experience.
The fact is that hardly anyone can really penetrate far into nature's
secret places without losing his way. The virgin lands of knowledge
that lie beyond the area of contemporary possession are first invaded
by those who can breach the barriers that oppose advance, for genius,
by its wider outlook enables those who are endowed with it to recognise
the weaker spots in these barriers, and thus to lead the attack. But
the new territory, even after it is won, is ever surrounded by unknown
regions, still waiting to be overrun when, but not until, the
conditions for further expansion shall have been fulfilled.

[Illustration: _Plate XI_ ROBERT BROWN (_circa 1856_)]

At the beginning of the nineteenth century the time was ripe for such
an addition of new territory to the regions of Botany already occupied
at that period. In England, at any rate, the work inaugurated by Ray
and others had become overshadowed by the authority of Linnaeus, and
even on the Continent the effective advance of the science was for
various reasons almost stayed. It is true that in France the Jussieus
had started advance on fruitful lines, and others like De Candolle were
endeavouring to feel their way through the maze of dimly comprehended
relationships, but their efforts were obscured by the growing and fatal
facilities for piling up mere catalogues of plants without the clues
necessary to direct their energies into more profitable channels. As
regards the flowering plants, there was, it is true, a groping after
a partially perceived natural system, but the lower ranks of the
vegetable kingdom formed, so far as scientific purposes were concerned,
a _terra incognita_, and the attempts to elucidate the morphology of
these groups in the light of the angiosperms were, as we now can see
clearly enough, plainly foredoomed to failure.

Facts were distorted and observations misinterpreted in ways that now
seem to us almost to smack of sheer perversity, but we must not forget
that the methods which in later years have proved so effective had not
then been recognised; Hofmeister, with his marvellous genius, had not
as yet arisen to shew the way through the maze of the lower forms.

But what does strike one as astonishing, or might do so if the
circumstance were not still so common, is the evidence of the
difficulty men experienced in really seeing things as they were, and
of distinguishing the fundamentally important from the trivial or even

As always, what was needed was the man who could fix his gaze on facts,
who would spare no pains to find out what was true, and thus succeed
in discovering a sure base to serve as a vantage ground for further
advance. Von Mohl was one of these, and earlier in the century there
was the man, the subject of this lecture, who by his single-hearted
search after truth, and the extraordinary ardour and ability with
which he prosecuted his investigations will always occupy a high
position in the history of Botany.

Robert Brown came of a stock which refused to bow the knee to
authority, though his forbears did not, any more than himself, hesitate
to impress the weight of it on others. His father was a non-juring
clergyman of Montrose, and was in consequence obliged to leave the
official ecclesiastical fold. But he carried a congregation with him,
and not desiring to set up novel forms of church government, managed to
get himself consecrated bishop of the new flock. As bishop, priest and
deacon, _tres in uno juncti_, he ministered to his Edinburgh church,
and his episcopal staff may still be seen in the rooms of the Linnean
Society. His son Robert, who was born in 1773, inherited both his
father's independence and also his dominant character. And, indeed, the
great influence he wielded in the botanical world was due in no small
degree to his strong personality, reinforced as it was by his high
scientific attainments.

He began at an early age to evince a love of botany and to give proof
of the strong critical faculty which enabled him so successfully to
solve the problems he attacked, and so materially to advance our
science. He added to his mental attainments a wonderfully methodical
habit, and the diary of his earlier years reveals him to us not only as
a hard-working student but as one meticulously accurate in detail.

In 1795 he was appointed Surgeon mate to the Fifeshire Regiment of
Fencibles, and his letter of appointment signed by the Colonel, James
Durham, is preserved in the Natural History Museum. His regiment was
quartered in Ireland, and he made good use of his time, collecting all
the plants he could get hold of, including mosses and liverworts, of
which he amassed a considerable collection. Indeed, it is said that he
owed his first acquaintance with Sir Joseph Banks to his discovery in
Ireland of the rare moss _Glyphomitrium Daviesii_. This recognition
by Sir Joseph proved the turning-point of his life. The six years or
so that he spent in the Fencibles were turned to good account, and in
looking to his own record of his life during those years one realises
how thoroughly he earned the success that crowned his work in after
life. There is much humour--perhaps of an unconscious kind, though I am
not very sure that it was so very unconscious--in his carefully kept
diary. Here is an extract, dated Feb. 7, 1800.

  Before breakfast began the German auxiliary verbs.

  Committed to memory a genus in Cullen's Synopsis. Described
  Polytrichum aloides--to be compared with Mr Menzies' P. rubellum.

  Began the description of Osmunda pellucida.

  Hospital usual time.

  Took exactly the same walk as on the 4th. Blasia pusilla Lin.,
  Weissia recurvirostra Hedw.? Dicranum varium Hedw., Polytrichum
  nanum, Polytrichum urnigerum, Phascum subulatum, Dicranum glaucum,
  absque fruct.

  At dinner about 3 pints of port., remained in the mess room till
  about 9 or 10 o'clock--slept in my chair till nearly 3 in the

  Feb. 8, before breakfast finished the auxiliary verb _Seyn_, to be,
  in Wendeborn's German Grammar....

He did not, however, spend all his evenings in this fashion, but
whether it was a glass of water, a pint of porter, or what not, it
is all gravely set down, together with the work he succeeded in
accomplishing. Instances of his thoroughness are not wanting. He says
in one place he had read Nicholson's _Chemistry_, ch. vi., on the
balance, "to be again perused, my defective knowledge of the mechanical
powers rendering part of it unintelligible."

He was fond of reading in bed, but his light literature on
these occasions included such works as Adam Smith, Blackstone's
_Commentaries_, and a German Grammar.

His botanical acquirements were already attracting notice, and in 1798,
being detached for recruiting service, he took the opportunity of a
visit to London to utilise the splendid collections in the possession
of Sir Joseph Banks, and he was also in the same year elected an
Associate of the Linnean Society. Soon after his return to Ireland
he received a letter from Sir Joseph offering him the nomination as
Naturalist to the _Investigator_, which was to be commanded by Captain
Flinders. He at once decided to go, writing, as he tells us, by return
of post.

Few men who have, at so early an age, enjoyed the opportunity of a
voyage of discovery were so well equipped for the work as was Robert
Brown. Blessed with a good constitution, which was also seaworthy,
he possessed many physical advantages, but in addition to them he had
trained himself as an accurate and accomplished botanist. He spent what
time he could spare in London in acquainting himself with all that he
could find of the New Holland Flora, and in this connection he had full
access to the invaluable Banksian collections.

He was fortunate in having with him on the expedition as draughtsman
Ferdinand Bauer, whose beautiful drawings are the admiration of all who
know them.

The _Investigator_ sailed from Portsmouth in 1801, and on landing at
King George's Sound the first collections, amounting to about 500
plants, were made within three weeks. Three days at Lucky Bay yielded
100 species not met with in the previous locality. At Port Jackson
the _Investigator_ was condemned as unseaworthy, and Captain Flinders
determined to return to England to obtain another ship in which to
prosecute the expedition. The ship, however, was wrecked in Torres
Straits, Brown's duplicate specimens, as well as the live plants on
board, being lost, whilst Captain Flinders was held prisoner by the
French at Port Louis. Meantime Brown and Bauer continued their travels
in Australia, visiting Van Dieman's land as well. Brown subsequently
returned to England, oddly enough in the old _Investigator_, in 1805
with a magnificent collection of plants some 4000 in number.

He did not merely _collect_, but he studied his collections on the
spot--a method that may be strongly commended to young men who go
out as botanists at the present time. His plan was to keep a working
herbarium of all the plants gathered by him, as he went along, and he
wrote up the descriptions in great part during his actual expeditions.
In this way many problems formulated themselves which he was able
either to investigate on the spot, or else to lay up additional
material for further investigation at leisure. Thus the methodical ways
of dealing with the plants collected in earlier years at home stood
him in good stead at a time when the opportunities of a lifetime were
crowding upon him.

On his return to England he was appointed librarian to the Linnean
Society (1805), an office which he held till 1822, and he at once set
about to utilise the vast resources which were now at his command.

He contributed to the narrative of The Flinders Expedition an account
of the vegetation of New Holland. The essay is a remarkable one, not
only for the masterly descriptions of the principal genera and orders
which it contains, and the critical remarks which are scattered through
the pages, but also for the geographical and statistical methods of
treatment which he introduced. Many of the orders are new, and Brown
shews his striking perception of affinity not only in his general
discussion of the subject as a whole, but also in the definitions of
the new orders and genera which he founded. This soundness of judgment
is shewn on a still larger scale in his more definitely systematic
works such as the _Prodromus_, but one may regard it generally as an
astonishing tribute to his sagacity that very few of the groups founded
by him have needed serious revision, even when further discoveries
made it possible for later botanists to fill up the lacunae inevitable
during those earlier days.

In the year 1810 there appeared the first volume of his great work, the
_Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae_. It is a misfortune that only one
volume was ever published, although the work was advanced in MS. It has
been said that a criticism of the author's Latinity at the hands of a
reviewer was the cause of the stoppage of the publication, but there
seems to be no real foundation for the story. Possibly the expense,
coupled with the small return, may at any rate partly account for it.
Be this as it may, Brown recalled from his bookseller all the unsold
copies, and in the copy preserved at the Natural History Museum there
is a list of the volumes actually sold written by Brown himself, and
from a financial point of view the enterprise clearly proved itself to
be an expensive experiment. The volume as published is a remarkable
work, containing some 450 pages, including 464 genera, nearly one-third
of which are here described for the first time and the number of
species amounts to about 2000, some three-quarters of which were new to
science. Add to this the fact that the flora as a whole is very unlike
that of the northern hemisphere, also that the work was accomplished
with such amazing rapidity (largely owing to his particular methods
already alluded to), and one cannot withhold admiration at the energy
and the learning of its author. It is a wonderful tribute to his wisdom
that his descriptions and arrangements should have so stood the test
of 100 years, during which time vast strides in our knowledge of the
Australian and other floras have been made. But the lapse of time has
resulted in scarcely any but trifling modifications of the general
results as he left them. The _Prodromus_ is well worth study, for in
its pages one constantly meets with hints of observations which have
borne fruit in later years. Some of them, indeed, e.g. his observations
on Cycads, were expanded by himself into larger treatises in which much
light has been thrown on morphological and taxonomic relationships
previously but imperfectly understood.

The year before the publication of the _Prodromus_, Brown communicated
to the Linnean Society an excellent and learned memoir on the
Proteaceae. In this paper we encounter an instance of that whimsical
introduction of observations exceedingly valuable in themselves, but
mainly irrelevant to the matter in hand, which is a characteristic
feature of many of his works. Perhaps it was due to the intense
keenness with which he always followed up problems that interested him,
so that, like Mr Dick's weakness for King Charles' head, they had to
find a place in whatever else he was writing about. Thus his treatise
on the Proteaceae starts off with advice to study the flower in the
young, instead of only in its adult condition, and this is driven home
by an excellent disquisition on the structure of the androecium and
gynaeceum of Asclepiads, a subject which occupied his mind for some
years and formed the basis for separate papers at subsequent periods.
Only when he has discussed the morphology of the Asclepiad flower
does he plunge, abruptly, into the questions relating directly to the

Later on in the same year (1809) he read a masterly paper on the
Asclepiadaceae which was subsequently printed in the _Memoirs_ of
the Wernerian Natural History Society. This Natural Order was here
separated by him from the Apocynaceae, from which it had not previously
been distinguished, and a correct account of the relations of the
remarkable androecium, so characteristic of the Asclepiad flower,
was given. Twenty-two years later (in 1831) he again returned to the
Asclepiads and described and discussed the mode of pollination and
fertilisation in this Order and also in that of the Orchids.

It was characteristic of Brown that he clung with great tenacity to
any problem that had once excited his interest. He made himself fully
acquainted with the work of his contemporaries and predecessors, and
at the same time he constantly attacked it by reiterated first-hand
investigations, testing hypotheses and theories by the light of direct
observation. He was very cautious, and thus, although he traced
the pollen tubes from the pollen grain into the ovary and into the
micropyle (foramen) of the ovule, he still leaves it an open question
whether, in all cases, anything of a material nature passes from the
pollen to the interior of the ovule, which may thus be held responsible
for the formation of an embryo.

He cites the observations of Amici and of Du Petit Thouars, and then
states he does not feel he is as far advanced as these observers. But
in the succeeding pages he traces the tube, of which he says, "the
production is a vital action excited in the grain by the application
of an external stimulus." We see here a clear perception of the facts
of germination and of the operation of what we now call chemiotaxis,
for he goes on to add "The appropriate and most powerful stimulus
to this action is no doubt contact, at the proper period, with the
secretion or surface of the stigma of the same species. Many facts,
however, and among others the existence of hybrid plants, prove that
this is not the only stimulus capable of producing the effect; and in
Orchideae I have found that the action in the pollen of one species
may be excited by the stigma of another belonging to a very different
tribe." It is hard to believe that these lines were written so long
as 80 years ago. Brown goes on to describe the change that follows
impregnation, and the gradual appearance of the embryo. And we must
remember that all these observations were made by one who relied almost
exclusively on the simple microscope and the simplest--I had almost
said barbaric--technique.

He expresses himself in very reserved terms as to the nature of the
"immediate agent derived from the male organ, or the manner of its
application to the ovulum in the production of that series of changes
constituting fecundation." But he puts forward the opinion that a more
attentive examination of the process in Orchids and Asclepiads is more
likely to be fruitful of results than most other families.

He returns again to this matter of fecundation in the following year,
studying several orchids, but especially _Bonatea_, for the purpose.
He is somewhat shaken as to the validity of his former inferences,
and concludes that the "mucous cords" (i.e. strings of pollen tubes)
are perhaps derived from pollen "not, however, by mere elongation of
the original pollen tubes, but by an increase in their number, in a
manner which I do not attempt to explain." In this later paper he also
hazards the suggestion that in _Ophrys_, as impregnation is frequently
accomplished without the aid of insects, "... it may be conjectured
that the remarkable forms of the flowers in this genus are intended to
deter, not to attract, insects." Also he suggests that the insect forms
in orchidaceous flowers resemble those of the insects belonging to the
native country of the plants. This is a clear foreshadowing of what
is now called protective mimicry--and the former suggestion is not at
any rate wholly without modern supporters, though Brown's share in its
origin seems not to be generally recognised.

The keen desire to get to the bottom of a problem, which was so
outstanding a feature of Brown's whole mental attitude, unquestionably
explains why he was led to make so many important discoveries in
such widely different directions. His first hand knowledge of the
structure of a vast number of plants gave a soundness and depth to
his morphological investigations that must arouse the admiration of
everyone who is acquainted with them. He was never satisfied with
perfunctory attempts to solve a problem, but, as we have already
seen, in the example of his studies on Asclepiads and Orchids, he
would return again and again to the matter till he had satisfied
himself of the accuracy of his work. It is a pity that all of the
present day botanists do not follow more closely in his steps in
this respect. Publication of a paper seems to some to be a matter of
greater importance than the advance of knowledge by the scientific
and scholarly solution of a problem. Such was not Brown's view, and
he practised wise delay in publication--_nonumque prematur in annum_,
a maxim so strongly advocated by the Latin poet, was really put into
practice by him as it also was by some of his contemporaries. Dryander,
Solander and others have left, as Brown has done, rich stores of MS.
behind them, which have never passed through the press.

The habit of long and continuous reflection on fundamental problems,
which was so marked a feature of Brown's character, was perhaps
responsible for the curious manner in which some of his most valuable
and suggestive contributions to science, and especially to morphology,
were given to the world, a habit to which I have already adverted.

We know he had been for many years interested in the ovule, and he made
a number of important discoveries respecting it. Closely bound up with
this topic were his studies on the Cycads and Conifers. He observed the
plurality of embryos in the seeds of these plants, and, indeed, makes
a reference to the phenomenon of polyembryony in the _Prodromus_, in
which, as in most of his systematic works, morphological observations
of the highest value are scattered, though embodied in very compressed
phrases, amongst the descriptions of species. But every now and then
when writing on one subject he seems to be carried away with the rush
of his ideas on general questions. Thus in a memoir on the genus
_Kingia_ he entitles the paper, possibly to save his face after he had
written it, "Character and Description of Kingia; a new genus of plants
found on the south-west coast of New Holland. With observations on the
Structure of its unimpregnated Ovulum, and on the female flower of
Cycadeae and Coniferae."

This paper is, perhaps, one of the most important of his works, for it
was there that, having briefly dismissed the genus _Kingia_, he "let
himself go" on the ovule, and then in a masterly dissertation, puts
forward his view on the gymnospermic nature of the Cycads and Conifers.

He summarises what was known at that time as to the structure of
the ovule, acutely criticising the views of the various authors he
cites. He emphasises the need of studying the _development_ in order
successfully to interpret the mature structure. He insists on the
origin of the seed coats from the integuments, on the orientation of
the embryo within the amnios (embryo sac), and on the distinction
between the true albumen which is contained in this "amnios" and the
albumen "formed by a deposition of granular matter in the cells of the
nucleus" (nucellus), i.e. the perisperm, and he goes on to suggest
that in some of these cases the "Membrane of the amnios seems to
be persistent, forming even in the ripe seed a proper coat for the
embryo.... This is the probable explanation of the structure of true
Nympheaceae" ... here he seems to have overlooked the rudimentary
endosperm which is really present. Finally he sums up an admirable
account of the whole matter as follows:--"The albumen, properly
so-called, may be formed either by a disposition or secretion of
granular matter in the utriculi of the amnios, or in those of the
nucleus itself, or lastly that two substances having these distinct
origins and very different textures may coexist in the ripe seed as is
probably the case in Scitamineae."

He then goes on at once to argue that the apex of the nucleus is the
point of the ovulum where impregnation takes place, and adds that
"all doubt would be removed if cases could be produced where the
ovarium was either altogether wanting or so imperfectly formed that
the ovulum itself became directly exposed to the action of the pollen
or its fovilla." This leads him at once to enunciate his view of the
gymnospermy of Cycads, Conifers and Gnetaceae. He reviews very fully
the opinions that had been expressed by others as to the real structure
of the female organ, especially of Pinus, and he mentions the fact that
he himself in the botany of the Flinders' voyage had previously held
the view that a minute perianth was present in the Pine, a view which,
as he says, "On reconsidering the subject in connection with what I had
ascertained respecting the vegetable ovulum" he had now abandoned.

The morphology of the male sporophyll of Cycas, however, presents a
great difficulty, and Brown, less fortunate here, discusses a number
of what seemed to him possible explanations. The recognition of
_Sporangia_ was remote, and the effort to homologise the numerous
pollen sacs either to grains of pollen which, bursting, liberated
fovilla, or to male flowers, or to explain them in other ways, was
not very successful. The fact is this was a piece of morphology for
which the age was not ready. We must recollect that the comparative
morphology of the ovule (in the wide sense) was not attempted. Brown's
main contribution to the understanding of this structure consisted
in the empirical accuracy with which he elucidated the actual
structure--he made no attempt to frame a comparative morphology, for
the simple reason that in the condition of knowledge at the time no
such comparative morphology was possible or even dreamed of.

Two other remarkable discoveries now demand our attention, and both
are instructive as shewing the keenness with which his highly trained
powers of observation followed up the clues which his brilliant
intellect had enabled him to descry. It was while engaged on a study of
the Orchids and Asclepiads that he was led to recognise the existence
of the cell nucleus. He worked almost exclusively with what we should
call a dissecting microscope. One of his instruments is preserved in
the Natural History Museum, and it is well to examine it and reflect
on how much may be discerned even with a very primitive instrument if
only a good brain lies behind the retina. The "microscope" contains a
number of simple lenses of various powers, the highest about 1/32" F.L.
It is easy with such an instrument to see the nucleus in the epidermal
cells when one knows it is there, but to have _discovered_ it, and at
a time when the technique of staining, &c., was simply non-existent,
was a triumph of genius. Brown, of course, could not fully appreciate
the great importance of his discovery, but he quite realised that he
was dealing with no isolated or trivial fact, and, with characteristic
industry and enterprise, he searched many other plants to find out
whether his newly recognised nucleus was general or not; he found it to
be so, and we all know how the discovery began at once to bear fruit.

A second observation to which I would refer was also of wide interest,
and it was not made merely by chance. Brown was anxious to penetrate
if possible into the secrets of fertilisation. He seems to have been
pretty sure that something more than the mere "aura" of older writers
was concerned in the matter, and while looking into the evidence for
the existence or transmission of material substance, he observed that
in the fovilla of the pollen there were vast crowds of minute particles
which were in a continual state of dancing motion. He hoped that it
might be possible to identify these bodies along their track into the
ovule, and so to settle the more urgent questions as to the mode of
fertilisation. He states that he made his observations with a simple
microscope, the focal length of the lens of which was 1/32". Later on
he used a much more powerful pocket microscope made by Dollond with
power up to 1/70" F.L. He got Dollond to check the results with a
compound achromatic microscope, and estimated the size of the particles
to be 1/20,000 to 1/30,000". Brown was fully aware that he was not
the first observer who had seen these moving particles. They had been
already noticed by Needham and by Gleichen, but these writers had
paid no special attention to them. Brown's great merit in this matter
lies in the admirable way in which he conducted the investigation. At
first he thought he had lighted upon something which was essentially
a peculiarity of the male elements; then, extending his observations,
he had to expand his first idea and admit the "active molecules" to
represent a state or condition of living matter generally. As he still
further widened the sphere of his investigations, he proved that the
same movements occurred in dead tissues, and further that inorganic
bodies also exhibited the phenomenon. Later on he found that the
movements depended on the minuteness of the particles. He excluded
the effect of evaporation, currents and other disturbing influences,
and, indeed, the whole investigation shews him to us in the character
of an accomplished experimenter as well as a brilliant observer. The
complete explanation of these "active molecules," which are in the
state generally described as "Brownian movement," still constitutes an
unsolved problem, and one finds that it even now continues to occupy
the attention of the physicist.

Any attempt adequately to review the whole of Brown's life work is
impossible within the limits necessarily imposed by the conditions of
a lecture, and I make no pretence to completeness, but will endeavour
rather to indicate what appear to be the more important of his many
other contributions to science.

His catalogues of the plants collected by those associated with
various expeditions, his Kew lists (which were published under Aiton's
name) are well known to students of systematic Botany, but his fine
monograph on _Rafflesia_, containing, as it does, many observations of
general interest will well repay perusal even after these many years.
His studies on Cephalotus, on Caulophyllum (with its remarkable seed
formation), as well as his considerable memoir on the Proteaceae,
shew him as a naturalist imbued with keen insight and possessed of
extraordinarily sound judgment.

But Brown did not confine his attention to phanerogams, but, as might
have been anticipated from the studies of his earlier years, pursued
his investigations into the little explored field of the cryptogams.

We have seen that as a young man he had been greatly attracted to the
study of mosses. Later on he contributed two important papers on these
plants to the Linnean Society, one in 1809, in which he described
two new genera, one of them Dawsonia, the other Leptostomum, both
from Australasia. The introductory remarks in which he discusses
the character of the moss capsule, are interesting as shewing how
hopelessly impossible it was at that time to arrive at a scientific
understanding of its structure, so long as everything was tested by the
touchstone of the flowering plants. Ten years afterwards he reverted to
the same subject, describing the new genus _Lyellia_ from Nepaul, and
comparing it, as was his wont, with allied genera, e.g. Polytrichum,
Buxbaumia and many others, with the view of elucidating the
significance of its structure. The spores, however, are still spoken of
as seeds. The male plant is generally regarded as the _barren_ plant.
It is not easy to reconcile the existence of male flowers with the view
of Beauvois which Brown seemed still to consider as not disproved, viz.
that the seeds and pollen were both contained in the capsule.

Mosses were not the only cryptograms to which he turned his attention.
He described a new species of Azolla (_A. pinnata_) from Port Jackson,
and the plant was illustrated by the excellent drawings of Bauer. But
here, too, the time was not yet ripe for a morphological understanding
of the structure. The megasporangium was thought to be the _male_
flower, the microsporangia being interpreted as capsules containing
several seeds (the glochidia). The explanation of the supposed male
flower presented difficulties, but he states that the lower cell (i.e.
the megaspore) was once found filled with a powder replacing the turbid
fluid ordinarily occurring there, and the powder was supposed in some
way to be ejected and thence to be conveyed to the female organ.

Ferns also claimed his attention, and among his other contributions he
founded the genus _Woodsia_, calling attention to the character of the
involucrum (indusium), which separated it from the other polypodia with
which the species had previously been associated.

Brown had always taken a keen interest in fossil plants, although,
so far as I am aware, he only wrote one paper on the subject. This
one, however, was of considerable importance, for its subject was the
Brownian cone of Lepidodendron, called by him Triplosporite, though its
true affinities were correctly gauged.

Although, as I have said, Brown was less successful when grappling
with cryptogams, he is always worth reading on any subject, and in his
own special province, that of the flowering plants, I know of no one
amongst the older writers from whom one may learn so much. This is due
not only to the genius and erudition which he brought to bear on every
problem he attacked, but also to the example he affords of scientific
method in handling his subject. In his respect for accuracy, in his
cautious attitude, as well as in the single-minded honesty of purpose
he everywhere exhibits, he has set an example not only for his own but
for all future time.

His personal character made a deep impression on his contemporaries.
To his friends he was very faithful, and the unanimous tribute of
affectionate (though respectful) admiration affords full proof of
this. Like many other strong characters, however, he seems also to
have been able at times to shew a rougher side of his nature. He was
not generous with his specimens, nor was he always ready to part with
information. Asa Gray tells a story of how he encountered this trait
of Brown's character. Gray was visiting this country and, of course,
made the great botanist's acquaintance. One day Brown told him that he
knew of a character by which _Rhexia_ (a genus in which Gray was at
that time interested) could be distinguished from some nearly allied
ones, and that this character had escaped the notice of De Candolle and
others. But Gray could not get it out of him, and it was not till the
following week that Brown was induced to part with his secret!

It is interesting to observe the impression the elder botanist made on
Gray, and to note the growing admiration with which the younger man
speaks of him in the very readable diary he kept of his London visit.
It was the same, however, with all. The more intimate the acquaintance
the more profound the respect, and sometimes the love, that Brown's
personality inspired.

Brown was a keen business man, and well lived up to the traditions of
the land of his birth. He gave a remarkable proof of his canniness
in the successful outcome of his bargaining with the trustees of the
British Museum. Sir Joseph Banks by his will had left him not only
his house, but also a life user of the Banksian collections, after
which they were to go to the Museum. In 1827 Brown entered into a hard
agreement with the trustees to transfer the collections at once to the
Museum, he being appointed "under-librarian" at an adequate salary,
with a well safeguarded position. He used commonly to take 11 weeks'
holiday--a length of vacation which served to differentiate him rather
clearly (and to his own advantage) from his colleagues. He successfully
countered all official moves designed to encroach on the terms of his
agreement whereby his freedom might be curtailed, and his conditions of
service be brought more into line with those that obtained elsewhere in
the Museum.

He maintained through his life intimate relations with the Linnean
Society. He acted during his earlier life as Librarian to the Society,
an office which he resigned in 1822. Two years previously he had
succeeded to the house in Soho Square which had been left to him by
Sir Joseph Banks, and as it was larger than his own requirements
demanded, an arrangement was made by which the Linnean Society moved
into the vacant rooms, where it remained for a number of years. Brown
subsequently became President of the Society (in 1849).

Robert Brown was deservedly acclaimed by his contemporaries as the
first botanist of his age, and honours fell to his share even in his
earlier years. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1811,
and twenty-eight years afterwards was awarded the Copley Medal. He was
approached in 1819 in connection with the Chair of Botany in Edinburgh,
but decided not to sever his intimate connection with Sir Joseph Banks.
Abroad he was probably more widely known than in this country, for
when on a visit to Prussia the King sent a special carriage to meet
him, and decorated him with the Order _Pour la Mérite_. In England, on
the other hand, though held in the highest esteem by his scientific
_confrères_, he shared the obscurity that was the common lot of many of
the _savants_ of that age. He was, however, awarded a civil pension,
although not without question on the part of certain members of the
House of Commons.

He lived to a ripe age, passing away in the year 1858, the 85th of his
age. To the last he retained his interest in his life work, and on
June 3, a week before he died, he signed a certificate in favour of an
Associate of the Linnean Society.

Robert Brown, as we have seen, penetrated more deeply than most of
his contemporaries into the secrets of nature, and he enriched the
science to which he devoted his long life by discoveries of fundamental
importance. But he, no more than others, was able to anticipate, with
all his insight, the recognition of the broader bonds of coherence
which link up the plant kingdom as a whole. That was only made possible
when the researches of Hofmeister, the great Tübingen Professor, had
been made known to the world. But it is no reproach to his memory or to
his reputation that he should have fallen into error when attempting
to elucidate the critical stages in the life history of cryptogams.
The historical interest attaching to his mistakes lies in their
inevitableness at the time when he was actively working.

It would be as ungracious as it would be futile to attempt to rob the
great botanist of the meed of praise which by all that is right belongs
to him, because he could not escape from the influence of limiting
factors. His supreme merit rests in his wonderful elucidation of the
morphology and inter-relationships of the higher plants, and if we
judge him by his achievements in this field we shall hardly disagree
with v. Humboldt in according to him the title of _Facile Botanicorum
princeps, Britanniae gloria et ornamentum_.




  Early pursuits--appointed to Glasgow--Garden
  administration--teaching methods--appointed Director of
  Kew--state of Botany--vigorous development of Kew--serial
  publications--floristic work--descriptive work on Ferns--his record.

"Poeta nascitur non fit." A poet is born, not made. If this be true of
poets, much more is it true of botanists. The man who takes up botany
merely as a means of making a livelihood, rarely possesses that true
spirit of the naturalist which is essential for the highest success in
the Science. It is the boys who are touched with the love of organic
Nature from their earliest years, who grub about hedgerows and woods,
and by a sort of second sight appear to know instinctively, as personal
friends, the things of the open country, who provide the material from
which our little band of workers may best be recruited.

Such a boy was Sir William Hooker, the subject of this lecture. He
was born in 1785, at Norwich. There is no detailed history of his
boyhood, but it is known that in his school days he interested himself
in entomology, in drawing, and in reading books of natural history, a
rather unusual thing at the time of the Napoleonic wars! In 1805, when
he was at the age of 20, he discovered a species new to Britain, in
_Buxbaumia aphylla_, and his correspondence about it with Dawson Turner
shows that he was already well versed not only in the flowering plants,
but also in the Mosses, Hepaticae, Lichens, and fresh-water Algae of
Norfolk, his native county. Three years later Sir James Smith dedicated
to him the new genus _Hookeria_, styling him as "a most assiduous
and intelligent botanist, already well known by his interesting
discovery of _Buxbaumia aphylla_, as well as by his scientific drawings
of Fuci for Mr Turner's work: and likely to be far more distinguished
by his illustrations of the difficult genus _Jungermannia_, to which he
has given particular attention" (_Trans. Linn. Soc._ IX. 275). Clearly
young Hooker was a convinced naturalist in his early years, and that by
inner impulse rather than by the mere force of circumstances.

[Illustration: _Plate XII_ WILLIAM JACKSON HOOKER (1834)]

Not that the circumstances of his early years were in any way against
his scientific tastes. He inherited a competence at the early age of
four, and so was saved the mere struggle of bread-winning. His father
was personally interested in gardening, while from his mother's side
he inherited a taste for drawing. Moreover, he was early thrown into
relations with some of the leading naturalists of his time, chiefly
it appears by his own initiative, and doubtless he owed much in those
opening years to the advice and stimulus of such men as Dawson Turner,
and Sir James Smith. Elected to the Linnean Society in 1806, he became
acquainted in the same year with Sir Joseph Banks, Robert Brown, and
other leading naturalists. Thus when other young men would be feeling
for their first footing, he at the age of 21 had already penetrated
into the innermost circle of the Science of the country. For a period
of sixty years he held there a place unique in its activity. He shared
with Augustin Pyrame De Candolle and with Robert Brown the position of
greatest prominence among systematists, during the time which Sachs
has described as that of "the Development of the Natural System under
the Dogma of Constancy of Species." The interval between the death of
Linnaeus and the publication of the _Origin of Species_ can show no
greater triumvirate of botanists than these, working each in his own
way, but simultaneously.

The active life of Sir William Hooker divides itself naturally into
two main periods, during which he held two of the most responsible
official posts in the country, viz. the Regius Chair of Botany in
Glasgow and the Directorship of the Royal Gardens at Kew. We may pass
over with but brief notice the years from 1806 to 1820, which preceded
his attainment of professorial rank. Notwithstanding that notable work
was done by him in those years, the period was essentially preparatory
and provisional, and can hardly be reckoned as an integral part of
his official life. He was in point of fact an enthusiastic amateur,
one of that class which has always been a brilliant ornament of the
Botany of this country, and has contributed to its best work. He
travelled, making successive tours in Scotland and the Isles, no slight
undertaking in those days (1807, 1808). In 1809 he made his celebrated
voyage to Iceland, described in his _Journal_, published in 1811.
But his collections from Iceland were entirely lost by fire on the
return voyage. His son remarks that the loss to science was probably
greatest in respect of the Cryptogamic collections; this naturally
followed from the fact that already he had taken a prominent place as
a student of the lower forms, and the field for their study was more
open than among the flowering plants of the island. It was among the
Cryptogams that Sir William found the theme of his first great work,
the _British Jungermanniae_, published in 1816. Nearly a century after
its appearance it still stands notable not only for the beauty of the
analytical plates, but as a foundation for reference. It must still be
consulted by all who work critically upon the group, subdivided today,
but comprehended then in the single genus _Jungermannia_. During this
period he also produced the _Musci Exotici_, with figures of 176 new
species from various quarters of the globe. Thus up to 1820 his chief
successes lay in the sphere of Cryptogamic Botany.

Naturally so ardent a botanist desired to widen his experience by
travel. But circumstances checked the projects which he successively
formed to visit Ceylon and Java, South Africa, and Brazil. In 1814 he
went to France, and became acquainted with the leading botanists of
Paris. He proceeded to Switzerland and Lombardy, returning in 1815,
in which year he married the eldest daughter of his friend Mr Dawson
Turner. Meanwhile, at his father-in-law's suggestion he had embarked
in a business for which he was not specially fitted by experience or
by inclination. It did not prove a success, and as the years drew on,
having a young family dependent upon him, he began to look out for
some botanical appointment which should at once satisfy his personal
tastes, and be remunerative. The chair in Glasgow becoming vacant
in 1820 by the transfer of Dr Graham to Edinburgh, he received the
appointment from the Crown, largely through the influence of Sir Joseph
Banks. He entered upon its duties never having lectured before to a
class of students, nor even heard such lectures, but otherwise equipped
for their performance in a way that would bear comparison with any of
the professors of his time.

Glasgow was in 1820 at an interesting juncture in its botanical
history. Though the science of botany had been taught for a whole
century in the University, a separate chair had been founded by the
Crown only two years before. Moreover, though there had been for a
long period a "Physic Garden" in the grounds of the old College, this
had proved insufficient, and its position within the growing town
unsuitable. Accordingly, in part by grant from the Crown, partly from
the funds of the University, but largely by the subscriptions of
enthusiastic citizens a Botanic Garden had been founded under Royal
Charter in 1817, and opened to the public in 1819. The first blush of
novelty had not worn off this new enterprise when a man, already in a
leading position, whose successful achievements had shown his quality,
acquainted with many of the leading botanists of Europe, and with
youth and unbounded energy at his disposal entered upon the scene, and
began that course of organisation of Public Botanic Gardens which he
continued to the day of his death.

There was nothing to prevent the Glasgow establishment from rapidly
taking a leading position. Largely as the result of Hooker's influence
and initiative, and assisted greatly no doubt by the zeal with which
the movement was supported by individual citizens, and aided by the
position of Glasgow as a great commercial centre, contributions to
the garden began to come in from every quarter of the globe. Taking
the number of species represented as a measure, the growth of the
living collections was rapid beyond precedent. In 1821 the number of
species living in the garden was about 9000: in 1825 it is quoted at
12,000, while the increase in number from that period onwards was
about 300 to 500 per annum. Of these a large number were new species,
not previously described or figured. This work Hooker carried out, and
the publication of his results widened still further the desire of the
officials of other gardens to effect exchanges. In 1828, after it had
been in existence but ten years, the Glasgow garden was corresponding
as an equal with 12 British and Irish, 21 European, and 5 Tropical
gardens, while it had established relations with upwards of 300 private
gardens. In 1825 Sir William Hooker published a list of the living
plants in pamphlet form, with a plan of the garden, copies of which are
still extant. But the following years, from 1825 to 1840 were the most
notable in its history as a scientific institution. It is recorded in
the minute books that scientific visitors almost invariably expressed
the opinion that the garden would not suffer by comparison with any
other similar establishment in Europe. It can hardly have come as a
surprise to those who had witnessed his work in Glasgow that when a
Director had to be appointed to the Royal Gardens at Kew, the post was
offered to Hooker. He accepted the appointment and left Glasgow in 1841.

His conduct of the Glasgow professorship from 1820 to 1841 was a
success from the first, notwithstanding his entire want of prior
experience of such duties. Sir Joseph Hooker, in his speech at the
opening of the New Botanical Buildings in Glasgow University, in 1901
pointed out how he "had resources that enabled him to overcome all
obstacles: familiarity with his subject, devotion to its study, energy,
eloquence, a commanding presence, with urbanity of manners, and above
all the art of making the student love the science he taught." Not
only students in medicine, for whom the course was primarily designed,
attended the lectures, but private citizens, and even officers from the

Sir Joseph describes his father's course as opening with a few
introductory lectures on the history of botany, and the general
character of plant-life. As a rule the first half of each hour
was occupied with lecturing on organography, morphology, and
classification, and the second half with the analysis in the class-room
of specimens supplied to the pupils, the most studious of whom took
these home for further examination. An interesting event in these
half-hours was the professor calling upon such students as volunteered
for being examined, to demonstrate the structure of a plant or fruit
placed in the hands of the whole class for this purpose. The lectures
were illustrated by blackboard drawings, probably these were a special
feature in the hands of so experienced an artist as he, and also by
large coloured drawings, chiefly of medicinal plants, which were hung
on the walls. Another feature, which happily still survives, was the
collection of lithographed illustrations of the organs of plants, a
copy of which was placed before every two students. The first edition
of these drawings appears to have been by his own hand. But in 1837 a
thin quarto volume of _Botanical Illustrations_ was produced, "being
a series of above a thousand figures, selected from the best sources,
designed to explain the terms employed in a course of Lectures on
Botany." The plates were executed by Walter Fitch, who was originally
a pattern-drawer in a calico-printing establishment, and entered the
service of Sir William in 1834. This great botanical artist continued
to assist Sir William till the death of the latter, and himself died at
Kew in 1892. A number of copies of this early work of Fitch remain to
the present day in the Botanical Department in Glasgow.

Other branches, however, besides Descriptive Organography were taken
up. Naturally the plants of medicinal value figured largely in the
course, which was primarily for medical students. Illustrative
specimens, of which Sir William gathered a large collection, were
handed round for inspection. These, together with other objects of
economic interest finally made their way to Kew, and were embodied in
the great collections of the Kew Museums. The branch of anatomy of the
plant-tissues was not neglected. Of this he wrote at the time of taking
up the duties of the chair, "it is a subject to which I have never
attended, and authors are so much at variance as to their opinions,
and on the facts too, that I really do not know whom to follow." He
continues with a remark which is singularly like what one might have
heard in the early seventies, just before the revival of the laboratory
study of plants in this country. He remarked that "Mirbel has seen
what nobody else can: so nobody contradicts him, though many won't
believe him." I can hardly doubt that physiology of plants will also
have figured in the course, first because Sir William was himself a
successful gardener, but secondly because we have in the Botanical
Department in Glasgow the syllabus of the lectures of Professor
Hamilton who taught botany in the University in the latter end of the
18th century. In this course physiology took a surprisingly large
place, and we can hardly believe that it would have dropped out of Sir
William's course altogether. But of this there is no definite record.

Another feature of the teaching of Sir William was the practical
illustration of botany in the field, by means of excursions. Of these
Sir Joseph tells us there were habitually three in each summer session,
two of them on Saturdays, to favourable points in the neighbourhood
of Glasgow; but the third, which took place about the end of June,
was a larger undertaking. With a party of some thirty students, and
occasional scientific visitors from elsewhere, he started for the
Western Highlands, usually the Breadalbane range. In those days,
before railways, and often with indifferent roads, this was no light
affair, and in some cases it involved camping. I do not know whether
this was the beginning of those class excursions which have been so
marked a feature in the botanical work of the Scottish Universities,
but it is to be remembered that his immediate successor in the Glasgow
chair was Dr Hutton Balfour, who in later years confirmed and extended
the practice, and it has been kept up continuously in the Scottish
universities ever since. It was to meet the requirements of such
work in the field that Sir William prepared and published the _Flora
Scotica_. The first edition appeared before his second year's class
had assembled in 1821. The first Part related to the Phanerogams only,
arranged according to the Linnaean system. The second, which seems to
have been almost as much a new book as a second edition, contained the
Phanerogams arranged according to the natural system, just then coming
into general use. It also embodied the Cryptogams, in the working up
of which he had the assistance of Lindley and of Greville. The total
number of species described was 1784, of which 902 were Cryptogams.

And thus was initiated that profuse and rapid course of publication
which characterised the period of office of Sir William Hooker in
Glasgow. The duties of the chair were comparatively light, and only in
his later years did he extend them voluntarily into the winter months.
He worked year in year out, early and late, at his writing, and rarely
left home. The 21 years of his professorship were perhaps the most
prolific period of his literary production. It was brought to a close
in 1841, by his appointment to the directorship of the Royal Gardens at
Kew, which had in March 1840 been transferred from the Crown, under the
Lord Steward's Department, to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests.
Sir William had been for some time desirous of changing the scene of
his activities from the relatively remote city of Glasgow to some more
central point, and the opening at Kew not only satisfied this wish,
but also put him in command of the establishment in which he saw, even
in its then undeveloped state, the possibility of expansion into a
botanical centre worthy of the nation.

In the spring of 1841 Sir William removed to Kew, taking with him
his library, his private museum and herbarium. This was the first of
those incidents of denudation of the botanical department in Glasgow,
the direct result of the system that held its place in the Scottish
Universities till the Act of 1889. Till that date the chair was
"farmed" by the professor. Almost all the illustrative collections
and books of reference were his private property. Whenever, as has
repeatedly been the case in Glasgow, the occupant of the chair was
promoted elsewhere, he naturally took his property with him, and the
University was denuded, almost to blank walls. Fortunately that is so
no longer. But in the present case the collections were removed, and
finally formed the basis of the great museums, and of the herbarium of

At the time of Sir William's appointment Kew itself was in a very
unsatisfactory state. The acreage of the garden was small compared with
what it now is. The houses were old, and of patterns which have long
become obsolete. Only two of them are now standing, viz. the Aroid
house near the great gates, and the old Orangery, now used as a museum
for timbers. There was no library, and no herbarium. In fact Kew in
1841 was simply an appanage to a palace, where a more than usually
extensive collection of living plants were grown. In the course of the
negotiations which led up to the transfer to the Department of Woods
and Forests it had even been suggested that the collections themselves
should be parted with. It was to such an establishment, with everything
to make, and little indeed to make it from, that Sir William Hooker
came at the age of 55. He had, however, unbounded enthusiasm, and
confidence in the public spirit, and in himself: and what was still
more to the point, the experience gained in the smaller field of
Glasgow, in building up the garden there, combined with a knowledge of
plants which was almost unrivalled, and acquaintance with the leading
botanists and horticulturalists of Europe. It was then no matter for
surprise that he should accept the position, even though the initial
salary was small, and no official house was provided.

As the date of Sir William's appointment may be said to be the
birth-day of the new development of Kew, it will be well to pause a
moment and consider the position of botanical affairs in Europe at that
time. The glamour of the Linnaean period had faded, and the Natural
System of Classification of Plants initiated by De Jussieu had fully
established its position, and had been worked into detail, taking
its most elaborate form in the _Prodromus Systematis Naturalis_ of
Augustin Pyrame De Candolle. That great luminary of Geneva died in
this very year of 1841, leaving his work, initiated but far indeed
from completion, in the hands of his son Alphonse. In England, Robert
Brown was in the full plenitude of his powers, and in possession of
the Banksian herbarium was evolving out of its rich materials new
principles of classification, and fresh morphological comparisons.
In fact morphology was at this time being differentiated from mere
systematic as a separate discipline. Nothing contributed more
effectively to this than the publication of _Die Botanik als inductive
Wissenschaft_, by Schleiden, the first edition of which appeared in
1842: for in it development and embryology were for the first time
indicated as the foundation of all insight into morphology. But
notwithstanding the great advances of this period in tracing natural
affinities, and in the pursuit of morphological comparison, branches
which would seem to provide the true basis for some theory of Descent,
the Dogma of Constancy of Species still reigned. It was to continue
yet for 20 years, and the most active part of the life of the first
Director of Kew was spent under its influence.

Meanwhile great advances had been made also in the knowledge of the
mature framework of cell-membrane in plants. Anatomy initiated in Great
Britain in the publications of Hooke, Grew, and Malpighi, had developed
in the hands of many "phytotomists," the series culminating in the
work of Von Mohl. But it was chiefly the mere skeleton which was the
subject of their interest. Eight years previously, it is true (1833),
Robert Brown had described and figured the nucleus of the cell, and
approached even the focal point of its interest, viz. in its relation
to reproduction. But the demonstration of the cytoplasm in which it was
embedded was yet to come. In fact, the knowledge of structure omitted
as yet any details of that body which we now hold to be the "physical
basis of life."

The period immediately succeeding 1841, was, however, a time pregnant
with new developments. The study of protoplasm soon engaged the
attention of Von Mohl. Apical growth was investigated by Naegeli and
Leitgeb. The discovery of the sexuality of ferns, and the completion
of the life-story by Bischoff, Naegeli, and Suminski led up to the
great generalisation of Hofmeister. And thus the years following 1841
witnessed the initiation of morphology in its modern development.
On the other hand, Lyell's _Principles of Geology_ had appeared and
obtained wide acceptance. Darwin himself was freshly back from the
Voyage of the "Beagle," while Sir Joseph Hooker, then a young medical
man, was at that very time away with Ross on his Antarctic voyage, and
shortly afterwards started on his great journey to the Himalaya. These
three great figures, the fore-runner of Evolution, the author of the
_Origin of Species_, and Darwin's first adherent among biologists, were
thus in their various ways working towards that generalisation which
was so soon to revolutionise the science of which Kew was to become
the official British centre. Well may we then regard this date, and
the event which it carried with it, as a nodal point in the history of
botany not only in this country, but also in the world at large.

The urgent necessity for such an official centre as Kew now is was
patent in the interests of the British Empire. The need of it had
already been clearly before the minds of the Parliamentary Commission,
appointed a few years before, with Dr Lindley as chairman, to report
upon the question of the retaining of the Botanic Gardens at Kew. The
report contained the following passage which, while it formulates an
ideal then to be aimed at, summarises in great measure the activities
of the present establishment at Kew. "The wealthiest and most
civilised country in Europe offers the only European example of the
want of one of the first proofs of wealth and civilisation. There are
many gardens in the British colonies and dependencies, as Calcutta,
Bombay, Saharunpore, the Mauritius, Sydney, and Trinidad, costing many
thousands a year: their utility is much diminished by the want of some
system under which they can be regulated and controlled. There is no
unity of purpose among them; their objects are unsettled, and their
powers wasted from not receiving a proper direction: they afford no
aid to each other, and it is to be feared, but little to the countries
where they are established: and yet they are capable of conferring
very important benefits on commerce, and of conducing essentially to
colonial prosperity. A National Botanic Garden would be the centre
around which all these lesser establishments should be arranged:
they should all be placed under the control of the chief of that
garden, acting with him, and through him with each other, recording
constantly their proceedings, explaining their wants, receiving
supplies, and aiding the mother country in everything useful in the
vegetable kingdom: medicine, commerce, agriculture, horticulture, and
many branches of manufacture would derive considerable advantage from
the establishment of such a system.... From a garden of this kind
Government could always obtain authentic and official information upon
points connected with the establishment of new Colonies: it would
afford the plants required on these occasions, without its being
necessary, as now, to apply to the officers of private establishments
for advice and help.... Such a garden would be the great source of
new and valuable plants to be introduced and dispersed through this
country, and a powerful means of increasing the pleasures of those who
already possess gardens: while, what is far more important, it would
undoubtedly become an efficient instrument in refining the taste,
increasing the knowledge, and augmenting the rational pleasures of that
important class of society, to provide for whose instruction is so
great and wise an object of the present administration."

Such were the surrounding conditions, and such the aims of Sir William
Hooker when he took up the duties of Director of the Royal Gardens. He
was, however, given no specific instructions on entering office. He
therefore determined to follow the suggestions of Dr Lindley's Report,
and in the carrying of them out he had powerful support, both official
and other. The original area of the Garden, apart from the Pleasure
Grounds and the Deer Park, was small; when first taken over from the
Lord Steward's Department by the Commissioners of Woods and Forests,
it extended only to about 18 acres, and the Chief Commissioner, Lord
Duncannon, was strongly opposed to their enlargement, or to further
expenditure upon them. It required methods of diplomacy, as well as
determination and energy, not always to be found among scientific
men, to carry into effect the scheme laid down in the Report, and
success came only slowly. In 1842 additional ground was taken in from
the Pleasure Grounds, so as to afford an entrance from Kew Green, now
the principal gate of the Garden. In 1843 there were added 48 acres
of Arboretum, including the site of the Great Palm House. This was
commenced in 1844 and was followed in 1846 by the Orchid House. In
1848 the old storehouse for fruit (close to the fruit garden of the
old Palace, now the site of the Herbaceous Ground), was converted into
a Museum of Economic Botany, the first of its kind to be established.
It was in part furnished by the collections which Sir William had
brought with him from Glasgow. It now stands as Museum No. II. In
1850 the Water-Lily House was built, and in 1855 the long house for
Succulents. Meanwhile, in 1853, an official house had been found for
the Director, while another Crown house adjoining Kew Green was
handed over for the growing herbarium and library. These, which were
in the main if not indeed altogether the private property of the
Director, had up to this time been housed in his private residence.
Now they found more convenient accommodation, where they would be more
accessible for reference, in a building belonging to the establishment.
In 1857 the Museum No. I. was opened. For long the collections had
exceeded the space in the older Economic Museum (No. II.). This was,
however, retained for the specimens belonging to the Monocotyledons
and Cryptogams, while those of the Dicotyledons were arranged in
the new and spacious building of No. I. In 1861 a reading-room and
lecture-room for gardeners was opened, and in 1862 the central portion
of the great range of the Temperate House was completed from plans
approved in 1859. The wings which now complete the original design were
added many years afterwards. In 1863 the old Orangery was disused as
a plant-house, and diverted to the purpose of a Museum for Timbers,
chiefly of colonial origin. It is now known as Museum No. III. The
above may serve as a summary of the more important material additions
to the Kew establishment, made during the life of Sir William Hooker.
It will be clear that his activity must have been unceasing, in working
towards the ideal sketched in the report of Dr Lindley. His efforts
never abated till his death in 1865, in the 81st year of his age. The
establishment of Kew has developed further as years went on. But as he
left it, the essentials were already present which should constitute
a great Imperial Garden. Truly Sir William Hooker may be said to have
been the maker of Kew, if regard be taken merely of the material

In no less degree may he be held to have been the maker of Kew
in respect of its scientific collections, its methods, and its
achievements. To these his own untiring activity contributed the
driving force, while his wide knowledge, and ready apprehension of fact
gave the broad foundation necessary for successful action. But as the
period of development of Kew in these respects was but the culmination
of the work already initiated in Glasgow, it will be well to review
Sir William Hooker's scientific achievements over the whole of his
professional career, including the Glasgow period together with his
later years at Kew.

Taking first the living collections, he had already shown at Glasgow,
where the opportunities were more limited than at Kew, a singular
success in securing additions to the plants under cultivation. This
is now reflected more clearly in the lists which were published from
time to time than in any actual specimens still living after the
vicissitudes of cultivation of 70 years; though it is not improbable
that some of our older specimens date from his period of office. The
current floristic serials, many of them produced and even personally
illustrated by himself, also form a record of the novelties from time
to time secured. This rapid growth of the Glasgow garden has already
been noted, and the large number of the plants introduced under his
influence. It only required the same methods to be put in practice in
the larger sphere of action of the metropolis to ensure a similar,
though a far greater result at Kew. Moreover, the official position
which he there held as Director, gave an increasing obligation to meet
his wishes on the part of foreign and colonial gardens, and other
sources of supply. Notable among the many other living collections that
resulted was the series of Ferns, already a subject of his detailed
study while at Glasgow. In its maintenance and increase he was ably
assisted by the Curator, Mr John Smith, himself no small a contributor
to the systematic treatment of the Ferns. Hooker's aim was, however,
not to forward the interests of any special group of plants, but to
make the collections as representative as possible. This is clearly
reflected in the various character of the plant-houses successively
built at his instigation, and remaining still to testify to the
catholicity of his views.

In the days at Glasgow, Sir William had already made his private museum
ancillary to the living collections, in his endeavour to demonstrate
the characters of the vegetable world. This line of demonstration he
further developed after his removal to Kew, and the results, together
with later additions, but with methods little changed, are to be
seen in the splendid museums of the Gardens at the present time. The
specimens were from the first mainly illustrative of Economic Botany,
such as are of service to the merchant, the manufacturer, the dyer,
the chemist and druggist, and the physician: or to artificers in wood
and in textiles. But the interests of the scientific botanist were not
forgotten, while a special feature from the first was the portrait
gallery of the leaders in the subject. Thus the museums which he
initiated, and were indeed the first Museums of Economic Botany ever
formed, are now not the least interesting and certainly among the most
instructive features of Kew.

But the centre of the Garden for reference and for detailed study is
now the herbarium and library, housed in the large building near to
the entrance from Kew Green. To those familiar with that magnificent
mine of accumulated learning as it now stands, it may be a surprise to
hear that it has grown in the course of less than 60 years out of the
private collections of Sir William Hooker, and of his friend Bentham.
The story of it may be gathered from the sketch of the Life and Labours
of the First Director, published by Sir Joseph Hooker in the _Annals
of Botany_ in 1903, a work to which I have been largely indebted for
the materials for this lecture. The Hookerian herbarium and library
were already extensive before it was removed from Glasgow. When the new
Director of Kew took up his appointment, neither books nor a herbarium
were provided for him: but he was well equipped with those of his
own. They were at first lodged in his private house, till in 1853 he
moved into the official residence. But the latter did not afford the
accommodation for them which the Government had guaranteed. They were
therefore placed in a building adjacent to the Botanic Garden. It was
further agreed, on condition that the herbarium and library should be
accessible to botanists, that he should be provided with a scientific
herbarium Curator. Four years afterwards the Royal Gardens came into
possession, by gift, of the very extensive library and herbarium of
G. Bentham, Esq., which was second only to Hooker's own in extent,
methodical arrangement, and nomenclature; and it was placed in the
same building. The two collections in considerable degree overlapped,
being derived from the same sources. But one great difference between
them was that Bentham confined his herbarium to flowering plants, while
Hooker's rapidly grew to be the richest in the world in both flowering
and flowerless plants. Finally after his death it was acquired by
purchase for the State in 1866, together with about 1000 volumes from
his library, and a unique collection of botanical drawings, maps, MSS.,
portraits of botanists, and letters from botanical correspondents,
which amounted to about 27,000. These were the prime foundations of
the great herbarium and library now at Kew. Great additions have since
been made by purchase and by gift, and the building has been repeatedly
extended to receive the growing mass of material. But for all time the
character and individuality of the collections will remain stamped by
the personality of those two great benefactors, Bentham and the first

Sufficient has now been said to indicate that Hooker's work was that
of a pioneer, in providing the material foundation necessary for the
further study of the science, not only in this country, but also in
the furthest lands of the Empire. He supplied a coordinating centre
for botanical organisation in Britain, and for that service he has
earned the lasting gratitude of botanists. It remains to review his
own published works, and base upon them some estimate of his more
direct influence upon the progress of the science. We shall see that
in this also his work was largely of that nature which affords a basis
for future development. It was carried out almost entirely under
pre-Darwinian conditions. He was pre-eminently a descriptive botanist,
who worked under the influence of the current belief in the constancy
of species. But his enormous output of accurate description and of
delineation of the most varied forms, has provided a sure basis upon
which the more modern seeker after phyletic lines may proceed.

There have been few if any writers on botanical subjects so prolific
as Sir William Hooker, and probably none have ever equalled him in the
number and accuracy of the plates which illustrated his writings. Sir
Joseph Hooker estimates the number of the latter at nearly 8000, of
which about 1800 were from drawings executed by himself. The remainder
were chiefly from the hand of Walter Fitch, who acted as botanical
limner to Sir William for thirty years, showing in the work fidelity,
artistic skill and extraordinary rapidity of execution. The numbers
quoted give some idea of the magnitude of the results.

For the purpose of a rapid review of the chief writings of Sir
William's later years, they may be classified under three heads, viz.
(1) Journals, (2) Floristic works, and (3) Writings on the Filicales.
Taking first the Journals, one of the most remarkable features about
them is the apparent variety and number of the enterprises on which
Sir William engaged: this is, however, explained when they are
pieced together as they will be found below. His connection during
45 years with large and growing gardens, into which the most varied
living specimens were being drafted in a constant stream, put him
in possession of a vast mass of facts, detached, but needing to be
recorded. The materials were thus present for that type of publication
styled a _Botanical Miscellany_. The majority of the serials which
he edited took this form, and though published under various titles,
dictated in some measure by the source of their publication, more than
one of them was a mere continuation of a predecessor under a different
title. The first of them appeared under the name of the _Exotic Flora_,
in three volumes (1823-7), with 232 coloured plates illustrating
subjects from the Gardens of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Liverpool. But
owing to his taking up in 1827 the editorship of the _Botanical
Magazine_, then in a critical position, the _Exotic Flora_ ceased, and
its materials swelled the pages of the more ancient serial, with which
he was connected till his death.

To those not intimately acquainted with the other serials edited by Sir
William, their relations are difficult to trace. But Sir Joseph Hooker
has given their titles in series, with their dates, as follows:

  _Botanical Miscellany._ 3 vols. 1830-33.
  _Journal of Botany._ 1 vol. 1834.
  _Companion of the Botanical Magazine._ 2 vols. 1835-36.
  _Jardine's Annals of Natural History._ 4 vols. 1838-40.
  _The Journal of Botany (continued)._ Vols. II.-IV. 1840-42.
  _The London Journal of Botany._ 7 vols. 1842-48.
  _The Companion of the Botanical Magazine._ (New Series. 1845-48.)
  _London Journal of Botany and Kew Gardens Miscellany._ 9 vols. 1849-57.

From this list it appears that throughout a long term of years, though
under varying titles, the stream of information gathered chiefly
through garden management was edited and published, taking the form of
28 volumes, with 556 plates.

The "Floristic" works of Sir William Hooker began with the second
edition of Curtis's _Flora Londinensis_, in five folio volumes, upon
which he worked from 1817 to 1828. He contributed a large proportion
of the plates from his own drawings, while the descriptions throughout
(excepting those of the plates on Algae and Fungi by R. K. Greville)
were enlarged, and rewritten by him. He was in fact the real author of
the work, which, however, was so badly edited--even the letter-press
was not paged--that citation of it was impossible, and it never took
its proper place as a scientific work. Sir Joseph Hooker points out
that the second edition was not properly styled _Flora Londinensis_,
since it included many species which are not indigenous anywhere near
London. But these were the lapses of the editor, not of the author
and artist. Minor works were the accounts of the plants collected on
Parry's and Sabine's Arctic voyages (1823-28), but the _Flora Boreali
Americana_ was a more important undertaking. It appeared as two quarto
volumes (1829-40), in which 2500 species were described with numerous
illustrations. It was based on the collections of various travellers,
and included ferns and their allies. In 1830 came the first edition of
the _British Flora_, a work which was continued through eight editions,
the last being in 1860, and it contained 1636 species. The botanical
results of Beechey's voyage in the "Blossom" to the Behring Sea, the
Pacific Ocean, and China were produced jointly with Dr Walker-Arnott
in 1830-41, as a quarto volume, with descriptions of about 2700
species, and notable for the diversity of the floras included. In 1849
the _Niger Flora_ appeared, dealing with the collections of Vogel on
the Niger expedition of 1841. But the most remarkable of all these
floristic works was the great series of the _Icones Plantarum_. It was
initiated in 1837 for the illustration of _New and rare plants selected
from the Author's Herbarium_, and was continued by him till his death
in 1865. Owing to the munificence of Bentham's bequest to the Kew
Herbarium for its continuance and illustration, it remains still as the
principal channel for the description and delineation of new and rare
plants from the Kew Herbarium. The fact that the number of the plates
is now about 3000 gives some idea of the magnitude of this work, which
was started by Sir William Hooker in the later days of his Glasgow

It might well be thought that the production of the works already
named would have sufficed to occupy a life-time, especially when it is
remembered that they were produced in the intervals of leisure after
the performance of the official duties of a professor, and later of the
Director of the growing establishment at Kew. But there still remain to
be mentioned that noble series of publications on the Filicales, which
gave Sir William Hooker the position of the leading Pteridologist of
his time. The series on ferns began with the _Icones Filicum_ (1828-31)
in two folio volumes, with 240 coloured plates by R. K. Greville, the
text being written by Hooker. The same authors again cooperated in the
_Enumeratio Filicum_ (1832), a work projected to give the synonymy,
citation of authors, habitat, and description of new and imperfectly
known species. But it only extended to the first 13 genera, including
the Lycopodineae, Ophioglosseae, Marattiaceae, and Osmundaceae, and was
then dropped. Here may be conveniently introduced a number of volumes,
which were for the illustration of ferns, but not systematically
arranged. They were issued from time to time, and collectively give a
large but not a coordinated body of fact. They were, the _First Century
of Ferns_, issued in 1854; the _Filices Exoticae_ in 1859; a _Second
Century of Ferns_ in 1861; _British Ferns_ also in 1861, and _Garden
Ferns_ in 1862.

There still remain to be mentioned three great systematic works on
ferns, each of which is complete in itself, viz. the _Genera Filicum_,
the _Species Filicum_, and the _Synopsis Filicum_. The first of these
was the _Genera Filicum_ (1838-40), a volume issued in parts, royal
octavo, with 126 coloured plates illustrating 135 genera. It goes
under the joint names of Francis Bauer and Sir William Hooker, the
latter being described on the title-page as Director of Kew. But the
preface is dated May 1, 1838, from Glasgow, and it was printed at
the University Press. The title-page further states that the plates
were from the drawings of F. Bauer, but Sir Joseph Hooker points out
(_l.c._ p. cviii), that "of the whole 135 genera depicted I think
that 78 are by Fitch." Sir William in the preface states that "The
plates have all been executed in my own residence, and under my own
eye, in zincography, by a young artist, Walter Fitch, with a delicacy
and accuracy which I trust will not discredit the figures from which
they were copied." The result is one of the most sumptuous volumes in
illustration of a single family ever published. After 70 years it is
still the natural companion of all Pteridologists. At its close is a
synopsis of the genera of ferns, according to Presl's arrangement,
which Sir William describes as "the most full and complete that has yet
been published." But in the preface he remarks that Presl "has laid too
much stress on the number and other circumstances connected with the
bundles of vessels in the stipes, which in the Herbarium are difficult
of investigation." This is a specially illuminating passage for us at
a time when anatomical characters are becoming ever more important as
phyletic indices. It shows that readiness of diagnosis was for him a
more important factor than details of structural similarity.

In the preface to the _Genera Filicum_ Sir William says, he "would
not have it to be understood that the Genera here introduced are
what I definitely recommend as, in every instance, worthy of being
retained.... A more accurate examination of the several species of each
Genus, which are now under review in the preparation of a _Species
Filicum_, will enable me hereafter to form a more correct judgement on
this head than it is now in my power to do." The five volumes of the
_Species Filicum_ thus promised, appeared at intervals from 1846 to
1864. The work is briefly characterised by Sir Joseph as consisting
of "descriptions of the known Ferns, particularly of such as exist in
the Author's Herbarium, or are with sufficient accuracy described in
the works to which he has had access, accompanied by numerous Figures.
This which will probably prove to be the most enduring monument to
my father's labour as a systematist and descriptive pteridologist, is
comprised in five 8vo volumes, embracing nearly 2500 species, with 304
plates by Fitch, illustrating 520 of these. It occupied much of the
latter eighteen years of his life, the last part appearing in 1864."
The work is a most extraordinary mine of detailed information. It is
a condensed extract from his own unrivalled _Herbarium of Ferns_,
with exact data of distribution, and collectors' numbers. Probably no
family so extensive as this has ever been monographed by a single hand
with such minuteness and exhaustive care. It is the classic book of
reference in the systematic study of ferns. But as indicated in the
preface to the Genera, the judgement as to which genera are "worthy of
being retained" had been exercised. The result was the merging of a
number of the genera of Presl, and others, into neighbouring genera.
Though this was somewhat drastically done in the _Species Filicum_,
it comes out more prominently in the work upon which he entered in
the very last months of his life, viz. the _Synopsis Filicum_. This
work was published in 1868 as an octavo volume, with 9 coloured
plates, containing analyses of 75 genera. Sir Joseph tells us (_l.c._
p. 117) that "Upon this work my father was engaged up to a few days
before his decease, and 48 pages of it in print were left on his desk,
together with the preface and much matter in manuscript. After full
consideration it appeared to me that, with the material in hand, the
aid of the _Species Filicum_ completed only three years earlier, and of
the Fern Herbarium in perfect order, and named according to his views,
a competent botanist should find no great difficulty in carrying on
this work to its completion. Such a botanist I knew my friend Mr Baker
to be, and also that he had made a study of Ferns, and accepted my
father's limitations of their genera and species. I therefore requested
that gentleman to undertake the work, which to my great satisfaction
he has done. The _Synopsis Filicum_ contains 75 genera, and about 2252
species, inclusive of Osmundaceae, Schizaeaceae, Marattiaceae, and
Ophioglossaceae, which are not included in the _Species Filicum_." This
work summarised the Pteridological results of Sir William Hooker's
life. The total number of plates of ferns published by him is about
1210, embracing 1267 species, of which about 250 appeared under the
joint authorship of Dr Greville and himself. These figures are in
themselves sufficient evidence of the extent of his Pteridographic work.

It has been noted that the number of genera in the _Genera Filicum_
was 135, maintained approximately according to the limitations of
Presl in his _Tentamen Pteridographiae_: allowance has, however, to
be made for 23 genera of Parkeriaceae, Schizaeaceae, Osmundaceae,
Marattiaceae, Ophioglossaceae, and Lycopodiaceae, which were omitted
in the _Tentamen_. But in the _Synopsis Filicum_ there were only 75.
It is true that the three genera of Lycopodiaceae were excluded also
from the _Synopsis_, but still there is the wide discrepancy between
132 of Presl's genera as against 75 in Hooker's _Synopsis_. This at
once indicates a salient feature of his method. He merged a large
number of genera, ranking many of the smaller ones as sub-genera under
the more comprehensive headings. Doubtless the reasons for this were
various. One was his mistrust of anatomical data, which it must be
confessed Presl put too much in the fore-front. The very first sentence
of the _Tentamen_ runs thus "Vasa plantarum principale signum esse ex
eo patet, quod exinde primaria divisio omnium plantarum exstitit."
But occasionally Sir William explained his reason in a specific case.
Thus in the question of Kunze's sub-genus _Plagiogyria_ of the genus
_Lomaria_, which Mettenius had raised to the dignity of a distinct
genus, he explained his reasons for merging it into the genus Lomaria.
Mettenius had laid stress upon various characters, but especially on
the _oblique annulus_ as distinctive. On this Hooker remarks "even
should the capsules in all the species referred to _Plagiogyria_
prove to be helicogyrate, yet the habit and sori are so entirely
in accordance with true _Lomaria_ that, unless the student has the
opportunity of examining very perfect specimens, or unless he examines
the structure of the annulus of the very minute capsules under the high
power of the microscope, the genus cannot be identified. Kunze only
proposed to form a group or section under the name of _Plagiogyria_,
but even that would be found inconvenient to retain in a work whose
main object is to assist the tyro in the verification of genera
and species: and natural habit is often a safer guide than minute
microscopic characters." Thus we see that in his method convenience of
diagnosis is put before the use of important structural characters. I
have recently found reason to uphold the opinion of Mettenius on this
point, and to confirm _Plagiogyria_ as a substantive genus.

Similarly, the genera _Lophosoria_ and _Metaxya_ will have to be
detached from _Alsophila_: Prantl removed _Microlepia_ from _Davallia_
into his new family of the _Dennstaedtiinae_, where they are related
with _Patania_ (_Dennstaedtia_), which Hooker had merged into
_Dicksonia_. Goebel also has detached _Hecistopteris_ which Hooker
had placed in _Gymnogramme_, and has placed it with the _Vittarieae_.
These are all examples of the way in which further study is tending to
reverse the excessive merging of genera, which Hooker carried out in
the interest of diagnostic convenience.

The general conclusion which we draw from contemplating Sir William
Hooker's work on the systematic treatment of ferns is that it was
carried out consistently to the end under the influence of the current
belief in the Constancy of Species. The methods were not phylogenetic,
as they have since become under the influence of evolutionary belief.
The problem seems to have been to depict and describe with the utmost
accuracy the multitudinous representatives of the Filicales, and to
arrange them so that with the least possible difficulty and loss of
time any given specimen could be located and named. But the result
is not to dispose them in any genetic order. Even the arrangement of
the larger genera according to the complexity of branching of the
leaves appears as a method of convenience rather than of genesis,
and subsequent inquiry is tending to show that so far as such series
really exist, they will require to be read in converse. Goebel, in his
paper on _Hecistopteris_, remarks that "the systematic grouping of the
Leptosporangiate Ferns, as it is at present, e.g. in the _Synopsis
Filicum_, is artificial throughout; it is adequate for the diagnosis
of Ferns, but it does not give any satisfactory conclusion as to the
affinity of the several forms." He proceeds to say that "a thorough
investigation, taking into account the general characters of form of
both the generations, will be necessary before the naturally related
groups, and their relations to one another, are recognised in the
plexus of forms of the Polypodiaceae."

Such observations as these must not be understood in any sense of
disparagement of the work of this great man. They are merely intended
to indicate his historical position. The _Origin of Species_ was, it
is true, published some few years before the _Synopsis Filicum_. But
we must remember that Sir William Hooker was already an old man. Few
men over 70 years of age alter their opinions, and the labourer who
had grown old under the belief in the Constancy of Species could not
in a few brief years be expected to change the methods of thought of a
long and active life. We must take Sir William Hooker as perhaps the
greatest and the last of the systematists who worked under the belief
in the Constancy of Species. Because we have adopted a newer point of
view, and take into consideration facts and arguments which were never
his, and come to different conclusions now, is no reason for valuing
one whit the less the achievements of this great botanist.

His published work was just as much fundamental as was his official
work. We have seen how he provided in Kew the means of indefinite
development later, by constructing the coordinating machine with
its collections and its libraries. In somewhat similar sense his
publications were also fundamental. He did not himself construct. There
is, I believe, no great modification of system or of view which is to
be associated with his name. But in the wealth of trustworthy detail,
recorded both pictorially and in verbal diagnoses, he has supplied the
foundation for future workers to build upon, laid surely and firmly by
accurate observation, and therefore durable for all time.

One remark I may make as to the effect of his work on the trend of
botanical activity in this country. We have noted that anatomy was not
Sir William Hooker's strong point. He and many of his contemporaries
did not pursue microscopic detail, and indeed seem to have avoided
it. He was, however, a dominating botanical influence of the middle
Victorian period. May we not see in these facts, combined with the
extraordinary success of the systematic work carried on by himself, or
under his guidance, a probable cause of that paralysis of laboratory
investigation which ruled in Britain till the early seventies? British
botany was at that time almost purely descriptive. The revival came
within 10 years of the death of Sir William, and it is well to remember
that the immediate stimulus to that revival was given by a botanist,
who became later the Director of Kew, and was allied by marriage with
Sir William Hooker himself. I mean, Sir William Thiselton-Dyer. The
stimulus had its result in the active development of anatomical and
physiological study of plants, as we see it in this country to-day.
For a time the swing of the pendulum in this direction was too extreme
and exclusive. I remember very well an occasion when Sir Joseph Hooker
said to me, "You young men do not know your plants." And it was true,
though it may be added that few indeed, at any time, knew them in the
full Hookerian sense. A saner position is gradually being attained.
But even now the systematic study of Angiosperms receives far too
little attention among us, and is an almost open field for the young

I would conclude with one word of advice, which naturally springs from
contemplation of a life-work such as Sir William Hooker's. We sometimes
see wide-reaching phyletic conclusions advanced by writers who we know
have not specific knowledge of the groups in question. Let us learn
from Sir William the importance of specific knowledge. It is only on
such a foundation that sound phyletic argument can proceed. Let us
always remember that it is better to carry out sound work on species,
as he did, without theorising on their phyletic relations, than to
promulgate phyletic theories without a sufficient specific knowledge of
the families themselves. The former will probably be lasting work, the
latter runs every chance of early refutation. Under the most favourable
circumstances analytical work is as a rule more durable than synthetic.
Sir William Hooker's contributions fall chiefly under the former head,
and will be found to have a corresponding element of durability.

[Illustration: _Plate XIII_ JOHN STEVENS HENSLOW (1851)]




  An all-round man--appointed Professor of Mineralogy at
  Cambridge in 1826, but succeeds Martyn in the Chair of Botany
  a year later--essentially an ecologist--his famous teaching
  methods--"practical work"--his wide interests--country life--the
  educational museum--village amenities.

The scientific career and parochial life of the late Rev. Prof. J. S.
Henslow, are described by my late uncle, the Rev. Leonard Jenyns, in
his _Memoir_[96]. I propose adding and illustrating some of his more
personal traits, habits and pursuits as a scientific man, and to deal
especially with his educational methods. His studies in science were
by no means confined to one branch, thus Geology was first ardently
pursued in conjunction with Sedgwick. It was in a tour together in the
Isle of Wight in 1819, that they proposed establishing a "Corresponding
Society, for the purpose of introducing subjects of natural history
to the Cambridge students." The outcome of this idea, which was
subsequently abandoned, was the "Cambridge Philosophical Society," of
which "Henslow, B.A. was elected secretary in 1821[97]."

Conchology and Entomology claimed his attention; one of his first
discoveries was the rare insect _Macroplea equiseti_, his identical
"find" being figured in Curtis' _British Entomology_, while he found
the bivalve _Cyclas Henslowiana_, so named by Dr Leach, at Baitsbite
on the Cam. His first and best collection of insects was presented to
the Cambridge Philosophical Society. Other discoveries were made in
after years, and are referred to by Jenyns.

On the death of Dr E. D. Clarke, he offered himself for the
Professorship of Mineralogy. Chemistry, as well as the study of
Minerals, now occupied his attention. He was only 26 years of age, and
still B.A., when elected to that chair. At the age of 27 he published
his _Syllabus of Mineralogy_ in 1823, "A useful manual of reference
to all persons studying Mineralogy, independently of the immediate
circumstances which led to its publication[98]."

In 1827 Prof. Martyn died and Prof. Henslow was elected to the chair
of Botany, being succeeded by Whewell on resigning the Professorship
of Mineralogy. He now turned his attention to the study of Botany; but
he never paid much heed to systematic botany, for his taste lay in the
direction of what is now called Ecology. He then wrote "Botanists would
rather receive one of our most common weeds from a newly-discovered
or newly-explored country, than a new species of an already known
genus. There are higher departments of Botany than mere collectors of
specimens are aware of; for to ascertain the geographical distribution
of a well-known species is a point of vastly superior interest to
the mere acquisition of a rare specimen." _À propos_ of this he made
elaborate epitomes of the Botanical Geographies of De Candolle, and
of the writings of Humboldt, Poiret and others. His MS. is not unlike
a fore-runner of Schimper's _Botanical Geography_ of to-day. He
thus expressed himself in the Introduction to his _Descriptive and
Physiological Botany_ (1836):--in the second section headed _Botany_
... "This enquiry should extend as well to the investigation of the
outward forms [of plant organs] and the conditions in which plants,
whether recent or fossil, are met with, as to the examination of the
various functions which they perform whilst in the living state and
to the laws by which their distribution on the earth's surface is
regulated." Again, in the Preface to the _Flora of Suffolk_ by himself
and E. S. Skepper, he wrote:--"We had thought of saying something in
regard to the Geographic distribution of the species, but found our
material insufficient for treating this question to advantage." As
an alternative he suggests interleaving the 'Catalogue,' as the book
was also called, in which observers could add observations on the
Geological formations and superficial soils upon which each species
grows, e.g. Chalk, the Crags, Gravels of post-tertiary period, &c. as
well as maritime, marshy, boggy, healthy and cultivated soils[99].

Though he wrote against _mere_ collecting, he was an insatiable
collector himself; but it was always with some definite, useful and
generally educational purpose, and the _best_ of his collections
invariably went to museums, especially those of the Philosophical
Society of Cambridge, of Kew and of Ipswich. The first still has the
fishes he collected at Weymouth in 1832, solely for his brother-in-law
L. Jenyns, the author of _The British Vertebrate Animals_.

One of the first things to which his attention was directed was the
Cambridge Botanic Garden. It was far too small and in the centre of
the town, where the scientific buildings are now erected. He urged the
necessity of a new one, but it was not till 1831 that the present site
was secured; the first tree, however, was not planted until 1846.

His educational method of teaching was totally different from the mere
instructional method of all previous lecturers. To cram up facts was
the students' duty in the Medical schools, where botany was supposed
to be taught. To learn by their own discovery was his new method, and
so each student educated himself by examining and recording plant
structures first seen by his own dissections. Having long been in the
habit of observing himself, he was early convinced of the importance of
practical work and he always had "demonstrations," as he called them,
from living specimens. Each member of the class had a round wooden
plate for dissecting upon. He had only sixteen lectures to give, but he
succeeded in arousing an enthusiasm in some, and interest in all who
attended, and thus many came besides undergraduates, as Dr Ainslie, the
Master of Pembroke.

The value of "practical work" put a stop to cram, and he was the first
to introduce the examination of flowers, not only at Cambridge but
for the degrees in the University of London. "He insisted," wrote Dr
Hooker, "that a knowledge of physiological botany, technical terms,
minute anatomy, &c. were not subjects by which a candidate's real
knowledge could be tested, for the longest memory must win the day, the
less did it test the observing or reasoning faculties of the men. He,
therefore, insisted in all his examinations that the men should dissect
specimens, describe their organs systematically and be prepared to
explain their relations, uses and significations in a physiological and
classificatory point of view; and thus prove that they had used their
eyes, hands and heads, as well as their books[100]."

His natural bent and interest were in the investigations of the
phenomena of plant-life, e.g. the colours of flowers, the laws of
phyllotaxis and what would now be called biometrical studies, e.g.
of the variations in the leaves of _Paris_ and the cotyledons of the
sycamore, hybridization, teratology and the origin of varieties, etc.
The geographical distribution of plants and the effects of external
agencies upon them were also specially studied, as is recorded in the
note-book mentioned. He was thus a genuine Ecologist without knowing
it. He published about 50 papers on botanical subjects during his
professorship from 1825 to 1861, in which he was more than once the
pioneer of special branches of study since taken up, as in the above
mentioned hybridization and varietal differences under cultivation,
etc.; for experiments were made on the specific identity between the
Primrose, Oxlip, Cowslip and Polyanthus. He raised many varieties,
which were often permanent or "Mutations"; though sometimes reversions
appeared, concluding that when one form thus changed to another that
was sufficient proof of identity.

Though his occupations were necessarily much changed at Hitcham, of
which he became the Rector in 1838, from those at Cambridge, he by
no means neglected science; but he utilized it in different ways.
Thus having a good knowledge of chemistry, he endeavoured to make the
farmers interested in more scientific methods of farming than they had
been accustomed to. He gave lectures on the fermentation of manures and
he wrote fifteen "Letters to Farmers," first published in the _Bury
Post_ and then separately. He even proposed that they should make
experiments themselves. For this purpose he issued schedules to about
70 farmers who asked for them.

The experiment was to test Liebig's suggestion that gypsum should be
added to manure heaps to fix the ammonia. Unfortunately there is no
record of the results[101].

The most important discovery from an industrial point of view, due to
his knowledge of Geology, was undoubtedly that of the phosphate nodules
known in the trade as "Coprolite," at Felixstowe in 1843, when he and
his family were staying there. The cliffs are formed of "London clay,"
topped by the "Red Crag," between which is a bed of rolled, brown
pebbles, once, with the crag, forming an ancient beach. Where the white
"Coralline[102]" Crag occurs, the pebble bed lies _below_ it. This
accounts for the fact that it contains remains of Miocene animals, such
as teeth of the Hipparion, or ancestor of the horse.

As the sea is always encroaching, the cliff has much "talus" in
places, upon which was strewed the debris from the crag, including
vast quantities of pebbles. Observing that they often contained a
shark's tooth or other organic remains, he suspected that they might be
composed partly of phosphate of lime. This proved to be the case, for
the first analysis made by Mr Potter of Lambeth showed 54% (1844). He
communicated the fact to Mr, subsequently Sir, John Bennet Lawes, who
desired a ton of nodules to be forwarded to him for experiment. This
led to their becoming a recognised article of trade. Large fortunes
have been realised in Suffolk by owners of land containing the nodule
bed, though frequently occurring at a considerable depth.

In 1848 he advocated the use of phosphate nodules in the "Greensand"
beds of Cambridgeshire. These also soon became a commercial commodity.

In 1849, Professor Henslow delivered the inaugural address on the
foundation of the Ipswich Museum, the object being, for "Giving
Instruction to the working Classes in Ipswich in various branches of
Science and more especially Natural History." It affords the best
example of his views generally upon the uses of Science, not only as
being of indisputable value in all useful arts, but as a means of
education by dispelling the then prevailing ignorance and harmful
prejudices rife in those days, even among men learned in other subjects
at our Universities.

He illustrates his remarks from the chief sciences, as in Astronomy,
by its importance in understanding the laws of storms and tides, which
Whewell was then studying. Agriculture was touched upon, in showing
the importance of a knowledge of Vegetable Physiology, and illustrated
by the parasites, yellow Rattle and Wheat-rust. He insisted upon the
educational value of accuracy, demanded of the scientist, and the
avoiding _a priori_ assumptions and hastily drawn deductions from
insufficient data. But even the philosopher himself does not always
escape from the imputation; for the farmers at Hitcham were firmly
convinced that the "Piperage" or Barberry _itself_ blighted the wheat.
The Professor could not convince them that the red colour of the spots
on the leaves of the bush was not due to the same fungus as that on
the wheat. Indeed, he observes (in a MS.): "It is not likely (as some
suppose) that it is due to the influence of _Æcidium berberidis_." We
now know that the farmers were nearer the truth and the botanists were
wrong. But one point the Professor established--and I possess his dried
specimens to this day--and that was, that the "mildew," a black fungus,
subsequently arises from the same substratum or mycelium as the rust.
The mildew, then, throws off orange-coloured dust-like "spores," which
attack the Barberry, and so the cycle is completed[103].

I still possess his dried specimens of other species of _Æcidium_
attacking various kinds of plants, which he collected for comparison
with that of the Barberry.

As abortive attempts to find coal had been made in some counties, he
pointed out the value of Geology in at least intimating where coal was
possible and also where it was impossible. It was not, he said, that a
"little knowledge is a dangerous thing," as no one would become learned
if he did not begin with a little, but it was the hasty deductions that
were valueless and often dangerous.

As a practical illustration of this under the false assumption that the
roots made the "bulb" of mangold-wurzel, he noticed the common practice
of stripping off the leaves of plants, and explained to them that
unless they were required for fodder, it was a wasteful practice, as
the leaves (and not the roots, as they supposed) were the makers of the
"bulbs." Indeed, in 1860, Prof. Jas. Buckman proved that it lessens the
weight of mangold-wurzel by nearly one half.

Science was not even shut out at the Hitcham Horticultural Society's
Exhibitions, for he always had his own marquee erected and a large
board over the entrance with "The Marquee Museum" upon it, the letters
being composed of Hitcham fresh-water mussel shells. During the day of
the show, he would deliver "lecturets" from time to time on the various
specimens exhibited.

The following are samples of the latter. Cases of land and fresh-water
shells of Hitcham. Photographs of microscopic objects enlarged,
including the _first_ ever made, by the Rev. H. Kingsley, Tutor of
Sidney College, Camb. in 1855. A case containing living specimens
of the smallest British Mammal, the harvest mouse. Pearls from
British molluscs. The slow-worm and viper in spirits, to show their
differences. Hornets' and wasps' nests, naturally mounted, taken by
himself, etc.

The Monday afternoon lessons in botany in the village school-room,
held after school-hours, were always remarkable for the enthusiasm
exhibited by the children. They were perfectly voluntary, but none
was admitted to the Third Class until the child had learnt to spell
correctly thirteen terms of classification of the classes, divisions
and sections. On entering the class they at once began to fill up the
"Floral Schedule[104]."

The botanical lesson included:--

1st--Inspection of specimens, anything special noticed and explained.

2nd--"Hard word" exercises. Two or three words (botanical terms) given
to be correctly spelt on the next Monday.

3rd--Specimens examined and dissected and floral schedules, traced on
slates, to be filled up. Marks allowed for accuracy, etc.

4th--Questions on the plant "organs."

Botanical excursions were made for those only who had received a
sufficient number of marks.

The First Class came at certain times to the rectory on Sunday
afternoons after Divine Service; when objects of natural history were
shown and "such accounts given of them as may tend to improve our
means of better appreciating the wisdom, power, and goodness of the

A printed list of all the wild flowers in Hitcham was always suspended
in the school-room, and a rack for named phials, which the children had
to keep supplied with flowers as they came into blossom. Of course,
little rewards were given to those who first found a flower and those
who supplied the greater number, etc.

One of the exhibits of the Horticultural Shows was the collections of
wild flowers made by the children. In addition, a public examination in
botany was held, and a stranger would often find it a difficult matter
to puzzle one of the best pupils, not merely as to the name--a trivial
matter--but as to the structure of the flower itself.

The Government Inspector in 1858, wrote as follows in his
Report:--"Extra subjects, pretty fair, and among them Botany,
_excellent_; this last being most thoroughly yet simply taught, and by
such a system that there can be no cram. As far as a child goes, it
must _know_ what it does. _The good moral effect of this study on the
minds of the children is very apparent._"

In those days, I am speaking of the "fifties," Darwin had not
enlightened us as to the wonderful adaptations of flowers for
fertilization by insects. This adds enormously to the interest of
the study--as the present writer soon found with village children
of the parishes in which he has lived, and taught them botany--but
even without that attraction the Hitcham children were intensely

The Professor also taught them how to dry plants. The village
Herbarium, containing all the plants growing wild in Hitcham, was
entirely made by them.

It may be asked by cynics, "What can be the _use_ of teaching science
to such children?" It is not the mere fact that a child knows
the structure of a rose, but it is the training in _accuracy of
observation, mind and habit_, which the minute and close observation
demands, i.e. if it be properly taught, and to secure that, is all
important in children, who are naturally inattentive and inaccurate
in consequence. In teaching them botany as described above, the child
is trained to avoid this bad habit in an interesting way, because
inattention is solely due to want of interest.

The Ipswich Museum was a great source of pleasure to him. As President
he carried out his plan of making it a "typical" museum, never letting
it degenerate into a mere show, as so many country museums are, or at
least used to be.

The Ipswich Museum has been a model for all others in that typical
series of fossils, etc., are exhibited in the visible cases, all others
being relegated to drawers, for students to examine. In allusion to
the uses of Museums in his inaugural address referred to above, he
remarked:--"Our collections should be viewed as the means of assisting
us in the acquisition of real knowledge, and not merely to be gazed
at as raree shows, or as only valuable in proportion to the number or
scarcity of the objects they contain."

Of course, periodical lectures were delivered by the Professor at
Ipswich, and he was a most lucid and admirable exponent.

He was the first to maintain that in museums of animals, they should,
whenever possible, as, e.g. with birds, be represented in their natural
conditions. With this object he collected nests with the boughs, or
whatever it was in which they rested. Since then this plan has been
admirably carried out at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington.
He also supplied several museums with wasps' and hornets' nests with
their surroundings. The plan he discovered most convenient for taking
them, was to saturate tow with spirits of turpentine and place it at
night in the hole, covered over with an inverted and corked flower-pot.
The nest could then be dug up with impunity, as all the wasps were dead
or torpid by the following morning. He always preserved the "pavement"
or bottom-soil covered with stones which accumulated as the hollow for
the nest increased in size. The nest was then suspended over it on rods
to show the exact position. It was also half-dissected, to exhibit the
interior, all the grubs having been carefully extracted. The village
carpenter, the late Mr W. Baker, was a most enthusiastic assistant in
taking and mounting the specimens.

When the potato famine occurred in Ireland in 1845-46, the disease was
very prevalent in Hitcham. This induced the Professor to explain to
his parishioners and others--for he published his recommendations--how
they could utilise their rotten potatoes by extracting the valuable
starch, which still remained sound within the tubers, even when these
were refused by pigs. The process is so simple that it may be mentioned
here. The potatoes must be _grated_ (a piece of tin with holes punched
through it will do); the pulp is then stirred with a stream of cold
water through a hair-sieve. The _brown_ water must be allowed a few
minutes for the starch, carried through, to settle. The water is
poured off, and the layer of starch must be stirred up and washed
with fresh cold water. This may be done two or three times, till it
becomes perfectly white. It must then be carefully dried in the sun
or in a warm room (our method was to hang it up in small muslin bags
in the kitchen); the bags must be repeatedly "kneaded" to prevent its
clotting. When perfectly dry, it will keep for any length of time. Of
course, it is precisely the same thing as sago, tapioca, cornflour,
arrowroot, etc. and can be used like them. All our potatoes in the
Rectory garden were rotten, but we recovered at least two sacks of
starch. I remember taking a large sponge-cake to school, more or less
made with this potato-flour, and making my reverend master somewhat
incredulous by telling him it was made out of rotten potatoes!

Professor Henslow printed and circulated the receipt for the extraction
of starch, in the village; so that several, who thought it worth while,
obtained considerable quantities of starch.

In one of his lectures, dealing with this subject, he pointed out how a
good basin of "arrowroot" can be made in ten minutes from two or three
fair-sized potatoes; for as soon as the starch has been thoroughly
"washed," it is ready for the boiling milk. It is essential the milk
or water should be actually boiling, or the granules of starch do not
burst and so make the required "jelly."

The school children of Hitcham were by no means left out in the cold
as to the knowledge of natural phenomena. They were early instructed
as to the harmless nature of toads and slow-worms, which were very
abundant, on the one hand; and of the danger of handling a viper, on
the other. This last is the only poisonous reptile in England, and
easily recognisable by the lozenge-shaped marks down the back. Having
specimens in spirit, they had no excuse for confounding them; but, as
always happens with children, if there is an alternative of any sort
between which they are well taught the difference, some one is sure to
get them transposed in his memory. Consequently, a boy came up to the
Rectory with his arm greatly swollen; he had been bitten by a viper
which he had taken up, thinking it was a slow-worm, _because_, as he
said, it had the marks along its back!

Besides the tiny harvest mice, he at one time possessed for some two
or three years two "pet" Jersey toads, or the great _crapaud_. They
were kept in a wire-gauze cage, and it was our delight as children
to feed these monsters every morning. A butterfly net swept over the
lawn was sure to secure all sorts of flying and jumping creatures. The
lid of the cage being lifted up, the net was turned inside out over
the toads, and quickly closed. Then began the matutinal breakfast.
They would never notice anything that did not move. Seeing, however,
say a grasshopper, stir, the toad would stalk it like a cat after a
bird; and when within tongue-shot, out came its long tongue like a
flash of lightning, and the grasshopper vanished in the flash. Worms
were a great delight. Snapping up one in the middle, the two ends were
carefully cleaned from earth by passing them between the toes two or
three times; then followed a mighty gulp, and all was over.

Shell-traps were always laid about the grass, consisting of slates,
under which there would generally be found a various crop of sorts.
I have now two glass cases containing all the shells, land and
fresh-water, of Hitcham, mounted by the Professor himself. A reward was
offered for every specimen of a Helix with the shell reversed. They
are very rare, but one was brought by a little boy who discovered it,
for he found he was unable to get his thumb into the opening the right
way when playing at "conquerors." So he got the only sixpence earned
in twenty-three years that the Professor was incumbent of Hitcham. The
collection of butterflies was always being added to; now and then a
rare one would appear at Hitcham, as, e.g. the Camberwell Beauty. The
Professor was walking in the Rectory garden with the late Judge Eagle,
of Bury St Edmunds, when one settled on a wall. Mr Eagle stood sentry
while the Professor ran indoors for his net. It need hardly be added
that the specimen still rests in the collection, which passed into the
possession of his son-in-law, the late Sir J. D. Hooker, F.R.S., etc.

I cannot do better than conclude with my uncle's words at the end
of his _Memoir_:--"When a good man dies the world does not cease to
benefit from those labours of love which he undertook for his fellow
men. Though personally removed from them his example remains; his voice
too, is still heard in the lessons left to be handed down to those who
come after him. The influences of Professor Henslow's teaching have
been felt in other places than those in which he himself taught, they
have borne fruit far beyond the obscure neighbourhood in which he first
sowed the good seed, and who shall say to what further results they
may not grow in years to come, bringing honour to his memory, and what
is far more, glory to God? '_'A word spoken in due season, how good is


[96] _Memoir of the Rev. John Stevens Henslow, M.A., F.L.S., F.G.S.,
F.C.P.S._ (J. Van Voorst, 1862).

[97] _Memoir_, pp. 17 ff.

[98] _Memoir_, p. 29.

[99] Such are the "Conditions of Life," upon the "Direct Action," of
which Darwin lays so much stress, as resulting in "Definite Variations
... without the aid of selection." (_Var. of An. and Pl. under Dom._
II. p. 271 ff.; _Origin_ etc. 6th ed. p. 106, etc.)

[100] Quoted in _Memoir_, p. 161.

[101] On enquiring at Rothamstead, Mr Hall has kindly informed me
that a "good deal of attention was given in Germany to this and other
possible materials for the conservation of the nitrogen; but the
general result was adverse to their employment."

[102] A misnomer, as the coralloid organisms are Bryozoa.

[103] In his printed _Report on the Diseases of Wheat_, written for
private circulation only, he has added in MS.--"In specimens of true
mildew, the _three forms_--_Uredo rubigo_, _U. lincaris_ and _Puccinia
graminis_, coexist simultaneously in the same sori, as well as numerous
intermediate forms, which establish the specific identity of these
fungi." _U. rubigo-vera_ is now regarded as a form of _Puccinia
rubigo-vera_ and _Æcidium asperifolii_.

[104] From the Professor's display of the methods he adopted of
teaching Botany in schools, now in the South Kensington Museum, and
Prof. D. Oliver's _Lessons_, etc. based on MS. left unfinished at my
father's death, the floral schedule has been adopted in schools, not
only all through the British Isles, but the Colonies as well.

[105] A more complete account will be found in Jenyns' _Memoir_.




  Rise of Systematic Botany--Lindley's place--early history--services
  to Horticulture--Professor at University College, London--_The
  Gardeners' Chronicle_--_Theory and Practice of Horticulture_--_The
  Vegetable Kingdom_--Orchids--his interest in Fossil
  Botany--personal characteristics.


The first half of the 19th century is a brilliant epoch in the
history of botanical discovery. During that period the foundations of
plant-anatomy were laid afresh with the cell as the builders' material.
The discovery of sarcode or protoplasm electrified the scientific world
and excited the attention of the philosophical novelist--as readers of
_Middlemarch_ may remember. The nucleus, the only and true _deus ex
machina_ of many a modern botanist, was recognised as an organ of the

Biochemistry came into being and, with Liebig as foster-parent, grew
into modern Physiology. The natural system of classification proclaimed
by Jussieu put to rout the old established Linnean system and the
enunciation of the theory of Natural Selection brought the epoch to a
dramatic close.

In the constructive work of this period British botanists played a
distinguished part, and it was due preeminently to them that the
transition from the old artificial system to the new natural system
took place so speedily and completely.

The group of men to whose labours this great change was due include
Hooker, Brown, Bentham and the subject of this sketch, John Lindley.
Nor from this brief list may the name of Sir Joseph Banks, "the
greatest Englishman of his time," be omitted.

[Illustration: _Plate XIV_ JOHN LINDLEY (1848)]

The commanding position to which these men attained in the world of
science was of course due, primarily, to their ability and--equally of
course--to circumstance. The great wars were over and in the peaceful
years men were free to turn their energy to constructive purposes.
Horticulture--ever a British art--became unreservedly popular.
Explorers and collectors, encouraged and assisted by Banks and others,
sent home rich supplies of new or rare plants and thus provided
British systematists with a vast array of material for their work of
reconstructing the flora of the world. Such brilliant use was made of
opportunity that our country took the lead in systematic botany.

The activity of the collector, the generosity of the patron and the
labour of the systematist led not only to a general advance in methods
of classification but also to a very special advance in the knowledge
of what is, in many ways, the most interesting group of plants on
the face of the earth--the Orchidaceae. Among the plant-treasure
from India, Australia and Malaya were large numbers of epiphytic
orchids. The problem of cultivating such strange and fascinating
plants challenged the skill of the gardener. The "fancying" instinct,
latent in every Englishman and curiously characteristic of the race,
was evoked by the bizarre form of these plants. Orchid-growing became
the hobby of the well-to-do. Gardeners with no knowledge of science
and regardless of text-book dicta on sterility, proceeded to raise
the most marvellous series of hybrids--bi-generic, tri-generic,
multi-generic--which any sane and scholastic botanist would have
declared to be impossible.

Brown, Blume and above all Lindley threw themselves with enthusiasm
into the task of discovering the clues to the classification of these
plants, the form of whose flowers transgress so glaringly the rules of
morphology--dimly surmising perhaps that if the key to evolution is
ever to be found it will be discovered by the study of the group of
plants which appear to represent evolution's latest prank.

In building up the new system of classification of the vegetable
kingdom in general and of orchids in particular, Lindley bore a
conspicuous part; and were these his only contributions to the
advancement of botanical science, his biographer might find the task
of writing his life one of no very great difficulty. When however
he discovers the many other varied aspects of Lindley's activities,
the biographer may well despair of presenting a fair picture of
the scientific life of this remarkable man. Professor of Botany in
University College, London, "Præfectus Horti" to the Society of
Apothecaries, officially attached to the Royal Horticultural Society
and responsible for the management of its gardens, and in no small
measure for its very existence, Lindley yet found time to become
easily the greatest scientific journalist of his age. For nearly 25
years he edited the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ and did more than any other
man to keep the science and practice of horticulture on good terms
with one another. To those of us who know how generally the cares
of organisation give excuse for slackness in research, Lindley's
indomitable activity, both in administration and in investigation,
becomes indeed impressive and inspiring. Lecturing, drawing and
describing new genera and species, revising the vegetable kingdom,
writing memoirs, text-books, articles, directing the gardens at
Chiswick, fighting officialdom and obstruction, building up a great
herbarium and discharging a dozen other duties would seem to have made
up the daily life of this man of amazing vigour. Till he was 50 years
of age Lindley never knew what it was to feel fatigue; at 52 he took
his first holiday; but the continuous strain of half a century had
exhausted him beyond recuperation. He rallied, set to work again, again
broke down and died at the age of 67.

To sketch in rapid outline and to admire to the full, John Lindley's
life is not difficult even to the modern botanist whose life is passed
in the cloistered calm of the laboratory; but to give a discriminating
account of the chief of Lindley's services to science is well-nigh
impossible for any one man: certainly I could not have undertaken
it unaided. Good fortune and friends however rendered the attempt
unnecessary. In the first place, Lord Lindley, when he knew of this
project, put at my disposal in the kindest manner possible an outline
of John Lindley's career which he had written under the title of
"Sketch of my Father's Life: written for my sons, daughters and
grandchildren." In what follows I have made free use of Lord Lindley's
manuscript. In the second place, Mr W. Botting Hemsley has had the
great kindness not only to supply me with much valuable information
of which he was possessed concerning Lindley's scientific work but to
examine manuscripts, letters, etc. at Kew bearing thereon and to allow
me to make use of the results of his interesting investigations.

Hence my task has become merely that of an editor whose chief duty is
to fit the material provided by two distinguished contributors into
the prescribed space. Whatever credit is due to this first attempt to
sketch the career of Lindley, belongs to these two gentlemen whose
remarkable kindness I have great pleasure in acknowledging.

_Outline of Career._

John Lindley was born on February 5, 1799, in Catton near Norwich. His
father, George Lindley, who came of an old Yorkshire family, conducted
a large nursery and fruit business in Catton. To the facts that John
Lindley became in early years an accomplished field botanist and also
learned much of practical horticulture may be ascribed the close touch
which he maintained throughout his botanical career with the practical
side of botany. It is not too much to say that John Lindley was the
unique representative of a class of man which he himself declared
had never existed, namely one which combined the qualities of a good
physiologist with those of a practical gardener of the greatest
experience. John Lindley's youthful ambition was however to be not a
savant but a soldier, and though, owing to the inability of his father
to buy him a commission, that ambition was not fulfilled, the instinct
which prompted it found frequent expression throughout Lindley's life.
As his career demonstrates, he was a first class fighting man. The
curious may find in the pages of the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ records of
the combats which he waged on behalf of horticulture and we shall have
occasion presently to refer to the most important of all his campaigns
in the cause of science.

When John Lindley was about 19 or 20 years of age his father's affairs
became involved, and the son with an impulsiveness as just as it was
foolish insisted, against the advice of friends, on becoming surety for
the father. The mill-stone of financial anxiety thus early hung about
his neck caused him trouble throughout his life.

Possessed of nothing but youth, a sound education, great natural
ability and one good friend, John Lindley at the age of 20 left Norfolk
for London. Thanks to a letter of introduction from the friend (Sir
William Hooker) he obtained a post as assistant-librarian to Sir Joseph
Banks. He thus gained access to a good library and became acquainted
with a large number of men, both English and foreign, interested in
scientific subjects. That he made the most of his opportunities is
evident, for we find him at 21 a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a
member of the Bonn Academy of Natural History. In 1822 began Lindley's
long connection with the Horticultural Society, which he served first
as Garden Assistant-Secretary, then (1826-1860) as Assistant-Secretary
and finally as Secretary.

The portrait which accompanies this sketch is a reproduction of that
painted by Mr Eddis, R.A., at the instance of friends of Lindley about
the time of his resignation of the Secretaryship of the Horticultural

The most conspicuous direct services rendered by Lindley to the Society
were the laying out of the Society's garden at Chiswick and the
organisation, with Bentham, of the celebrated flower-shows which have
served as models for the exhibits of horticultural societies all over
the world. Those who know how extraordinarily valuable, not only to
horticulturists but also to botanists, are the periodical "shows" held
by the Royal Horticultural Society, will be grateful to Lindley for the
perspicuity which led him to replace the old and gaudy "fêtes" by these
admirable exhibitions.

Lindley's Professorship of Botany in University College, London, dates
from 1828 and was held for over a quarter of a century. Among those
who attended his lectures were Carpenter, Edwin Lankester, Griffith,
Daubeny and Williamson. His lectureship to the Society of Apothecaries
began in 1835, and in 1841 in which year the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ was
founded, he became editor of that periodical. This post he held till
his death in 1865.

It might be supposed that the multifariousness and onerousness of
Lindley's official and routine duties left little time for other work.
Yet Lindley made time not only for scientific investigation and for the
writing of numerous monographs and text-books; but also for a large and
varied amount of public work. In the Lindley correspondence preserved
at Kew are to be found letters and papers (official correspondence
1832-1854) criticising trenchantly the mismanagement of the Royal
forests and recommendations on the selection and cultivation of trees
for the charcoal employed in the manufacture of gunpowder.

Lindley, together with Hooker, acted as adviser to the Commissioners of
the Admiralty with respect to the planting of the Island of Ascension.

The potato famine was the occasion of an official visit to Ireland
and led to a report by Lindley, Sir Robert Kave and Sir Lyon Playfair
which was the immediate cause of the Repeal of the Corn Laws. As Sir
Robert Peel told Lindley "in the face of the Report, the repeal could
no longer be avoided." Thus the potato takes rank with the chance word,
the common soldier, the girl at the door of an inn that have changed or
almost changed the fate of nations.

_Lindley and Kew._

But of all Lindley's public works that which he undertook for the
saving of Kew from destruction is of the most immediate interest to
botanists. In 1838 a small committee consisting of Lindley, Paxton and
J. Wilson (gardener to the Earl of Surrey) were commissioned to report
on the state of the Royal Gardens. After exposing the incompetence and
extravagance of the then administration Lindley recommended that the
Royal Gardens, Kew, should be made over to the nation and should become
the headquarters of botanical science for England, its Colonies and
Dependencies. Is it due to our lack of gratitude or to our mistrust
of sculptors, that no statue of Lindley stands in the grounds of Kew?
In 1840 John Lindley was able to write to Sir William Hooker: "It is
rumoured that you are appointed to Kew. If so I shall have still more
reason to rejoice at the determination I took to oppose the barbarous
Treasury scheme of destroying the place; for I of course was aware
that the stand I made and the opposition I created would destroy all
possibility of my receiving any appointment." Having regard to the part
which Lindley played in preserving Kew from the devastating clutches
of the politicians it is but fit that that Institution should contain
the most valuable of Lindley's scientific possessions, his orchid
herbarium,--that his general herbarium is at Cambridge may be news to
such Cambridge botanists as in the days of a decade or two ago learned
Botany without such adventitious aids.

In 1864 Lindley wrote to the late Sir Joseph Hooker to say that he
had made up his mind to sell his herbarium and would prefer that the
Orchids went to Kew. There it is preserved, a monument of Lindley's
skill and industry and of inestimable value to the systematist. Besides
the actual specimens it contains coloured drawings of the flowers of
all the species that came under his observation in the living state. In
addition to the herbarium, Kew possesses a large amount of Lindley's
scientific correspondence; letters to W. J. Hooker, 1828-1859 (230),
182 letters to Bentham and 35 to Henslow, and others to which reference
has been made already: altogether an invaluable mass of correspondence,
selections from which it is to be hoped may some day see the light of

Lindley's skill with brush and pencil may be admired in the many plates
which he executed in illustration of his various monographs. His skill
with the pen deserves at least remark. Inasmuch however as nearly all
the more distinguished of the old school of botanists, Hales, Hooker,
Gray, to mention but a few, have in this respect a marked superiority
over their successors, it is not necessary to labour the question of
literary grace for either the moderns are indifferent on the subject
or they may find on every hand models ready for their use. Two
citations from the introductory pages of Lindley's classic, _The Theory
and Practice of Horticulture_, must suffice to exemplify his incisive
style--Le style c'est l'homme, and Lindley the man hated circumlocution
and had no time to waste--"there are, doubtless, many men of cultivated
or idle minds who think waiting upon Providence much better than any
attempt to improve their condition by the exertion of their reasoning
faculties. For such persons books are not written"; and again, with
reference to the divorce in current literature between theory and
practice, "Horticulture is by these means rendered a very complicated
subject, so that none but practical gardeners can hope to pursue it
successfully; and like all empirical things, it is degraded into a code
of peremptory precepts."

_Publications._ "_The Theory and Practice of Horticulture._"

Though many aspects of Lindley's work must perforce be treated of
in briefest form no sketch could have the slenderest value which
did not take into account his chief works, _The Theory and Practice
of Horticulture_, _The Vegetable Kingdom_, and the _Botanical
Register_; nor from a survey no matter how brief may reference to his
contributions to our knowledge of orchids be omitted.

The value of Lindley's great work on _The Theory and Practice of
Horticulture_ may be best gauged by the fact that as a statement
of horticultural principles it is the best book extant. Though
the botanist of the present day finds on perusing this work that
physiological knowledge in 1840 was in a singularly crude state, and
may rejoice at the rapid progress of discovery since the time when
Lindley's book was written, yet the fact remains that few, if any, men
at the present day could make a better statement of the physiological
principles underlying practical horticulture than that presented by
John Lindley.

Indeed it is a strange fact, and one worthy of the attention of our
physiologists, that the gardeners are still endeavouring to puzzle
out for themselves the reasons for their practices unaided by the
physiologists. An interesting illustration of this assertion may
be found in recent issues of the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ containing
correspondence from many of the leading growers on the principles
underlying the cultivation of the vine. No physiological Philip
has come as yet to their assistance! Lindley's book had at once a
great vogue on the Continent and was translated into most European
languages--Russian included; but it was not till its title was changed
from _The Theory_ ... to _The Theory and Practice ... of Horticulture_
that his incorrigible fellow-countrymen, as shy of theory as a
fox-glove is of chalk, consented to buy it to any considerable extent.

It was doubtless due not only to Lindley's general services to
horticulture but also to the special service which he rendered to that
science by the publication of this work that led Lord Wrottesley,
President of the Royal Society, to say, when presenting Lindley with
the Royal Medal, that "he had raised horticulture from the condition of
an empirical art to that of a developed science."

_"The Vegetable Kingdom" and "The Botanical Register."_

That John Lindley was a man of fine judgment is indicated by his
own verdict that, except for _The Vegetable Kingdom_, _The Theory
and Practice of Horticulture_ was his best book. That verdict is
sustained by posterity, as Mr Botting Hemsley declares of the former
work,--"This grand book must be classed as Lindley's masterpiece. No
similar English work was in existence in 1846 when the first edition
appeared, nor was there in any language so encyclopaedic a work. Even
now it is a valuable book in a small botanical library as it is a mine
of information on points that are unchangeable. The work, as set forth
in the preface, originated in a desire on the part of the author to
make his countrymen acquainted with the progress of Systematical Botany
abroad during the previous quarter of a century." Both in his books and
in his lectures he adopted the natural system of classification and did
much to popularise it though, as previously stated, his contemporaries
Robert Brown, the Hookers, and G. Bentham were equally powerful
adherents of the new system. To quote the picturesque if somewhat
immoderate language of Reichenbach "for a long time the youthful
interloper found no favour on account of his having introduced in
conjunction Scot Brown, Gray and the still youthful Hooker the natural
system of the hated Frenchman; where the more numerous disciples of
Linnæus had thought to pass their lives in the glory of pondering and
admiring the great Swede." That Lindley was an early convert to this
innovation is also proved by the fact that his inaugural lecture at
University College startled many by its frank and thorough expression
of the superficial character of the artificial system of classifying

The third and last edition of _The Vegetable Kingdom_ consists of
about 1000 pages in small type with upwards of 500 illustrations. It
contains an historical review of the various "Natural Systems" which
had been prepared, beginning with John Ray's (1703) and ending with
his own, which is used in the work. In this system Lindley divided
plants into seven classes:--Thallogens, Acrogens, Rhizogens, Endogens,
Dictyogens, Gymnogens and Exogens, and each class was subdivided into
alliances or groups of Natural Orders to which he gave names of uniform
termination, as Algales, Filicales, Glumales, Malvales, etc. This
classification, though ingenious, is defective, as the author himself
recognised. Though never adopted by other writers this fact did not
prevent Bentham and Hooker from citing Lindley's work frequently in
their _Genera Plantarum_. As Mr Botting Hemsley observes, Lindley, who
in all questions of classification was both cautious and modest, seems
to have been an evolutionist without knowing it. Thus in the course
of discussion on the permanency of species he observes that "all the
groups into which plants are thrown are in one sense artificial, in
as much as nature recognises no such groups. As the Classes, Natural
Orders and Genera of botanists have no real existence in Nature,
it follows that they have no fixed limits and consequently it is
impossible to define them.... An arrangement then which shall be so
absolutely correct an expression of the plan of nature as to justify
its being called _the_ Natural System is a chimera."

Owing to the fact that Hooker wrote the admirable and favourable
review of the _Origin of Species_ which appeared in the _Gardeners'
Chronicle_, it has been inferred that Lindley himself was not very well
disposed toward the new theories; but Lord Lindley states that his
father was much impressed by the _Origin_, said it would revolutionise
botanical studies but that there were difficulties which would require
elucidation before Darwin's theory could be regarded as completely
satisfactory--surely a perspicacious judgment.

To turn to the woodcuts of _The Vegetable Kingdom_ affords both
pleasure and relief--pleasure on account of their excellence, relief to
escape from the monotonous prettiness of modern process work.

Though space will not allow reference to other text-books and to
innumerable minor publications--many of which may be found in the
Lindley Library in the Royal Horticultural Society's headquarters
at Vincent Square--a brief mention must be made of the _Botanical
Register_. This periodical was founded in 1815, and so early as 1823
Lindley became a contributor to it; but it was not till 1829 that his
name appeared on the title-page. From that time he was sole editor till
1847, when the _Botanical Register_ ceased to appear; unable doubtless
to stand against the _Botanical Magazine_ which under the editorship of
Hooker had passed from a moribund state into one of remarkable vigour
which now, 125 years after its foundation, it still enjoys.


The magnitude of Lindley's work among his favourite group of plants,
the Orchidaceae, deserves recognition by the general botanist.
Botanical knowledge with respect to the group was in a very rudimentary
stage when Lindley took up its study. Robert Brown and Blume were
already engaged upon the investigation of orchids, but they relied
mainly on herbarium material. Lindley, on the other hand, began with
living plants and ended with living plants, though, as his herbarium
testifies, he did not neglect dried specimens. A circumstance that
favoured Lindley in these studies was the fact that William Cattley,
an early patron of Lindley, was one of the most successful of the early
cultivators of epiphytic orchids.

The chief of Lindley's published contributions to the knowledge
of orchids, apart from scattered figures and descriptions in the
_Botanical Register_, the _Gardeners' Chronicle_, Lindley and Paxton's
_Flower Garden_, the _Journal of the Linnean Society_, and in other
serials and periodicals, are to be found in _The Genera and Species
of Orchidaceous Plants_, 1830-1840, in which are described all the
species (1980) known of 299 genera; _Sertum Orchidaceum_ (1838); _Folia
Orchidacea_, 1852-1855; and _The Vegetable Kingdom_.

It is unfortunate that no attempt has as yet been made to catalogue the
species described by Lindley; but with regard to genera an approximate
list of those proposed by him may be attempted, and is interesting as
giving some idea of the extent and value of Lindley's investigations in
the group.

In the third edition of _The Vegetable Kingdom_ he estimates the number
of orchid genera at 469. Bentham and Hooker (_Genera Plantarum_, 1883)
admit 334, and new genera proposed since that date amount to 125.
Pfitzer (Engler and Prantl, _Natürlichen Pflanzen-familien_, 1889)
describes 410.

The following is a list of Lindley's genera, admitted by Bentham and
Hooker, in the sequence in which they appear in the _Genera Plantarum_:


When it is remembered that Bentham, who elaborated the orchids for
the _Genera Plantarum_, held broader views of generic limits than the
majority of botanists, the fact that 114 or more than a third of the
genera retained are Lindleyan is a striking testimony to the accuracy
and range of Lindley's work in the group. Pfitzer in the work already
cited retains 127 of Lindley's genera. In no other great family
probably has one man left so large a mark as Lindley has left in the
Orchidaceae. In this connection it may be added that 40 of Robert
Brown's Orchid Genera and 50 of Blume's are retained by Bentham and

The number of species of orchids known in his time Lindley doubtingly
estimated at 3000. Collectors since that time have increased that
number probably to 6000. The fact that about 1100 species of orchids
are known from British India, outnumbering those of any other family by
about 300, will doubtless surprise the majority of botanists.

Before closing this notice of a remarkable and versatile man
some reference must be made to his pioneer work in the field of
palaeobotany--a subject that has markedly advanced in recent times
at the hands of Lindley's fellow-countrymen. In co-operation with
Hutton there were published (1831-1837) the three volumes of Lindley
and Hutton's _Fossil Flora of Great Britain_, an authoritative work,
profusely illustrated with figures of the known fossils, and by no
means entirely superseded at the present day. The introductory chapters
to the volumes bear the mark of Lindley's handiwork, and that to volume
III. contains the results of an extensive series of experiments carried
out by Lindley to determine the capacity of various plants to resist
the agencies of disintegration. These results have become classic and
are often referred to by subsequent writers on palaeo-botany.

During the progress of the _Fossil Flora_ Lindley amassed a
considerable collection of specimens, some of which have recently come
to light in the cellars of University College. He was obliged however
to abandon this branch of study as it threatened to distract his
attention from other departments of botany.

_Personal Characteristics._

In as much as it is our custom to erect none but the slightest and most
casual memorials to our distinguished men of science or of letters,
there is reason to rejoice that the name of Lindley is not inadequately

The Lindley Library purchased in his honour and now permanently
attached to the Royal Horticultural Society bids fair under the
enlightened policy of that flourishing institution to grow into a great
collection of horticultural works. The genus _Lindleya_ is reminiscent
to systematists of their great colleague and the name of Lindley is
known and honoured by all our horticulturists. Of the man himself just
so much may be said as to give form to the mind's image of him.

He was of middle height, active, upright, with shoulders somewhat
sloping and of heavy tread. The sightlessness of one eye gave to his
resolute face a somewhat strange look. Simple in habits, strenuous in
work and perspicacious in judgment, John Lindley was a warm hearted
and generous friend, particularly to young botanists. He was a
powerful foe: altogether a masterful and remarkable man. Not suffering
fools gladly yet with a humorous turn of mind: "I am a dandy in my
herbarium," he once exclaimed to Reichenbach. Knowing no fear he
could not hope for much favour, and yet carrying his heavy load of
financial responsibility, he nevertheless won through to a wide measure
of contemporary recognition and an assured place in the history of
botanical science. To conclude with Reichenbach's fine tribute "we
cannot tell how long Botany, how long science, will be pursued; but
we may affirm that so long as a knowledge of plants is considered
necessary, so long will Lindley's name be remembered with gratitude."




  Early training--medical appointment under the East
  India Company--his travels--the magnitude of his
  collections--his method of work--results of researches
  mainly published posthumously--the ovule and
  gymnosperm work illustrated by Cycas--discovery of the
  pollen-chamber--Rhizocarps and Liverworts--pre-Hofmeisterian
  work--Griffith's relation to his times.

It might have been assumed that all the names of British botanists
whose work has been or is to be considered in this course of lectures
would have been familiar to their successors of to-day, even if their
works were too often neglected for the last words of scientific
progress in a summary of literature. The question has however been put
to me by more than one botanist in the last month or two, "_But who
was Griffith?_" That this should be possible seems in itself ample
justification for including his name in this list of British botanists.

For Griffith has claims to be regarded as a great botanist. It is
true that he failed to break through the limitations of his time and
period--that he left no new and more correct general views to modify
the science. But this is true of all his contemporaries, indeed it is
true of most botanists. To recreate the department of a science in
which a man labours requires a combination of ability and fortunate
chance that is given to few.

[Illustration: _Plate XV_ WILLIAM GRIFFITH (1843)]

Griffith had the ability, the power of independent observation, the
readiness to speculate, the careless prodigality of labour. He did
not however, in the fraction of an ordinary working life that fate
allowed him, attain that insight into more correct comparison of the
plants whose morphology he studied which would have acted quickly on
the mass of first hand observation he possessed.

It is well to be clear at the outset that it is the personality of
William Griffith, his important detailed contributions to botany, and
his achievement as a great working morphologist of his time that will
interest us to-day--rather than his general views or any influence
of these on the progress of botany. Griffith had the advantage or
disadvantage of botany being his private study and not his profession.
The motive force of his career was however his love of scientific work
for its own sake.

William Griffith was a London botanist. He was the son of a London
merchant, born on March 4, 1810, at Ham Common. Having finished school
he began to prepare for the medical profession and was apprenticed to a
surgeon in the West end of London. About 1829 he commenced attendance
at the classes in the newly established University College. He had
earlier in life shown an interest in natural history but was now
specially devoted to botany. He attended Lindley's lectures, and also
studied medical botany under Mr Anderson at the Apothecaries' Garden in
Chelsea. There he obtained the Linnean Gold Medal given by the Society
of Apothecaries. At this time also he was a frequent visitor to Kew
Gardens where he was on good terms with the head gardener and also came
under the influence of Mr Bauer the great botanical draughtsman of his
day. Griffith was never tired of expressing his admiration for Bauer
as an accurate observer. During his vacations Griffith made botanical
excursions in England, carrying his light baggage and his equipment for
collecting plants.

That the training that Griffith received in botany in the London
University of that date was a sound one is shown by his power of facing
the most various problems when cast on his own resources immediately
at the close of his University training. The soundness of his training
is further shown by the small pieces of original work he had published
before leaving England at the age of 22. Not only had he made some
of the illustrations for Lindley's _Introduction to Botany_ and had
described the flower and the structure of the wood of _Phytocrene
gigantea_ in Wallich's _Plantae Asiaticae Rariores_, but (a noteworthy
indication of his interest in Cryptogams at this time) he had supplied
an account of the structure and development of _Targionia hypophylla_
to be appended to Mirbel's classic monograph on the anatomy and
physiology of _Marchantia polymorpha_--published in 1832.

His medical studies finished, Griffith sailed from England in May 1832,
he arrived at Madras in September and was appointed Assistant-Surgeon
on the Madras establishment in the service of the East India Company.
His scientific work was done in the intervals of a busy life. Only a
man of great energy and enthusiasm and possessed of great powers of
physical endurance could have done the work that Griffith crowded into
the 12½ years, between his landing in India and his death at Malacca
before the age of 35 on February 9, 1845. This time was all spent in
the East Indies--he never returned to England.

Deferring for the moment consideration of his scientific work we may
take a general survey of Griffith's movements during his working life
and of his labours as an explorer and collector.

After spending some months in the neighbourhood of Madras, he was
situated for more than two years at Mergui and collected extensively
in Tenasserim. He was recalled to Calcutta in 1835 and attached to the
Bengal Presidency in order to be sent with Dr Wallich and Mr M'Clelland
to visit and inspect the localities in which tea grew wild in Assam.
Griffith's full report on this enquiry led to the important economic
conclusion (based largely on a critical comparison of the Assam flora
with the flora of tea-growing regions of China) that tea might be
successfully grown under the conditions in Assam and similar districts
of India. When the other members of the expedition returned Griffith
was detained in Assam, where he remained during the whole of 1836,
making a successful expedition into the Mishmee mountains only once
before visited by a European.

Early in 1837 Griffith, accompanied by only one servant, set off on
an exploring expedition through the very disturbed country of Burmah
towards Rangoon. All news of him ceased, or rather his assassination
was credited by the Government and reported in the newspapers, when in
June he re-appeared, ragged and travel stained, in Calcutta. He had
explored down the Hookhoom (Hokong) Valley and on to Ava, and had then
proceeded more rapidly by river to Rangoon, conveying his collections
with danger and difficulty.

Appointed Surgeon to the embassy about to start for Bhutan, he filled
up the intervening two months by again going to the Khasi hills to
collect. He then accompanied the expedition to Bhutan, traversing over
four hundred miles of the country and returning to Calcutta in June
1838. Here he spent the next few months arranging his collections and
also studying the plants of the suburbs.

In November he joined the army of the Indus and accompanied it in its
whole march. He remained another year in Afghanistan making various
expeditions in the country and into the Hindoo Koosh. He returned,
after visiting Simla and the Nerbudda, to Calcutta in the middle of

Griffith then proceeded to Malacca where he had been appointed Civil
Assistant-Surgeon. He remained only a year, but long enough to
appreciate the great interest of the district for his botanical work
and to complete some important observations. He collected the plants of
the province and also visited Mount Ophir.

Recalled to Calcutta, he took charge of the Botanic Gardens and also
lectured to the medical students during Wallich's absence from August
1842 to August 1844, pressing forward reforms in the gardens and
using his opportunity for scientific observation. On Wallich's return
Griffith remained for some months longer in Calcutta continuing his
work, married in September, and returned to Malacca in December full
of hopeful plans for scientific work there. He had barely arrived at
Malacca and begun work than he was seized with a fatal illness and died
on February 9, 1845.

It has been necessary to consider in some detail the rapid movements
of Griffith's life in the East in order to fully appreciate the
difficulties under which his large amount of scientific work was
accomplished. The twelve years of his official life were filled with
professional duties, difficult and dangerous exploration, management of
the Botanic Gardens, and the labours entailed in making and caring for
extensive collections. It would not have been surprising had Griffith,
in spite of his attainments, contributed nothing to scientific botany
beyond rendering these collections available for other workers. He
estimated his collection of plants at more than twelve thousand
species; and on his travels he did not neglect other collections of
interest. Insects obtained by him are described, he collected the birds
and fish in every district he visited; indeed he was a keen fisherman
and must have thrown a fly in many a stream that had not been fished
before, combining sport and science.

Griffith's collections were made with the definite purpose of enabling
him, when he had leisure, to produce a general account of the Indian
flora on a geographical basis. His methods of collecting were most
enlightened and subserved his work as a morphologist and a student
of the conditions of occurrence of the plants, not merely of formal
systematic botany. The journals he kept on all expeditions are full of
references to the occurrence of the plants met with. He often adopted
a plan of roughly mapping each day's route and indicating the plants
and associations of plants, along the line of march. I wonder if modern
ecologists know of these records made long before ecology was invented?

Whenever possible he seems to have examined the morphology of the
living plants, and he fully realised the value of preserving portions
of the plants in spirit for future examination instead of relying on
herbarium material.

This quotation from a letter to Wight (then Superintending Surgeon of
the Madras Service), with whom Griffith kept up a most interesting and
friendly correspondence, from which I should like to quote largely, may
give an idea of his point of view and also show how he looked forward
to returning to Malacca:--

"If ever you go to the place of Podostemon endeavour to get some
germinating or at least very young plants. I can fancy how an
Acotyledonous plant gets a stem but how a Dicotyledonous plant loses
it, and becomes as some of them do, mere discs spread over rocks is
another thing. Then again where are their roots? How opposed to late
ideas of the absolute distinction of the three great divisions. Also
please to take a bottle of spirits, and deposit specimens in it. I
shall not be very sorry to get back to Malacca, this is a delightful
place truly, but one is interrupted, and the lectures at the Medical
College consume much time. For botany no place can exceed Malacca."

And again,

"What a business it will be to settle the types of the families from
which the names must eventually be taken; this will never be done by
dried-plant botanists; but by examination of development, which I am
convinced will alone give the key."

As to Griffith's methods of work, we learn from a memorial notice
of him by Mr M'Clelland that whenever possible after the business
of the morning was finished the rest of the day was devoted "to the
examination and dissection of plants under the microscope, drawing and
describing all peculiarities presented." "Even on his death-bed his
microscope stood beside him with the unfinished drawings and papers
and dissections of plants on which he was engaged the day on which the
fatal symptoms of his disorder came on."

All his work shows the same characters of direct individual observation
and interpretation of the facts before him, repeated examination of
the same point, and almost a prodigality of labour in recording his
observations in drawings. At first under the influence of Robert
Brown, he used the simple microscope with triplet lenses, but later
he employed the compound microscope and in the year before his death
writes hopefully of ordering a first-rate microscope when he obtains
the arrears due to him from the Directors.

Griffith's high attainments were appreciated by the distinguished
circle of English botanists of his time with whom he corresponded. Mr
Solby, to whom he always sent home his papers for submission to the
Linnean Society; Robert Brown, to whose work he constantly recurs with
admiration, and whose judgment he trusted absolutely; Lindley; Sir
William Hooker, who looked forward to his being settled permanently in
charge of the Calcutta gardens, and Dr Wight may be named.

I may quote from a letter addressed to Griffith by von Martius of
Munich, since it couples his own opinion and that of Robert Brown. "He
(Brown) agrees with me in appreciating your spirited and enlightened
investigations, and I now more than ever look forward to you as his
successor--as the standard English botanist."

Only an outline of the nature of Griffith's scientific work with some
details on selected subjects can be attempted here. His published works
in the _Transactions_ of the Linnean Society and elsewhere, important
as they are, represent only a small fraction of his observations. But
the wisdom and liberality of the East India Company has put us in
possession of his unpublished notes and drawings (bequeathed with his
collections to the Company) in the posthumously published volumes of
_Notulae ad plantas Asiaticas_ with the accompanying sets of plates.
Though his papers were not ready or intended for publication in this
form and suffer from having had to be arranged by another hand,
they afford, together with his published work, a particularly good
picture of how the problems of morphology and classification presented
themselves to a keen investigator at this time.

Of his purely systematic work I shall not speak at length. In
addition to smaller papers the most important contribution was his
illustrated monograph on the Palms of British East India. In the
_Notulae_ numerous species are described and figured nearly always with
reference to the morphology and physiology of the parts concerned. It
is his investigations made with direct reference to morphology and
reproduction that claim our attention most. In dealing with them it
is convenient to treat of the main questions to which he directed his
attention rather than of the separate papers. I shall call attention
first to his work on _the flower and on fertilisation_ in a number of
plants, then to his _observations on Cycas_, and lastly to _his work on
the Cryptogams_.

Interest in the structure of the ovule and the nature of fertilisation
was widespread at the time Griffith worked. A few years previously
Robert Brown had laid the foundations of the scientific study of the
ovule and the behaviour of the pollen tube, and during Griffith's
time the papers of Schleiden, which extended the comparative study of
the ovule and advanced the important though erroneous view that the
embryo originated inside the embryo-sac from the tip of the entering
pollen tube, were appearing. Schleiden's text-book did not appear until
too late to be known to Griffith. His interest was keen on continuing
the work, that Brown had begun, on plants that only a resident in the
tropics had the opportunity of studying properly, and the first volume
of the _Notulae_, with the accompanying Icones, and the more systematic
volume on the Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons contain his unpublished
observations on the ovule and flowers of many plants.

His first paper in the Linnean Transactions was on the ovule of
_Santalum_. Griffith observed and rightly interpreted the free
prolongation of the embryo-sac from the nucellus, and described the
application of the pollen tube to the summit of the embryo-sac, the
development of the endosperm, and the origin and development of the
embryo. He also recognised and figured the great prolongation backwards
of the embryo-sac as an empty, absorbent caecum. At first he left the
origin of the embryo doubtful, while recognising the advantages of the
exposed embryo-sac for settling the question, but later he decided in
favour of Schleiden's erroneous view that the embryo developed from the
tip of the pollen tube. Griffith also examined the ovules of _Osyris_
recognising the corresponding facts.

Comparison with the figures of Santalaceous ovules in Guignard's later
work will serve to show both the magnificent accuracy in observation of
Griffith and the limitation, running through all the work of the time,
of not recognising the contents of the embryo-sac before fertilisation.

The Loranthaceae was another family on which the development of the
embryo-sac and the processes of fertilisation and development of the
fruit interested Griffith specially. Not only did he send his results
home to the Linnean Society in two papers, but his descriptions and
figures of all the species described in the _Notulae_ take account of
these morphological and developmental facts. He traced the development
of the cavity of the ovary and regarded the ovules as reduced to their
simplest expression--to an "amnios" or embryo-sac. And he observed the
extension of the embryo-sacs up the style and the union of the pollen
tube with the tip of the embryo-sac. His further description of the
development of the embryo, endosperm and fruit is wonderfully exact if
we allow for his regarding the long suspensor bearing the embryo as
derived from the pollen tube growing down through the long embryo-sac.

Griffith thus recognised all the main peculiarities of _Viscum_ and of
_Loranthus_ subsequently described more in detail in European species
by Hofmeister (whose analysis of Griffith's work in 1859 is a great
testimony to its accuracy) and later by Treub in the tropical species
which had been studied by Griffith.

The Balanophoraceae was another group, on which Griffith made pioneer
investigations. He collected and examined all the species he met with,
partly from the systematic interest in supporting Robert Brown's
objection to Lindley's class of Rhizantheae, but still more from his
interest in the details of their reproduction. An examination of the
plates from his memoirs, only published after his death, in the Linnean
_Transactions_ will show how fully he was aware of the structure of the
archegonium-like female flower of _Balanophora_; of the relation of
the pollen-grains and pollen tubes to it; and of the appearance of the
endosperm which he mistook for the embryo. Throughout he compares the
structure with the pistillum (archegonium) of Bryophyta.

Thus in the Balanophoraceae also Griffith laid the foundations on which
the work of Hofmeister, and more recently that of Treub and Lotsy

When at Malacca Griffith interested himself among many other problems
in the ovule and the development of the seed of _Avicennia_. He had
previously paid attention to the viviparous embryos of other Mangroves.
This piece of work, when compared with Treub's re-examination of
_Avicennia_, brings out so clearly Griffith's accuracy, so far as his
means of observation allowed him to go, that we may look for a moment
at how these two investigations, separated by forty years, compare.

Griffith recognised the development of the embryo-sac in the nucellus
of the ovule which he took to be naked, missing the very slightly
indicated integument. He followed the pollen tube to the tip of the
embryo-sac and the development of the endosperm in its upper portion,
where the embryo appeared. He saw the growth of the endosperm leading
to its complete protrusion from the ovule and inverting the embryo so
that its cotyledons point to the surface. Further he saw the long,
empty, absorbent caecum grow out from the hinder end of the embryo-sac
into the massive base of the young seed.

This account is substantially correct in all its facts, and Treub's
work adds to it the cellular details of the origin of the embryo-sac,
the setting apart of the endosperm cell to grow into the haustorium,
and the details of segmentation of the embryo.

Such vivid, accurate, description of strange facts, when previous
knowledge gave no clue, is in itself no mean scientific achievement.

To sum up Griffith's work on the morphology of the reproductive organs
of the Angiosperms we see that he added many important facts and gave
correct descriptions of what still remain among the most anomalous
ovules and embryos. His methods did not enable him to distinguish
clearly the contents of the embryo-sac, and he accepted and confirmed
Schleiden's erroneous view of the origin of the embryo. But this
hardly detracts from the directness and consequent value of all his

Turning now to the Gymnosperms, we find again that Griffith devoted
much attention to those forms that from his residence in the tropics
he was in a position to study with most advantage. He describes in the
_Notulae_ his observations on the ovules and pollination of various
Coniferae and Gnetaceae. But we may concentrate our interest on his
work on _Cycas_. The rough structure of the young seed had already been
described by Robert Brown who had recognised the gymnospermy of the

But Griffith's descriptions and figures are much more accurate--are
indeed far in advance of those of much later observers--and add greatly
to our knowledge of this plant. These two figures (pl. XVI) will
speak for themselves and show how clearly Griffith had grasped the
morphology of the Cycadean ovule, how faithfully he delineated the
details, and how he sought in progressive development to throw light
on the structure. He added to the previously imperfect description of
the ovule an accurate account of the pollen chamber, and the proof
that pollen grains entered and filled it. Further he followed the
germination of the pollen grains, not merely recording the fact that
the tubes penetrated the nucellus all around the pollen chamber, but
ascertaining in how many days the tubes were put forth. His fullest
description is unfortunately displaced in the _Notulae_ under the
heading of _Thuja_, but it is clear that it refers to the _Cycas_
figured on the same plate as that plant.

From what has been said of the nature of Griffith's work on the ovules,
both of Angiosperms and Gymnosperms, the complete omission of his name
in recent works on the two groups that are in constant use is at least

Griffith was specially interested in the study of Cryptogamic plants.
In a letter to Wight he says "I would like to be out with a work
on Indian Cryptogamia of higher forms; so much so that if I see no
chance of my succeeding to the Gardens, I intend sending away all my
other collections, and devoting myself to this object and general
development, which is obviously the keystone of the arch."

He left Algae and Fungi (with the exception of the Characeae) alone,
and it is his work on the Bryophyta and Pteridophyta that concerns us.
For information on his views on these plants we are dependent on his
paper on _Salvinia_ and _Azolla_ and on the _Notulae_, put together
as I have said from his notes after his death, and not intended for
publication in this form. But there is no difficulty in getting a
clear grasp of his point of view. This was a mistaken one--an attempt
to bring into line the reproduction of the gametophyte of Bryophytes,
the sporophyte of Vascular Cryptogams, and the flowering plant with
its flower and fruit. It is easy to be wise after the event. In these
comparisons Griffith belonged to his time with a much wider field of
personal observation than most possessed.

[Illustration: _Plate XVI_ From Griffith's _Notulae_

Median section of the ovule of Cycas

Nucellar apex of Cycas with pollen chamber and pollen grains]

We must bear in mind that at the time when Griffith worked no idea of
the sexual and asexual alternating generations in Pteridophytes had
been gained, although the prothallia had been observed preceding the
growth of the plant in _Equisetum_ and Ferns. It was not till some
years after Griffith's death that fuller facts as to the sexual organs
were obtained and led to the right comparisons.

Griffith's work on the Bryophyta shows the same power of observation as
that on the ovule, but the difficulties due to imperfect instruments
are more evident. His views on reproduction were here, however, clear,
since the development of the capsule was definitely related to the
fertilisation of the pistilla (archegonia) by the substance formed in
the anthers. His figures indicate how much he saw, and how here also he
sought in development the interpretation of mature structure.

His early interest in the Liverworts, especially the Marchantiaceae,
continued, and all the forms he collected were carefully examined and
figured with his usual accuracy.

One of the Liverworts Griffith described may be taken as an
illustration to this part of our subject on account of the interest
of its re-discovery and re-description in 1910 by Goebel. This is
a plant collected in Assam and named _Monosolenium tenerum_. This
Marchantiaceous plant is described as having no air-chamber layer,
as bearing sessile, dorsal, antheridial receptacles, and terminal,
shortly stalked archegoniophores with one ventral groove in the stalk.
A single archegonium--later capsule--is found in each of the half-dozen
involucres. Spores and irregular bodies were found in the capsule.

Recently Goebel had two tea-plants sent home from Canton. They died,
but he kept the soil moist on the chance of germinating seeds. Among a
number of other plants there turned up a new Liverwort. On examination
this proved to be Griffith's _Monosolenium_--all types of which had
been lost--a most interesting form related to the Corsiniaceae.

In the Mosses and the Liverworts generally Griffith was clear on the
development of the capsule or fruit following on the impregnation of an
archegonium. But in _Anthoceros_, while he recognised the antheridia he
was not clear as to the sunken archegonia, and regarded the capsules
as arising by impregnation of unrecognisable spots on the young frond
or thallus. He observed however the indication of the canal of the
archegonial neck above the young capsule.

Analogy with _Anthoceros_ confirmed him in his views on the
reproduction of ferns. Here he spent much labour in considering the
view, originally due to Hedwig, that the ramenta were male organs by
the effect of which the sporangia developed. Griffith saw that if this
was so, since the sporangia are initiated very early, the only time to
search for the male organs was in the very young stage of the leaf. On
examining such young leaves he found the terminal cells of the young
ramenta very prominent and formed the working hypothesis that they were
the male organs. But he stated this cautiously and was well aware how
imperfect his means of observation were.

The whole line of work brings vividly before us how cryptogamic the
Cryptogams were at this period.

Without attempting to survey Griffith's views on the various groups
of Vascular Cryptogams, a word must be said of those on _Salvinia_
and _Azolla_, on which he published a long paper in addition to the
other descriptions and figures in the _Notulae_. His observations bear
on the development of the sorus and sporangium, but he dismissed the
microsporangia as abortive or imperfectly developed structures. (I may
note in passing that the study of their development led him to regard
the microsporangia of _Isoetes_ in the same way.) He dwelt on the
similarity of the sporangium and indusium of _Azolla_ to a gymnospermus
ovule, and regarded the filaments of _Anabena_ seen penetrating within
the indusium as probably the fertilising bodies in this naked-seeded

Thus with a large amount of fresh and original observation Griffith
was on wrong lines in his general views and comparison--he classed the
higher Cryptogams in his _Notulae_ as

  Pistilligerous.  Musci.   Hepaticae.
  Gymnospermous.   Azolla.  Salvinia.   Chara.
  Cryptogamous.    Ferns.   Lycopods.   Isoetes.  Marsilidae.
                     Anthocerotidae.  Equisetidae.

Griffith's general views of the reproduction of all the Vascular
Cryptogams was necessarily wrong, since the prime clue of the
recognition of the prothallus and plant as distinct had not been
found. In this connection his figuring young plants of _Equisetum_
attached to prothalli is interesting. In some speculations concerning
the embryology of _Loranthus_ he came, by a wrong line of approach,
within touch of the right comparison, when he compares the endosperm to
the confervoid green growth (i.e. the prothallus) at the base of the
young plant of _Equisetum_.

It is idle to speculate on what might have happened had such a wide
observer as Griffith chanced on the clue. In this respect he was of his
time as most are. The man who put the industrious but blind gropings
of this period in morphological botany straight, both as regards the
development of the embryo and the comparative ontogeny of archegoniate
plants was Hofmeister, and like all exceptional men he belonged to the
new period created by him.

The great advantage of this course of lectures seems to me to be that
it approaches the study of the history of botany in the right way; for
progress in our science has been the result of individuals rather than
of schools. The consideration of the work of Griffith from 1832 to 1845
is a vivid illustration of the condition of morphological botany in
the earlier portion of the period, surveyed in one of the chapters in
Sach's _History_ under the title of "Morphology and Systematic Botany
under the influence of the History of Development and the knowledge of
the Cryptogams." These two subjects were always before Griffith.

The interest of the personality of William Griffith and of the work
he accomplished in his tragically short life is obvious. Not less so
is the way in which that work was done inside the limitations of his
period. We, who are still gleaners in the field that Griffith and
his contemporaries cleared and Hofmeister marked out and tilled, are
probably just as incapable of conceiving the future developments of




  Narrative--state of Botany--dawn of the Golden Age--sexuality of
  Angiosperms--Schleiden's elucidation of fern life-history--Nägeli,
  Suminski and Hofmeister--recognition by Henfrey--original
  work--publications--the _Micrographic Dictionary_--_The Botanical
  Gazette_--its features--Henfrey's labours not immediately

The claim of Henfrey to rank among the founders of botany in this
country depends less on his own original contributions than on a
whole-hearted devotion to the propagation and diffusion of the newer
methods and results which marked an epoch during the forties and
fifties of last century. The outset of Henfrey's career coincided with
a great turning point in the history of botany, and to Henfrey will
always belong the credit of being the first Englishman to recognise
the full significance of the movement. From that moment he unceasingly
made known and diffused in this country the results of the German
renaissance. That Henfrey should have failed to establish the newer
botany in England was the result of a variety of circumstances, one of
which was his early death.

The available biographical material of Henfrey being extremely meagre,
it has been necessary in preparing the present account to rely almost
entirely on his published writings. In some ways this lack of personal
details is no disadvantage as our present interest in Henfrey depends
essentially on the movement in botany with which he was identified.

Arthur Henfrey was born at Aberdeen, in 1819, of English parents. He
underwent the usual course of training for the medical profession at
St Bartholomew's Hospital--becoming a member of the Royal College of
Surgeons in 1843. In consequence of bronchial trouble, to which he
eventually succumbed at the early age of 39, Henfrey never practised
his profession. Compelled to a life of seclusion he at once turned
to a scientific career and more particularly to the pursuit of
botany. In 1847 he undertook the duties of Lecturer in Botany at St
George's Hospital Medical School, where among his colleagues was Edwin
Lankester, himself a redoubtable naturalist and the father of Sir Ray
Lankester, the eminent zoologist of our own day.

Henfrey succeeded Edward Forbes as Professor of Botany in King's
College, London, in 1852--a post which he held till his death. He was
elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in the same year.

He died quite suddenly in 1859, at the house on Turnham Green, where he
had resided for many years.

In order to understand the part played by Henfrey, it is necessary
briefly to review the state of botany in the first half of the
nineteenth century.

Linnaeus of course, botanically, the outstanding fact of the eighteenth
century, was no exception to the dictum that "the evil that men do
lives after them."

It was supposed that botany had reached its culminating
point in Linnaeus and that improvement could only be made in
details--elaborating and extending his system. As Sachs tells us in his
_History_, the result was that "Botany ceased to be a science; even
the describing of plants which Linnaeus had raised to an art became
once more loose and negligent in the hands of his successors. Botany
gradually degenerated under the influence of his authority into an
insipid dilettantism--a dull occupation for plant collectors who called
themselves systematists, in entire contravention of the meaning of the

This was written with especial reference to Germany, but it applied
with no less force to our own country where the Linnaean idea had taken
deep root and the Linnaean collections had found a sanctuary.

However, by 1840, a change was coming over the face of botany.
Little as it can have been dreamt, the Golden Age was already
beginning--destined in a relatively short time to transform the
subject. This Golden Age was contemporaneous with, and immediately
dependent on, the rise of a group of young botanists in the Fatherland,
a group which included von Mohl, Schleiden, Hofmeister, Nägeli, Cohn
and De Bary. Later it was reinforced by Sachs, who in addition to being
a brilliant physiologist was a gifted writer who did much to establish
scientific botany on a sound footing. It is impossible to overestimate
the debt due to Sachs, particularly for his great _Textbook of Botany_,
which at the right psychological moment brought the whole of the modern
work between the covers of a single volume.

It was with the dawn of this period that Henfrey identified himself.
In the 15 years of his active career (1844-1859) he devoted himself
very largely to making his fellow-countrymen acquainted with the newer
aspects of botany. More particularly it was the recent discoveries as
to the reproduction and life history of the Vascular Cryptogams that
specially engaged his interest--the researches which broadly speaking
we associate with Hofmeister to-day.

Before we go on to speak of the sexuality of the Cryptogams however, a
few words may be devoted to that of the flowering plants.

_Sexuality of Flowering Plants._ At the period when Henfrey entered
on his career as a botanist no reasonable doubt remained as to the
existence of sexes among the flowering plants. The theory of the
sexual significance of the organs of the flower, brilliantly founded
by Koelreuter in the previous century, had been perfected with a great
volume of experimental proof by K. F. Gaertner the son of Joseph
Gaertner of _Carpologia_ fame.

By 1830 the mechanism of fertilisation came to light in Amici's
discovery of the pollen tube which he traced from the stigma to the
micropyle. The microscopic aspect of the problem was taken up with
great energy by Schleiden and brought to the forefront as the burning
question of the early forties. The theory of Schleiden, which applied
in particular to the flowering plants, made its influence felt to such
an extent in the search for evidence of sexuality among the Cryptogams,
that we may conveniently state in a few words in what it consisted.

Schleiden traced the pollen tube into the micropyle, and thence to the
nucellus where it depressed or invaginated the apex of the embryo-sac,
and in the recess or indentation so produced the tip of the pollen tube
was converted into the embryo--its actual apex being represented by the
plumule. This theory was the lineal descendant in modernised trappings
of the old view expressed by Morland and others at the beginning of
the eighteenth century that the embryo was contained in the pollen
grain, and that the ovule was no more than the brood chamber whither
it must be brought to undergo further development. This erroneous
interpretation of the true facts was always repudiated by Amici,
and was finally overthrown by Hofmeister and Radlkofer in the early
fifties. In this connection we may note in passing Henfrey's careful
paper on the impregnation of _Orchis Morio_, published in 1856, which
fully corroborated Amici. In this paper the relations of pollen tube,
embryo-sac, egg-cell, suspensor and embryo were correctly interpreted,
and the new point established, contrary to the assertions of previous
observers, that the ovum or "germinal-vesicle," prior to fertilisation,
was a naked, unwalled cell.

_Sexuality in Cryptogams._ By far the most important question that came
to a head in Henfrey's time was that of the morphological relationships
of the Cryptogams and flowering plants. Hitherto these had remained
altogether obscure in the absence of reliable data based on the proper
application of the microscope to the elucidation of the life histories
of the lower plants. Under the influence of the Linnaean school, which
had taken deep root in this country, as elsewhere, the systematic study
of flowering plants had been widely pursued, and in so far as the ferns
were concerned their homologies were commonly interpreted in terms
of the flowering plants. Without any real guidance in fact, a great
diversity of views of these homologies found expression. The following,
taken from Lindley, may serve to illustrate their general nature.

The sorus was regarded as a sort of compound fruit, the sporangium
as a carpel, the annulus as its midrib, and the spores as the seeds.
Speculations such as these are of the same order as the crude
conjectures which with less excuse relieve the answer books of
examination candidates at the present time.

In the search for the male organs of the fern attention was naturally
directed to the neighbourhood of the sorus, and the stomata, indusia
and glandular appendages were in turn mistaken by various observers
for the anthers. The "limit" was reached by Griffith who, as is stated
at page 190, conjectured that the Anabena filaments which accompany
the megasporangia of Azolla were no other than the male organs of that

Schleiden spoke of these researches with the utmost scorn. "For my part
I am surprised that no one has yet insisted upon the presence of the
organs of sense, as eyes and ears in plants, since they are possessed
by animals. Such an assumption would not be a bit more absurd than
the mania of insisting upon having anthers in the Cryptogams, simply
because they are found in the Phanerogams."

All these ill-grounded hypotheses were swept away in 1844 when Nägeli
discovered antheridia containing spermatozoids on the "cotyledon" or
pro-embryo of the fern--the prothallus we call it now. Nägeli at once
recognised their essential agreement with the antheridia already known
in the Bryophytes and compared the spermatozoids with the corresponding
structures in animals. But as he overlooked the existence of the
archegonia, or rather by some lapse mistook them for stages in the
development of the antheridia, it is not surprising that he was at
a loss to understand the significance of his discovery, and that he
should have commented on his dilemma in the following terms. "Seeing
that the female organs (spores) arise on the frond at a much later
stage of development, and long after the pro-embryo has died away, the
function of the spermatozoids is far from evident."

It was only three years later that light was thrown on the situation,
and from an unexpected quarter. Count Suminski, an amateur
microscopist, announced the discovery of additional reproductive organs
on the fern pro-embryo, which he clearly distinguished from the "spiral
filament organs" or antheridia. His full paper, which appeared in 1848,
marks an epoch in morphology, and was a very remarkable performance.
In it he redescribes the antheridia and spermatozoids--detecting their
tufted cilia which Nägeli had overlooked. The archegonia he describes
as ovules without envelopes consisting of a papilla (the neck) which
becomes perforated, giving the spermatozoid access to the embryo-sac
within. His figures of the process of fertilisation are extremely
interesting as they show how completely he was dominated by the
theory of Schleiden to which allusion has already been made. The head
of the sperm is represented as entering the "embryo-sac," and there
becoming encysted to form the embryo just as the tip of the pollen
tube was supposed to do in flowering plants. The further development
of the embryo and its various organs are traced and figured, however,
in the most admirable way. At the conclusion of his paper Suminski
states that in view of the presence of male organs and ovules, and the
occurrence of fertilisation, the cryptogamy of ferns does not exist in
a physiological sense, and ceases to have any validity as a peculiar
character. A remark which he follows up by the statement that ferns
must on the existing classification be referred to the Monocotyledons.

In certain respects no doubt Suminski's paper is fantastic--more
especially the circumstantial details given of the process of
fertilisation. But, however we may criticise his work the credit
belongs to Suminski of showing (1) that sexual organs are borne on the
prothallus, (2) that the embryo fern plant is produced as the result of
fertilisation. Unlike Nägeli, to Suminski came the happy inspiration
of looking for the female organs in the position where common sense
indicated they ought to be found.

Suminski's paper instantly aroused universal interest, and the whole
of his assertions were at first categorically denied by the German
botanist Wigand.

We may now trace Henfrey's attitude to Suminski's work.

His first notice occurs in the body of a review of Lindley's
"Introduction" in the first volume of his _Botanical Gazette_, and
shows him to have been profoundly sceptical, if not contemptuous, of
the occurrence of fertilisation in the prothallus of the fern. His
words are "this (i.e. Suminski's discovery) appears to have little but
originality to render it worthy of notice." That appeared in February

Writing at greater length of Suminski's work in the _Annals and
Magazine of Natural History_, in November of the same year, he speaks
much more guardedly. "These researches are in the highest degree
curious, and if the facts related prove to be correct, most importantly
affect the received views of analogies in the generative processes of

At the same time Henfrey says he hopes to speak more definitely on this
matter when his own investigations are complete. Two years later his
own very careful work in the same field was laid before the Linnean
Society, in which he corroborated the main facts that had come to
light. Turning once again to the paper of Suminski, after making
certain criticisms of detail, Henfrey handsomely remarks--"Nothing
however can take from him the credit of having discovered the
_archegonia_ and their import, one of the most important discoveries
in physiological Botany of modern times since it has led to results
revolutionising the whole theory of the reproduction of plants and
opened out a totally new sphere of inquiry into the laws and relations
of vegetable life."

For some little time after these discoveries the archegonia of the
fern were, on the initiative of Mercklin, commonly referred to as the
"organs of Suminski," a custom which happily fell into desuetude.
Mercklin, in his paper, which essentially repeats the work of Suminski,
states that he devoted his entire attention for three months to the
fern prothalli before he succeeded in observing the entrance of a

In reviewing the early papers of the Hofmeisterian epoch--papers which
form the bed-rock of the existing morphology--one is struck with the
marvellous rapidity with which their significance was apprehended. We
find the phrase "alternation of generations" employed within two years
of the discoveries of Suminski, whilst by the early fifties the general
genetic relations of the vascular series were realized in quite a new

As Sachs puts it:--"When Darwin's theory was given to the world eight
years after Hofmeister's investigations, the relations of affinity
between the great divisions of the vegetable kingdom were so well
established and so patent that the theory of descent had only to accept
what genetic morphology had actually brought to view."

Among Henfrey's original contributions other than those dealing
with the burning questions already mentioned, was a series dealing
with the Anatomy of Monocotyledons. This would appear to have led
him on to study the Nymphaeaceae, and especially the anatomy of
_Victoria regia_--a paper which may be compared perhaps with Prof.
Gwynne-Vaughan's more recent study. Henfrey was quite alive to the
monocotyledonous affinity, and the enlightened and, for that date,
unconventional views to which he gave expression, drew an interesting
notice by Hooker and Thomson in the first volume of their _Indian

Another of his papers dealt rather fully with the development of the
spores and elaters of Marchantia, where he filled in a considerable
lacuna in the knowledge of that group. It is curious to find as late
as 1855 so intelligent and well informed a botanist as Henfrey laying
it down that the cells of Marchantia, in particular, and Liverworts in
general, were destitute of nuclei. It is superfluous to say that this
apprehension was quite baseless. Indeed, forty years later, the group
of the Liverworts was deliberately chosen by Prof. J. B. Farmer, for
the investigation of nuclear phenomena on account of the favourable
conditions under which they could be studied!

Microtechnique at that time was of course a much simpler affair than
it has since become. Contemporary papers as a rule say little about
methods; however one of Henfrey's occasional notes in a magazine
tells us that caustic potash, iodine, sulphuric, hydrochloric and
acetic acids, together with ether were in common use. Schultze's
reagent--chloride of zinc iodide--was invented in 1850, but does not
appear to have been generally employed till many years later.

It would however be a serious error to underestimate the value of
the earlier work in plant histology. The present writer once spent
an interesting morning in Pfeffer's laboratory at Tübingen rummaging
through hundreds of the great von Mohl's anatomical preparations. Among
these were sections of palm endosperms in which the, at that time
recently discovered, continuity of the protoplasm through the cell
walls was plainly visible. The existence of these filaments had been
detected by von Mohl some years before, but he had refrained from
publishing his observations from over-cautiousness.

As a translator and editor Henfrey was responsible for the English
edition of von Mohl's _Principles of the Anatomy and Physiology of
the Vegetable Cell_, published in 1852, for two volumes of Reports on
Botany in the Ray Society's publications, whilst he had a considerable
share in Lankester's translation of Schleiden's famous _Principles of
Scientific Botany_, 1847. In addition to these there were constant
abstracts and critical reviews from his pen in the _Annals and Magazine
of Natural History_--a journal of which he became botanical editor
before the close of his life.

As a writer of text-books Henfrey was very prolific. First came his
_Outlines of Botany_, 1847, followed by the _Rudiments of Botany_.
Much more ambitious was his _Elementary Course of Botany_ which became
a standard text-book running through numerous editions after his
death, under the editorship of the late Dr M. T. Masters. To these
must be added, in conjunction with Griffith[106], the _Micrographic
Dictionary_, a substantial volume dealing in innumerable special and
general articles with the microscopic study of plants and animals.
This work was no mere compilation, but embodied in its pages is a very
large amount of independent observation. The illustrations covering
nearly fifty plates were by Tuffen West, and reached a high degree
of excellence. A well known botanist, a contributor to the present
volume, has more than once assured me that it was to the _Micrographic
Dictionary_ that he owed his salvation!

Should anyone desire to get a vivid and accurate picture of the
precise state of Botany in this country at the middle of the last
century, he cannot do better than turn over the pages of _The Botanical
Gazette_, a monthly journal of the progress of British botany, founded
and conducted by Henfrey. It was about the size of our own _New
Phytologist_, with which it had not a little in common. In one respect
it differed; unlike the _New Phytologist_ the _Gazette_ was financially
a failure and after carrying it on at his own expense for three years
(1849-1851) Henfrey had to relinquish the undertaking. A perusal of
its contents clearly shows that its editor regarded his journal as one
of the instruments of diffusing the New Botany. Having to rely largely
for his subscribers upon the amateur collector he points out in the
prefatory note that a feature will be made not only of home botany but
also of contributions or abstracts from abroad dealing with floras
which have much in common with our own. For the benefit of those whose
collections had reached considerable dimensions, and for whom the lack
of new plants might connote a waning stimulus, he held out the further
inducement of papers on the general anatomy of familiar plants, of
which an excellent example by Thilo Irmisch on the stolons of Epilobium
was included in the first number.

For the three years of its existence Henfrey kept faith with the
British botanists and a number of _The Botanical Gazette_ rarely
appeared without an article contrived for their edification. The task
was evidently a congenial one, for Henfrey had a sound knowledge of
British plants with especial reference to geographical distribution
and critical forms. Unlike several later exponents of the New Botany,
Henfrey was quite able to hold his own with the systematists. He
more than once expresses the opinion that there was too great a
tendency to lump species in the handbooks to the Flora, and he urged
on the occasion of the preparation of the third edition of the
_London Catalogue of British Plants_ that many more forms should find
recognition. The editors of the catalogue however successfully opposed
the suggestion on the ingenious grounds that it would raise the weight
for postage beyond the limits of a blue (twopenny) stamp!

Henfrey thought much might be done by cultivation under varying
conditions to settle vexed questions as to critical species, and
suggested that a limited number of botanists in different parts of the
country should co-operate in a scheme under which seed should annually
be distributed, harvested and re-distributed among those taking part.
Henfrey himself offered to undertake the somewhat onerous duty of
receiving and distributing the seed and of generally correlating
the work. As however his proposal was merely tagged on to a note on
_Sagina apetala_ and _ciliata_ it is hardly remarkable that nothing
came of it.

An interesting minor feature of the _Gazette_ was the reporting of the
proceedings of the various Botanical Societies throughout the country.
These show that a chronic state of intellectual famine frequently
obtained even at the leading societies--a state of which vestiges are
still occasionally discernible. It was no unusual occurrence at the
Linnean even during the period of Robert Brown's presidency for the
meeting to be regaled with long extracts from the commentaries on the
_Hortus Malabaricus_. In this respect however the record was easily
held by the now defunct Botanical Society of London, which eked out its
programme for a whole year with a communication by a Mr D. Stock "On
the Botany of Bungay, Suffolk." Begun on the 11th October, 1850, it
only drew to a conclusion on the 3rd October, 1851. There were other
attractive features in _The Botanical Gazette_ on which space does not
allow me to dwell.

The general impression gained, however, from a perusal of the papers
of that time is that they were refreshingly short, as compared with
our own day, and often very much to the point. The recording of
observations was rarely made the occasion for a survey of the whole
field of botany, and little trace was discernible of the present habit
of over-elaboration.

The foregoing outline of Henfrey's activities shows that they were
devoted wholly to the spread of the Newer Botany in this country. The
means employed included the publication of reviews and abstracts,
the editing of translations of the more notable books, the founding
of journals, and the writing of text-books. Moreover by his own
investigations he kept close touch with the modern work and was indeed
the means of corroborating and often materially advancing many of the
larger problems before putting them into general circulation in this

And yet, in spite of this complete devotion of his life to the cause,
the New Botany found no permanent place in this country till twenty
years after Henfrey's death.

Botanically speaking, the organisation and rise of taxonomy was the
ruling pre-occupation of the period under consideration, a direct
outcome of colonial expansion and consolidation. Fed on unlimited
supplies of new material from the ends of the earth the taxonomic habit
became supreme. What could an isolated student and recluse like Henfrey
do to stem this flood? Circumstances were too strong for him, and
founding no immediate school it remained for a later generation to take
up the task.

Though the history of the establishment of the New Botany in England
lies outside the province of this lecture, it is instructive, as
a contrast in methods, to note the manner of its accomplishment.
Henfrey, who relied on his pen, had proved ineffective to bring about a
revolution. Twenty years later it fell to Sir William Thiselton-Dyer,
then a young man, to succeed where Henfrey had failed. By his
enlightened teaching and personal magnetism, Thiselton-Dyer aroused
a widespread interest in laboratory botany. But the matter was not
allowed to rest there. Holding as he did an important post at Kew,
the strategic centre, he was able to obtain appointments in the chief
Colleges and Universities of the country for the recruits whom he
had attracted. In this way, by the exercise of an acute intelligence
amounting to statesmanship, and in a very short period of time, the New
Botany became everywhere firmly established.


[106] Not the William Griffith of the last chapter.




  Early influences--Natural History--his "pretensions" to
  science--choice of a profession--visit to London--early
  publication--South Africa--investigation of its flora--appointed
  Keeper of University Herbarium, Dublin--Algology with
  Mrs Griffiths--_Phycologia Britannica_--appointed to
  Professorship--visit to America--lectures and travels--_Nereis
  Boreali-Americana_--travels in the East--Australia--New
  Zealand--Fiji--return home--election to chair at Trinity College,
  Dublin--_Phycologia Australica_--marriage and death--Harvey's
  limitations--his reception of Darwinism--personal characteristics.

Among the many illustrious names that figure on the syllabus of the
present course of lectures, that of Harvey is probably one of the less
generally known. This is due for the most part to the fact that the
subject to which the greater portion of his energies was devoted--the
systematic study of seaweeds--occupies a somewhat remote niche in the
edifice of botany. Also many years of his life were spent in collecting
in distant regions; and his retiring disposition, and comparatively
early death, contributed to the same result. In the scientific world of
his day he avoided publicity, but laboured with indomitable zeal at his
chosen subject, leaving behind him a series of splendidly illustrated
descriptive works. For a glimpse of the man himself--his life, his
aims, his thoughts--we have to rely almost entirely on a volume[107]
consisting mainly of letters written to relations and to family
friends, which was edited by his cousin, Mrs Lydia Fisher, and
published a few years after his death. My indebtedness to this volume
in what follows will be apparent.

[Illustration: _Plate XVII_ WILLIAM HENRY HARVEY]

William Henry Harvey came of the old Quaker stock that has given to
Ireland several of her most enthusiastic naturalists. To this group
belong Thomas Wright of Cork, Joseph Wright of Belfast, Greenwood Pim
of Dublin; all of whom, immersed in affairs of business, devoted their
leisure hours to science, and progressed far in the branches of zoology
or botany to which they addressed themselves. Harvey's family belonged
to Youghal, on the coast of Co. Cork. His father was a well-known
merchant of Limerick, in which town he himself was born, the youngest
of eleven children, just a hundred years ago--in February 1811. Even
as a child, his love of natural history made itself apparent, and
fortunately his schooling tended to foster this taste. After a few
years at Newtown near Waterford, he went to the historic school of
Ballitore, in the county of Kildare. These Irish Quaker schools have
long favoured the teaching of science, and Ballitore at that time was
no exception. The head master was James White, a keen naturalist, and
himself a writer on Irish botany[108]; and probably the encouragement
that young Harvey received at Ballitore had much to do with the
shaping of his life. At the age of fifteen, we find him writing of his
collection of butterflies and shells, and already referring to the
group in which he subsequently achieved his greatest fame:--

"I also intend to study my favourite and _useless_ class,
_Cryptogamia_. I think I hear thee say, Tut-tut! But no matter. To be
useless, various, and abstruse, is a sufficient recommendation of a
science to make it pleasing to me. I don't know how I shall ever find
out the different genera of mosses. Lichens I think will be easy" (he
little knew them!) "but fungi I shall not attempt; not at all from
their _difficulty_, but only because they are not easily preserved. But
do not say that the study of _Cryptogamia_ is useless. Remember that it
was from the genus Fucus that iodine was discovered."

Another letter of this period, written when he was sixteen, contains
so quaint a description of himself that I am tempted to quote from it:--

"In person I am tall, and in a good degree awkward. I am silent,
and when I do speak say little, particularly to people of whom I am
afraid, or with whom I am not intimate. I care not for city sports,
or for the diversions of the country. I am equally unknown to any
healthful amusement of boys. I cannot swim nor skate. I know nothing
of the delight of these, and yet I can amuse myself and be quite
happy, seemingly without any one to share my happiness. My botanical
knowledge extends to about thirty of the commonest plants. I am very
fond of botany, but I have not much opportunity of learning anything,
because I have only to show the plant to James White, who tells me
all about it, which I forget the next minute. My mineralogy embraces
about twelve minerals, of which I know only the names. I am totally
unacquainted with foreign shells, and know only about two hundred and
fifty native ones. As to ornithology, I have stuffed about thirteen
birds. In chemistry I read a few books, and tried some experiments.
In lithography I broke a stone and a printing press. These are my
pretensions to science."

The reference to lithography is interesting, in view of the fact that
he became later on one of the most exquisite delineators of plants, and
with his own hand drew on stone the greater part of the splendid plates
which enrich his works on Phanerogams and Algae. In his confession of
ignorance of sports and pastimes, we already see the result of the want
of robust health which followed him through life, and brought about his
premature death; and in spite of which he performed such monumental

Already Harvey's mind was quite made up as to what line in life he
would prefer. He cannot hope, he says, to achieve success in commerce,
by "buying cheap and selling dear." As regards professions, he is
"neither fit to be a doctor nor a lawyer, lacking courage for the one,
and face for the other, and application for both.... All I have a taste
for is natural history, and that might possibly lead in days to come
to a genus called _Harveya_, and the letters F.L.S. after my name, and
with that I shall be content.... The utmost extent of my ambition
would be to get a professorship of natural history."

His parents had thought of placing the boy with an eminent chemist in
London, but his obvious antipathy to the prospect of city life led to
his entering his father's office in Limerick instead. The quiet home
life which ensued was well suited to his taste. All holidays were
devoted to collecting. The family had a summer residence at Miltown
Malbay, on the Atlantic coast, an excellent spot for Algae; and it was
no doubt the time spent there that brought these plants prominently
under his notice, and led to the noteworthy researches of later days.
For the time, Mollusca still mainly occupied his mind, and in 1829, at
eighteen years of age, we find him busily engaged in drawing the plates
for a _Testacea Hibernica_--a book that never saw the light, though two
years later he writes of being at work on his _Bivalvia Hibernica_,
which was then half finished.

In the same year, he made his first excursion into "foreign parts"
as he calls them, visiting Dublin, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh and
Glasgow. An account of a meeting of the Linnean Society, to which he
was taken by his friend Bicheno, then secretary, and at which "if not
edified I was amused," shows that the reverence he felt for science
did not necessarily extend to constituted scientific authority. "The
President wore a three-cocked hat of ample dimensions, and sat in
a crimson arm-chair in great state. I saw a number of new Fellows
admitted. They were marched one by one to the president, who rose, and
taking them by the hand, admitted them. The process costs _£_25."

In 1831, his finding at Killarney of the beautiful moss _Hookeria
laetevirens_, hitherto unknown in Ireland, led to the formation of one
of the warmest and most valuable friendships of his life. He forwarded
specimens, with a characteristic letter, to W. J. Hooker at Glasgow,
and the kind and encouraging reply which he received led to further
letters and eventually to an intimacy which seems to have been prized
equally on both sides. Hooker recognized at once the extraordinary
talent of the shy young man of twenty, lent him books, asked him to
visit him, and congratulated him on his critical faculty, predicting
for him a rapid advance to "the top of algologists." Another life-long
friendship made about this time was with Mrs Griffiths of Torquay; and
he numbered Greville and Agardh among his earliest correspondents.
Already he was deep in his life-task of comparing and describing
plants, working with the restless energy which characterised him. "I
rise at five every morning," he writes, "and work till breakfast,
examining or describing the Algae for the 'British Flora[109].' If I do
five species a day I think it good work. This may seem slow, but there
is much to be compared and _corrected_! for I differ from Dr Hooker on
many species. Oh, impudence! oh, presumption!" In 1832 he undertook to
do the Algae for J. T. Mackay's _Flora Hibernica_, which was published
three years later; this was his most important contribution to the
botany of his native land.

The death of his father in 1834 broke up Harvey's home life, and his
strong desire to study the vegetation of distant countries led to
enquiries as to the obtaining of an appointment in the Colonies. New
South Wales was first thought of, but it was for the Cape that he
started in the following year.

Asa Gray, a friend of many years' standing, tells, in a notice of
Harvey in the _American Journal of Science and Arts_[110], a curious
story as to the circumstances attending this momentous change in
Harvey's life. The story is repeated in the notice of Harvey in
Seemann's _Journal of Botany_[111], though not mentioned in the
_Memoir_ edited by his cousin. It seems that, as the result of Harvey's
representations, he obtained through Mr Spring Rice, afterwards Lord
Monteagle, the post of Treasurer at the Cape; but, by an accident,
the appointment was made out in the name of an elder brother (Joseph
Harvey); and an inopportune change of ministry occurring just at the
time, frustrated all attempts at rectification. Be that as it may,
Joseph Harvey sailed for South Africa in July 1835, taking his younger
brother with him as assistant.

It was with high hopes that the naturalist started for the Southern
Hemisphere. At that time the flora of South Africa was but slightly
known. About Cape Town itself and near other older centres of
colonization, indeed, many plants had been collected, both by Dutch and
English; but vast tracts of mountain and veldt, for a thousand miles to
north and east, were still unexplored. He describes his excitement on
landing, and how, after a sleepless night, he started off for the hills
early next morning, to revel among strange Ericas, Polygalas, Lobelias,
Diosmas, Proteas, and Ixias. He at once settled down to collecting
with his usual method and energy. From four or five until nine every
morning he was at work on the mountains or on the shore; after which
several hours were devoted to preserving the material. Within a few
weeks he was engaged on the description of new genera and species,
and in three months his herbarium contained 800 species. Already
schemes for organized work leading up to publication were in his mind;
and it seemed as if his task lay open before him; but fate willed
otherwise. His brother fell ill within a few months of his arrival,
and a little later a return to Europe was ordered--to no purpose, as
Joseph Harvey died on 26 April, a fortnight after sailing, and it
was a sad home-coming which the naturalist, who had accompanied the
invalid, experienced in the June following. He started again for South
Africa a few weeks later, to take up his brother's duties as Colonial
Treasurer; and remained there for three years, when severe illness,
brought on by overwork, compelled a return home. But he came back, and
resumed his strenuous life, spending his days in official duties and
his nights at botany, until, in 1842, a complete break-down forced him
to resign his post, and leave the country. Seven years of his life were
thus devoted to South Africa, and, in spite of the serious inroads
on his time and energy caused by two tedious voyages home, as well
as by illness when at the Cape, a great amount of botanical work was
accomplished. He arranged with collectors for the supply of plants from
various parts of the country; he got the Government interested in the
native flora, so that official papers were issued giving instructions
for collecting and soliciting specimens; and Harvey himself devoted so
much time to his hobby that he suggests that his title should be Her
Majesty's Pleasurer-General, instead of Treasurer-General. Every month
brought its quota of undescribed plants. "Almost every small package
of specimens received from the Natal, or the Transvaal district,"
he writes[112], "contains not only new species, but new genera; and
some of the latter are of so marked and isolated a character, as to
lead us to infer in the same region the existence of unknown types
that may better connect them with Genera or Orders already known." To
produce system in this chaos he compiled and published his _Genera of
South African Plants_ (1838), the forerunner of the larger works which
constitute his principal memorial in the domain of Phanerogamic Botany.
But the uncongenial climate and the intense application were too great
a strain on his health and he reached Europe in 1842, prostrated in
both body and mind.

Nevertheless, the final year of his residence in Africa saw the
production of the first of the series of works on seaweeds by which
his name will ever be best known. His _Manual of British Algae_ was
issued by the Ray Society in 1841, its Introduction dated at Cape Town,
October 1840--a modest octavo volume, characterized by the thoroughness
which runs through all his work.

A period of convalescence and apathy followed his return, in which he
wandered about Ireland, doing some desultory botanizing; after which he
settled in his old home at Limerick, and again took up the uncongenial
duties connected with the family business.

But soon a new prospect opened out. The retirement of William Allman
left vacant the Chair of Botany in Dublin University. Harvey had
little hesitation in applying for the post, to which, he points out
to a friend, "a moderate salary and comfortable College-rooms are
attached. It is an old bachelor place," he writes, "and would in many
ways suit me very well. The only thing on the face of it disagreeable
is the _lecturing_, but I don't think I should mind that much, as it
is lawful to have the subjects for the class written down." Harvey's
candidature was viewed favourably by the University authorities, but a
difficulty arose, inasmuch as the School of Physic Act prescribed that
the Professor of Botany should hold a medical degree, or the licence
of the College of Physicians. To render him eligible, the degree of
M.D. was at once conferred on Harvey _honoris causa_, but after a
good deal of discussion this solution of the question was held to be
inadmissible, and George James Allman was appointed to the vacant
chair. Harvey, however, obtained the smaller appointment of Keeper of
the University Herbarium, which had fallen vacant at about the same
time owing to the death of Dr Thomas Coulter, the botanical explorer of
Central Mexico and California.

Harvey now at last found himself in a congenial post, with a fair
amount of leisure, and facilities for scientific work. He presented
his herbarium of over 10,000 species to the University, which already
possessed Coulter's extensive American collections. "I am as busy as a
bee these times," he writes. "I rise at 5 a.m. or before it, and work
till breakfast-time (half-past eight) at the 'Antarctic Algae[113].'
Directly after breakfast I start for the College, and do not leave
it till five o'clock in the evening. Again at plants till dusk. I am
writing on the 'Antarctic Algae,' and arranging the Herbarium, and have
been working at Coulter's Mexican and Californian plants." College
vacations were now usually spent at Kew, staying with his best friend
Sir William Hooker, and working hard in the Herbarium. On the way home
from the first of these vacations, he went to Torquay, to spend some
time with his old correspondent, Mrs Griffiths. They went out boating,
he and the good lady of seventy-six years; and together they visited
the only British habitat of _Gigartina Teedii_, six miles away, and
gathered that coveted sea-weed in the spot where Mrs Griffiths had
discovered it in 1811, the year in which Harvey was born.

Another very rare alga which he received about this time, to his great
delight, was _Thuretia quercifolia_ from Australia, one of the most
remarkable of sea-weeds, bearing oakleaf-shaped red fronds, formed of
a beautiful lace-like double network with regular hexagonal openings,
which he was himself destined to collect in quantity some years later
at Port Phillip, and to figure in his _Phycologia Australica_[114].
The circumstances under which this plant was found must have made
Harvey's mouth water.

"My specimen," he writes, "was picked up by a lady who accidentally
landed for a few hours in a little harbour, into which the ship put
during a gale, and she describes the shore as covered with the most
wonderful profusion of plants and animals. She got all the pocket
handkerchiefs of the party and filled them with what came first to
hand, and in this hasty way picked up sixty different kinds of sponges,
forty of which are new species, and several Algae, among which was the
above described beauty. Her husband (a captain) is going out again, and
promises to gather all he can meet with. Don't I hope he may have a run
in again in a squall!"

Harvey now commenced the publication of the first of his larger works
on seaweeds--the classical _Phycologia Britannica_, a series of 360
coloured quarto plates, drawn on stone by his own hand, representing
all the species then known to inhabit the British Isles, and
accompanied by suitable letterpress: the whole taking five years to
complete. This work represented an immense advance in the knowledge of
British sea-weeds, and, by the beauty and excellence of its plates, did
much to popularize the study of these interesting plants.

In the following year he began his _Nereis Australis, or Algae of the
Southern Ocean_. This was the first fruits of a comprehensive scheme of
publication, which in its entirety was to "form a compendious picture
of the vegetation of the ocean," the _Nereis Australis_ being followed
by a similar _Nereis Tropica_ and _Nereis Borealis_; but only a section
of the scheme was carried out, and publication stopped with the issue
of 120 pages of letterpress and fifty coloured plates, drawn as usual
by Harvey himself. In 1849 he issued _The Sea-side Book_, a popular
account of the natural history of the sea-shore, which ran through
several editions.

About this time he secured an additional appointment which, while it
added to his professional duties, also increased his opportunities for
research. The Royal Dublin Society, founded in 1731 for the improvement
of husbandry, manufactures, and other useful arts and sciences, and
aided by considerable government funds, had long since embarked on
comprehensive schemes for the development of both science and art.
To its activity is due the foundation and building up of many of the
leading educational institutions in Dublin--the National Museum, the
National Library, the Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, the Metropolitan
School of Art. The Society had established also professorships of
zoology, botany, natural philosophy, chemistry, and so on. In 1848 the
professorship of botany became vacant by the death of Dr Samuel Litton,
and Harvey applied for the post. These appointments were made by the
vote of the members at large, and strongly against his inclination,
he had to enter on a personal canvass, of some experiences of which
he gives a half humourous, half pathetic account in a letter to N.
B. Ward, of "Wardian case" fame, who throughout life was one of his
most regular correspondents. The issue was satisfactory, Harvey being
elected by a three-fourths majority. This appointment placed him in
control of the Glasnevin Botanic Gardens, of which Dr David Moore, so
well known by his work on the Irish flora, was curator. It made him
responsible besides for the delivery annually of courses of botanical
lectures in Dublin, and also, at intervals, in selected towns in
various parts of Ireland.

In the spring of 1849 Harvey accepted an invitation from the
Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University to deliver twelve
lectures on botany at the Lowell Institute at Boston, and others
at Washington. The subject he chose for the Boston course was a
comprehensive survey of the plant-world, from the point of view of the
"progressive organization of the vegetable entity." The cryptogams
had a place of honour, four lectures being devoted to Algae: it is
interesting to note that the Fungi, which he designates "the most
aristocratic of Crypts--_fruges consumere nati_," he placed immediately
below the Flowering Plants, for reasons which, no doubt, he gave in
his discourses. He sailed from Liverpool in July. Ocean traffic had
been revolutionized since his last voyage from the Cape; instead of
a dawdling sailing-ship, a steamer transported him in ten days to
Nova Scotia; and with some of the old excitement with which he had
started on his first climb up Table Mountain, he rambled away into
the dark spruce woods, through the rich undergrowth of Kalmias, Ledums
and Andromedas, with Sarracenias and Orchids rising from among the
Sphagnums in the damper spots. He dredged and shore-collected also,
but the seaweed flora was not rich. Thence he passed to New York,
which he describes as like twenty Birkenheads and a dozen Liverpools,
with slices from London and Paris, all huddled together, and painted
bright red, with green windows. He visited Niagara and Quebec, and then
travelled to Boston, where he was welcomed by Asa Gray, who was his
host during his stay.

The lectures were well attended, and Harvey seems to have been
satisfied with them and with the reception which they received; a
popular lecture on seaweeds at the Franklin Institute at Providence
was largely attended. These discourses, and the introductions and
conversations that ensued, had more than a passing interest, as
recruits were enrolled for alga-collecting, who subsequently supplied
valuable material for his work on North American seaweeds. He saw
all that was best of scientific society in Boston and New York, and
met many of the great men of that generation--Agassiz, Bailey, Dana,
Longfellow, Leidy, Pickering, Prescott, Silliman, Daniel Webster,
Oliver Wendell Holmes. Having fulfilled his engagements and revisited
the family of his late brother Jacob in New York, he turned his face
southward in January for a collecting tour along the Atlantic sea-board.

After brief stays at Wilmington and Charleston, where he did a little
botanizing, and sent to Kew a box-full of Dionaea, he arrived by boat
at Key West one Sunday midnight in pouring rain, to spend the remaining
hours of darkness in wandering about seeking a lodging. But by morning
his fortunes had mended, and he spent a busy and pleasant month there,
collecting by day, dodging mosquitos by night, and living mainly upon
turtle and roast turkey, more ordinary foods being scarce. He made
large collections of Algae, almost every day bringing to him new and
beautiful forms. He had hoped to have the company of Prof. Bailey on
this trip, but illness prevented this, and he had to carry out his work

March saw him back in Charleston, where he attended the annual meeting
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Then
to Washington, where he delivered four lectures at the Smithsonian
Institution. At Charleston he again met Agassiz, and once more records
the profound impression which the American zoologist produced upon him.
"His fine thought," he writes, "of reforming the classifications of
animals by a more intimate study of their young in the various stages
from embryonic life to full development, grows apace; and if he lives
to bring out his conception of a system based upon this, it will not
only crown his memory for ever, but be the greatest step of the present
age in zoological science.... He is certainly a man of extraordinary
genius, great energy, and with the most rapid inductive powers I have
ever known. I could not help saying to myself, as I sat and listened,
Well, it is pleasant to be hearing all this, as it is uttered, and
for the first time. If one lives to be an old man, one will have to
say, 'I remember to have heard Agassiz say so and so,' and then every
one will listen, just as we should do to a person who had conversed
with Linnaeus or Cuvier." We must remember that this appreciation
of Agassiz's ideas was written nine years before the publication of
Darwin's _Origin of Species_, and at a time when American men of
science were much interested in a controversy as to whether mankind are
all descended from Adam and Eve, or from several separate creations
in different parts of the world. One of his last letters written on
American soil contains a note on another subject, significant in the
light of subsequent events. "I have been twice at sittings of the
Senate, and have heard a good sensible speech on the Union question,
which is now agitating folk here.... The bone of contention is Slavery."

The spring of 1850 saw him once again settled in Dublin, with a
great accumulation of work on hand. Part of the summer was spent in
collecting Algae on the coast of Antrim; and he met again his friends
Asa Gray and his wife, who were visiting Europe. Another acquaintance
made at this time, which ripened into a warm friendship, was the result
of the finding by Mrs Alfred Gatty, well-known as a writer of fiction,
of the _Chrysymenia orcadensis_ of Harvey at Filey, in fruit for the
first time--the examination of which convinced Harvey that the Orkney
plant was only a variety of _Chrysymenia rosea_ (_Lomentaria rosea_
Thuret). Mrs Gatty became a useful ally in the collecting of seaweeds,
and a valued friend; Harvey's influence is seen in her _British
Seaweeds_, published in 1863.

The year 1851 saw the completion of the _Phycologia Britannica_, and
he at once set to work on his _Nereis Boreali-Americana_, published in
three parts in the _Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge_--a work
of 550 quarto pages containing an account of all the known species of
North American Algae, and 50 coloured plates, lithographed as usual
with his own hand--a fine piece of work, and one which has not yet been
superseded. This was a time of strenuous labour, for already he was
planning a still more extended foreign tour; but he found time in the
autumn of 1852 for a trip to Switzerland with Sir William Hooker and
other friends.

In August, 1853, Harvey set out on the most extended scientific
expedition of his life. So far his collecting had been done in Europe,
South Africa, and North America. Now he was to visit the Indian Ocean
and Australasia, and to investigate their seaweed flora, as yet but
little known.

A short stay was made in Egypt, and a sea-shore ramble at Aden yielded
_Padina pavonia_ and a few other seaweeds, but otherwise he made no
stop till Ceylon was reached. There he travelled a good deal, but
seaweed collecting was not so successful as he had hoped. Some of the
places explored proved unproductive, and the prevalence of the monsoon
rendered collecting difficult or impossible. But the last three weeks,
spent at Belligam Bay and Point de Galle, yielded excellent results,
and he proceeded to Singapore en route for Albany, with a collection of
about 5000 specimens of Algae.

The first work in Australia was done in the extreme south-west. Here
he gathered seaweeds assiduously in King George's Sound, but the
ground proved rather poor, though one welcome storm brought him a rich
harvest, of which he preserved 700 specimens in one day. He moved on to
Cape Riche, to the eastward, travelling through the bush on foot, and
thus making intimate acquaintance with the interesting vegetation as
well as the fauna of the district traversed. Cape Riche proved poor
also, and he went northward to Perth, where he met James Drummond, the
pioneer of West Australian botany, formerly of the Botanic Garden at
Cork, and the discoverer of _Spiranthes Romanzoffiana_ in the British
Islands. At Perth he struck good ground. "This place is an excellent
locality for Algae," he writes, "I am daily finding fresh ones, and
have the prospect of a good harvest of novelty and interest.... The
days are too short for my work. My best collections are made at Garden
Island, nine miles distant. I have been twice landed for a two hours'
walk, and on both occasions collected so much that it took three days
to lay them on paper." Rottnest Island also proved highly productive,
and he gives a very attractive picture of the great rock-pools on
the limestone reefs, filled with brilliant seaweeds, many of them
undescribed. Here he lived in the deserted convict establishment, and
amassed a large and valuable collection.

Thence he went to Melbourne, where he collected at several points about
Port Phillip, notably on Phillip Island; after which he sailed for
Tasmania, where at Georgetown he had a month's successful work with the
Rev. J. Fereday, himself an enthusiastic student of botany, seaweeds
included. Passing through Hobart, he obtained permission to visit Port
Arthur, at that time a great convict station, for which he sailed on
March 1, 1855, passing the grand basaltic headlands of Cape Raoul and
Cape Pillar. At Port Arthur amid exquisite natural surroundings marred
by the presence of chained prisoners, armed warders, and sentry-lines
of fierce dogs, he worked successfully, doing much shore-collecting,
and dredging with the aid of a crew of convicts and armed guards. After
a little rather unsuccessful collecting at Sydney and Newcastle he
sailed for New Zealand, where he spent a few weeks at Auckland. While
the terrestrial flora proved highly interesting to him, he found the
shore poor in Algae; but he enlisted a useful recruit for collecting,
in Mr Knight, Auditor-General, who undertook to collect and send him
further material.

The 26th July, 1851, found him at Tonga Taboo, in the Friendly Islands,
revelling in his first glimpse of nature in mid-Pacific. The fringing
reef proved somewhat disappointing, for amid the multitudinous
and many-coloured animal forms only a few green Algae were to be
found. Harvey spent six months in the Pacific, visiting island after
island according as the mission boats supplied a means of transport,
collecting seaweeds and a good many marine animals. At that time social
conditions in the South Seas were very different from what they are
now. The adjoining Fiji Island group, for instance, was still in a
savage state: the captain of the mission vessel told Harvey how, only
four years before, he had seen one hundred human bodies laid out for
a great feast, and cannibalism was still a habitual practice there;
but the Friendly Islands, though but recently in a similar condition,
seem already to have deserved their name, and Harvey's experiences of
the natives, with whom he was much in contact, appear to have been of
the pleasantest description; in Fiji also, where several weeks were
spent, the founding of a Christian mission (permitted only two years
before after eighteen years' refusal) had already greatly altered
local practices; devil-worship and cannibalism were rapidly dying
out. Harvey, applying at the mission station for a responsible guide,
was furnished with a man entitled "Koroe," which, it appeared, was
an honourable title "something equivalent to a C.B. in England," and
bestowed only on a person who had committed at least five murders.
Harvey returned to Sydney, and thence to Europe by Valparaiso and
Panama, having a severe bout of fever on the way. He reached home in
October, 1856, after an absence of over three years.

Here an important change of life awaited him. G. J. Allman succeeded to
the Natural History chair in Edinburgh, rendered vacant by the death of
Edward Forbes, and Harvey was elected to the chair in Trinity College,
Dublin, the difficulties which led to his rejection twelve years
earlier being not raised on this occasion, though the law remained the
same. At the same time, the incorporation of the several Dublin Society
professorships in the newly founded Museum of Irish Industry (now
the Royal College of Science for Ireland), gave him additional work,
as his post was converted into a Natural History and Economic chair.
However, the considerable increase of lecturing and teaching thus
brought upon him did not prevent his pushing on vigorously with the now
large arrears of phycological work. His first action was to finish and
publish the third and last section of the _Nereis Boreali-Americana_
and then bring to a conclusion his enumeration of the seaweed flora
of North America. This was accomplished in 1858, and in the same year
he began the publication of the results of his work in Australia. The
_Phycologia Australica_, which was issued in parts during the ensuing
five years, ran to five volumes, each containing sixty coloured plates,
and descriptions of all the species known from Australasian waters.
In the year following the launching of this work, he commenced the
publication of two important treatises on the phanerogamic flora of
South Africa. In the first of these, the well-known _Flora Capensis_,
he had the co-operation of Dr O. W. Sonder of Hamburg. This extensive
work he did not live to complete; the third volume, which ran as far
as the end of the Campanulaceae, being published the year before his
death. The other work was his _Thesaurus Capensis_, a series of plates
of rare or interesting South African plants, designed to supplement and
illustrate the unillustrated _Flora_; of this he lived to issue only
two volumes, each containing one hundred plates.

Harvey's home life, which for several years had been very lonely, was
transformed in 1861, when, at the age of fifty, he was married to Miss
Phelps of Limerick, whom he had long known. But almost immediately
afterwards the shadow of death appeared, haemorrhage from the lungs
warning him that his newly found happiness might not endure. After a
summer spent at his favourite Miltown Malbay, on the wild coast of
Clare, he was able to resume his college duties and his work on _Flora
Capensis_. Although he never fully recovered his health, he laboured
diligently at the works he had in hand. He had a noble example of
continued devotion to science in his old friend Sir William Hooker,
whom he again visited, on returning from a tour on the Continent, in
the autumn of 1863, to find him, in his seventy-ninth year, finishing
off the last volume of his _Species Filicum_, and "already beginning
to nibble at another book." This was a further work on ferns, the
_Synopsis Filicum_, on which Hooker was busily engaged until within a
few days of his death in the summer of 1865; it was completed by J.
G. Baker and published three years later. During the winter of 1865,
Harvey himself became seriously ill, and, an immediate change to a mild
climate being recommended, he and his wife went to stay at Torquay with
Lady Hooker, and there he died on 15th May, 1866.

Harvey was only fifty-five years of age when he died, but he had won
for himself a foremost place among systematic botanists. Life, as
Lubbock has said, is measured by thought and action, not by time; and
according to this standard, Harvey's life-cup was already full and
running over. He had used to the utmost the gifts which he possessed.
The capital with which he entered on his career comprised a critical
eye, a deft hand, and that scientific enthusiasm without which no
botanist ever travels far. On the other side of the account, he had
two serious deterrents, a rather delicate body, and a complete absence
of scientific training. "_Apropos_ of dissection," he writes to Hooker
in his younger days, "I am a miserable manipulator, and should be
very grateful for a few lessons." From the beginning he had a shrewd
perception of what lay within his reach, and what was beyond it.
"The extent to which I mean to go in botany," he wrote at twenty-one
years, "is to know British plants of all kinds as well as possible; to
know Algae of all countries _specially_ well; to collect all foreign
Cryptogamia that may fall in my way, and to know them _moderately_
well.... My reason for choosing the _Algae_ is pure compassion; they
being sadly neglected by the present generation, though at a former
time they were in high favour."

In the letters written even in boyhood we see foreshadowed the
direction and extent of his future researches. "Exactly what he
determined in youth to accomplish," says Dr John Todhunter in his
Preface to Harvey's _Memoir_, "he accomplished; the work which he took
upon himself to do he did, honestly and thoroughly; the fame which
he desired to achieve, he achieved." He saw that his strength lay
in discrimination, description, and illustration, and to these--the
necessary census task which forms the groundwork on which great
theories may be built up--he confined himself.

The latter years of his life fell within that stimulating period which
followed the publication of Darwin's _Origin of Species_. But in the
battle of giants which ensued he took no part. His attitude, indeed,
was rather that of an amused spectator; and in the letters which are
available, his references to the great controversy of the day, and
allied topics, are mostly in a playful vein. "I do not know how cats
purr," he writes to his friend Mrs Gatty, "and am glad you asked....
Have you never felt a something stop your own windpipe when pleased or
grieved, when suddenly affected either way? 'Tis the first gurgle of a
purr; you were a cat once, away in the ages, and this is a part of the
remains." Almost his only contribution to the literature of natural
selection was a "serio-comic squib," which was read before the Dublin
University Zoological and Botanical Association on 17 February, 1860
and subsequently printed for private circulation, entitled "A Guess as
to the Probable Origin of the Human Animal considered by the light of
Mr Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection, and in opposition to Lamarck's
notion of a Monkey Parentage." Darwin thought this production a little
unworthy of the author. "I am not sorry for a natural opportunity of
writing to Harvey," he says, "just to show that I was not piqued at
his turning me and my book into ridicule, not that I think it was a
proceeding that I deserved, or worthy of him[115]."

Similarly, Harvey rejoices over Charles Kingsley's _Water Babies_, and
especially over the sly fun which is poked at Darwinism, and also at
certain types of men of science.

Only once did he enter the lists with a serious criticism, when, in the
_Gardeners' Chronicle_[116], he cites the case of a monstrous Begonia
in objection to Darwin's views. Harvey, indeed, did not like the new
theory. "I am fully disposed to admit natural selection as a _vera
causa_ of much change," he writes, "but not as the _vera causa_ of
species." Further than this he could not go, though much impressed with
the arguments drawn from geographical distribution. "I heartily wish
we were nearer in accord," writes Darwin at the end of a long letter
to Harvey, "but we must remain content to be as wide asunder as the
poles, but without, thank God, any malice or other ill-feeling[117]."

Thus it will be seen that Harvey took but little part in influencing
the thought of his time; the materials for his work were gathered not
from his own creative brain, nor from the thoughts of other men, but
direct from Nature's storehouses; his study was the far-stretching
shore, his companions

          "The toiling surges,
  Laden with sea-weed from the rocks,"

his duty the describing with pen and pencil the harvest of the sea. In
his works, he rises above mere technical description of the species
with which he is dealing. His mind is filled with the beauty and
wonder of plants; and he strives to impress the reader with the deep
interest of the study of botany. He endeavours always to popularize
his favourite pursuit by means of pleasant general introductions, and
to promote a better knowledge of seaweeds or of flowering plants by
appealing to his readers to collect, and by giving instructions for the
gathering and preserving of specimens.

He derived a peculiar satisfaction from the thought that, at his post
at Trinity College, Dublin, he was building up a great permanent
collection that would be useful to future generations of botanists.
"Here," he writes, "I sit like a turnspit roasting the meat, and when
I am gone I suppose another dog will be put in my place. The Herbarium
will not be broken up. I am content, for I seem to be working for some
little purpose. I should just like to leave it in better order--to get
through the arrears--and to return borrowed specimens." It was the same
thought that prompted him to the publication of the great descriptive
works which his rapidity and skill with pen and pencil enabled him to
complete despite frequent intervals of illness. He devoted himself
to his task with intense application. "Twenty minutes," he writes
from South Africa in the middle of the stifling summer, "is my fair
allowance for a drawing, with all its microscopical analysis."

From his letters, and from the reminiscences of persons who remember
him, one gathers that Harvey was a very lovable sort of man. Shy
and retiring, and diffident as to his own powers, with a deeply
affectionate nature, he was equally prone to singing the praises of his
friends, and to disparaging himself. "If I lean to glorify any one," he
writes to William Thompson of Belfast, "it is Mrs Griffiths, to whom I
owe much of the little acquaintance I have with the variations to which
these plants [the seaweeds] are subject, and who is always ready to
supply me with fruits of plants which every one else finds barren. She
is worth ten thousand other collectors." Writing of Harveya, a genus
of South African Scrophularineae which Hooker had just named in his
honour, he comments, "'Tis _apropos_ to give me a genus of Parasites,
as I am one of those weak characters that draw their pleasures from
others, and their support and sustenance too, seeing I quickly pine, if
I have not some one to torment." He in his turn loved to commemorate
his friends, or others in whom he felt an interest, by naming after
them new genera of plants--Apjohnia, Areschougia, Ballia, Backhousia,
Bellotia, Bowerbankia, Drummondita, Curdiea, Greyia, Mackaya, and
many others. The names of some of his favourite authors are similarly
enshrined, as Crabbea, Evelyna. Indeed, when at Niagara he saw an
inscription to a young lady who fell over the cliff when gathering

    Miss Ruggs at the age of twenty-three
    Was launched into eternity,

he comments "Poor thing! I must call a plant after her--_Ruggia_ would
sound well." He had indeed a love of all living things. Writing to
Mrs Gray on the death of her favourite dog, he tells how he felt so
ashamed of being so deeply moved when in South Africa by the death of
his pet ostrich, that he foreswore any similar entanglement, and kept
his vow ever since. Of serious griefs he had many; the death of several
beloved brothers and sisters who predeceased him, would have been well
nigh intolerable to him but for the profound religious feeling which
sustained and helped him throughout life, and which robbed death of all
its terrors.

I cannot do better than conclude with some words in which Asa Gray
summed up Harvey's work and character shortly after his decease[118]:
"He was a keen observer and a capital describer. He investigated
accurately, worked easily and readily with microscope, pencil, and pen,
wrote perspicuously, and where the subject permitted, with captivating
grace; affording, in his lighter productions, mere glimpses of the warm
and poetical imagination, delicate humour, refined feeling, and sincere
goodness which were charmingly revealed in intimate intercourse and
correspondence, and which won the admiration and the love of all who
knew him well. Handsome in person, gentle and fascinating in manners,
genial and warm-hearted but of very retiring disposition, simple in his
tastes and unaffectedly devout, it is not surprising that he attracted
friends wherever he went, so that his death will be sensibly felt on
every continent and in the islands of the sea."


[107] _Memoir of W. H. Harvey, M.D., F.R.S., with selections from his
journal and correspondence._ London, 1869.

[108] An essay on the indigenous grasses of Ireland. 8vo. Dublin, 1808.

[109] Published as Vol. V., Part 1, of Smith's _English Flora_.

[110] Vol. XLII. p. 274, 1866.

[111] Vol. IV. p. 236, 1866.

[112] _Flora Capensis_, Vol. I. p. 8.

[113] The algae of Beechey's Voyage.

[114] Vol. I., plate XL.

[115] Darwin's _Life and Letters_, Vol. II. p. 314.

[116] For 1860, pp. 145-146.

[117] _More Letters of Charles Darwin_, Vol. I. p. 166.

[118] _American Journal of Science and Arts_, Vol. XLII. p. 277.





  Narrative--early interest in Natural History--Zoological
  publications--Algae--Fungi--character and magnitude of Berkeley's
  work in systematic Mycology--exotic fungi--co-operation
  with Broome--morphology of Basidiomycetes--_Introduction to
  Cryptogamic Botany_--pioneer work in plant pathology--the potato
  disease--personal characteristics.

Miles Joseph Berkeley was born at Biggin Hall, near Oundle,
Northamptonshire, on the 1st April, 1803. He was the second son of
Charles Berkeley, whose wife was a sister of P. G. Munn, the well-known
water-colour artist. His family belonged to the Spetchley branch
of the Berkeleys, and had been resident for several generations in
Northamptonshire. Berkeley received his preliminary education at
the Oundle Grammar School and afterwards at Rugby, entered Christ's
College, Cambridge, in 1821, and graduated as 5th Senior Optime in
1825. He was ordained in 1826, and his first clerical duty was the
curacy of St John's, Margate. In 1833 he became Perpetual Curate
of Apethorpe and Wood Newton, Northamptonshire, and resided at the
neighbouring village of King's Cliffe, a name familiar to every
mycologist as being the habitat of numerous species of fungi, first
recorded as members of the British Flora. In 1868 he was appointed
Vicar of Sibbertoft, near Market Harborough, where he died on the 30th
July, 1889, at the age of 86 years.

As a boy Berkeley was much devoted to the study of nature, paying
special attention to the structure and habits of animals; he also at
an early age made a somewhat extensive conchological collection.
This tendency was to some extent fostered at Rugby, but the influence
exercised by Professor Henslow during Berkeley's time at Cambridge,
and the opportunities of studying the progress of research made in
the various branches of Natural History, were the chief factors that
determined Berkeley to enter seriously on the study of what at the time
was styled Natural History.

His first published paper was "On new species of _Modiola_ and
_Serpula_" (_Zoological Journal_, 1828). It was followed by "On
the internal structure of _Helicolimax Lamarckii_"; "On _Dentalium
subulatum_"; "On the animals of _Voluta_ and _Assiminia_" (idem
1832-34); and "On British _Serpulae_" and "_Dreissenia polymorpha_"
(_Magazine of Natural History_, 1834-36).

A series of beautifully executed coloured drawings and dissections,
illustrating Berkeley's zoological studies, may be seen at the
Herbarium, Kew. Although all Berkeley's publications up to this time
dealt with zoological subjects, yet the study of Botany had been by no
means neglected, and about this time having made the acquaintance of
Dr Harvey of Dublin, Dr Greville of Edinburgh, the author of _Scottish
Cryptogamic Flora_, and of Captain Carmichael of Appin, N.B., a trio
of the most celebrated cryptogamists of the age, Berkeley forsook the
serious study of zoological subjects, and devoted the whole of his
leisure time to the lower forms of plant life. Living at Margate, the
marine algae naturally attracted Berkeley's attention, and in 1833 he
published his _Gleanings of British Algae_, consisting of a series of
detailed investigations on the structure of the minute and obscure
forms of marine and fresh-water species. This work, illustrated by
twenty coloured plates, was originally intended to be included in
the supplement to Dr Greville's _Scottish Cryptogamic Flora_, but in
consequence of the discontinuance of that most excellent work, was
issued as an independent booklet.

From the first Berkeley was deeply interested in the fungi, and
practically all his subsequent work was devoted to this group of
plants, and although well versed in general Cryptogamic Botany, it
was in the field of Mycology that his laurels were won. A review of
the work done can be most conveniently discussed under three separate
headings--Systematic Mycology, Morphology and Literature, and Plant
Pathology, respectively.

_Systematic Mycology._

Under the title _British Fungi_, four fascicles of dried and
well-prepared specimens, numbering in all 350 species, were issued
between 1836 and 1843. In those days exsiccatæ were not issued from a
commercial standpoint, as is too frequently the case at the present
day, but represented the outcome of careful investigation on the part
of the author, hence Berkeley's exsiccatæ are at a premium at the
present day.

In 1828 Berkeley first corresponded with Sir W. J. Hooker on matters
dealing with cryptogams, and in one of his early letters stated that
he had devoted much time to the study of fungi, more especially to
the extensive genus _Agaricus_, which at that period included all the
gill-bearing fungi. At this time, Sir William was engaged in preparing
the volumes dealing with cryptogams, as supplementary to _The English
Flora_ of Sir James Edward Smith, and approached Berkeley on the
subject of undertaking the section dealing with Agarics, in the volume
devoted to the fungi. Berkeley agreed to this arrangement, and was
finally induced to describe the whole of the fungi. A footnote at the
commencement of the volume by Sir W. J. Hooker is as follows:

"When the printing of the species of this, the 2nd Part of the Class
_Cryptogamia_, was commenced, I thought myself highly fortunate to have
obtained the assistance of my valued friend, the _Rev. M. J. Berkeley_,
in preparing the first Tribe, _Pileati_. I have now to express my
cordial acknowledgements (in which I am satisfied I shall be joined
by every Botanist in the country) to that gentleman for having kindly
undertaken to prepare the whole of this vast family for the press: and
it is certain that the task could not have fallen into better hands."

The volume contains detailed descriptions of all British fungi known
at the time, amounting to 1360 species, included in 155 genera, the
great majority of which had been studied by the author in a living
condition, and also compared with specimens contained in various
exsiccatæ and with the very extensive collection owned by Sir W. J.
Hooker. The appearance of this book at once placed Berkeley in the
front rank of Mycologists, and it was universally admitted as the most
complete Mycologic Flora of any country extant; and furthermore, so far
as accurate information, and a true sense of the conception of species
are concerned, the same statement holds good at the present day. At
this date our knowledge of extra-European fungi was almost nil, with
the exception of a few woody cosmopolitan species collected by various
travellers, more as matters of curiosity than for the advancement of
our knowledge of the fungus-flora of the world.

Opportunity alone was required by Berkeley, and such opportunity was
readily afforded by Sir W. J. Hooker, who placed unreservedly in
Berkeley's hands the various collections of exotic fungi received
at Kew from time to time. This practice was continued by the two
succeeding Directors at Kew, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Sir William
Thiselton-Dyer. Such unrivalled opportunities were utilised to the
fullest extent by Berkeley, who soon manifested by his treatment of
the material placed in his hands a thorough grasp of the subject, and
for nearly half a century practically all collections of exotic fungi
passed through Berkeley's hands. During this period 6000 new species
were described, and in numerous instances illustrated, including many
new genera from all parts of the world, arctic, antarctic, tropical and
temperate. Botanists were now enabled, for the first time, to grasp the
true significance of the fungus-flora of the world, which numerically
ranks next to Phanerogams, and which was shown to exercise an influence
on life on the globe in general, not realised before Berkeley's time.
The better known European genera of fungi, many of which appeared to be
sharply defined, and by some mycologists considered to be of ordinal
importance, could now be estimated at their true value and relegated to
their true position in the scheme of classification rendered possible
by a good knowledge of the range of structure presented by the fungi
of the world at large. As regards geographical distribution, Berkeley
repeatedly emphasized the fact that the fungi are more cosmopolitan
than any other known group of plants, and that their abundance at any
place during a given period was almost entirely dependent on conditions
favouring the development of the higher forms of plant life, fungi
only following in the wake of such, and never posing as pioneers,
on account of the nature of their food. Amongst the numerous novel
types of extra-European fungi described by Berkeley, it is somewhat
difficult to indicate briefly even a few of the most striking forms.
Perhaps his genus _Broomeia_ stands out pre-eminent. It belongs
to the puffball group of fungi, and is unique in that family--the
Gasteromycetaceae--in having numerous individuals springing from, and
imbedded in a common sterile base or stroma. It is a native of the Cape
of Good Hope. The following is Berkeley's dedication of this genus to
his friend and co-worker, C. E. Broome, M.A., of Bath. "Nomen dedi in
honorem amicissimi, C. E. Broome, armigeri, Tuberacearum Anglicarum
accuratissimi indagatoris, cujus pene solius laboribus extant hodie
viginti species indigenae fungorum hypogaeorum." _Broomeia congregata_
Berk., is described and figured in Hooker's _London Journal of Botany_,
1844. Certain club-shaped fungi parasitic on caterpillars, belonging
to the genus _Cordyceps_, occurring on buried caterpillars in New
Zealand, are the giants of their tribe, measuring up to eighteen
inches in length. Finally, Berkeley first introduced to our notice
many of those quaint fungi belonging to the group including our well
known "stinkhorn"--_Phallus impudicus_ L.--and cleared up many points
in their structure previously unknown. Fries, the most distinguished
mycologist of his time, writes as follows in his Preface to
_Hymenomycetes Europaei_; "Desideratissima vero Synopsis Hymenomycetum
extra-europearum, qualem solus praestere valebit Rev. Berkeley."

Notwithstanding Berkeley's researches on exotic fungi, a task in itself
too comprehensive for most men to grapple with, he continued to study
the British fungi, and, mostly in collaboration with his friend, Mr
C. E. Broome, published a long series of articles in the _Annals and
Magazine of Natural History_, from 1837 down to the year 1883. In these
articles 2027 species of fungi are enumerated, mostly new, or species
new to Britain, and consist mainly of critical notes on the morphology
and affinities of the fungi under consideration, and will compel the
attention of mycologists for all time.

From the above brief account it may perhaps be concluded that Berkeley
was essentially a systematist and founder of new species. Owing to
the vast amount of material that passed through his hands, he was so
perforce, but his leaning was always rather towards the biological and
morphological side of the subject.

_Morphology and Literature._

The first important paper dealing with the morphology of the hymenial
structure in Fungi, is entitled, "On the Fructification of the
Pileate and Clavate Tribes of the Hymenomycetous Fungi," _Annals of
Nat. Hist._, 1838. Here is clearly demonstrated for the first time,
the universal occurrence of basidia bearing spores at their summit,
throughout the entire group of fungi known to-day as the Hymenomycetes,
including Agaricaceae, Thelephoraceae, Clavariaceae, etc. This
important discovery rendered possible the basis of a classification on
morphological grounds, which holds good at the present day. A careful
study of the text and illustrations demonstrates the fact that Berkeley
was perfectly well acquainted with all the essential details of the
hymenium, many of which have been repeatedly rediscovered and described
under new names, in ignorance of the fact that such structures had
previously been equally well described.

Berkeley continued his investigations on the structure of the hymenium,
and his next paper, entitled "Sur la fructification des genres
_Lycoperdon_, _Phallus_ et de quelques autres genres voisins," in
_Annal. Sci. Nat._ Ser. 2, vol. XII. (1839), demonstrated the universal
presence of basidia bearing spores at their summit in the family now
known as the Gasteromycetes. This research on the part of Berkeley led
to the universal adoption of the two primary divisions of the Fungi;
Basidiomycetes, having the spores borne at the apex of a basidium; and
Ascomycetes, having the spores produced within specialised sacs, or

In 1857 the _Introduction to Cryptogamic Botany_ appeared, which
remained for many years the standard work on the subject. This was
followed in 1860 by _Outlines of British Mycology_, a book profusely
illustrated with coloured plates, and intended more especially for the
beginner in the study of Mycology.

Just over 400 separate papers dealing with fungi are listed under
Berkeley's name alone, in addition to numerous others, where he worked
in collaboration with C. E. Broome, Dr M. C. Cooke, Rev. M. A. Curtis,
and others.

_Plant Pathology._

At the present day Berkeley is best known as a systematist, which of
itself alone is sufficient to retain his name for all time in the
front rank of mycologists, but when the history of Plant Pathology is
elaborated, Berkeley's name will undoubtedly stand out more prominently
than that of any other individual. In fact, it is not saying too much
to pronounce Berkeley as the originator and founder of Plant Pathology.
He was not the first to investigate plant diseases caused by fungi,
but he was undoubtedly the first to recognise the significance of the
subject, and its great importance from an economic standpoint. His
investigation of the potato murrain, written in 1846, cleared the air
of all kinds of wild theories as to its origin, and showed it to be
undoubtedly caused by the fungus now known as _Phytophthora infestans_,
whose life-history he carefully worked out. Then followed a similar
investigation of the vine-mildew, and a series of researches on
diseases of plants published in the _Gardeners' Chronicle_ dating from
1854 to 1880. It was in these numerous communications that the science
of Plant Pathology was firmly established and propounded. The article
"On the Diseases of Plants" was contributed to the _Cyclopaedia of
Agriculture_ by Berkeley.

In 1879 he unconditionally presented his mycological herbarium to Kew.
This collection contained 10,000 species, of which 5000 were types of
Berkeley's own species, in addition to numerous co-types from Montagne,
Schweinitz, Fries, Cooke and other contemporaneous mycologists. Hence
Kew is, and must for ever remain, the Mecca of mycologists from all
parts of the world.

Berkeley was a man of great refinement, and an excellent classical
scholar. His tall commanding figure and grand head with flowing white
hair, as I knew him late in life, could not fail to arrest attention.
Unobtrusive and by no means ambitious, and too enthusiastic to be
self-seeking, Berkeley was tardily promoted to the Honorary Fellowship
of his College, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of
76. In 1876 a Civil List Pension of _£_100 per annum was awarded, for
his services to botany with especial reference to his investigations on
the diseases of plants.

[Illustration: _Plate XIX_ JOSEPH HENRY GILBERT]




  Early training in Chemistry--his meeting with Lawes--official
  distinctions--the Lawes-Gilbert combination--the Rothamsted
  Reports--Liebig's 'mineral theory'--the relation to
  nitrogen--Leguminous plants--Hellriegel and others--confirmation of
  their results--nitrification--feeding of stock.

Joseph Henry Gilbert was born at Hull on August 1, 1817. He was a
son of the manse being the second son of the Rev. Joseph Gilbert, a
Congregational Minister. His mother was one of the gifted daughters of
the Rev. Isaac Taylor of Ongar, and a well-known writer of hymns and
songs for children. Whilst at school young Gilbert had the misfortune
to meet with a gunshot accident which deprived him of the use of one
eye, a mishap which for a time threatened to mar his future career,
but his own inherent determination and the home-training of the manse
enabled him to overcome the disadvantage of defective eye-sight, and
triumph over physical disability.

From school he went to Glasgow University and studied chemistry under
Professor Thomas Thomson, then to University College, London, where
he attended the classes of Professor Graham and others, and worked
in the laboratory of Professor Todd Thomson. Here it was, in Dr
Thomson's laboratory, that he first met Mr J. B. Lawes, with whom he
was afterwards so intimately associated. He then proceeded to Giessen
for a short time, studying under Liebig and taking his degree of Doctor
of Philosophy in 1840. Returning to London, he worked at University
College, acting as laboratory assistant to Professor Thomson, and
became a Fellow of the Chemical Society on May 18, 1841, when the
Society was barely three months old. He then left London to take up
calico printing and dyeing in the neighbourhood of Manchester, but
returned south in 1843, at the invitation of Mr Lawes, to assist in the
agricultural investigations at Rothamsted, Herts.

Mr John Lawes had begun experiments in 1837 on growing plants in pots
with various manures. He discovered the fact that mineral phosphates
when treated with sulphuric acid yielded a most effective manure.
Taking out his patent for the production of superphosphates in 1842,
Lawes soon found himself busy with the establishment of a successful
business. Not wishing to give up the agricultural investigations
which he had commenced in the fields of Rothamsted he decided to
obtain scientific assistance, and remembering the young chemist he had
met in Dr Thomson's laboratory, Gilbert was invited in June 1843 to
superintend the Rothamsted experiments. Thus began that partnership in
investigation which has yielded such a rich harvest of results, and an
association with Rothamsted which lasted for fifty-eight years.

Gilbert was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1860, and received
a Royal Medal in 1867. He was President of the Chemical Section of the
British Association in 1880, and President of the Chemical Society,
1882-3. In 1884 he was appointed Sibthorpian Professor of Rural Economy
at Oxford, and held the chair until 1890. He was a member of various
foreign academies and societies, and was the recipient of honorary
degrees from several home universities, becoming LL.D. of Glasgow
(1883), M.A. of Oxford (1884), LL.D. of Edinburgh (1890), and Sc.D.
of Cambridge (1894). In 1893 on the occasion of the jubilee of the
Rothamsted experiments he received the honour of knighthood.

The character and scope of Gilbert's life-work was well described by
Prof. Dewar at a special meeting of the Chemical Society in 1898, when
he said, "The work of Gilbert, as we know, was early differentiated
into that most complex and mysterious study, the study of organic life.
For the last fifty years he has devoted his attention to the physiology
of plant life in every phase of its development. With a skill that has
been unprecedented, he has recorded from year to year the variations
in the growth of every kind of nutritious plant. He has examined into
the meteorological conditions, the variations of climate, of soil,
and of mineral agents, of drainage, and of every conceivable thing
affecting the production and development of plant growth. These memoirs
are admitted throughout the world to be unique in their importance.
Wherever the chemist or the physiologist, the statistician or the
economist has to deal with these problems, he must turn to the results
of the Rothamsted experiments in order to understand the position of
the science of our time. These results will be for ever memorable;
they are unique and characteristic of the indomitable perseverance and
energy of our venerated President, Sir Henry Gilbert."

The close association of Lawes and Gilbert in the Rothamsted
experiments makes it almost impossible to separate the work of the two
men. The majority of the 132 papers issued from Rothamsted between
1843 and 1901 appeared under the joint names of Lawes and Gilbert, and
it would be as difficult as it is undesirable to attempt an analysis
of this partnership. It was essentially a partnership devoid of any
jealousy, and actuated by a feeling of mutual regard and esteem.
There never was a question as to the "predominant partner." The two
workers formed an unique combination, each supplying some deficiency
in the other. Lawes possessed the originating mind and had a thorough
knowledge of the facts and needs of practical agriculture; Gilbert was
the exact scientist, the man of detail and method. Dr J. A. Voelcker,
who speaks of Gilbert as his life-long friend and teacher, says, "The
partnership and collaboration of 'Lawes and Gilbert' represented an
excellent embodiment of the motto 'Practice with Science.' Lawes was
essentially the practical agriculturist--quick to see and grasp what
the farmer wanted, and to become the interpreter to him. He was the
man to whom the practical farmer turned, the one to write a brisk
article on some subject of agricultural practice or economy, to answer
a practical question, or to solve some knotty problem. Lawes was the
more versatile of the two, the more inclined to introduce changes in
and modifications of the original plan; and he has been known to say,
jokingly, that if he had been left to have his own way, he would have
ploughed up many of his experimental plots before they had yielded the
full results, which continuance on the old lines alone brought out.
Gilbert, on the other hand, was possessed of indomitable perseverance,
combined with extreme patience and careful watching of results. His was
the power of forecasting, as it were, what might, in the end, lead to
useful results. With the determination to carry out an experiment to
the very close he united scrupulous accuracy and attention to detail.
Gilbert, it may be said, was not so much the man for the farmer, but
for the scientist, and he it was who gave scientific expression to
the work at Rothamsted, and who established field experiments on a
scientific basis in this country."

To describe in detail Gilbert's work it would be necessary to write an
account of the Rothamsted experiments, a task beyond our present limits
seeing that the collected reports occupy nine volumes.

The last published "Rothamsted Memoranda" gives a list of 132 papers.
They are divided into two series, one relating to plants, the other to

Series I. deals with "Reports of Field Experiments, Experiments on
Vegetation, &c., published 1847-1900 inclusive," and contains 101
papers. These reports on plants are concerned chiefly with the results
obtained by growing some of the most important crops of rotation
separately, year after year, for many years in succession, on the same
land without manure, with farm-yard manure, and with various chemical
manures, the same description of manure being, as a rule, applied year
after year on the same plot.

Amongst the numerous field experiments conducted on these lines one of
the most interesting is the field known as Broadbalk field, in which
wheat has been grown continuously for over 60 years. The results show
that wheat can be grown for many years in succession on ordinary arable
land if suitable manure be provided and the land be kept clean. Even
without manure of any kind the average produce for 46 years--1852 to
1897--was nearly 13 bushels per acre, about the average yield per
acre of the wheat lands of the world. On this field it was found that
mineral manures alone gave very little increase, whilst nitrogenous
manures alone gave a much greater increase than mineral manures alone,
but the mixture of the two gave much more than either alone. It is
estimated that the reduction in yield, due to exhaustion, of the
unmanured plot over 40 years--1852 to 1891--was, provided it had been
uniform throughout, equivalent to a decline of one-sixth of a bushel
per acre. It is related that a visitor from America, when being shown
over the Broadbalk field, said to Sir John Lawes, "Americans have
learnt more from this field than from any other agricultural experiment
in the world."

Another set of field experiments of exceptional interest is that
relating to the "Mixed Herbage of Permanent Grass Land." The land was
divided into twenty plots. Two plots have received no manure from
the commencement of the experiment, two have received a dressing of
farm-yard manure each year, whilst the remainder have each received a
different kind of artificial or chemical manure, the same kind being
applied year after year on the same plot, except in a few special
cases. Repeated analyses have shown how greatly both the botanical
constitution and the chemical composition of the mixed herbage varied
according to the kind of manure applied.

The results of these experiments were given under three
headings--agricultural, botanical and chemical, and show in an
exceptional manner the care of detail to which every investigation
was subjected by Gilbert. Some people have thought that this minute
attention to detail was carried to excess by Gilbert, and resulted
in a bewildering multiplication of numerical statements and figures.
One can, however, but admire his love of accuracy and absolute
conscientiousness, and if his caution appeared at times to be carried
to an extreme, the result has been to make "the Rothamsted experiments
a standard for reference, and an example wherever agricultural research
is attempted."

One of the most important results of the Rothamsted investigations has
been the replacing of the "mineral theory" of Liebig by the "nitrogen
theory" of Lawes and Gilbert. Liebig held the view that each crop
requires certain mineral elements from the soil, and that crops will
not flourish where the appropriate elements are lacking. Every soil
contains some element in the minimum. Whatever element this minimum may
be it determines the abundance and continuity of the crop. The only
fertiliser which acts favourably is that which supplies a deficiency of
one or more of the food elements in the soil. The atmosphere, according
to Liebig, supplies in sufficient quantity both the carbon and nitrogen
required by crops, and the function of manure is to supply the ash
constituents of the soil. The exhaustion of soils is to be ascribed to
their decreased content of mineral ingredients rather than to decrease
in nitrogen.

When careful study of the composition of the atmosphere proved that the
amount of ammonia brought down to the earth by rain scarcely exceeds a
few pounds per acre annually, Liebig maintained that plants are capable
of directly absorbing ammonia by means of their leaves. He pointed out
that the beneficial effects of nitrogenous manures are most apparent in
the case of cereal crops with a comparatively short vegetation period,
and least apparent in the case of leafy crops with a long vegetation
period. The long vegetation period of crops like clover allowed time
for the utilisation of the ammonia of the air and no artificial supply
was necessary. On the other hand, crops with a short vegetation period
had a limited time for accumulating ammonia from the air, and responded
readily to applications of nitrogenous manures.

Gilbert, early in his work at Rothamsted, noticed that the results of
his field experiments were at variance with this "mineral theory,"
as it was called, of Liebig, and soon found himself involved in
a controversy with the great German chemist which was not always
free from bitterness. He found that the nitrogen compounds of the
atmosphere were sufficient only for a very meagre vegetation. Cereals
treated with ammonium salts and other nitrogenous manures showed a far
greater increase of produce than when phosphates, potash or other ash
constituents only were supplied. "As more nitrogen was assimilated
a greater amount of the fixed bases were found in the ash, and he
considered that the function of the fixed bases was to act as carriers
of nitric acid. These bases--potash, soda, lime and magnesia, were not
mutually replaceable, but the predominance of one or the other affected
the produce. Luxuriance of growth was associated with the amount
of nitrogen available and assimilated, and in the presence of this
sufficiency of nitrogen the formation of carbohydrates depended on the
amount of potash available." The possibility that the free nitrogen of
the air might supply the nitrogenous needs of plants was disproved by
growing plants in calcined soil and removing all traces of ammonia from
the air before it was admitted into the glass case in which the plants
were growing. Determinations were made of the nitrogen in the seed and
soil at the beginning of the experiments, and in the plants and soil at
their conclusion.

The work on the assimilation of nitrogen by plants extended over
three years and was made the subject of a communication to the Royal
Society in 1861. The paper, entitled, "The Sources of the Nitrogen
of Vegetation; with special reference to the question whether Plants
assimilate free or combined Nitrogen," occupies 144 pages of the
_Philosophical Transactions_, and is a brilliant example of the
scrupulous accuracy and attention to detail which characterised all
Gilbert's work. It is divided into two parts--I. "The General History
and Statement of the question."--II. "The Experimental Results obtained
at Rothamsted during the years 1857, 1858 and 1859." The authors
state in the summary of conclusions that "in our experiments with
graminaceous plants, grown both with and without a supply of combined
nitrogen beyond that contained in the seed sown, in which there was
great variation in the amount of combined nitrogen involved and a wide
range in the conditions, character and amount of growth, we have in
no case found any evidence of an assimilation of free or uncombined

"In our experiments with leguminous plants the growth was less
satisfactory, and the range of conditions possibly favourable for the
assimilation of free nitrogen was, therefore, more limited. But the
results recorded with these plants, so far as they go, do not indicate
any assimilation of free nitrogen. Since, however, in practice
leguminous crops assimilate from some source so very much more nitrogen
than graminaceous ones under ostensibly equal circumstances of supply
of combined nitrogen, it is desirable that the evidence of further
experiments with these plants under conditions of more healthy growth
should be obtained."

As long as Gilbert's investigations were confined to non-leguminous
plants and to leguminous plants grown in calcined soil the "nitrogen
theory" was triumphant. When, however, leguminous plants were grown
in uncalcined soil or in the open the results were uncertain, and in
many cases the manures supplying ash constituents alone proved the
most effective. The elucidation of these uncertain results has been a
tedious problem, and has taken many years of patient investigation, but
gradually the evidence accumulated which led to its solution.

Field and pot experiments in Germany, France, England and the
United States in the late seventies and early eighties furnished
abundant proof that under certain conditions leguminous plants do
obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere, and gradually, from the work of
Rautenberg, Frank and others, the idea was evolving that fungi or
micro-organisms play some important part in the process.

Gilbert, however, would not listen to any such heresy, as he considered
that the question of the assimilation of the free nitrogen of the air
by plants had been finally settled by the experiments of 1857-60.
It was therefore a most happy chance that Gilbert was present at
the scientific congress in Berlin in 1886 when Hellriegel described
his experiments on leguminous plants, showing that the formation of
nodules on these plants was associated with the fixation of atmospheric
nitrogen. In commenting subsequently on these experiments, Gilbert
said, "It must be admitted that Hellriegel's results, taken together
with those of Berthelot and others, do suggest the possibility that,
although the higher plants may not possess the power of directly
fixing the free nitrogen of the air, lower organisms, which abound
within the soil, may have that power, and may thus bring free nitrogen
into a state of combination within the soil in which it is available
to the higher plants--at any rate to members of the Papilionaceous
family. At the same time, it will be granted that further confirmation
is essential before such a conclusion can be accepted as fully

This comment reveals the essential conservatism of Gilbert's mind, but
the true greatness of the man is seen when we find him, at the age of
seventy, repeating the experiments of Hellriegel and Wilfarth, and
himself supplying the confirmation of their results which he considered

The results of these experiments, contributed to the Royal Society in
1887, 1889, and 1890, fully confirmed the theory that leguminous plants
are able to assimilate the free nitrogen of the air by means of the
micro-organisms contained in their root nodules, and also explained the
failure in the 1857-60 experiments to demonstrate nitrogen fixation
by leguminous plants owing to the use of calcined soil by which the
inoculating organisms present in the soil were destroyed.

Gilbert's investigations from 1871-75 showing that the drainage waters
from the experimental fields of Rothamsted contained more nitrates
as the amount of ammonium salts applied to the soil increased, have
been quoted by some writers as being the basis of the modern theory of
nitrification. It must be remembered that Gilbert was at first actively
hostile to the bacterial theory of nitrification, and the credit and
honour of the work done at Rothamsted on the nitrifying organisms
belongs entirely to Warington.

A few words must suffice for an account of the series of Rothamsted
experiments on animals. Series II deals with "Reports of experiments
on the feeding of animals, sewage utilisation, &c. Published 1841-1895
inclusive," and contains 31 papers. Among the points investigated may
be mentioned--the composition of foods in relation to respiration and
the feeding of animals; experiments on the feeding of sheep and the
fattening of oxen; some points in connection with animal nutrition; the
feeding of animals for the production of meat, milk and manure.

The work on the part played by carbohydrates in the formation of animal
fat led to a keen controversy with foreign investigators. Lawes and
Gilbert had satisfied themselves by their experiments on pigs that fat
was undoubtedly produced from carbohydrates. The German physiologists
doubted this, and for some time there was a wordy warfare between the
rival camps. Gradually the experimental evidence for the formation
of fats from carbohydrates became overwhelming, and once again the
Rothamsted position was vindicated.

Gilbert maintained throughout his life a close connection with foreign
workers, and his holidays were frequently employed in visiting
institutions and attending scientific meetings on the Continent. He
made three visits to the United States and Canada and delivered several
lectures there.

As he passed into old age his powers seemed to suffer little
diminution, and his appearance at the age of eighty showed little
indication of physical weakness. The death of Sir John Lawes in August
1900 was a severe blow to him, and soon afterwards his energies began
to fail. He had a severe illness whilst away in Scotland in the autumn
of 1901, but he recovered sufficiently to be able to return to his work
for a short time. With the indomitable tenacity which had characterised
him throughout life he continued actively at work for a few more weeks,
eventually succumbing on December 23rd, 1901, in his eighty-fifth year.

Thanks are due to Dr J. A. Voelcker for kind assistance; and to the
Royal Agricultural College Students' Club, Cirencester, for permission
to reproduce the accompanying photograph.




  Early exponents of Fossil Botany--Witham of Lartington--Edward
  William Binney--William Crawford Williamson--early
  influences--first contribution to science--studies medicine--work
  on Foraminifera--appointed Professor at Manchester--successful
  popular lecturer--his influence in Natural History--investigation
  of the Carboniferous Flora--controversy with French
  palaeo-botanists--the magnitude of his output--defects in his
  work--later work at Kew--personal traits.

During the last forty years the study of fossil plants has come to be
a specially vigorous and characteristic branch of British botany. The
proper subject of my lecture is Williamson, the man to whom above all
others the present strong position of the subject is due. But "there
were brave men before Agamemnon," and there are two of the older
masters, Witham and Binney, whom I cannot wholly pass over. I ought
really to include others, and notably Sir Joseph Hooker, to whom we owe
our first clear understanding of _Stigmaria_ and of _Lepidostrobus_,
but this course does not extend to those who, like Sir Joseph, are
still living among us and still in active work[119].

I am indebted to Mr Philip Witham, a member of the family, for some
information about Henry Witham, of Lartington, the first Englishman to
investigate the internal structure of fossil plants.


Henry Witham was, by birth, not a Witham, but a Silvertop, having been
the second son of John Silvertop of Minster Acres, Northumberland. As
Henry Silvertop he came in for the Lartington property. He was born in
1779 and married Miss Eliza Witham, niece and co-heiress of William
Witham of Cliffe, Yorkshire, when he took the name and arms of Witham.

The method of cutting thin sections of rocks and fossils had just
been invented by Nicol, and this gave Witham the opportunity for his
investigations. His papers are illustrated by the botanist McGillivray,
to whom he may have owed some further assistance. Indeed he made little
pretension to botanical knowledge, but the opinions which he expresses
strike one as remarkably sensible, and he must have been a man of sound
judgment, at least in scientific affairs.

Witham was the first investigator of that most famous of fossils,
_Lepidodendron Harcourtii_; of the Craigleith tree (now _Pitys
Withami_), of the Lennel Braes trees (_Pitys antiqua_ and _P.
primaeva_), of the Wideopen tree (_Pinites_, now _Cordaites
Brandlingi_) and of _Anabathra pulcherrima_. It is curious to notice
that the Craigleith tree, a manifest Gymnosperm, was at first (1829)
regarded even by the great Brongniart as a Monocotyledon, while others
imagined it to be a Lycopod. Witham, however, soon set this right. He
always speaks with great respect of Brongniart, then just becoming the
recognised leader of fossil botany. The following passage from Witham's
memoir on the vegetable fossils found at Lennel Braes, near Coldstream,
is of interest.

"Now, according to that gentleman's [Brongniart's] opinion, out of six
classes ... only two existed at that period [Carboniferous], namely the
Vascular Cryptogamic plants, comprehending the Filices, Equisetaceae
and Lycopodeae, and the Monocotyledons, containing a small number of
plants which appear to resemble the Palms and arborescent Liliaceae.
The existence, therefore, of so extensive a deposit of Dicotyledonous
plants, at this early period of the earth's vegetation, appears to
demand the attention of the naturalist."

Brongniart's "Monocotyledons" were no doubt Cordaiteae. Witham, we see,
set the great man right as regards the antiquity of Dicotyledons, in
which, of course, Gymnosperms were then included.

Witham's earlier papers were embodied in his book: _The Internal
Structure of Fossil Vegetables found in the Carboniferous and Oolitic
deposits of Great Britain, described and illustrated_, 1833. It is
dedicated to William Hutton, author, with Lindley, of the _Fossil
Flora_ of Great Britain.

A passage from the dedication shows that Witham took his work
seriously--"To lend my aid in bringing from their obscure repositories
the ancient records of a former state of things, with the view of
disclosing the early and mysterious operations of the Great Author of
all created things, will ever be to me a source of unalloyed pleasure."

Witham thus fully realised the important significance of the work
on which he was engaged. He must have been an interesting person of
a somewhat complex character, and I wish we could know more about
him. He died on Nov. 28th, 1844. Like all his family, he was a Roman

Witham's localities on the Tweed remained practically unvisited until
Mr Kidston re-explored them eight or nine years ago, with brilliant
success--the results, however, are still unpublished.

       *       *       *       *       *

Edward William Binney, the first investigator of the Lancashire
coal-balls, was born at Morton in Nottinghamshire in 1812, and was thus
only four years senior to Williamson. He settled in Manchester in 1836,
and practised as a solicitor. He early showed scientific tastes; the
Manchester Geological Society was started, chiefly by his influence,
in October 1838. He was concerned in the discovery of the famous St
Helen's trees, which first proved the connection between _Sigillaria_
and _Stigmaria_. "Binney completed the proof that all coal-seams rest
on old soils which are constituted entirely of vegetable matter;
this was the seat-stone of a seam of coal" (Robert Hunt). He gave
up the practice of Law, and, devoting himself to science, became a
leading authority on northern geology, and rendered important aid to
the Geological Survey by his long experience of the coal-fields of
Lancashire and Cheshire. He assisted in the discovery of the Torbane
Hill mineral or Boghead Cannel, a deposit once notorious as a subject
of litigation, and more recently as a bone of scientific contention.
Binney died on December 19, 1881. Etheridge said of him: "He was a man
of the highest honour and remarkably outspoken; his sturdiness and
strength of character being rarely equalled."

Binney was the discoverer of some now famous fossils, notably
_Dadoxylon_ (now _Lyginodendron_) _oldhamium_, and _Stauropteris
oldhamia_. His best known work is the monograph, _Observations on
the Structure of Fossil Plants_, in four parts, published for the
Palaeontographical Society, from 1868 to 1875. Thus his work on
coal-plants overlapped that of Williamson.

The first part is on _Calamites_ and _Calamodendron_--the names are
used in the old sense, for Binney kept up Brongniart's distinction,
though apparently not convinced of its validity. In this memoir
he described the "cone of _Calamodendron commune_," now known as
_Calamostachys Binneyana_.

Part II, on _Lepidostrobus_ and some allied cones, is remarkable for
the demonstration of heterospory in several species.

Part III, on _Lepidodendron_, deals partly with stems referred to _L.
Harcourtii_, but now separated as _L. fuliginosum_. He also describes
the structure of a _Halonia_ and is led to the conclusion that it is
the root of _Lepidodendron_. This view has not found favour, but our
old ideas about _Ulodendron_ and _Halonia_ have been so upset of late,
that everything seems possible!

Part IV is on _Sigillaria_ and _Stigmaria_, the "_Sigillaria_"
described being _S. vascularis_, since identified with _Lepidodendron
selaginoides_, or _L. vasculare_, if we maintain Binney's specific name.

Binney was not a great theoriser. His object was rather to provide
material for the botanists, he being essentially a geologist. This he
did admirably, for his monograph is illustrated by magnificent drawings
from the hand of Fitch, the famous botanical artist.

Binney stood more under the influence of Brongniart than did his
successor Williamson.

[Illustration: _Plate XXI_ WILLIAM CRAWFORD WILLIAMSON (1876)]

I now go on to my principal subject. Williamson's father, John
Williamson, originally a gardener, was well known for his researches
on the Natural History of the Yorkshire coast, and was for 27 years
curator of the Scarborough Museum. Previously to that, John Williamson
kept a private museum of his own, and it was in the room next to this
that William Crawford Williamson was born on November 24, 1816. John
Williamson's cousin, William Bean, was also an active local naturalist,
known especially for his work on the Yorkshire Fossil Flora; the genus
_Beania_ is named after him.

Our Williamson's mother, born Elizabeth Crawford, was the eldest of 13
children of a Scarborough jeweller and lapidary. Young Williamson used
to spend much time in the Crawford's workshop, watching them cutting
and working with the diamond the agates from the gravels of the coast.
"A youthful training," he says, "which became of the utmost value to me
more than a third of a century later, when scientific research required
me to devote much of my own time to similar work[121]."

In 1826 the famous William Smith and his wife established themselves in
the Williamson's house, and stayed there for two years. Williamson's
early recollections of the "Father of English Geology" must have been
inspiring. His father was also a friend and correspondent of Sir
Roderick Murchison.

The appearance of Phillips' classic volume, _Illustrations of the
Geology of Yorkshire_, in 1829, gave young Williamson his first
introduction to true scientific work. His father at once set to work
to name from this book the fossils he collected, and his son was
called in to help. "My evenings throughout a long winter were devoted
to the detested labour of naming these miserable stones."--"Pursuing
this uncongenial task gave me in my 13th year a thorough practical
familiarity with the palaeontological treasures of Eastern Yorkshire.
This early acquisition happily moulded the entire course of my future

Those were not the days of the half-educated. Young Williamson, in
addition to his special scientific training, had the advantage of a
classical education, at schools both in England and France. The French
part of his education was not altogether a success, for most of the
boys at the school were English.

Passing through London on his return he had breakfast with Sir Roderick
Murchison, who took him to the Geological Society. This was in March
1832, when he was little more than 15. Certainly his entrance into
the scientific world was made easy for him. Would it be made equally
easy now for a boy in a similar position? In the same year, 1832,
Williamson was articled to Mr Thomas Weddell, a medical practitioner at
Scarborough. While with him, he continued to pursue Natural History as
a recreation--bird-collecting for example, and also botany. He writes,
"I was then forming a collection of the plants of Eastern Yorkshire, as
well as trying to master the natural classification, which was already
beginning to supplant the Linnean method, so long the one universally

A memoir on the rare birds of Yorkshire was communicated to the
Zoological Society of London--an early work though not quite the
earliest. While with Mr Weddell, Williamson contributed a number of
descriptions and drawings of oolitic plants to Lindley and Hutton's
_Fossil Flora_. He tells us how the drawings had to be made in the
evenings on Mr Weddell's kitchen table. The plants he illustrated had
for the most part been collected by his father and John Bean in a small
estuarine deposit at Gristhorpe Bay. More than 30 species were thus
recorded by him.

He also made diagrams to illustrate some lectures on Vegetable
Physiology given by Mr Weddell at the Mechanics' Institution. It is
rather surprising to find that such a course was given in a country
town during the early 'thirties. Probably the learning displayed was
not very deep, for Mrs Marcet's _Conversations_ seem to have been the
chief authority.

In 1834-36 Williamson published important papers, determining
geological zones, from the Lias to the Cornbrash, by means of their
fossils; subsequently he extended his zoning work up to the Oxford Clay.

The opening of the Gristhorpe tumulus in July 1834, when a skeleton,
of the Bronze Age, was found in a coffin fashioned out of the trunk
of an oak-tree, gave occasion to Williamson's one contribution to
archaeology. His memoir was reprinted in the _Literary Gazette_
for October 18, 1834 (still before he was 18). This was through Dr
Buckland's influence; in a letter to Williamson he said, "I am happy to
have been instrumental in bringing before the public a name to which I
look forward as likely to figure in the annals of British Science." A
second and third edition of this paper were called for.

In September 1835 Williamson was appointed curator of the Museum of the
Manchester Natural History Society, and so began his long connection
with the great northern town, lasting down to 1892. In those days the
interest in the vigorous young science of geology was extraordinarily
keen, and there was great activity, especially among the naturalists
of the North, many of whom were working men. Williamson, about 1838,
gave a course of lectures on geology at various northern towns,
and thus raised funds for his removal to London, to continue his
medical studies. It is interesting to find that Williamson, while at
Manchester, helped to nurse John Dalton in his last illness.

While curator at Manchester, Williamson saw the rise of Binney as a

His remarks on the local study of botany at that time are interesting.
"The botanical interests of the district were chiefly in the hands of
the operative community. The hills between Lancashire and Yorkshire
swarmed with botanical and floricultural societies, who met on Sundays,
the only day when it was possible to do so[124]." Some of these men
must have had an excellent education, as shown by the good English they
wrote, as for example Richard Buxton, a poor working man, author of a
standard _Botanical Guide_. The society to which Buxton belonged had,
in 1849, existed for nearly a century. It may be doubted whether an
equal enthusiasm for science still prevails in that or in any part of

In September 1840 Williamson went to London to complete his medical
training, and entered University College, making the acquaintance of
Prof. Lindley, who had for so long known him only as a correspondent
and collaborator.

Soon afterwards he was offered the post of naturalist to the Niger
expedition, which he refused, and, as it turned out fortunately, for
the journey proved disastrous. Stanger, of _Stangeria_ fame, took his

In 1842, having then returned to Manchester and started in practice,
Williamson made his first attempt at microscopic work, having become
interested in the Foraminifera of the Chalk. He also began to examine
Confervae, Diatoms and Desmids, finding perhaps, as others have done,
that the Fresh-water Algae give the best introduction to microscopic

The work on Foraminifera became one of the most important in
Williamson's career. In 1845 he wrote his valuable paper on microscopic
organisms in the mud of the Levant. His work in this field culminated
in his monograph of Foraminifera, issued by the Ray Society in 1857.

In 1851 Williamson was appointed Professor of Natural History, which
included Zoology, Botany and Geology, at the new Owens College,
Manchester. He tells us, "The botanical portion of my work was that
for which I was least prepared"--"of the German language I was utterly
ignorant[125]." The almost insuperable difficulties of a triple
Professorship were at first met by spreading the complete course over
two years, a sensible plan which was rendered impracticable by the more
rigid requirements of examinations. It was not, however, till 1872 that
a division of the duties of the chair took place; Williamson was then
relieved of the geological teaching by the appointment of Prof. Boyd
Dawkins; in 1880 the zoology was taken over by the late Prof. Milnes
Marshall, Williamson thus retaining the very subject, botany, with
which he had originally been the least familiar.

[Illustration: Plate XXII

Vascular system of stem of _Lepidodendron selaginoides_ in transverse
section. _Drawn by Williamson_]

In addition to his peculiarly arduous duties as Professor, Williamson
was a great populariser of science. He was one of the first two members
of the Owens' staff to start, in 1854, evening classes for working
men. He gave numerous scientific lectures at the Royal Institution in
London and elsewhere, his greatest work in this field being his
lectures for the Gilchrist Trustees. He mentions that from 1874 to 1880
he delivered 158 of these lectures in 61 towns, and he continued this
work with equal activity for another 10 years. He was a vigorous and
effective lecturer, who always interested his audience; he illustrated
his lectures by bold diagrams, drawn by his own hand. In order to form
any idea of Williamson's many-sided activity it must be remembered
that he was all the time engaged in active medical practice, both
general and special, for he was well known as an aurist. Yet he always
found time for fruitful original research, often of the most laborious

Prof. Judd says, in a letter written to me in February 1911:

"I have often been struck by the fact that Williamson, appointed to an
impossible Professorship of Zoology, Botany and Geology, managed to
initiate _great movements_ in connection with _each of these sciences_.

"In Geology he was clearly the pioneer in the subdivision of formations
into zones each characterised by an assemblage of fossils--Ammonites
playing the most important part.... But Williamson did another great
service to Geology.... Sorby visited Williamson at Manchester and
learned the art of making sections which he applied with such success
to the study of igneous and other rocks, becoming the 'Father of

"In Zoology, Williamson initiated the work done in the study of
_deep-sea deposits_, by his remarkable memoir on the mud of the
Levant, in 1845, when he was 29 years old. This led to his study of
the Foraminifera (especially by the aid of thin sections) and to his
monograph in the Ray Society on that group....

"Of his contributions to Botany through his sections of 'Coal balls' I
need say nothing."

Prof. Judd makes no reference here to the papers which obtained for
Williamson his F.R.S. in 1854. These embodied his researches on the
development of bone and teeth, in which he demonstrated that the teeth
are dermal appendages homologous with the scales of fishes. This
important work dated back to 1842 and was inspired by his enthusiasm
for the then novel cell-theory of Schleiden and Schwann.

The interest aroused by this investigation is shown by the fact that
the great German anatomist Kölliker travelled to Manchester, about the
year 1851, to see Williamson's preparations.

As regards Williamson's work as a botanist, in which we are chiefly
interested in this course, his best contribution to recent botany was
no doubt his investigation of _Volvox_, published in 1851 and 1852,
in which he traced the development of the young spheres and the mode
of connection of their cells, anticipating the results of much later

He was a great lover of living plants; his garden and greenhouses at
Fallowfield, his Manchester home, were of remarkable interest, and he
was a keen gardener. At the British Association Meeting of 1887 one of
his guests said that "most of the distinguished botanists of Europe
and America were in the garden, and not one but who had seen something
growing he never saw before[126]." Insectivorous plants and the rarer
vascular cryptogams were specially well represented. It was from his
private garden that his classes were supplied with specimens.

As we have seen, fossil plants engaged Williamson's attention in his
earliest years, when as a mere boy he contributed to Lindley and
Hutton's _Fossil Flora_.

His first important independent work in this field was his paper
"On the Structure and Affinities of the Plants hitherto known as
Sternbergiae" (1851), in which he proved, for the first time, that
these curious fossils, resembling a _rouleau_ of coins, were casts
of the discoid pith of _Dadoxylon_, or, as we should now say, of
Cordaiteae--the first step in the reconstruction of this early
gymnospermous family. This investigation, to which he appears to have
been led almost accidentally, through some good specimens coming into
his hands, brought him back, as he says, to his old subject of fossil
botany. It was long, however, before he got fairly started on his great
course of investigations on Carboniferous plants.

In the meantime he had returned to the Yorkshire Oolitic plants and,
about 1847, published a paper in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire
Philosophical Society, "On the Scaly Vegetable Heads or collars
from Runswick Bay, supposed to belong to the _Zamia gigas_." His
full paper, in which he maintained the Cycadean affinities of the
flower-like fossils, was written soon afterwards, but met with a
series of misfortunes, and was not finally published till 1870, in the
_Transactions of the Linnean Society_, before which body it had been
read in 1868. Williamson was admittedly right in connecting the floral
organs with the so-called _Zamia_ foliage, and his interpretation of
the complicated structure was as good as was possible in the then state
of knowledge. The true nature of these fossils, now known by the name
_Williamsonia_, given them by Mr Carruthers, could only be understood
at a much later date in the light of Dr Wieland's famous researches
on the American Bennettiteae, and has quite recently been made clear
in a memoir by Prof. Nathorst. Perhaps, even now, some points remain

Early in the fifties Williamson made some rough sections of a Calamite
which came into his hands, and this was the beginning of his most
characteristic line of work. A remarkable internal cast of a Calamite,
figured by Lyell in his _Manual of Geology_ in 1855, led to a
correspondence with M. Grand'Eury, now so famous as the veteran French
palaeobotanist. Williamson at that time had no intention of entering
on the serious study of Carboniferous plants, for Binney was already
in the field. Grand'Eury's letter, however, caused him to look up his
old sections, which he found differed from the Calamitean stems figured
by Binney. Matters for a time moved slowly, and Williamson's specimen
was only described in 1868 in the _Manchester Memoirs_. This fossil,
which he named _Calamopitus_, is now known as _Arthrodendron_, and is
a distinct type of Calamarian stem, intermediate between the common
_Calamites_ or _Arthropitys_, and the more elaborate _Calamodendron_ of
the Upper Coal Measures.

Williamson was now fairly started on his Carboniferous work. His
first memoir on the Organisation of the Fossil Plants of the Coal
Measures was communicated to the Royal Society on November 11, 1870.
It is amusing to find that the secretaries objected to the memoir
being called Part I, since it bound the society to publish a Part II!
Nineteen Parts were published, the last in 1893.

The first memoir was on the Calamites, and controversy at once broke
out. Williamson was from the first impressed by the manifest occurrence
of exogenous, or, as we should now call it, secondary growth, both in
the Calamites and the Lepidodendreae, groups which he was convinced
were cryptogamic. The controversy with the great French school, headed
by the illustrious Brongniart, is well known. As Williamson put it:
"The fight was always the same; was Brongniart right or wrong when
he uttered his dogma, that if the stem of a fossil plant contained a
secondary growth of wood, the product of a cambium layer, it could
not possibly belong to the cryptogamic division of the vegetable

In England, however, the dispute was on different lines. "In August of
1871," says Williamson, "the British Association met at Edinburgh. At
that meeting I brought forward the subject of cambiums and secondary
woods in Cryptogams, with the result that my views were rejected by
every botanist in the room." There followed a controversy in the pages
of _Nature_, which is of some interest, as showing the state of opinion
in England at that time. Williamson tells us in his autobiography the
principle by which he was guided in his work: "I determined not to
look at the writings of any other observer until I had studied every
specimen in my cabinet, and arrived at my own conclusions as to what
they taught." In spite of this excellent rule it is probable that he
was at first unconsciously influenced by the views of Brongniart,
which may have led him to attach too much _systematic_ importance to
the occurrence of secondary growth. At any rate he proposed at the
Edinburgh meeting "to separate the vascular Cryptogams into two groups,
the one comprehending Equisetaceae, Lycopodiaceae and Isoëtaceae, to
be termed the Cryptogamiae Exogenae, linking the Cryptogams with the
true exogens through the Cycads; the other called the Cryptogamiae
Endogenae, to comprehend the Ferns, which will unite the Cryptogams
with the Endogens through the Palmaceae[128]."

[Illustration: Plate XXIII

Root of _Calamites_ (_Astromyelon Williamsonis_) in transverse section.
_Drawn by Williamson_]

It is curious to note in passing that his main divisions, so far as
vascular Cryptogams are concerned, correspond to the Lycopsida and
Pteropsida of Prof. Jeffrey, though the suggested relation to the
higher plants would not be accepted by any modern botanist. In spite of
Williamson's tactical error in weighting himself with a doubtful scheme
of classification, and in spite also of a faulty terminology, it is
easy to see now that he had the best of the controversy, for he knew
the facts about the structure of the Carboniferous Cryptogams, which
his opponents, at that time, did not. They stuck to generalities, and
those who take the trouble to rake the ashes of this dead controversy
will at least learn that dogmatism is not confined to theology!

An interesting point is that Williamson at that time spoke of
Brongniart almost as an ally[129]. The conviction that the old
Lepidodendrons and Calamites were "exogenous" then seemed to him of
greater importance even than his belief that they were Cryptogams. The
English opposition, however, was never really formidable, and so a
change of front became necessary, to meet the attacks of the powerful
French school. Williamson was an energetic disputant; not content with
his numerous English publications, he published, in 1882, an article
in the _Annales des Sciences Naturelles_, entitled "Les Sigillaires
et les Lepidodendrées." This was translated into French for him by
his colleague Marcus Hartog, whose assistance he greatly valued. He
describes this vigorous polemical treatise as "flung like a bombshell
among my opponents."

In time they came over, one by one, to his views, and even the most
redoubtable of the French champions Bernard, Renault, before the close
of his life, had made very considerable concessions to Williamson's
side of the question. There is no need to dwell on the controversy;
every student now knows that the Club-mosses, the Horse-tails and the
Sphenophylls of Palaeozoic times formed abundant secondary tissues
homologous with those of a Gymnosperm or a Dicotyledon; the case of the
Sphenophylls shows that the character was not limited to arborescent
plants then any more than it is among Dicotyledons at the present
day. At the same time, as Williamson maintained, these groups of
plants were, broadly speaking, cryptogamic. On the other hand it
has been said by a distinguished botanist that in the Fern-series
secondary growth came in together with the seed. This is not strictly
correct, but it is true that the plants such as _Lyginodendron_, which
Williamson in his later publications cited as Ferns with secondary
growth, have turned out to be seed-bearing. Even among the Lycopods a
certain proportion of the Lepidodendreae bore organs closely analogous
to seeds. These partial concessions, which may now gracefully be made
to the old Brongniartian creed, do not however really affect the
importance of Williamson's results, which Count Solms-Laubach has
well summed up in the following words: "It was thus made evident by
Williamson that cambial growth in thickness is a character which has
appeared repeatedly in the most various families of the vegetable
kingdom, and was by no means acquired for the first time by the
Phanerogamic stock. This is a general botanical result of the greatest
importance and the widest bearing. In this conclusion Palaeontology
has, for the first time, spoken the decisive word in a purely botanical

To attempt a review of Williamson's work in fossil botany would
be to write a treatise on the Carboniferous Flora. In every
group--Calamites, Sphenophylls, Lycopods, Ferns, Pteridosperms,
Gymnosperms--his researches are among the most important documents of
the palaeobotanist, and to a great extent constitute the basis of our
present knowledge. At the time he wrote, the wealth of his material
was absolutely unrivalled, and its abundance was only equalled by the
astonishing energy and skill with which he worked it out.

As regards the Calamites, he demonstrated, to use his own words, "the
unity of type existing among the British Calamites," abolishing the
false distinction between Calamiteae and Calamodendreae.

Among the Sphenophyllums (although there was at first some confusion in
his nomenclature) he gave the first correct account of the anatomy, and
of the organization of the cone.

[Illustration: Plate XXIV

Cone of _Calamostachys Binneyana_; sporangia and sporangiophores.
_Drawn by Williamson_]

Concerning the Lycopods, the greater part of our knowledge is due
to him. He described the structure in ten species referred to
_Lepidodendron_, besides other allied forms, and placed our knowledge
of the comparative anatomy, once for all, on a broad and secure basis.
His great monograph of _Stigmaria_, by some considered his best work,
is still our chief authority for the subterranean organs.

In the Ferns he made important contributions to our knowledge of
the group now familiar to botanists as the Primofilices of Arber.
In particular his account of the plant now known as _Ankyropteris
corrugata_ is still among the best we possess of any member of the

In Pteridosperms, to use the modern name, Williamson may fairly be
called the discoverer of the important family Lyginodendreae. He
appreciated their intermediate position, speaking of them, in 1887, as
"possibly the generalised ancestors of both Ferns and Cycads."

As regards both Pteridosperms and Gymnosperms proper, attention may
be specially called to his work on isolated seeds, in which he was
surpassed by Brongniart alone. This field of investigation, long
neglected, has lately been revived with striking results.

I hope that all students of fossil botany will have at least turned
over the pages and the plates of Williamson's works, for only by
inspection of the original memoirs can any idea be gained of his vast
services to our science.

His remarkable skill as a draughtsman (for all his memoirs are
illustrated by his own hand) is not always done justice to in the
published reproductions as the fine examples of his original drawings,
so kindly lent for the lecture by Mrs Williamson, will show[131]. At
the time when Williamson's main work was in progress--from 1870 to
1892--geologists were probably more appreciative of its value than
botanists. Happily, in spite of occasional trouble with Referees, none
of his work was lost, the Royal Society going steadily through with all
the nineteen memoirs which were entrusted to them.

The one botanist, who, up to the year 1890, estimated Williamson's work
at its full value was Count Solms-Laubach, who makes the honourable
boast that he knew Williamson's collection as no one else did.

Williamson's writings are not easy reading, especially for the modern
botanical student, for the terminology is often unfamiliar, and the
arrangement of the matter unsystematic.

It would be out of place to enter on a criticism of details, but it
is necessary to call attention to the one serious mistake which ran
through much of Williamson's work, though at the last he to a great
extent corrected it himself. He was always too ready to interpret
specimens of the same fossil plant which differed in size and
anatomical complexity, as developmental stages of one and the same
organ. Such differences among fossils are more often due to the order
of the branch on the plant, or to the level at which a section is cut.
This error led to some mistaken, and indeed impossible views of the
process of development. I mention this partly because I have noticed
the same fundamental mistake in the work of much more modern writers.
"We are none of us infallible--not even the youngest of us," and among
the latest fossil-botany papers I have read, I have detected the very
same confusion between differences of size and differences of age,
which constitutes the most serious blemish in Williamson's writings.

As is well known, Williamson in his latest independent work
corrected, as regards the Lepidodendrons, on the basis of a laborious
re-investigation, the chief mistake he had made as to their process of
growth[132]; he thus displayed an openness of mind worthy of a great

I first saw Williamson on February 16, 1883, when I attended his
Friday evening lecture at the Royal Institution, "On some anomalous
Oolitic and Palaeozoic Forms of Vegetation." I did not, however, make
his acquaintance till six years later, when we met at the British
Association Meeting at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1889. This led to a
visit to his house in company with Prof. Bower; it was on March 8,
1890, that I first had a sight of his collection. I find the entry in
my diary: "Spent 7 hours over fossils, especially _Lyginodendron_ and
_Lepidodendron_, preparations magnificent." I at once became an ardent
convert to the cult of fossil plants to which I had hitherto been
indifferent, though I must in fairness admit that Count Solms-Laubach's
_Einleitung_ had done something to prepare the way. I well remember
the state of enthusiasm in which I returned home from Manchester. A
subsequent visit confirmed me in the faith, but it was some little
time before I put my convictions into practice. In 1892 Williamson,
then in his 76th year, resigned the Manchester Professorship and came
to live near London. In the same year I migrated to Kew, and it was
agreed that we should work in concert, an arrangement which received
every encouragement from the then Director, Thiselton-Dyer. Williamson
first came to the Jodrell Laboratory on Friday, December 2, 1892. Then,
and on many later visits, he carried a satchel over his shoulder,
crammed with the treasures of his collection. For some months he came
pretty regularly once a week, afterwards less often. On these visits we
discussed the work I had done on the sections during the interval, and
sometimes our discussions were decidedly lively. In the end, however,
we always managed to come to a satisfactory agreement. Our first joint
paper (_Calamites_, _Calamostachys_ and _Sphenophyllum_) was sent
off to the Royal Society, rather more than a year from the start, on
December 29, 1893.

During the early part of 1894 Williamson came occasionally to Kew, and
our discussions were renewed, this time chiefly on _Lyginodendron_. Our
second paper (Roots of Calamites) was despatched on October 30, 1894.

After a considerable interval Williamson again visited Kew, on December
12, 1894, when we started on his _Lepidodendron_ sections, a subject on
which we never published in conjunction. His last visit was on January
7, 1895. A few days later his health broke down, and though there were
many fluctuations he was never able to come to the laboratory again.
I saw him last, at his own house, on June 4th. On the 13th I read our
joint paper on _Lyginodendron_ and _Heterangium_ at the Royal Society;
on the 23rd he passed peacefully away.

If Williamson could have lived it would, I think, have given him great
pleasure to see the success, in his own country, of the work which he
inaugurated and the progress of the subject to which he devoted the
last 25 years of his life. I am happy to believe that he felt in the
evening of his days, that the period of comparative neglect through
which his work had passed, was at an end. For myself, I may say that my
work, since I knew Williamson, owes its inspiration to him. But quite
apart from our scientific relations it is a great privilege to have
known him. Though his many-sided activity, as physician, professor,
popular lecturer, geologist, zoologist, botanist and artist involved
an amount of work which to us of a less strenuous generation is almost
inconceivable, Williamson was as far as possible from being the mere
student. His personality was intensely human. He was a man of most
decided likes and dislikes; his conversation was often brilliant, and
sometimes vigorous to an almost startling degree.

The grand old race of all-round naturalists found in Williamson its
worthy culmination, and we can only regret that, from the nature of the
case, he can have no equal successor[133].


[119] Since these words were spoken the veteran leader of English
Botany has passed away. A notice of Sir Joseph's career will be found
in this volume, and the present writer has given some account of
his work on fossil plants in an _Anniversary Address to the Linnean
Society_, May 24th, 1912.

[120] The portrait of Henry Witham is from the original picture in
the possession of the Salvin family, at Croxdale; a photograph of the
picture was kindly obtained for me by Mr Philip Witham.

[121] _Reminiscences of a Yorkshire Naturalist_, p. 6.

[122] _Reminiscences_, p. 12.

[123] _Reminiscences_, p. 33.

[124] _Reminiscences_, p. 78.

[125] _Reminiscences_, p. 136.

[126] _Reminiscences_, p. 190.

[127] _Reminiscences_, p. 203.

[128] _Nature_, Vol. IV., 1871, p. 357.

[129] _Loc. cit._, p. 409.

[130] _Nature_, Vol. LII. 1895, p. 441.

[131] Three characteristic figures from these originals have been
reproduced for this volume (Plates 22-24).

[132] Williamson, "On the light thrown upon the question of the Growth
and Development of the Carboniferous Arborescent Lepidodendra by a
study of the details of their Organisation." _Mem. and Proc. Manchester
Lit. and Phil. Soc._, Ser. IV. Vol. IX. 1895.

[133] The portrait of Williamson is from a photograph kindly lent by
Mrs Williamson, and taken, as she informs me, at Torquay in or about
1876, when he was about 60.

[Illustration: _Plate XXV_ HARRY MARSHALL WARD (1895)]




  Training at South Kensington--Cambridge--Germany--investigates
  coffee disease in Ceylon--his early investigations--appointment
  to Manchester and association with Williamson--Ward's
  brilliance as an investigator--Cooper's Hill--investigation
  of lily disease--leguminous root tubercles--symbiosis
  and the ginger-beer plant--the Croonian Lecture--the
  bacteriology of water--bactericidal action of light--Ward's
  "law of doubling"--appointment to Cambridge--mycopiasm
  controversy--infection and immunity--physiological varieties of
  Rusts--bridgeing species--illness and death--his record as an
  investigator--personal characteristics.

Harry Marshall Ward, eldest son of Francis Marshall Ward, was born in
Hereford, March 21, 1854, but he came of a Lincolnshire stock, settled
for some time in Nottingham. From unavoidable causes he left school at
14, but afterwards continued his education by attending evening classes
organised under the Science and Art Department. To that Department,
he owed indirectly the opportunity of a useful and brilliant career.
His means were small, and his earliest aim was to qualify as a science
teacher. He was admitted to a course of instruction for teachers in
training given by Prof. Huxley in 1874-5. Although he must have derived
from it a sound insight into the principles of zoology, the subject
does not seem to have had any permanent attraction for him.

In the summer of 1857 Ward came under my hands in a course of
instruction in botany which I conducted with Prof. Vines in the Science
Schools at South Kensington, and from this time onwards we were in
intimate relations to the close of his life. I can best tell the story
as it came under my eyes. It contains much that could not easily be
dealt with in any other way.

It was soon apparent that we had got hold of a man of exceptional
ability. It must be confessed that the atmosphere was stimulating, and
the conditions under which the teaching was carried on necessitated
its being given at high pressure. I remember that on one occasion
Ward fainted at his work, from no other cause, I think, than
over-excitement. In the autumn of the same year he went for one session
to Owens College, Manchester, with the object of continuing his general
education. I learn that he carried off the prizes in every subject that
he took up.

In the succeeding year I was glad to avail myself of the assistance of
Ward as demonstrator in a subsequent course at South Kensington, which
I undertook with Prof. Vines. Later in the year he became a candidate
for and secured an open scholarship at Christ's College, where Vines
himself was then a Fellow, and went into residence in October, 1876.

Ward took full advantage of his opportunities at Cambridge, and
attended the teaching of Sir Michael Foster in physiology and of
Prof. F. M. Balfour in comparative anatomy. The sound and fundamental
conceptions which he acquired from the former manifestly influenced his
work throughout life. He took a first class in botany in the Natural
Science Tripos in 1879. His first published paper was the result of
work in the same year in the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew. In this,
which was published in the _Proceedings of the Linnean Society_, he
seriously criticised and corrected that of Vesque on the embryo-sac of

As was customary with our young botanists, Ward went to Germany for
a short time, for purposes of study and to strengthen his knowledge
of the language. He worked at Würzburg with Sachs, whose lectures
on the physiology of plants he afterwards translated in 1887. There
he continued his study of the embryo-sac in Orchideae, as Sachs
subsequently testified, "zu meiner vollsten Zufriedenheit."

Before the end of the year Ward was appointed on the recommendation of
Kew to proceed to Ceylon for two years as Government Cryptogamist to
investigate the leaf-disease in coffee. The history of this malady
is almost unique in vegetable pathology. A native fungus which had
eluded scientific observation, and must therefore have maintained an
inconspicuous and limited existence on some native host-plant, found
a wider opportunity on the Arabian coffee plant and fell upon it as a
devastating scourge. It was first detected in 1869 on a single estate;
in 1873 there was probably none in the island entirely free from it. Mr
(since Sir Daniel) Morris had shown that the plants could be cleansed
by dusting them with a mixture of sulphur and lime. But the remedy
proved of no avail as the plants speedily became re-infected. Morris
had been transferred to another appointment in the West Indies and
Ward's duty was to take up the investigation. This he accomplished
exhaustively. He showed that the fungus (_Hemileia vastatrix_) was one
of the Uredineae and that infection was produced by the wind-borne
uredospores. Had the planters, as in Southern India, left forest belts
between their plantations, the spores might have been filtered out
and the disease controlled. As it was it spread like an unchecked
conflagration. Ward also discovered the teleutospores; nothing has been
added to our knowledge of its life-history beyond what he obtained. The
result of his investigations was given in three official reports and in
papers contributed in 1882 to the Linnean Society and the _Quarterly
Journal of Microscopical Science_. It was no blame to him that his work
led to no practical result. The mischief admitted of no remedy. The
coffee-planting industry of Ceylon was destroyed and the Oriental Bank
succumbed in the general ruin. Leaf disease has now extended to every
coffee-growing country in the Old World from Natal to Fiji.

In a tropical country leaves supply a substratum to a little flora of
their own, consisting of organisms partly algal, partly fungal, in
their affinity. Ward, who had already developed his characteristic
habit of never neglecting any point incidental to a research,
carefully studied them, in order both to ascertain how far their
presence affected the health of the leaf itself and to work out their
life-history. The outcome was three important papers. One on Meliola,
an obscure genus of tropical epiphyllous fungi, belonging to the
Pyrenomycetes, was published in the _Philosophical Transactions_
in 1883. Bornet's classical memoir published in 1851 had been the
authority on the subject. Ward was able to fill up "large gaps in
the knowledge of important details." Another paper published in the
_Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science_ in 1882 on an Asterina
illuminates an allied organism. But the crown of all Ward's Ceylon
work was the splendid memoir on a Tropical Epiphyllous Lichen which
was published by the Linnean Society in 1883. In this he, I think,
cleared up much that was obscure in the _Mycoidea parasitica_ described
by D. D. Cunningham. Having myself communicated the paper, I shall
always remember the pleasure with which I undertook in Ward's absence
to give an account of it. He solved the problem with convincing
completeness; he extended Schwendener's lichen theory to a group of
obscure epiphyllous organisms of which he afforded, for the first time,
a rational explanation. The success with which this was accomplished
placed him at once in the first rank of mycological investigators.

De Bary was the leading authority on Uredineae; and in 1882 Ward paid
a short visit to him at Strasburg to confer with him on his coffee
disease work, the accuracy of which de Bary entirely confirmed. There
he made the acquaintance of Elfving and completed his Meliola paper.

The outlook for Ward was now precarious. Fortunately, I found myself
sitting next to Sir Henry Roscoe at a Royal Society dinner, and I
suggested that Ward, as an old student of Owens College, would be
a fitting recipient of a Bishop Berkeley Fellowship for original
research. Principal Greenwood recorded the fact that "the very
important results already achieved by Mr Ward in Ceylon, in the
domain of the higher botany, led the Senate and the Council to make
this appointment." In 1883, he was appointed Assistant Lecturer and
Demonstrator in Botany, and, on the same testimony, "abundantly
justified his election." It was a peculiar pleasure to him to relieve
the veteran Professor Williamson by taking entire charge of Vegetable
Physiology and Histology. His position was, in the same year, made
secure by his election to a Fellowship at Christ's College, and he
married the eldest daughter of the late Francis Kingdon, of Exeter,
who was a connection of Clifford the mathematician.

The passion for research now completely possessed Ward and never left
him for the rest of his life. He published papers which added much to
our knowledge of the Saprolegnieae a group of fungi of aquatic habit,
partly saprophytic and partly parasitic. It is interesting to note
that he was particularly attracted by the mode in which the hyphae
attack the tissues on which they prey. This was a matter on which he
subsequently threw an entirely new light. He made the interesting
discovery of an aquatic Myxomycete, such a mode of existence being
hitherto unknown in the group, and worked out its life-history. But
his mind had now become definitely fixed on the problems presented by
plant diseases, and they remained the principal occupation of his life.
In their widest sense these resolve themselves into a consideration of
the mode in which one organism obtains its nutriment at the expense
of another. This ranges from a complete destruction of the host by
the parasite to a harmless and even advantageous symbiosis. He was
thus naturally led to an exhaustive study of the literature of the
Schizomycetes, and contributed an article on the group in 1886 to the
_Encyclopaedia Britannica_, which, for the time at any rate, gives
the best account of it, certainly in English, and probably in any
other language. When he supplemented this in 1902 by the article on
Bacteriology, it was largely to give an account of his own important
discoveries. In the earlier one, he had pointed out the difficulties of
a natural classification of Schizomycetes due to their pleomorphism,
which Lankester had demonstrated in 1873. He returned to the subject in
an article in the _Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science_ in 1892.
It may be noted that, in his British Association address at Toronto, he
took occasion to put in their proper relation the work of Cohn and of
his pupil Koch.

In 1885, the Regius Professorship of Botany at Glasgow was vacant by
the transference of Prof. Balfour to Oxford. Ward was a candidate
with the warm support of his fellow-botanists. It was thought that
his Colonial services would weigh with the Government; but other
influences were at work in favour of another candidate, whom, however,
the University refused to accept. A deadlock ensued, which was only
solved by the Government finally refusing to appoint either candidate.
This was a great disappointment to Ward, which was in some degree
mitigated by his appointment to the new Chair of Botany in the Forestry
Branch of the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper's Hill. The
utilitarian atmosphere in which he found himself was not very congenial
to him. But he had at any rate at last some sort of adequate position
and a laboratory to work in, and here he remained--not, I think,
unhappily--for ten years. He was, as he had been at Manchester, a
successful teacher, and had the gift of interesting his pupils, whom
he used to bring weekly to Kew during the summer months to visit the
Arboretum. In point of research, this was the period of much of his
most brilliant work.

The study of Uredineae occupied Ward at intervals during his life.
The reproductive organs are pleomorphic, and it is no easy task to
ascertain with certainty those that belong to the same life-history.
In a paper on _Entyloma Ranunculi_, published in the _Phil. Trans._ in
1887, Ward for the first time traced the germination of the conidia
of an Entyloma, and confirmed Winter's suggestion that they were not
an independent organism, but actually belonged to it. Incidentally he
discussed the conditions which are favourable to the invasion of a host
by a parasitic fungus. This raised the question of immunity, to which
at intervals he repeatedly returned.

About the same time he published in the _Quarterly Journal of
Microscopical Science_ the results of an investigation undertaken for
the Science and Art Department on the mode of infection of the potato
plant by _Phytophthora infestans_, which produces the potato disease.
It was not easy to add anything to the classical work of de Bary, but
it was ascertained that "the development of the zoospores is delayed or
even arrested by direct daylight," and Ward's attention was attracted
to the problem, which he afterwards solved, of how the hyphae erode the

The solution was given in 1888 in a paper in the _Annals of Botany_,
"On a Lily Disease," which has now become classical. He discusses
the fungus which produces it, and shows that the tips of the hyphae
secrete a cellulose-dissolving ferment which enables them to pierce
the cell-walls of the host. This ferment has since been described as
cytase. He shows that its production would determine the passage from a
merely saprophytic to a parasitic habit, and makes the suggestion that
an organism might be educated to pass from one to the other.

An admirable research (1887) was on the formation of the yellow dye
obtained from "Persian berries" (_Rhamnus infectorius_). A dyer had
found that uninjured berries afforded a poorer colouring liquor than
crushed. Gellatly had found, in 1851, that they contained a glucoside,
xanthorhamnin, which sulphuric acid broke up into rhamnetin and
grape-sugar. The problem was to localise the ferment which did the
work. Ward obtained the unexpected result that it was confined to the
raphe of the seed.

As early as 1883 Ward had attacked a problem which he pursued at
intervals for some years, and which was fraught with consequences
wholly unforeseen at the time. It had long been known that leguminous
plants almost invariably carried tubercular swellings on their roots.
The opinion had gradually gained ground that they were due to the
action of a parasite. Bacteria-like corpuscles had been found in the
cells of the tubercle, and it was assumed that they had played some
part in exciting the growth of the latter. "No one had as yet succeeded
in infecting the roots and in producing the tubercles artificially."
Ward described, in a paper in the _Phil. Trans._ in 1887, how he had
accomplished this. He showed, in fact, that a definite organism invades
the roots from the soil, and finds its access by the root-hairs.

Lawes and Gilbert had long ago proved that the higher plants are
incapable of assimilating free nitrogen. Hellriegel and Wilfarth
had, however, shown in 1886 that leguminous plants carry away more
nitrogen from the soil than could be accounted for. This Ward confirmed
by his own pot-experiments, and satisfied himself that the excess
could only be derived from the free nitrogen of the air. Hellriegel
further concluded that the tubercles played an essential part in the
process. Ward had no doubt that the bacteroids were the channel of
supply. But he failed to get any proof that they could assimilate free
nitrogen outside the plant. He suggested that their symbiosis might be
an essential condition, and was obliged finally to leave it an open
question whether the cells of the tubercles or the bacteroids were
the active agents in nitrogen assimilation. He had already stated in
1887 that it is very probable that the bacteroids "may be of extreme
importance in agriculture." But he was never satisfied with anything
short of the strictest proof.

In 1890 Ward was invited to deliver the Croonian Lecture. He chose for
his subject the relation between host and parasite in plant disease. He
defined disease in its most generalised form as "the outcome of a want
of balance in the struggle for existence." But the particular problem
to which he addressed himself was the way in which the balance is
turned when one organism is invaded by another. This is the most common
type of disease in plants and a not infrequent one in animals. The
first result reached was identical with that of Pasteur for the latter;
the normal organism is intrinsically resistant to disease. It is an
immediate inference that natural selection would make it so. Ward then
discusses very clearly the physiological conditions of susceptibility,
which he shows to be a deviation from the normal. He had already
indicated this in the case of Entyloma. The epidemic phase is reached
when the environment is unfavourable to the host but not so or even
favourable to the parasite. He then attacks the more obscure case where
there is no obvious susceptibility. This, he finds, resolves itself
into a mere case of the struggle for existence: "a struggle between
the hypha of the fungus and the cells of the host." It is more subtle
in its operation but of the same order of ruthlessness as the ravages
of a carnivore. Ward's account of the struggle is almost dramatic. The
cellulose "outworks" are first broken down, as he had previously shown,
by a secreted ferment. The "real tug of war" comes when the hypha is
face to face with the ectoplasm. Its resistance is at once overcome by
flooding it with a poison, probably oxalic acid.

War with attack and defence is a product of evolution. How did it come
about in this particular case? Ward convincingly traces out the whole
process. The normal plant obtains its food from inorganic material. But
when opportunity offers it easily lapses into a condition in which it
takes the material for metabolism ready made from the decay of others
and becomes saprophytic. Ward shows that it is only a step to the
attack on the living, and for the saprophyte to become a parasite, and
he further shows that it can be readily educated to be so. He does not
hesitate to suggest that the function of conidia in the complicated
cycle of fungal reproduction is to form the cellulose-dissolving
ferment. But now and again the host does not succumb to its invader.
A truce is sometimes called in the struggle, and host and parasite
are content to live together in a mutually advantageous symbiosis or

Three years earlier, in 1887, Ward's attention had been drawn by a
happy accident to the physiological aspect of symbiosis, and it never
ceased to occupy his mind. It was well known that ginger-beer was
made in villages in stone bottles. The fermentation was effected by
the so-called "ginger-beer plant" which was passed on from family to
family, but nothing was known as to how or where it originated. It
seemed to have some analogy with the Kephir of the Caucasus. A specimen
was sent to me from the Eastern Counties, and it stood for some time
in the sun in my study. I noticed the vigorous growth accompanied by a
copious evolution of gas. Ward coming to see me one day, I handed it
over to him as a problem worth his attention. At the same time Prof.
Bayley Balfour had examined it and concluded that it was a mixture of
a yeast and a bacterium. Its study involved Ward in a very laborious
research which occupied him for some years, and of which the results
were published in the _Phil. Trans._ in 1892. It proved to be a mixture
of very various organisms, every one of which Ward exhaustively
studied. This required not less than 2000 separate cultures. The
essential components proved to be, as Balfour had suggested, a yeast
derived from the sugar and a bacterium from the ginger. Both were
anaërobic; the yeast fermented cane-sugar with the copious production
of carbon dioxide but little alcohol; the bacterium also produced
carbon dioxide, even in a vacuum tube.

The action of the two components studied separately proved to be not
the same as when they worked in concert. This was conspicuously the
case with the evolution of carbon dioxide, which proceeded with such
violence as to make the research attended with considerable danger. It
is known that the action of ferments may be checked by the inhibition
of the products formed. Ward pointed out that while the use of these
might be advantageous to the bacterium, their consequent removal might
be equally so to the yeast. This established the important principle
of symbiotic fermentation and gave it a rational explanation. On the
morphological side Ward showed that the ginger-beer plant is comparable
to a gelatinous lichen, and, having resolved it into its constituents,
successfully reconstituted it.

The new conception threw a flood of light on many obscure points in
fermentation generally, and it is not surprising that Ward's work at
once attracted the attention of the brewing industry. It led him to an
even more fertile suggestion, that of metabiosis. It was known that the
finest wine is sometimes produced from mouldy grapes. He regarded this
as a case of one organism preparing the way for another. He returned
to the subject in a lecture given at the British Association at Dover
in 1899 and pointed out that in the Japanese manufacture of Saké,
an Aspergillus prepares the way for the yeast. He also showed that
metabiosis played an important part in nitrification.

Fungi cannot draw their nutriment from solid materials without first
profoundly modifying them. They accomplish a large part of their
digestion, so to speak, externally to themselves. This constantly
occupied Ward's mind. He insisted on the part played in the process by
ferments. The hyphae of Stereum (_Phil. Trans._ 1898) delignify the
walls of the wood elements of Aesculus layer by layer, and then consume
the swollen cellulose. He failed, however, to isolate the ferment which
does the work. Nor was he more fortunate with the little known fungus
Onygena, which grows on horn, hoofs and hair, setting free ammonia
as a final product (_Phil. Trans._ 1899). That there must be some
hydrolysis of keratin can hardly be doubted, for Ward established the
remarkable fact that the walls of the hyphae contain no cellulose, but
are composed of chitin. Onygena has, in fact, abandoned a plant for an
animal nutrition. This would place the germination of the species at
a great disadvantage. But he found that this difficulty was overcome
by the spores which had been licked from the skin germinating in the
gastric juice of the animal's stomach, and, when voided in the excreta,
infecting a new host by accidental contact. In the case of both Stereum
and Onygena he accomplished for the first time the difficult task of
tracing their life-history from spore to fructification.

Ward had prepared himself for the study of bacteria, and in the
nineties he undertook, with Prof. Percy Frankland, a prolonged research
on behalf of the Royal Society as to the conditions of their occurrence
in potable water. The reports of the results fill a thick volume, and
the amount of work involved is almost incredible. The bacteriology was
entirely due to Ward.

That bacteria are not an inevitable element in potable water is proved
by their absence from that of deep springs. They are arrested by
filtration through the earth's crust. In any river system they are
comparatively fewer towards the watershed, and more frequent towards
the mouth. The obvious conclusion is that they are derived from the
drainage of the land. As it is known that the bacteria of cholera and
typhoid are water-borne, it becomes a problem of vital importance to
ascertain if river water is a possible means of distributing these
diseases. Ward set to work to ascertain: (i) What was the actual
bacterial flora of Thames water; (ii) if this included any pathogenic
organisms; (iii) if not, what became of them? The labour required by
the first two branches of the enquiry was enormous; he identified and
cultivated some eighty species; the resulting answer to the second was
happily in the negative.

As to the third, two facts were known. First, that river water,
if stored, largely cleared itself of bacteria by mere subsidence;
secondly, that Downes and Blunt, in a classical paper communicated to
the Royal Society in 1877, had shown that exposure to direct sunlight
is fatal to bacteria in a fluid medium. Ward showed that subsidence
could not be entirely relied on, as the sediment might easily become
the source of re-infection. The effect of sunlight required more
critical examination.

It was known that the spores of anthrax were liable to be washed
into rivers. Ward determined to study this as the most extreme
type of pathogenic infection. As it is undoubtedly the most deadly
micro-organism known, and Ward proposed to deal with it on a large
scale, it implied no small degree of courage. He found that the spores
of anthrax were effectually killed by a few hours' exposure to even the
reflected light of a low winter sun. It was clear that this was due to
the direct action of the light and not to any heating effect, apart
from the fact that they will tolerate boiling for a few minutes. It was
further shown that there was no foundation for the theory of Roux and
Duclaux that their death was due to poisoning by products of oxidation
of the food-medium. Proof of this, indeed, was hardly required, for
Pasteur had shown that the bacteria floating in the atmosphere are
mostly dead. Were it not so, no surgical operation would be possible.
To the bactericidal effect of sunlight is equally to be attributed the
absence of bacteria from the High Alps.

The next point was to ascertain to what rays the effect was due. The
spores of anthrax are so minute that, when mixed in large numbers with
gelatine, they do not affect its transparency, A plate of glass coated
with the mixture is at first clear, but ceases to be so if kept in the
dark, owing to the germination of the spores. Ward found, in fact, that
a photograph could be printed with it, the darkening being the reverse
of that of a silver plate. After experiments with coloured screens
he completely solved the problem in 1893, with the aid of apparatus
supplied by Sir Oliver Lodge and some advice from Sir Gabriel Stokes,
by photographing the spectrum on such a plate. It was at once seen
that the destructive effect was due to rays of high refrangibility,
and, what was extremely important, extended to, and found its maximum
in, the ultra-violet. The same results were obtained with the typhoid
bacillus. He made the suggestion that the arc light might be used for
the disinfection of hospitals and railway carriages.

Comparatively little was known of the life history of any Schizomycete.
Ward therefore made a detailed and exhaustive study of that of
_Bacillus ramosus_, the _Wurzel bacillus_ of German authors, which is
common in Thames water, and bears a superficial resemblance to the
anthrax bacillus, but is innocuous. It proved convenient for study, as
it ran through its entire life history in from thirty to sixty hours
at ordinary temperature. It forms long filaments, the growth of which
Ward was able to measure under the microscope with great precision. On
plotting out his measurements he obtained a regular curve, from which
he found that, under constant conditions, the filament doubled itself
in equal times. This he called "the law of doubling." It is the same as
the so-called "law of compound interest," and leads to the expression
of the growing quantity as an exponential function of the time, so
that the time is proportional to the logarithm of that quantity. This
relation has, of course, long been familiar in chemical reactions, but,
as far as I know, Ward was the first to detect it in any vital process
in a plant. This, which was in 1895, has, I think, been overlooked.
Stefanowska has since, in 1904, obtained a logarithmic curve for the
early period of the growth of maize, which doubles its weight every ten
days, and the subject has since been pursued by Chodat and others.

In speculating on the cause of the destructive action of light on
bacteria, Ward adopted the view of his friend Elfving, that it
inhibited metabolic processes necessary to nutrition. He suggests that
the "constructed metabolites" at the moment of assimilation are in
a highly unstable condition, and liable to destruction by oxidation
promoted by light. He points to the fact that plant structures are
frequently provided with colour screens, which would cut off the
blue-violet rays and check their action in promoting the rapid
oxidation of reserve materials, and he quotes the suggestion of Elfving
that chlorophyll itself may serve as such a screen against "destructive
metabolic action in synthesis." Ward seems to have attributed little
importance to the fact that substantially the same view had long before
been put forward by Pringsheim, though received with little favour. His
own view that when red and orange predominate in the screens their
effect is protective, has since afforded a probable explanation of the
colouration of young foliage, especially in the tropics.

It can hardly be doubted that the upshot of Ward's laborious
investigations has had a powerful influence in deciding the policy
of the future water supply of London. If we hear nothing now of
obtaining it from Wales, it is because we know that even polluted
flood-water if exposed in large reservoirs will rid itself of its
bacterial contamination, partly, as was known already, by subsidence,
but most effectually, as shown by Ward, by the destruction of its most
deleterious constituents by the direct action of sunlight.

In 1895, Ward was called to the Chair of Botany at Cambridge. He was
supported by a distinguished body of fellow-workers, and developed a
flourishing school, in which every branch of the science found its
scope. The University erected for it an institute which is probably the
best equipped in the country, and in March, 1904, I had the pleasure of
seeing Ward receive the King and Queen at its inauguration.

During the later years of Ward's life he returned to the study of the
Uredineae. The scourge of wheat perhaps from the dawn of agriculture
has been "Rust,"

  "Ut mala culmos esset rubigo ... intereunt segetes";

and the loss inflicted by it throughout the world is probably not
calculable. But the history of the Ceylon coffee disease is only too
patent an instance of the injury a uredine can effect.

Eriksson, the most recent authority on the subject, had found himself
quite unable to account for sudden outbursts of rust which it did not
seem possible to attribute to the result of infection. In 1897 he
launched his celebrated theory of the Mycoplasm. He supposed that a
cereal subject to rust was permanently diseased and always had been;
that the protoplasm of the Uredo-parasite and of the cereal, though
discrete, were intermingled and were continuously propagated together;
but that while that of the latter was continuously active, that of the
former might be latent till called into activity by conditions which
favoured it. Ward discussed the theory in his British Association
address at Toronto, and was evidently a good deal impressed with it,
but nothing short of actual demonstration ever convinced him; and when
he proceeded to investigate the actual histological facts on which the
theory rested he promptly exploded it.

It is interesting to note that Ward, as I know from correspondence at
the time, had himself been embarrassed in investigating the Ceylon
coffee disease by the same kind of appearance which had misled
Eriksson. It is due to an optical fallacy. When the hypha of a uredine
attacks a cell it is unable to perforate it with its whole diameter. It
infects it, however, with a reduced and slender filament; this expands
again after perforation into a rounded body, the haustorium. In a
tangential section the perforating filament cannot be distinguished,
and the haustorium looks like an independent body immersed in the
cell-protoplasm and with no external connection. It requires a
fortunate normal section to reveal what has really taken place. Ward
was accordingly able, in a paper in the _Phil. Trans._ in 1903, to
dispose conclusively of the mycoplasm. This cleared the ground of an
untenable hypothesis. The complicated nature of the problem which still
presented itself for investigation can only be briefly indicated.
Sir Joseph Banks, whose scientific instinct was sound but curiously
inarticulate, had pointed out that the spores entered the stomata, and
warned farmers against using rusted litter. Henslow, one of Ward's
predecessors in the Cambridge chair, had been confirmed by Tulasne in
showing that the uredo-and puccinia-spores (of the barberry) belonged
to the same fungus. De Bary traced the germination of the spores and
the mode in which the hyphae invaded the host; the fundamental fact,
which he observed but did not explain, was that the germinal filament,
after growing for a time superficially, bent down to enter the tissues
of its host. Pfeffer in 1883 discovered chemotaxis, the directive
action of chemical substances on the movement of mobile organisms. De
Bary had previously hinted that the hypha might be attracted by some
chemical ingredient of the host plant. Myoshi, a pupil of Pfeffer's,
showed finally in 1894 that if a plant were injected by a chemotropic
substance a fungus-hypha not ordinarily parasitic might be made to
behave as such and attack it.

In such circumstances it might seem that the host was not merely
incapable of resisting invasion by the parasite but actually invited
its attack. Nature is, however, not easily baffled in the struggle for
existence. Attack provokes new methods of defence. Ward soon found
himself face to face with "problems of great complexity," and these
occupied the closing years of his life.

It had been ascertained in fact that the rust fungus is not, as was
at first supposed, a single organism, but comprises, according to
Eriksson, thirteen distinct species, each with physiological varieties,
and that those which are destructive to some grasses and cereals, are
incapable of attacking others. This necessitated a scrutiny of the
nature of grass-immunity. In a paper communicated to the Cambridge
Philosophical Society in 1902, Ward announced a conclusion which was as
important as it was unexpected. He had more and more made use of the
graphical method for presenting to the eye at a glance the result of a
mass of separate observations. In this case he uses it with striking
effect. He shows conclusively, as far as rust in brome-grasses is
concerned, that: "The capacity for infection, or for resistance to
infection, is independent of the anatomical structure of the leaf, and
must depend on some other internal factor or factors in the plant."

Finally, he is led to the conclusion that "it is in the domain of
the invisible biological properties of the living cell that we must
expect the phenomena to reside." He pointed out the probability that
light would be thrown on this from the action of chemotaxis, on the
one hand, and from that of toxins and antitoxins in animal organisms
on the other. This is a most fertile conception, which would, however,
have required a good deal of verification, and this, unhappily, he
did not live to attempt. But with characteristic ingenuity he pointed
out the analogy between the infective capacity of uredospores and
the prepotency of pollen, which had previously engaged the attention
of Darwin. In a paper published in the following year in the Berlin
_Annales Mycologici_, he announced a no less significant result. With
his usual thoroughness in research he had cultivated side by side at
Cambridge more than two hundred species and varieties of Bromus,
and had watched the degree to which they were infected by rust under
identical conditions. He found that though in the brome-grasses the
rust peculiar to them is specifically identical its _forms_ are highly
specialised. The form which attacks the species of one group will not
attack those of another. Host and parasite are mutually "attuned." He
termed this "adaptive parasitism." This raised the problem, which had
first occurred to him in Ceylon, of how a parasite adapted to species
of "one circle of alliance" can pass to those of another. Occasionally
it happens that a uredo-form will infect a species where it ordinarily
fails. In such a case "its uredospore progeny will thenceforth readily
infect that species." Ward regarded this as a case of education.
Working on this principle, he succeeded by growing the parasite
_successively_ on a series of allied species which were imperfectly
resistant, to ultimately educate it to attack a species hitherto
immune. He called these "_bridgeing species_." He established, in fact,
a complete parallelism between the behaviour of rust-fungi and that of
pathogenic organisms in animals.

In the midst of this far-reaching research his health began to fail.
In 1904 he had been appointed by the Council to represent the Royal
Society at the International Congress of Botany held at Vienna in
June of the following year. This he attended, though more seriously
ill than he was aware of. On his way back he spent three weeks for
treatment at Carlsbad, but receiving no benefit, he went, on the advice
of Dr Krause, to Dr von Noorden's Klinik at Sachsenhausen (Frankfort).
Nothing could be done for him, and he was advised to return home by
easy stages. After a period of progressive and extreme weakness, borne
with unflinching courage, the end came somewhat suddenly at Torquay on
August 26, 1906. He was buried at Cambridge in St Giles's Cemetery on
September 3.

From 1880, the year following his degree, Ward never ceased for a
quarter of a century to pour out a continuous stream of original work.
This alone would be a remarkable performance, had he done nothing
else. But he was constantly engaged in teaching work, and he acted as
examiner in the Universities of London and Edinburgh. With no less
conscientiousness he complied with the demands which the scientific
world makes on its members; he served on the Councils of the Royal
(1895) and Linnean (1887) Societies; he was President of the Botanical
Section of the British Association at Toronto in 1897, and of the
Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1904. Beyond all this he found
time to give addresses with unfailing freshness of insight; a lecture
at the Royal Institution on April 27, 1894, on the "Action of Light
on Bacteria and Fungi" was a notable performance; he wrote numerous
articles of a more popular kind, and he produced a number of excellent
manuals for students on subjects connected with forest, agricultural
and pathological botany. Activity so strenuous almost exceeds the
limits of human possibility.

Under the influence of Sachs, Ward might have become a distinguished
morphologist. But his work in Ceylon led him into a field of research
from which he never deviated. A survey of his performance as a
whole, such as I have attempted, has a scientific interest of its
own. His research was not haphazard. A continuous and developing
thread of thought runs through it all. The fundamental problem was
the transference of the nutrition of one organism to the service of
another. Of this, in Ceylon, Ward found himself confronted with two
extreme types, and of both he made an exhaustive study. In Hemileia it
was ruthless parasitism; in Strigula advantageous commensalism. Bornet
put Schwendener's theory on a firm foundation when he effected the
synthesis of a lichen; Ward, in another group, did the same thing for
the ginger-beer plant. In such cases the partnership is beneficial. The
problem is to trace the process by which one partner gets the upper
hand and becomes merely predatory. Ward inherited a strong taste for
music, though I believe he never cultivated it. A musical simile may
not inappropriately be applied to his work. In its whole it presents
itself to me as a symphony in which the education of protoplasm is a
recurring _leit-motiv_.

A few words must be said as to his personal characteristics. He had
all the qualifications for the kind of research to which he devoted
himself. He was singularly dexterous and skilful in manipulation. He
was a refined and accomplished draughtsman, and was therefore able
to do himself justice by illustration. He was rigorous in demanding
exhaustive proof. This almost deteriorated into a defect. He would
pursue every side issue which presented itself in a research, and was
quite content if it led to nothing. He would say in such a case: "I
will not leave a stone unturned." He was apt, too, I think, to attack
a problem in too generalised a form. In his nitrogen work it always
seemed to me that he wasted energy on remote possibilities, when a
clean-cut line of attack would have served him better[134]. But his
mind worked in that way, and he could not help himself. It was, I
think, one of the most fertile in suggestion that I ever came across.
In later years, in conversation especially, thought seemed to come
quicker than words to express it. In this respect he reminded one of
Lord Kelvin. In such a predicament he would simply remain silent, and
slowly move his head. This habit, I think, explains the reputation
of being "mysterious" which he seems to have acquired latterly at

He was not without the honour at home which he deserved, apart from
the affection of his friends, and had he lived would doubtless have
received it from abroad. He was elected F.R.S. in 1888, and received
the Royal Medal in 1893. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Christ's
College in 1897, and received an Honorary D.Sc. from the Victoria
University in 1902.

Botanical science could ill spare his loss at the early age of 52. But
it may be grateful for 25 years of illuminating achievement. It might
have been hoped that another quarter of a century would be allotted to
one so gifted. But if the "inexorabile fatum" decreed otherwise, he is
at least to be numbered amongst those of whom it may be said

  "Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas."


[134] NOV. 1911. I must guard myself against the implication that
Marshall Ward's method was wrong in principle. For as pointed out by
Prof. Turner in his "Address to the Mathematical and Physical Section"
of the British Association at Portsmouth the maxim of "leaving no stone
unturned" is identical with Prof. Chamberlin's "Method of Multiple
Working Hypotheses." And what is at first sight an unlikely hypothesis
may turn out to be the true one. Yet the rigorous application of the
method is time-consuming and life is short. Some liberty of selection
in testing the hypothesis that seems most probable must be allowed the
investigator, and the instinct of genius may sometimes hit on the right



  Medicine and Botany--James Sutherland--enforced retirement--the
  Prestons--Charles Alston--his career--John Hope--Physiological
  leanings--Daniel Rutherford--Robert Graham--John Hutton
  Balfour--characteristics--Botanic Society of Edinburgh
  founded--appointed to Glasgow--transfer to Edinburgh--his
  numerous activities--laboratory teaching established--field
  excursions--Ecology--attitude to Darwinism--Alexander Dickson--work
  in Organography--his versatility.

My task in the warring against oblivion typified in these addresses is
to speak about John Hutton Balfour of Edinburgh, one of the botanical
teachers of the middle of last century, whose pupils were numbered by
thousands, and whose active life bridged the period of the passing of
the old and the birth of the new outlook upon science through Darwin's
work; and in relation to what I have to say of him I propose to sketch
briefly the stages and development of botanical teaching in Edinburgh
from the date when systematised attention was first given to it.

Of the well-recognised fact that the study of Botany as a science
has been, to begin with, dependent on Medicine my story furnishes an
excellent illustration.

Only towards the end of the seventeenth century had the advance in
practice of Medicine in Edinburgh reached a stage which gave urgency
to a movement for the improvement in the training of the medical man,
and the protection of the public from the attentions of inefficient
votaries of the healing art. The foundation of the Royal College of
Physicians in 1681 gave expression to the co-operative principle in
the control of those who would profess Medicine; the creation of a
Botanic Garden for the purpose of the cultivation of medicinal plants
was the response in the direction of safeguarding the practitioner
against the herbalist, and of giving him the advantage of a correct
knowledge of the plants which were the source of the drugs he himself
was to compound. Before this time, whilst many practitioners could grow
drug-plants for themselves, and did so, the majority were at the mercy
of the herbalist.

Two Edinburgh physicians--(Sir) Robert Sibbald and (Sir) Andrew
Balfour--conspicuous among their fellows for their activity in
promoting the cause of medical education and in the planning of the
Royal College of Physicians, were the pioneers of the study of Botany
as a science. Determined that the apprentices in Medicine should have
adequate opportunity of learning the sources of many of the drugs in
use, they acquired a lease of a small area of land in the neighbourhood
of Holyrood Palace in which they arranged to cultivate medicinal
plants, stocking it from their own gardens and from those of friends.
They secured the services of James Sutherland--described as "knowing"
in these matters--and placed their small garden under his care, with
the obligation that he should instruct the apprentices and lieges in
Botany. Sutherland cultivated his plants so well, and the instruction
which he gave was so satisfactory, that ere long--no doubt through
Sibbald's influence at Court--a portion of the Royal Flower Garden at
Holyrood Palace was assigned for the cultivation of medicinal plants,
and thither was transferred the collection already made in the hired
area. Thus was founded, with the title of Physick Garden, a Royal
Botanic Garden in Scotland, and the first Profession of Botany was set
up therein by James Sutherland.

Of the earlier years of Sutherland we have no record. His success as a
teacher induced the Town Council of Edinburgh--the body in which was
vested at the time all the patronage of the University--to institute
a Chair of Botany in the University, and to provide for practical
teaching in another Botanic Garden belonging to the town. Sutherland
was appointed to the Professorship and also to take charge of this
new Town Garden, which, it may interest those who at the present day
pass through the Waverley Railway Station to know, occupied a portion
of the site of that station. Both these gardens were at some distance
from the University, and apparently to save the time of the University
students, perhaps also to create a teaching garden entirely within the
jurisdiction of the College authorities, another portion of ground
occupying a part of the Kirk o' Field, notorious as the place of
Darnley's murder, was transformed into a herb-garden. Thus within a few
years from the beginning of the movement for the providing of adequate
facilities to students for learning about plants, three Botanic Gardens
were made available.

During Sutherland's tenure of the Professorship teaching was given
by him in these different gardens. It would appear, however, that
Sutherland was at heart a numismatist, and whilst during the early
period of his incumbency of office he had corresponded with many
botanical institutions abroad, had introduced to the gardens new
species of plants--many of them now established in the flora--and had
published in 1683 a _Catalogue of the plants in the Physical Garden_,
in later years his interest was centred in coins and medals. So great
was the obsession that the patrons of the University, dissatisfied with
his botany, compelled him to resign his Chair in 1706, to which they
appointed Charles Preston, but Sutherland retained, until he retired
in 1715, charge of the Royal Botanic Garden at Holyrood, of which by
Royal Warrant he had been made Keeper with the additional personal
recognition of Botanist to the King in Scotland. Thus the increase in
number of gardens extended to the Professors, and from 1706 onwards to
1739 there were two rival Botanical Schools in Edinburgh--that of the
Royal Garden, and that of the University.

Sutherland's place in relation to the development of scientific
Botany in Scotland is that of pioneer in the teaching of systematic
Botany from the living plants in relation to Materia Medica, and
of first custodian and cultivator of plants for instruction in a
public garden. His _Catalogue_ is now a book of some rarity--of great
rarity in complete state owing to the number of cancel pages--and its
reproduction at the present time would have interest alike scientific
and historic. It is the first published record of a collection of
cultivated plants in Scotland. It tells us the plants which were
recognised as indigenous at its date, and from its record we can by
correlation with information otherwise obtainable discover the time of
introduction to Scotland of alien plants, and thus obtain a basis for
gauging their influence on the native Flora as we know it now.

Charles Preston who stepped into the University Chair of Botany vacated
in 1706 by Sutherland, was a medical man, an active correspondent of
Sloan, Pettiver, and other scientific men in the south. On his death
in 1712, after a short tenure of office, George Preston his brother
succeeded him and filled the chair until 1739. Both of the Prestons
seem to have been chiefly interested in the Materia Medica side of
Botany and their teaching was on the lines of it. They are referred to
by their contemporaries as men of botanical knowledge and of critical
judgment, and their correspondence indicates that they were in touch
with the botanical life of their time. Their work in teaching was
always in rivalry with that at the Royal Physick Garden. At first no
doubt it was effective and useful owing to Sutherland's neglect of
his garden, but when a capable active scientific Professor was placed
in charge of this Garden the case for such rivalry and duplication
of effort ceased, and it is no surprise therefore to find that when
a vacancy occurred in 1739 the University Chair was filled by the
appointment of the King's Botanist in Charge of the Royal Physick
Garden, who was then Dr Charles Alston. And this combination continues
to our own time by mutual consent of the Crown and the University.

Sutherland's retirement in 1715 from the Royal Physick Garden four
years before his death, which took place in 1719 when he was over
80 years of age, may have been determined by his incapacity for the
duties, but it is probable other influences were effective especially
as the office of King's Botanist was a Household Appointment and only
during pleasure. Were I merely to tell of incidents in the history of
Botany in Edinburgh I would here introduce the story of Dr William
Arthur, Sutherland's successor at the Royal Garden. Arthur has no
botanical claims, but had influential political friends whose zeal
on his behalf he ill requited by becoming one of the leaders in the
Jacobite plot to capture the Castle of Edinburgh in 1715. Having failed
in the attempt he escaped to Italy, where in 1716 he died from a
surfeit of figs! Ignoble fate for a King's Botanist!

A man of real distinction now comes into our botanical history in
Charles Alston--a clear observer and experimenter.

Charles Alston, born 24th October, 1685, was the third son of Thomas
Alston, M.A. of Edinburgh and M.D. of Caen, one of an old Lanarkshire
family settled at Thrinacre Milne and connected with the house of
Hamilton. After boyhood at Hamilton, Alston went to the University of
Glasgow, but before the period for graduation his father died leaving
a widow and large family poorly provided for and young Alston's
University career was stopped. Through the intervention of the Duchess
of Hamilton Alston was then apprenticed in 1703 to a lawyer with a
view to his entering the Estates Office of the Hamilton family. But
"anatomy and the shops were more agreeable to him than Style Books or
the Parliament House" and his "genius inclined more to Medicine," and
in 1709 when the Duchess took him into her service as her "Principal
Servant," in which position "he had aboundance of spare time," "he
ply'd close the Mathematics and whatever else he thought of use to a
student of Medicine, particularly Botany." With this training Alston,
through the influence of the Hamilton family, was made King's Botanist,
Professor of Botany, and Keeper of the Royal Physick Garden in 1716
after the disappearance of Dr Arthur.

He adopted a wise course on succession. Having put the Garden in such
order as he could he hied himself to Leyden in 1718 to study under
Boerhaave, and returning thence in August 1719 he graduated in Medicine
at the University of Glasgow, became Fellow of the Royal College of
Physicians, and in June 1720 was able to begin his botanical lectures
in the Garden, followed in November by a course on Materia Medica.
These courses he carried on until 1739 when he was given the University
Chair of Botany and Materia Medica, and the two Botany Schools were
thus merged in one. Alston was now colleague of Munro, Rutherford,
Sinclair, and other famous men who at this time were increasing the
reputation of the University as a Medical School, and he continued to
teach Botany and Materia Medica until his death in 1760.

Alston's teaching was mainly directed to the Materia Medica. His
full course of lectures on the subject prepared for publication by
himself appeared only as a posthumous work edited by his successor
Dr Hope, and they reflect the best knowledge of the time, showing
rational scepticism of the efficacy of many simples which experiment
had not tested. Essays "On Opium," and "On tin as anthelmintic," and
an "Index of Simples" published by him tell of his pharmacological
investigations, to which his correspondence with Fothergill and
others is also witness. The subject in this line to which he gave
most attention and on which he wrote three dissertations based on
experiments is that of Quicklime and Water--its efficacy in Calculus
and also as an agent for keeping water sweet. From Alston, Stephen
Hales, then in touch with the Admiralty upon questions of ventilation
and other matters of sanitation, obtained early suggestions, and a long
correspondence followed.

Alston, who had to earn his livelihood by medical practice, gave much
time to the administration of the Botanic Gardens under his charge, and
the elaborate lists which he prepared showing the disposition of plants
in the Gardens, witness to his interest in their cultivation. His
predilection in systematic arrangement was Tournefortian, and on the
promulgation by Linnaeus of his "sexual system" in 1736, no writer was
more trenchant than Alston in opposition to it, and by this he became
widely known. His criticism was directed against it, not as a method
of arranging plants by readily recognised characters, but from the
standpoint of denial of the existence of sex. By various experiments
as well as by argument, Alston endeavoured to disprove the necessity
of the stamens for the development of fertile seed, citing cases of
seed-production where no application of the "dust" from the stamens was
possible--thus early recognising conditions which puzzled botanists for
many generations afterwards and until the explanation of apogamy was
supplied. One is tempted to wonder whether if the Linnaean system had
not received the appellation "sexual" it would have roused the same
condemnation from him as it did.

From his published work, notably the _Dissertation on Botany_ (1754)
a translation of a portion of his earlier _Tirocinium Botanicum
Edinburgense_ (1740), as also from some MS. of his lectures which still
exist, we recognise the clearness and vigour of mind of Alston, and
the precision of the man is made abundantly evident in the beautiful
copper-plate writing in old script of his MS. Page after page is
filled without blot or correction, and the whole systematised and
arranged without flaw. Anatomical questions were dealt with by him in
consonance with the knowledge of the time, mainly resting on Malpighi;
but there is no rational treatment of physiological subjects, and this
is the more surprising inasmuch as he was in intimate correspondence
with Hales, and ought to have been acquainted with the fundamental
experimental work of that physiologist. It may be that the fragments
of record from which we have to judge are insufficient for correct
appraisement, but on all the evidence we possess we must conclude
that the two volumes of his _Materia Medica_ give us a picture of the
direction of his teaching, and that Botany in the hands of its leading
expositor in Edinburgh was at this period only a hand-maid to Medicine.

The advent of Alston's successor, John Hope, was the dawn of new
things. The influence of the work of Hales had reached Edinburgh.
Comparatively few botanists of to-day have heard the name of John
Hope otherwise than as that of a correspondent of Linnaeus and
protagonist in this country of his system of classification, for these
are the claims to distinction assigned to him by the historians of
British Botany; and if one reckons the value of a man's life-work in
science by his published writings alone, that of John Hope would be a
minimum; for only such papers as those "On Rheum palmatum," "On Ferula
Assafoetida," "On Eriocaulon septangulare in Scotland," are extant
from his pen. Yet John Hope was a botanist inspired by the spirit of
research who obtained by scientific experimental work and explained
to his pupils facts of plant physiology some of which the botanical
world learned from other workers only a hundred years afterwards. It is
difficult to account for Hope's reticence. It may be that he intended
to give his work to the world in the book upon Botany which had engaged
his attention for many years and of which the MS. was in great part
ready at the time of his unexpected death in 1786--if so, the botanical
world has been the poorer through the want of Hope's book.

But if Hope did not give cause by published contributions to natural
knowledge for his recognition in promoting the advance of Botany,
he has always been remembered with gratitude for services of
administration which he was peculiarly fitted to render and which
profoundly affected the study of Botany in Edinburgh.

John Hope was born 10th May, 1725. The son of Robert Hope, a surgeon
in Edinburgh, whose father had become one of the Senators of the
College of Justice with the title of Lord Rankeillour. Educated at a
famous school in Dalkeith, John Hope, who early showed a liking for
Botany, entered the University of Edinburgh as a medical student and
became a pupil of Alston. His botanical inclinations tempted him to
break the course of his medical studies in Edinburgh to study Botany
under Bernard de Jussieu in Paris. Returning to Scotland he graduated
in Medicine from the University of Glasgow in 1750, joined the Royal
College of Physicians in Edinburgh and began medical practice,
giving to Botany such time as could be spared from the many ties of
a successful practice. In 1760 Alston died, and John Hope became
his successor, first of all in 1761 as King's Botanist at Holyrood
and subsequently as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica in the

Soon after appointment Hope recognised that to continue to hold
"colleges" in Materia Medica meant spoliation of his botanical work.
The time had come for a separation of the two subjects of Botany and
Materia Medica. Problems of the former now pressing were not those
specially relating to medicinal plants. He therefore managed to carry
through an arrangement by which he retained a chair as Professor
of Medicine and Botany, and a new Professorship of Materia Medica
was created. The importance of this step for botanical progress was
great--it was not merely a question of time occupied but of scientific

Another movement in the direction of concentration of effort in
the cause of Botany was initiated by Hope early in his official
career--that for the creation of a new Botanic Garden in a locality
outside the immediate influence of town atmosphere, in which the
collections distributed over the Holyrood and Town Gardens could be
combined. He accomplished his design, and not only this, but obtained
from the Crown a permanent endowment for the new Garden. This was no
small achievement--but the omens were favourable, for those patrons
of science the Earl of Bute and, later, the Duke of Portland, were in
power when the Professor made use of the great influence which his
family possessed to secure his ends. A spreading city in time made the
location of Hope's new Garden unsuitable, and it was transferred to
the present site; but it was the effort by Hope which gave the Botanic
Garden, and through it Botany, a status among institutions requiring
subsidy and maintenance by Government in Scotland, and the obligation
so imposed has been upheld notwithstanding an attempt in later years
on the part of the Government to get rid of it--an attempt which the
short-sighted policy of the University nearly allowed to succeed.

Hope's duties in his University Chair required of him, in addition to
his botanical work, clinical teaching in the Hospital, and he also
engaged in practice--this for a livelihood--and took active share
in the affairs of the Royal College of Physicians, of which he was
President at the time of his death, which occurred in 1786. Botany
could therefore claim but a portion of his time.

Having established the new Garden, he laboured with assiduity to lay it
out effectively, and then to enrich it with plants. His own ardour and
enthusiasm impressed others, and his pupils in all parts of the world
contributed to making the Garden a renowned collection of the rarest
plants. Here Hope met his students, and here he carried out his many
physiological experiments which gave them instruction.

His teaching was comprehensive. Although no longer tied by the calls
of his Materia Medica, Hope did not ignore the subject entirely, but
plants in this relation were not the groundwork of his instruction.
Systematic and descriptive Botany, recognition of herbs, still found
a place in it. In Alston the most strenuous opponent of the Linnaean
method had gone; it found in Hope a no less strenuous advocate, to
whose influence its rapid adoption in this country owed much. To what
extent Hope made excursions with his pupils, there is no evidence. His
_Hortus Siccus_ and lists of plants with localities show that he was
a field-botanist, and in correspondence with, if not more intimately
acquainted with, the botanists who were working out the Scottish Flora
at the period--such men, for instance, as Lightfoot, Stuart, Robertson.
This we do know, that he encouraged his pupils to investigate the Flora
of Scotland, giving yearly a gold medal for the best Herbarium, and
Hope's "peripatetic pupils" is a designation met with in literature of
the time. This aspect of Hope's teaching, consonant with the features
of the botanical literature of the period, is that which has been
commonly known. It is not however a complete picture. In Hope Scotland
had a physiologist of originality and skill--who was not only informed
upon the work of Hales, Duhamel, Mariotte and others, but who made his
own experiments, clearly devised and effective, and whose catholicity
is attested by his dealing with such problems as growth in length and
thickness, effect of light and gravity, movement of water, healing of
wounds, and the like. This physiology was an essential element of his
teaching, and the effect upon students of contact with such direct
wresting of truth from Nature must have been immense. Our knowledge
of all this, only recently acquired, throws a new light upon Hope's
character, and upon the influence which he appears to have exercised
on the education of the time. The pity is that he left no published
records, and that this bright period of brilliant research should
have become obscured by the scholasticism inherent in the method of
classification which he himself did so much to popularise.

In accordance with tradition, the Chair vacated by Hope was filled
by the election of another medical practitioner in Edinburgh. Daniel
Rutherford was born in Edinburgh 3rd November, 1749, the son of Dr
John Rutherford, who as Professor was associated with Alston and
others in the reformation of the Edinburgh Medical School. He was
distinguished both as a classical scholar and as a mathematician, and
after graduating M.A. at the University of Edinburgh, he entered on the
medical curriculum, obtaining his diploma of M.D. in 1772. His thesis,
when applying for the degree, was "De aero fixo dicto aut Mephitico,"
and by this he became famous through the distinction he established
in it between carbonic acid gas and nitrogen, though he did not give
nitrogen its name. The exposition he gave of his precise experimental
work has been allowed to entitle him to be regarded as the discoverer
of nitrogen, although shortly before the appearance of his thesis
Priestley had practically, if less methodically, covered the ground.
After graduation, Rutherford travelled in France and Italy, returning
to Edinburgh in 1775 to begin the practice of Medicine, becoming
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, of which he was afterwards

Rutherford was a chemist, and I have not discovered in any references
to him expressions that would show he was at this period of his life
interested in plants otherwise than as objects for his experiments in
relation to the chemistry of the atmosphere. In seeking for a reason
to explain his selection as Hope's successor in the Chair of Medicine
and Botany, one may suggest either the general one of recognition of
his scientific ability, or the more special one that in experimenting
with plants he had been following on the lines of work so conspicuously
developed by Hope. And of course at that time some general knowledge of
Botany had to be the possession of every successful physician.

Like his predecessors, Rutherford had to undertake clinical teaching
in the Hospital; he maintained also his private practice, and was
keenly interested in the active literary world of his day in which his
nephew (Sir) Walter Scott was a brilliant star. The Botanic Garden
continued to hold its place as a scientific institution, and from
the advent of William McNab as Principal Gardener in 1810, developed
into one of the best known in the world. The recording of the plants
of Scotland also proceeded apace; two of the Principal Gardeners of
the Edinburgh Garden during Rutherford's Keepership--John Mackay
from 1800-1802, and George Don from 1802-1806--being foremost in
making known its floristic features, and their work Rutherford must
have encouraged. From MS. notes of his lectures, I gather that the
biological did not attract Rutherford, nor does it appear in the scanty
records available that any special development of teaching equipment or
of method took place during his tenure of office.

For some years before his death in 1819 Rutherford had been infirm; and
speculation as to his successor had been rife. Robert Brown and Sir
James Edward Smith were both spoken of. When the vacancy came Robert
Brown refused it and Robert Graham, then Professor in the University of
Glasgow, was appointed.

Robert Graham was born at Stirling 3rd December, 1786, the third son of
Dr Robert Graham of Stirling (afterwards Moir of Leckie). After early
education at Stirling, Graham was apprenticed in 1804 to Mr Andrew
Wood, Surgeon in Edinburgh, and entered on the study of Medicine at
the University, graduating M.D. in 1808. Thereafter he studied at St
Bartholomew's Hospital in London for a year before settling in Glasgow,
where he was also Lecturer in Clinical Medicine. During this period he
published a dissertation "On continued Fever."

Botany in the University of Glasgow at this time had not reached
the dignity of having a Professorship. It was attached to the Chair
of Anatomy, but a separate lecturer undertook its teaching. To this
lectureship Graham was appointed in succession to Dr Brown. This
appointment was the prelude to his election as Professor in 1818 when
the Chair of Botany was founded--a foundation which owed much to him
through his influence with the Duke of Montrose, then Chancellor of the
University, of whose house he was a cadet. One of the first efforts of
Graham in his new position was directed to the completion of a scheme
that was making for the formation of a Botanic Garden. In this he
succeeded, and botanical teaching in Glasgow was thus equipped in 1819.

From this sphere in which he had initiated so much, Graham came to
Edinburgh in 1820 as Professor of Medicine and Botany and was forced
again to take up medical practice and clinical teaching in the
Hospital, and in consequence to interest himself in the affairs of the
Royal College of Physicians, of which he became President--all this, as
in the case of his predecessors, in addition to his botanical work.

His first labour in relation to Botany was to transfer the Botanic
Garden which Hope had made to a new site--that which it now occupies.
Nearly two years were required to carry out the removal, to the
success of which the skill of William McNab, the Principal Gardener,
contributed greatly.

During the whole tenure of his offices Graham devoted himself to
the affairs of this Garden, and often in the very practical way of
supplying funds from his own resources to supplement the inadequate
grants obtained from Government. It gave him the material for the
description of many new species which were figured in the _Botanical
Magazine_ and other like periodicals. This systematic botanical work
was that which Graham cared for most, it was the backbone of his
teaching, and all of his scattered papers deal with this aspect of the

In connection with his teaching Graham developed specially the
botanical excursion for the study of Field Botany, making it an
integral part of his courses, and in furtherance of its aims travelling
far through Scotland--a business of a much more arduous nature in days
when railways and motors had not annihilated distance and provided
all the comforts of civilisation within easy reach of every district.
Graham had intended to publish a _Flora_ of Scotland as the result of
his practical study of its plants, but it was uncompleted at the time
of his death in 1845 after an illness of some duration during which
(Sir) Joseph Dalton Hooker acted as _locum tenens_.

Another new method in his teaching was that of encouraging students to
write essays upon subjects either practical or theoretical. In this he
stimulated investigation. Students in these days had more time than
they have now to devote to such things, and of their efforts some were
sound pieces of research--the _Botanical Geography_ of Hewitt C. Watson
first took form in one of these essays.

John Hutton Balfour[135], who succeeded Graham, was born in Edinburgh
15th September, 1808. The eldest son of Andrew Balfour, surgeon in the
Army, who afterwards settled in Edinburgh as printer and publisher,
in which business his enterprise was adequate to the venture of the
_Edinburgh Encyclopaedia_ under the editorship of (Sir) David Brewster.
Andrew Balfour was a grim old presbyterian of the stuff covenanters
were made, and in the strict home environment which he created young
Balfour early came into touch with theological dogma. The echo of these
early impressions remained with him throughout life.

Educated at the High School of Edinburgh where he laid the
foundation of sound classical scholarship--always his unobtrusive
distinction--Balfour entered the curriculum for the Arts degree at the
University. Before completing this he migrated to St Andrews in order
to be under the influence of Professor Thomas Chalmers--the famous
Divine, afterwards leader in the disruption that founded the Free
Church of Scotland--in conformity with the desire of his father that
he should become a minister in the Church of Scotland. But Divinity
did not claim him and he returned to Edinburgh to begin the study of
Medicine--a decision in face of family pressure which is tribute to
the strength of purpose which characterised him and found expression
frequently in after life.

At the beginning of this renewed Edinburgh curriculum Balfour attended
the Botany course of Professor Graham in 1825, and obtained his first
scientific instruction in Botany--a subject for which he had always
shown fondness. Robert Dickson, afterwards Lecturer on Botany at St
George's Hospital, London, was a fellow-student, and together they,
in this and following years, made many botanical excursions about
Edinburgh. With his fellows Balfour seems to have been _bon camarade_,
acquired all the ephemeral distinction attaching to a facile writer
of rhymed couplets for occasions, and as an inveterate maker of puns
was in demand for the office of punster at the convivial clubs of
the period. A mark of more serious attainment--he was President of
the Royal Medical Society in two years. After graduation as M.D.,
when he also became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in
Edinburgh--his thesis for the former being "De Strychnia," for the
latter "On Purulent Wounds"--Balfour went in 1832 to Paris to continue
his medical education, studying there under Dupuytren, Lisfranc, and
Manec. Returning, he settled in Edinburgh in 1834 and entered on
practice, becoming assistant within and without the University to Sir
George Ballingall, Professor of Military Surgery. Amongst his patients
he numbered De Quincey and his family. De Quincey's eldest son died
from a cerebral complaint, and the autopsy revealed an interesting
pathological condition which formed the subject of Balfour's
investigation, and an account of it his first published scientific

From the claims of Medicine Balfour could wrest little time for
botanical pursuits, but his holiday always meant the botanical
exploration of some area, preferably alpine, and his home became a
centre for men of kindred tastes. There in co-operation with his old
teacher Graham, and with Greville, Forbes, Falconer, Parnell, Munby and
others, was instituted in 1836 the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, with
wide aims for the promotion of Botany--amongst them the creation of a
botanical library and a herbarium. This has proved a signal service
to science. It was the pegging out of a claim which has been made
effective. The Society after a life--as with all such societies--of
fluctuating periods of greater and lesser activity, flourishes still,
and its library and herbarium, transferred to the Crown when the space
demand of their bulk became urgent, have been the foundation for the
large botanical library and herbarium now maintained and subsidised by
Government in the Royal Botanic Garden.

Plants gradually drew Balfour away from patients and in 1840 he carried
the divorce so far as to establish himself as a teacher of Botany
in the Extra-mural Medical School in Edinburgh--that exemplar of
free-trade in teaching--from which so many of the famous occupants of
Chairs in the University have entered its portals. But only in 1842,
when Sir William Hooker moved to Kew and a vacancy was then caused in
the Glasgow Chair of Botany to which Balfour was elected, was he able
to give up medical practice entirely.

In Glasgow the first years of Balfour's botanical career were spent,
but they were few. On the death of Graham he returned to Edinburgh
as Professor of Medicine and Botany and Keeper of the Royal Botanic
Garden--the electors passing over Joseph Dalton Hooker also a
candidate. In the sphere of these offices the rest of his active life
was passed until his retirement in 1879. He came to the University
of Edinburgh at a time when the reputation of its medical school was
upheld by a remarkable band of teachers in the Medical Faculty--Allen
Thomson, Alison, Christison, Goodsir, Gregory, Jameson, Simpson,
Syme--and when the struggle of the University after a revised
constitution was approaching the climax reached in 1858, when with
other Scottish Universities Edinburgh obtained autonomy, and science
was enfranchised. Of this Faculty he became Dean, and held office until
close upon the time when he became Emeritus. In all the discussions
and controversies, destructive and constructive, that attached to so
weighty a crisis, Balfour's influence and outlook for science were
used with effect, and no less influential were his action and advice
in subsequent years when the specific question of medical reform was
raised, as it so often was.

Absorbing administrative work of this kind, to which were soon added
the duties of a Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh--(and
he remained in the Secretariat to the end of his active life)--as
well as those of an editor of the _Edinburgh New Philosophical
Journal_--(afterwards merged in the _Annals and Magazine of Natural
History_)--of Secretary of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society
and of other offices, made inroad alike upon time and energy of a man
who had also the administration of the Royal Botanic Garden in his
hands, as well as the calls of his Professorship of Botany to attend
to. But Balfour was untiring in industry, prompt and precise in method,
and administrative work appealed to him.

Though liable like his predecessors to undertake clinical medical
teaching, Balfour, save for occasionally acting as _locum tenens_, took
no share in it, and his energies in teaching were devoted to Botany. On
the lines he followed he was pioneer. We have seen that Field Botany
had been for several decades a characteristic of the Edinburgh Botanic
School. Whilst maintaining this feature, Balfour added laboratory work.
The word "laboratory" was not then in vogue, and "microscopical room"
was the designation of the new domain in which the "guillotine," not
the "microtome," was used. In the sphere of practical teaching this was
a notable advance, and the more so when the technical difficulties that
had to be overcome are remembered--the days of cheap microscopes were
but beginning, aniline dyes were not yet. Nevertheless the student of
the time had opportunity were he so minded of examining plant-form and
plant-structure for himself under direction, and if the equipment for
work were not so perfect mechanically as modern methods now permit of,
the training in minute observation was no less excellent than that of
to-day, and the educational effect of the teaching no less valuable.
The scheme of work was that of the text-books--passing progressively
from tissues to organs vegetative and reproductive both phanerogamic
and cryptogamic. The specialisation of the type system had not come.

Before he was able to establish, as he did in the early fifties,
practical laboratory classes, Balfour had introduced a system of
demonstrations of microscopic objects and of physiological experiments
in illustration daily of the subject of his lecture, and it is
testimony to his power of infusing zeal in pupils that there was
always a contingent of them ready to come to the Botanic Garden at six
o'clock in the morning to give voluntary aid in the arranging of these
demonstrations for the lecture at eight o'clock. Many of those who came
have recorded that they found that period and its work one of the most
inspiring in their student history.

This new departure in teaching did not interfere with the continuation
and extension of field-work, which up to this time had been the form of
practical study cultivated in Edinburgh. On the contrary the Botanical
Excursion gave Balfour an outlet for energy and favourable opportunity
for the exercise of those gifts of personal magnetism and intellectual
stimulus through which he influenced and guided many generations of
students. Every Saturday during the summer session an excursion was
made, and one of some days' duration usually brought the session to
a close. Through these excursions the greater part of Scotland was
traversed--on one occasion the terminal excursion of the session was to
Switzerland--and the features of flora and vegetation were brought to
the attention of many hundreds of students.

The aim and result of the excursion were not solely the acquisition
of plants and their identification. The stimulating effect on many of
this side of Botany is evidenced even in our day by the zeal with which
search after rare plants is pursued, and in the eagerness displayed
in the race after micro-forms. But the enticement of acquisition and
discovery of novelty whilst there were not the governing influences
in Balfour's excursion. In touch as he was with the problems of
organography in its fullest sense, a man of wide reading familiar with
the botanical work of his time, and associated as he had been in the
field with men like Edward Forbes and Hewett Cottrell Watson, Balfour
could and did look at plants from the standpoint of their place in
vegetation, and in relation to the conditions of growth, and as having
a history in their habitat. His teaching reflected this. It was never
classification, diagnosis, and nomenclature as the end-all of Botany.
The details emphasised changed as the progress of botanical discovery
gave new clues to explanation of form and relation, and it was the
solvings and attempts at solvings of observed phenomena that gave that
fascination to his excursions, the remembrance of which seems to have
clung to those who had the fortune to join them. The succession of
plants and plant-form from base to summit of a highland hill; contrasts
of vegetation of stream-course, mountain pasture, alpine rock; high
mountain forms of shore plants; intrusion and extirpation; factors
of distribution and their influence;--those and other problems of
what we now term Ecological Botany were themes on which the Professor
discoursed in his rambles, filling the pupil with information and
forcing him to think out to such conclusion as he might on the evidence
before him. And then the whole occasion was so enlivened by the outgo
of good humour and mirth in joke and pun and story, that fatigue and
weariness, which the physical exercise might evoke in those less
attuned than the wiry Professor, were drowned in the sunny current of

I mention this practical teaching first, for it was the characteristic
feature, but the idea of practical illustration pervaded all Balfour's
effort. His lecture table became a synopsis of the lecture--living
plants, herbarium material, museum specimens, all were pressed into
service to elucidate the points of the discourse, whilst the walls
were tapestried by diagrams. Never did teacher more sedulously absorb
the new for presentation to his pupils. He was a lucid expositor, and,
apart from his University lectures, during many years was sought after
for more popular discourses to non-academic audiences.

The period of Balfour's teaching included the momentous year
1860. The impulse of the new spirit introduced by Darwin did not
stimulate Balfour as it might have done a younger man. His religious
beliefs--always in evidence--were showing then the influence of his
early environment, and whilst Darwin's work was incorporated in his
teaching, the acceptance of Darwin's theory appeared too near the
negation of faith. On Balfour indeed, as on others with like views,
the immediate effect of the _Origin_ was the opposite of vivifying.
It gave a shock. And this, I conceive, not so much a consequence of
Darwin's own statement of his theory as of the forceful uncompromising
attitude of the chief protagonist of his cause. Arrogance there was
on the religious side, but no less also on the scientific side in the
discussion. Perhaps it was well that the contest was sharp and bitter.
It ended sooner, but its course was strewn with misconceptions and with
confusion of cause and effect. In our days of complete reconciliation,
when every tyro lisps in phyletic numbers as the outcome of Darwin's
work, it is not amiss to recall the struggle at its inception--lest we

The system of Essays which formed so important a part of Graham's
teaching remained as prominent and was even developed further in
Balfour's course in a way which had the inestimable merit of making
the student feel that his study of plants had a living relationship
with the everyday concerns of life. Thus when Simpson was engaged
in his epoch-making investigations on anaesthetics, the subject for
an essay was the effect of anaesthetics on sensitive plants, and by
way of emphasis, the prize awarded was a gift by Simpson himself.
Similarly Balfour enlisted the sympathy of Messrs Lawson, the prominent
agricultural nurserymen of the day, and their prizes for dissection
of grasses, for kinds of cereals, and like subjects, were constant
reminders of the relations of botanical study to agriculture. The
subjects of essays covered a wide field. The titles--influence of
narcotic and irritant gases, changes which have taken place in the
Flora of Britain during the historical era, cytogenesis and cell
development, phanerogamous embryology, cryptogamous reproduction,
teratology--may serve to indicate this, and an essential was always the
practical illustration, microscopic or other.

For the use of the students Balfour compiled text-books which, like his
lectures, are comprehensive in the field they cover, and encyclopaedic
in the information they convey. His facile pen found expression too in
numberless articles in encyclopaedias and magazines, and his activity
as an expositor of botanical topics of the time was unbounded.

In the Botanic Garden Balfour obtained the material for the definite
contributions he made to natural knowledge which are in the domain
of Systematic Botany. No work in which Balfour engaged gave him more
genuine pleasure than the administration of the Botanic Garden.
Entering on the responsibility of its care when its repute was high,
he left it on laying down office in even higher reputation, for in the
McNabs--William and James--father and son--he had lieutenants of the
first rank in gardening. During his regime the equipment for laboratory
teaching to which reference has been made was installed, a museum to
which old pupils all over the world contributed was instituted, and the
Garden itself trebled in size, the latest addition, made just before
his retirement, being an area to be cultivated as an arboretum for
students of Forestry--a subject then beginning to claim attention.

With Balfour's retirement in 1879 the link of Botany with Medicine in
the University was still further weakened. Medicine was left out of the
title of the Chair to which Alexander Dickson succeeded.

Alexander Dickson of Hartree and Kilbucho was born at Edinburgh, 21st
July, 1836. He was the second son of David Dickson of Hartree in
Peeblesshire, and the representative of a family for long lairds of the
estates of which, by the early death of his elder brother, he became
proprietor. Educated privately, he entered the University of Edinburgh
as a student of Medicine, graduating in 1860. Before graduation he had
studied in Würzburg and in Berlin, particularly under Kölliker and
Virchow, and after it he embarked on the stream of medical practice in
Edinburgh. But that was convention--a demonstration of brass plate. His
means placed him beyond the necessity of such professional work. His
instinct lay in the direction of discovery of method more than in its
application. During his student days he had shown a keen interest in
Botany. Before graduation he had written on botanical subjects, and his
thesis on graduation "The development of the flower in Caryophyllaceae"
witnesses to his obsession. Whilst waiting for patients, he had
continued work on embryogeny in plants, and when in 1862 the ill
health of Professor Dickie at Aberdeen required the appointment of
a substitute, the selection of Dickson set seal to his claims as
a professed Botanist. In 1866 he succeeded Harvey as Professor in
Dublin. Thence in 1868 he was translated to Glasgow as successor to
Walker-Arnott, and in 1879 became Professor of Botany and Queen's
Botanist in Edinburgh on the retirement of Balfour, and, holding these
positions, he died in 1887.

Dickson's passion was not teaching, and his success is testimony to
the quality of the man. He was adored by his students, as could not
well be otherwise with a man of his geniality and kindliness; he took
immense pains over his lectures, spending hours daily over the making
of fresh drawings on the blackboard for his classes, holding that a
student would copy a temporary sketch although he would not copy a
permanent wall-diagram; the lecture itself was a model of scientific
presentment; at excursions he was untiring in demonstration and in
fruitful suggestion, and he was always ready to give of his best to
his pupils; but his real love was for research and he carried out
many organographical investigations which have added to the sum of
natural knowledge. His record in published papers far exceeds that of
any of his predecessors, and the quality of his work recalls that of
Irmisch. Flower-morphology, embryogeny, teratology, were the subjects
to which he gave most attention in research, and in them he obtained
results of solid and permanent value. For a time the subject of
phyllotaxy occupied him, but it is not a fruitful theme although it
gave him opportunity for showing his power of clear analysis; much more
interesting was his subsequent work on pitcher plants of kinds.

Dickson possessed great skill in manipulation, and was strikingly
effective in the use of his pencil in artistic delineation of the
objects of his investigation. Careful in his work he took endless pains
to secure that accuracy which it always shows. Further, his subject is
always illumined by the comparative method of treatment which his wide
knowledge and sound critical faculty enabled him to bring to bear upon

The duties of his lairdship were no light ones to Dickson who had set
himself to build up again what had come to him in an impoverished
condition, and affairs of Church and State were a very real interest to
him. Amidst all these ties, to which has to be added the administration
of the Botanic Garden, in which during his tenure a new and enlarged
Lecture Hall was built, he found time to cultivate the musical faculty
for which he was distinguished; not only was he a pianist of mark, but
he found absorbing zest in the collecting of national airs sung by the
peasants of Scotland.

In the line of Professors of Botany in Edinburgh no one ranked higher
in distinction than Alexander Dickson, with whose name I conclude this


[135] His portrait forms the frontispiece of this book.




  His long life--childhood and education--travels--Geological
  work--Morphological Memoirs--administrative duties--systematic
  works--relations with Darwin--acceptance of Mutability of
  Species--his philosophical Essays--their influence in advancing
  Evolutionary Belief.

It is a difficult task to condense within suitable limits an
appreciation of so long and strenuous a life as that of Sir Joseph
Hooker. Naturally with age the bodily strength waned, but the vivid
mind remained unimpaired to the end. He even continued his detailed
observations till very shortly before his death in December, 1911. The
list of his published works extends from 1837 to 1911, a record hardly
to be equalled in any walk of intellectual life.


(From the photograph by Mrs Cameron, 1868)]

Sir Joseph Hooker was born at Halesworth, in Suffolk, in 1817. His
father, Sir William Hooker, brought him to Glasgow as a child of four
years of age, when he entered on his duties as Professor of Botany
in 1821. The Professor established himself in Woodside Crescent,
conveniently near to the Botanic Garden, then but recently established,
but developing under his hands with wonderful rapidity. Doubtless his
little son was familiar with it and its contents from childhood. He
grew up in an atmosphere surcharged with the very science he was to
do so much to advance. His father's home was the scene of manifold
activities. It housed a rapidly growing herbarium and museum. It was
there that the drawings were made to illustrate that amazing stream of
descriptive works which Sir William was then producing. New species
must have been almost daily under examination, often as living
specimens. Between the garden and the house the boy must have witnessed
constantly, during the most receptive years of childhood, the working
of an establishment that was at the time without its equal in this
country, or probably in any other. The eye and the memory must have
been trained almost unconsciously. A knowledge of plants would be
acquired as a natural consequence of the surroundings, and without the
effort entailed by study in later years. Few ever have known, or ever
will know, plants as he did. Such knowledge comes only from growing up
with them from earliest childhood.

Side by side with this almost unconscious education in Botany the
ordinary curriculum of school and of college was pursued. There is
no record of academic successes either at the High School, or at the
University of Glasgow, beyond a prize "for the best Essay on the Brain
and Nerves," in 1836. But the following year saw his first publication:
for he described, while still a student, three new species of Mosses.
It may be remarked that, like his father, his first writings related
to the lower Plants. He never lost his interest in them, though in
later years duty diverted him to the study of the Flowering Plants. An
incident of his student period, which he himself relates, is, however,
a more clear indication of the life that was to follow than any early
publication of new species. He tells how an opportunity was given
him of reading the proofs of Darwin's _Voyage of the Beagle_. "I was
hurrying on my studies (that is for the final examination in Medicine)
... and so pressed for time was I that I used to sleep with the sheets
of 'The Journal' under my pillow, that I might read them between waking
and rising. They impressed me profoundly, whilst they stimulated me to
enthusiasm in the desire to travel and observe." The opportunity came
to him almost at once in the four years' voyage to the Antarctic. At
the age of 22, having passed his examinations, and graduated as M.D.,
he was equipped at every necessary point for his duties as Assistant
Surgeon and Botanist in the "Erebus," then about to start, along with
the "Terror," on the famous voyage under the command of Sir James Clark

No attempt will here be made to give any consecutive biographical
sketch of Sir Joseph Hooker. Several such have already appeared. The
interest of the reader will be more readily engaged by indicating
the various lines of activity in which he excelled. He was never a
professional teacher, except for a short period of service as deputy
for Graham in Edinburgh. There was a moment when he might have been
Professor in Edinburgh, but it passed. He left no pupils, except in
the sense that all botanists have learned from him through his books.
We shall contemplate him rather as a Traveller and Geographer, as a
Geologist, as a Morphologist, as an Administrator, as a Scientific
Systematist, and above all as a Philosophical Biologist. He played each
of these several parts in the Drama of Science. The endeavour will be
made, however imperfectly, to touch upon them all.

The experiences of Hooker as a _traveller_ began immediately after
taking his degree, with his commission in 1839 as Assistant Surgeon
and Botanist in the "Erebus." Scientific Exploration was still in its
heroic age. Darwin was only three years back from the voyage of the
"Beagle." We may well hold the years from 1831, when the "Beagle"
sailed, to 1851, when Hooker returned from his Indian journey, or 1852,
when Wallace returned from the Amazon, to have been its golden period.
Certainly it was if we measure by results. Unmatched opportunity for
travel in remote and unknown lands was then combined with unmatched
capacity of those who engaged in it. Nor was this a mere matter of
chance. For Darwin, Wallace, and Hooker all seized, if they did not in
some measure make, their opportunity.

The intrepid Ross, with his two sailing ships, the "Erebus" and the
"Terror," probed at suitable seasons during four years the extreme
south. The very names of the Great Ice Barrier, M'Murdo Sound, Mount
Erebus and Mount Terror, made familiar to us by adventures seventy
years later under steam, remain to mark some of his additions to the
map of the world. Young Hooker took his full share of risks, up to
the point of being peremptorily ordered back on one occasion by his
commanding officer. To his activity and willingness, combined with
an opportunity that can never recur in the same form, is due that
great collection of specimens, and that wide body of fact which he
acquired. On the outward and return voyages, or in the intervals
when the season was not favourable for entering the extreme southern
seas, the expedition visited Ascension, St Helena, the Cape, New
Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Kerguelen Island, Tierra del Fuego, and
the Falkland Islands. The prime object of the voyage was a magnetic
survey, and this determined its course. But it brought this secondary
consequence; that Hooker had the chance of observing and collecting
upon all the great circumpolar areas of the southern hemisphere. The
results he later welded together into his first great work, _The
Antarctic Flora_.

Very soon after his return from the Antarctic the craving for travel
broke out afresh in him. He longed to see a tropical Flora in a
mountainous country, and to compare it at different levels with that
of temperate and arctic zones. Two alternatives arose before him:
the Andes and the Himalaya. He chose the latter, being influenced by
promises of assistance from Dr Falconer, the Superintendent of the
Calcutta Garden. But before he left England his journey came under the
recognition of Government. He not only received grants on the condition
that the collections made should be located in the Herbarium at Kew,
but he was accredited by the Indian Government to the Rulers, and the
British Residents, in the countries whose hitherto untrodden ways he
was to explore. After passing the cold season of 1848 in making himself
acquainted with the vegetation of the plains and hills of Western
Bengal, he struck north to the Sikkim Himalaya. Hither he had been
directed by Lord Auckland and by Dr Falconer, as to ground unbroken
by traveller or naturalist. The story of this remarkable journey,
its results and its vicissitudes, including the forcible detention
of himself and his companion Dr Campbell by a faction of the Court
of Sikkim, is to be found in his _Himalayan Journals_. These most
fascinating volumes of travel were published in 1854. They tell how he
spent two years in the botanical exploration and topographical survey
of the state of Sikkim, and of a number of the passes leading into
Thibet; and how towards the close of 1848 he even crossed the western
frontier of Sikkim, and explored a portion of Nepal that has never
since been open to travellers. In 1849 he returned to Darjeeling,
and busied himself with arranging his vast collections. Here he was
joined by an old fellow-student of Glasgow, Dr Thomas Thomson, son of
the professor of that name. The two friends spent the year 1850 in the
botanical investigation of Eastern Bengal, Chittagong, Silhet, and the
Khasia hills. In 1851 they returned together to England.

The botanical results of these Indian journeys were immense, and they
provided the material for much of Hooker's later scientific writing.
Nearly 7000 species of Indian plants were collected by these two
Glasgow graduates. But Hooker was not a mere specialist. His _Journals_
are full of other observations, ethnographical, ornithological, and
entomological. His topographical results especially were of the
highest importance. They formed the basis of a map published by the
Indian Topographical Survey. By the aid of it the operations of
various campaigns and political missions have since been carried to a
successful issue. If he were not known as a Botanist, he would still
have his assured place as a Geographer.

After his return from India, nine years ensued of quiet work at
home. But in 1860 Hooker took part in a scientific visit to Syria
and Palestine, ascending Mount Lebanon, where he specially paid
attention to the decadent condition of the Cedars, his observations
leading later to a general discussion of the genus. Again a period
of ten years intervened, his next objective being Morocco. In 1871,
with Mr Ball and Mr Maw, he penetrated the Atlas Range, never before
examined botanically. His last great journey was in 1877, when he was
sixty years of age. With his old friend, Prof. Asa Gray of Harvard,
he visited Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra
Nevada, and California. Prof. Coulter of Chicago, who was one of the
party in the Rockies, has told me how difficult it was to round up the
two elderly enthusiasts to camp at night.

This is an extraordinary record of travel, especially so when we
remember that all the journeys were fitted into the intervals of an
otherwise busy life of scientific work and administration. At one time
or another he had touched upon every great continental area of the
earth's surface. Many isolated islands had also been examined by him,
especially on the Antarctic voyage. Not only were fresh regions thus
opened up for survey and collection, but each objective of the later
journeys was definitely chosen for scientific reasons. Each expedition
helped to suggest or to solve major problems. Such problems related
not only to the distribution, but also to the very origin of species.
Darwin saw this with unerring judgment as early as 1845. Hooker was
then but twenty-eight years old, and the records of the Antarctic
voyage were only in preparation. Nevertheless Darwin wrote with full
assurance in a letter to Hooker himself: "I know I shall live to see
you the first authority in Europe on that grand subject, that almost
keystone of the laws of Creation, Geographical Distribution." Never
was a forecast more fully justified. But that position, which Hooker
undoubtedly had, could only have been attained through his personal
experience as a traveller. Observation at first hand was the foundation
upon which he chiefly worked. Hooker the traveller prepared the way for
Hooker the philosopher.

Sir Joseph Hooker would probably have declined to consider himself
as a _Geologist_. He was, however, for some eighteen months official
Botanist to the Geological Survey of Great Britain. He was appointed
in April 1846, but relinquished the post in November 1847 in order to
start on his Himalayan journey. During that short period three Memoirs
were published by him on Plants of the Coal Period. They embodied
results derived from the microscopic examination of plant-tissues
preserved in Coal Balls, a study then newly introduced by Witham, and
advanced by Mr Binney. It has since been greatly developed in this
country. Such studies were continued by him at intervals up to 1855.
While he was thus among the first to engage in this branch of enquiry,
he may be said to have originated another line of study, since largely
pursued by geologists. For he examined samples of diatomaceous ooze
from the ocean-floor of the Antarctic, and so initiated the systematic
treatment of the organic deposits of the deep sea. Yet another branch
of geological enquiry was advanced by him in the Himalaya. For there
he made observations on the glaciers of that great mountain chain,
his notes supplying valuable material to both Lyell and Darwin. He
also accumulated valuable data concerning the stupendous effects of
sub-aerial denudation at great elevations. His latest contribution of
a geological character was in 1889, when he returned to an old problem
of his youth, the Silurian fossil _Pachytheca_. But he had to leave the
question of its nature still unsolved. This geological record is not an
extensive one. But the quality and rapidity of the work showed that it
was the time and opportunity and not the faculties that were wanting.
Moreover, it is worthy of remark that the problems he handled were all
nascent at the time he worked upon them.

The list of Sir Joseph Hooker's memoirs which deal _morphologically_
with more limited subjects than is possible in floristic works, is a
restricted one. In 1856 he produced a monograph on the Balanophoraceae,
based upon collections of material from the most varied sources. It
is still an authority very widely quoted on these strange parasites.
In 1859 he described the development and structure of the Pitchers
of _Nepenthes_, while the physiological significance of these, and
other organs of carnivorous plants, formed the subject of an Address
before the British Association at Belfast, in 1874. And in 1863 his
great monograph appeared upon that most remarkable of all Gymnospermic
plants, _Welwitschia_. These works bore the character of a later period
than the time when they were produced. In Britain, between 1840 and
1875, investigation in the laboratory, by microscopic analysis of
tissues, was almost throttled by the overwhelming success of systematic
and descriptive work. The revival of investigation in the laboratory
rather than that in the herbarium dates from about 1875. But we see
that Hooker was one of the few who, prior to that revival, pursued
careful microscopic analysis side by side with systematic and floristic

The noble establishment of the Royal Gardens at Kew is often spoken of
as the Mecca of Botanists. It is also the Paradise of the populace of
London. It was the Hookers, father and son, who made Kew what it is.
When we contemplate Sir Joseph as an _administrator_, we immediately
think of the great establishment which he and his father ruled during
the first half century of its history as a public institution. Kew had
existed for long as a Royal Appanage before it was handed over to the
Nation. The Botanic Garden had, indeed, ranked for upwards of half a
century as the richest in the world. But after the death of King George
III. it had retrograded scientifically. On the accession of Queen
Victoria a revision of the Royal Household had become necessary. It
was then decided to transfer the garden to the Commissioners of Woods
and Forests. This took place in 1840, and in 1841 Sir William Hooker,
who was then Professor in Glasgow, was appointed the first Director.
The move to Kew, whither he took his private Library, Herbarium, and
Museum, was carried out in the absence of his son, who was still in
the Antarctic. It was not till the Himalayan journey was over in 1851
that Sir Joseph settled at Kew, his great collections having already
been consigned there by agreement with the Government. In 1855 he was
appointed assistant to his father in the Directorship. Finally, he
became himself Director on his father's death in 1865, and he held the
position for twenty years.

So long associated together, it is difficult to disentangle the parts
that father and son actually played in the creation of Kew as it now
is. Nor is there need to attempt it. The original area of the Garden
at Kew was less than 20 acres. But in 1855, when Sir Joseph joined his
father in the directorate, it had grown by successive additions to 70
acres. Finally, the large area of 650 acres came under the Director's
control. Numerous large glass houses were built. Three Museums
were established, and the vast Herbarium and Library founded and
developed. The Garden Staff rose to more than 100 men. The day-by-day
administration of such an establishment would necessarily make great
demands upon the time, energy, tact, and skill of its official head.
But in addition there was the growing correspondence to be attended
to, on the one hand with botanists all over the world, on the other
with the Government Departments, and especially with the Indian and
Colonial Offices. As the activity of the Garden extended, there grew up
a large staff of scientific experts and artists, whose duties centred
round the Herbarium and Library. These all looked to the Director for
their guidance and control. The descriptive work prepared by them for
publication took formidable dimensions. The production of the Floras
of India, and of the Colonies, the publication of which was conducted
under Government subvention, had to be organised and carried through.
These matters are mentioned here so as to give some idea of the extent
and complexity of the work which was being carried on at Kew. For ten
years as Assistant Director, and for twenty years as Director, Sir
Joseph Hooker guided this complex machine. The efficiency of his rule
was shown by the increasing estimation in which the Garden was held by
all who were able to judge.

It was the founding of the Herbarium and Library at Kew which, more
than anything else, strengthened the scientific establishment. As taken
over from the Crown the Garden possessed neither. But Sir William
brought with him from Glasgow his own collections, already the most
extensive in private hands. For long years after coming to Kew he
maintained and added to his store at his own expense. But finally his
collections were acquired after his death by Government. His Herbarium
was merged with the fine Herbarium of Bentham, already presented to the
nation in 1857. Thus, the opening years of Sir Joseph's directorate
saw the organisation upon a public basis of that magnificent Herbarium
and Library, which now contains not only his father's collections, but
also his own. Among the enormous additions since made to the Herbarium
of Kew, its greatest interest will always be centred in the Hookerian
collections which it contains.

It might be thought that such drafts as these upon the time and
energies of a scientific man would leave no opportunity for other
duties. But it was while burdened with the directorship that Sir
Joseph was called to the highest administrative office in science in
Great Britain. He served as President of the Royal Society from 1873
to 1878. The obligations of that position are far from being limited
to the requirements of the Society itself. The Government of the day
has always been in the habit of taking its president and officials
into consultation in scientific matters of public importance. In these
years the administrative demands upon Sir Joseph were the greatest
of his life. They are marked by a temporary pause in the stream of
publication. None of his own larger works belong to this period.
It happens only too often in this country that our ablest men are
thus paralysed in their scientific careers by the potent vortex of
administration. Not a few succumb, and cease altogether to produce.
They are caught as in the eddy of the Lorelei, and are so hopelessly
entangled that they never emerge again. They fail to realise, or
realise too late, that the administration of matters relating to a
science is not an end in itself, but only a means to an end. Some,
the steadfast and invincible seekers after truth, though held by the
eddy for a time, pass again into the main stream. Hooker was one of
these. The Presidency of the Royal Society ended at the usual term of
five years. Seven years later he demitted office as Director of Kew.
He was thus free in 1885, still a young man in vigour though not in
years. For over a quarter of a century after retirement he devoted the
energy of his old age to peculiarly fruitful scientific work. Thus the
administrative tie upon him was only temporary. So long as it lasted he
faithfully obeyed the call of duty, notwithstanding the restrictions it

No exhaustive catalogue need be given of the works upon which the
reputation of Sir Joseph Hooker as a _scientific systematist_ was
founded. It must suffice briefly to consider his four greatest
systematic works, _The Antarctic Flora_, _The Flora of British India_,
_The Genera Plantarum_, and the _Index Kewensis_.

We have seen how on the Antarctic voyage Hooker had the opportunity
of collecting on all the great circumpolar areas of the Southern
Hemisphere. His _Antarctic Flora_ was based on the collections
and observations then made. It was published in six large quarto
volumes. The first related to the Lord Auckland and Campbell Islands
(1843-1845); the second to Fuegia and the Falkland Islands (1845-1847);
the third and fourth to New Zealand (1851-1853); and the fifth and
sixth to Tasmania (1853-1860). They describe about 3000 species,
while on 530 plates 1095 species are depicted, usually with detailed
analytical drawings. But these volumes did not merely contain reports
of explorations, or descriptions of the many new species collected.
There is much more than this in them. All the known facts that could
be gathered were incorporated, so that they became systematically
elaborated and complete Floras of the several countries. Moreover,
in the last of them, the _Flora Tasmaniae_, there is an Introductory
Essay, which in itself would have made Hooker famous. We shall return
to this later. Meanwhile we recognise that the publication of the
_Botanical Results of Ross's Voyage_ established Hooker's reputation as
a Traveller and Botanist of the first rank.

What he did for the Antarctic in his youth he continued in mature life
for British India. While the publication of the _Antarctic Flora_ was
still in progress, he made his Indian journeys. The vast collections
amassed by himself and Dr Thomson were consigned by agreement with
Government to Kew. Thither had also been brought in 1858 "seven
waggon-loads of collections from the cellars of the India House in
Leadenhall Street, where they had been accumulating for many years."
They included the herbaria of Falconer and Griffith. Such materials,
with other large additions made from time to time, flowed into the
already rich Herbarium at Kew. This was the material upon which Sir
Joseph Hooker was to base his _Magnum Opus_, the _Flora of British

Already in 1855 Sir Joseph, with his Glasgow college friend, Thomas
Thomson, had essayed to prepare a "Flora Indica." It never advanced
beyond its first volume. But if it had been completed on the scale
set by that volume, it would have reached nearly 12,000 pages! After
a pause of over fifteen years Hooker made a fresh start, aided now by
a staff of collaborators, and the _Flora of British India_ was the
result. It was conceived, he says with regret, upon a restricted plan.
Nevertheless it ran to seven volumes, published between the years
1872 and 1897. There are nearly 6000 pages of letterpress, relating
to 16,000 species. It is, he says in the Preface, a pioneer work, and
necessarily incomplete. But he hopes it may "help the phytographer to
discuss problems of distribution of plants from the point of view of
what is perhaps the richest, and is certainly the most varied botanical
area on the surface of the globe."

Scarcely was this great work ended when Dr Trimen died. He left the
_Ceylon Flora_, on which he had been engaged, incomplete. Three
volumes were already published, but the fourth was far from finished,
and the fifth hardly touched. The Ceylon Government applied to Hooker,
and though he was now eighty years of age, he responded to the call.
The completing volumes were issued in 1898 and 1900. This was no mere
raking over afresh the materials worked already into the _Indian
Flora_. For Ceylon includes a strong Malayan element in its vegetation.
It has, moreover, a very large number of endemic species, and even
genera. This last floristic work of Sir Joseph may be held fitly to
round off his treatment of the Indian Peninsula. His last contribution
to its botany was in the form of a "Sketch of the Vegetation of the
Indian Empire," including Ceylon, Burma, and the Malay Peninsula.
It was written for the _Imperial Gazetteer_, at the request of the
Government of India. No one could have been so well qualified for this
as the veteran who had spent more than half a century in preparation
for it. It was published in 1904, and forms the natural close to the
most remarkable study of a vast and varied Flora that has ever been
carried through by one ruling mind.

The third of the systematic works selected for our consideration is the
_Genera Plantarum_. It was produced in collaboration with Mr Bentham.
Of its three massive volumes the first was published in 1865, and the
work was completed in 1883. It consists of a codification of the Latin
diagnoses of all the genera of Flowering Plants. It is essentially a
work for the technical botanist, but for him it is indispensable. Of
the known species of plants many show such close similarity of their
characters that their kinship is recognised by grouping them into
genera. In order that these genera may be accurately defined it is
necessary to have a _précis_ of the characters which their species have
in common. This must be so drawn that it shall also serve for purposes
of diagnosis from allied genera. Such drafting requires not only a keen
appreciation of fact, but also the verbal clearness and accuracy of the
conveyancing barrister. The facts could only be obtained by access to
a reliable and rich Herbarium. Bentham and Hooker, working together at
Kew, satisfied these drastic requirements more fully than any botanists
of their time. The only real predecessors of this monumental work were
the _Genera Plantarum_ of Linnaeus (1737-1764) and of Jussieu (1789),
to which may be added that of Endlicher (1836-1840). But all of these
were written while the number of known genera and species was smaller.
The difficulty of the task of Bentham and Hooker was greatly enhanced
by their wider knowledge. But their _Genera Plantarum_ is on that
account a nearer approach to finality. Hitherto its supremacy has not
been challenged.

The fourth of the great systematic works of Hooker mentioned above
was the _Index Kewensis_. It was produced upon the plan and under the
supervision of Sir Joseph by Dr Daydon Jackson and a staff of clerks.
The publication began in 1893, and successive supplements to its four
quarto volumes are still appearing at intervals. The expense was borne
by Charles Darwin. The scheme originated in the difficulty he had
found in the accurate naming of plants. For "synonyms" have frequently
been given by different writers to the same species, and this had led
to endless confusion. The object of the _Index_ was to provide an
authoritative list of all the names that have been used, with reference
to the author of each and to its place of publication. The habitat of
the plant was also to be given. The correct name in use according to
certain well-recognised rules of nomenclature was to be indicated by
type different from that of the synonyms superseded by it. The only
predecessor of such an Index was Steudel's _Nomenclator Botanicus_,
a book greatly prized by Darwin, though long out of date. He wished
at first to produce a modern edition of Steudel's _Nomenclator_. This
idea was, however, amended, and it was resolved to construct a new
list of genera and species, founded upon Bentham and Hooker's _Genera
Plantarum_. Sir Joseph Hooker was asked by Mr Darwin to take into
consideration the extent and scope of the proposed work, and to suggest
the best means of having it executed. He undertook the task, and it
was he who laid out the lines to be followed. After years of labour by
Dr Daydon Jackson and his staff, the work was produced. But Sir Joseph
read and narrowly criticised all the proofs. Imagine four large quarto
volumes, containing in the aggregate 2500 pages, each page bearing
three columns of close print, and each column about fifty names. The
total figures out to about 375,000 specific names, all of which were
critically considered by the octogenarian editor! Surely no greater
technical benefit was ever conferred upon a future generation by the
veterans of science than this _Index_. It smooths the way for every
systematist who comes after. It stands as a monument to an intimate
friendship. It bears witness to the munificence of Darwin, and the
ungrudging personal care of Hooker.

But the author of great works such as these was still willing to help
those of less ambitious flights. I must not omit to mention two books
which, being more modest in their scope, have reached the hands of many
in this country. In 1870 Hooker produced his _Students' Flora of the
British Islands_, of which later editions appeared in 1878 and 1884.
It was published in order to "supply students and field botanists with
a fuller account of the plants of the British Isles than the manuals
hitherto in use aim at giving." In 1887 he edited, after the death of
its author, the fifth edition of Bentham's _Handbook of the British
Flora_. Both of these still hold the field, though they require to be
brought up to date in point of classification and nomenclature.

The object of these brief sketches of four of the great systematic
works of Sir Joseph Hooker has been to show how fully he was imbued
with the old systematic methods: how he advanced, improved and extended
them, and was in his time their chief exponent. His father had held a
similar position in the generation before him. But the elder Hooker,
true to his generation, treated his species as fixed and immutable. He
did not generalise from them. His end was attained by their accurate
recognition, delineation, description, and classification. The younger
Hooker, while in this work he was not a whit behind the best of his
predecessors, saw further than they. He was not satisfied with the mere
record of species as they were. He sought to penetrate the mystery
of the origin of species. In fact, he was not merely a Scientific
Systematist in the older sense. He was a _Philosophical Biologist_
in the new and nascent sense of the middle period of the nineteenth
century. He was an almost life-long friend of Charles Darwin. He was
the first confidant of his species theory, and, excepting Wallace,
its first whole-hearted adherent. But he was also Darwin's constant
and welcome adviser and critic. Well indeed was it for the successful
launch of evolutionary theory that old-fashioned systematists took it
in hand. Both Darwin and Hooker had wide and detailed knowledge of
species as the starting-point of their induction.

Before we trace the part which Hooker himself played in the drama
of evolutionary theory, it will be well to glance at his personal
relations with Darwin himself. It has been seen how he read the
proof-sheets of the _Voyage of the 'Beagle'_ while still in his last
year of medical study. But before he started for the Antarctic he
was introduced to its author. It was in Trafalgar Square, and the
interview was brief but cordial. On returning from the Antarctic,
correspondence was opened in 1843. In January 1844 Hooker received the
memorable letter confiding to him the germ of the Theory of Descent.
Darwin wrote thus: "At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost
convinced that species are not (it is like confessing a murder)
immutable:--I think I have found (here's presumption!) the simple way
by which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends." This was
probably the first communication by Darwin of his species-theory to any
scientific colleague.

The correspondence thus happily initiated between Darwin and Hooker is
preserved in the _Life and Letters of Charles Darwin_, and in the two
volumes of _Letters_ subsequently published. They show on the one hand
the rapid growth of a deep friendship between these two potent minds,
which ended only beside the grave of Darwin in Westminster Abbey. But
what is more important is that these letters reveal, in a way that
none of the published work of either could have done, the steps in the
growth of the great generalisation. We read of the doubts of one or
the other; the gradual accumulation of material facts; the criticisms
and amendments in face of new evidence; and the slow progress from
tentative hypothesis to assured belief. We ourselves have grown up
since the clash of opinion for and against the mutability of species
died down. It is hard for us to understand the strength of the feelings
aroused: the bitterness of the attack by the opponents of the theory,
and the fortitude demanded from its adherents. It is best to obtain
evidence on such matters at first hand; and this is what is supplied by
the correspondence between Darwin and Hooker.

How complete the understanding between the friends soon became is shown
by the provisions made by Darwin for the publication of his manuscripts
in case of sudden death. He wrote in August 1854 the definite direction
"Hooker by far the best man to edit my species volume": and this
notwithstanding that he writes to him as a "stern and awful judge and
sceptic." But again, in a letter a few months later, he says to him: "I
forgot at the moment that you are the one living soul from whom I have
constantly received sympathy." I have already said that Hooker was not
only Darwin's first confidant but also the first to accept his theory
of mutability of species. But even he did not fully assent to it till
after its first publication. The latter point comes out clearly from
the letters. In January 1859, six months after the reading of their
joint communications to the Linnean Society, Darwin writes to Wallace:
"You ask about Lyell's frame of mind. I think he is somewhat staggered,
but does not give in ... I think he will end by being perverted. Dr
Hooker has become almost as heterodox as you or I, and I look at Hooker
as by far the most capable judge in Europe." In September 1859 Darwin
writes to W. D. Fox: "Lyell has read about half of the volume in clean
sheets ... He is wavering so much about the immutability of species
that I expect he will come round. Hooker has come round, and will
publish his belief soon." In the following month, writing to Hooker,
Darwin says: "I have spoken of you here as a convert made by me: but I
know well how much larger the share has been of your own self-thought."
A letter to Wallace of November 1859 bears this postscript: "I think
that I told you before that Hooker is a complete convert. If I can
convert Huxley I shall be content." And lastly, in a letter to W. B.
Carpenter, of the same month, Darwin says: "As yet I know only one
believer, but I look at him as of the greatest authority, viz. Hooker."
These quotations clearly show that, while Lyell wavered, and Huxley had
not yet come in, Hooker was a complete adherent in 1859 to the doctrine
of the mutability of species. Excepting Wallace, he was the first, in
fact, of the great group that stood round Darwin, as he was the last of
them to survive.

The story of the joint communication of Darwin and of Wallace to the
Linnean Society "On the tendency of Species to form Varieties, and
on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of
Selection" will be fresh in the minds of readers, for the fiftieth
anniversary of the event was lately celebrated in London. It was Sir
Charles Lyell and Sir Joseph Hooker who jointly communicated the two
papers to the society, together with the evidence of the priority of
Darwin in the enquiry. Nothing could then have been more apposite
than the personal history which Sir Joseph gave at the Darwin-Wallace
celebration, held by the Linnean Society in 1908. He then told, at
first hand, the exact circumstances under which the joint papers were
produced. Nor could the expressions used by the President (Dr Scott)
when thanking Sir Joseph, and presenting to him the Darwin-Wallace
Medal, have been improved. He said: "The incalculable benefit that your
constant friendship, advice, and alliance were to Mr Darwin himself,
is summed up in his own words, used in 1864: 'You have represented for
many years the whole great public to me.'" The President then added:
"Of all men living it is to you more than to any other that the great
generalisation of Darwin and Wallace owes its triumph."

The very last appearance of Hooker at any large public gathering of
biologists was at the centenary of Darwin's birth, celebrated at
Cambridge, in 1909. None who were there will forget the tall figure of
the veteran, aged, but still vigorous, with vivacity in every feature.
How gladly he accepted the congratulations of his many friends, and
how heartily he rejoiced over the full acceptance of the theory he had
himself done so much to promote. The end came only two years later,
in December last. Many will have wished that the great group of the
protagonists of Evolution, Darwin, Lyell, and Hooker, should have found
their final resting-place together in Westminster Abbey. But this was
not to be. Personal and family ties held him closer to Kew. And he lies
there in classic ground beside his father.

Having thus sketched the intimate relations which subsisted
between Hooker and Darwin, it remains to appraise his own positive
contributions to _Philosophical Biology_. He himself, in his Address
as President of the British Association at Norwich in 1868, gives
an insight into his early attitude in the enquiry into biological
questions. "Having myself," he says, "been a student of Moral
Philosophy in a Northern University, I entered on my scientific career
full of hopes that Metaphysics would prove a useful mentor, if not a
guide in science. I soon found, however, that it availed me nothing,
and I long ago arrived at the conclusion so well put by Agassiz,
when he says, 'We trust that the time is not distant when it will be
universally understood that the battle of the evidences will have
to be fought on the field of Physical Science, and not on that of
the Metaphysical.'" This was the difficult lesson of the period when
Evolution was born. Hooker learned the lesson early. He cleared his
mental outlook from all preconceptions, and worked down to the bed-rock
of objective fact. Thus he was free to use his vast and detailed
knowledge in advancing, along the lines of induction alone, towards
sound generalisations. These had their very close relation to questions
of the mutability of species. The subject was approached by him through
the study of geographical distribution, in which, as we have seen, he
had at an early age become the leading authority.

The fame of Sir Joseph Hooker as a Philosophical Biologist rests upon
a masterly series of Essays and Addresses. The chief of these were
The Introductory Essay to the _Flora Tasmaniae_, dealing with the
Antarctic Flora as a whole; The Essay on the Distribution of Arctic
Plants, published in 1862; The Discourse on Insular Floras in 1866;
The Presidential Address to the British Association at Norwich in
1868; his Address at York, in 1881, on Geographical Distribution; and
finally, The Essay on the Vegetation of India, published in 1904. None
of these were mere inspirations of the moment. They were the outcome of
arduous journeys to observe and to collect, and subsequently of careful
analysis of the specimens and of the facts. The dates of publication
bear this out. The Essay on the Antarctic Flora appeared about twenty
years after the completion of the voyage. The Essay on the Vegetation
of India was not published till more than half a century after Hooker
first set foot in India. It is upon such foundations that Hooker's
reputation as a great constructive thinker is securely based.

The first-named of these essays will probably be estimated as the most
notable of them all in the History of Science. It was completed in
November 1859, barely a year after the joint communications of Darwin
and Wallace to the Linnean Society, and before the _Origin of Species_
had appeared. It was to this Essay that Darwin referred when he wrote
that "Hooker has come round, and will publish his belief soon." But
this publication of his belief was not merely an echo of assent to
Darwin's own opinions. It was a reasoned statement, advanced upon
the basis of his "own self-thought," and his own wide systematic and
geographical experience. From these sources he drew for himself support
for the "hypothesis that species are derivative, and mutable." He
points out how the natural history of Australia seemed specially suited
to test such a theory, on account of the comparative uniformity of the
physical features being accompanied by a great variety in its Flora,
and the peculiarity of both its Fauna and Flora, as compared with other
countries. After the test had been made, on the basis of study of some
8000 species, their characters, their spread, and their relations to
those of other lands, he concludes decisively in favour of mutability
and a doctrine of progression.

How highly this Essay was esteemed by his contemporaries is shown by
the expressions of Lyell and of Darwin. The former writes: "I have just
finished the reading of your splendid Essay on the Origin of Species,
as illustrated by your wide botanical experience, and think it goes
far to raise the variety-making hypothesis to the rank of a theory, as
accounting for the manner in which new species enter the world." Darwin
wrote: "I have finished your Essay. To my judgment it is by far the
grandest and most interesting essay on subjects of the nature discussed
I have ever read."

But besides its historical interest in relation to the Species
Question, the Essay contained what was up to its time the most
scientific treatment of a large area from the point of view of the
Plant-Geographer. He found that the Antarctic, like the Arctic Flora,
is very uniform round the Globe. The same species in many cases occur
on every island, though thousands of miles of ocean may intervene.
Many of these species reappear on the mountains of Southern Chili,
Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The Southern Temperate Floras,
on the other hand, of South America, South Africa, Australia, and New
Zealand differ more among themselves than do the Floras of Europe,
Northern Asia, and North America. To explain these facts he suggested
the probable former existence, during a warmer period than the present,
of a centre of creation of new species in the Southern Ocean, in the
form of either a continent or an archipelago, from which the Antarctic
Flora radiated. This hypothesis has since been held open to doubt.
But the fact that it was suggested shows the broad view which he was
prepared to take of the problem before him. His method was essentially
that which is now styled "Ecological." Many hold this to be a new
phase of botanical enquiry, introduced by Professor Warming in 1895.
No one will deny the value of the increased precision which he then
brought into such studies. But in point of fact it was Ecology on the
grand scale that Sir Joseph Hooker practised in the Antarctic in 1840.
Moreover it was pursued, not in regions of old civilisation, but in
lands where Nature held her sway untouched by the hand of man.

This Essay on the Flora of the Antarctic was the prototype of the
great series. Sir Joseph examined the Arctic Flora from similar points
of view. He explained the circumpolar uniformity which it shows, and
the prevalence of Scandinavian types, together with the peculiarly
limited nature of the Flora of the southward peninsula of Greenland.
He extended his enquiries to oceanic islands. He pointed out that
the conditions which dictated circumpolar distribution are absent
from them; but that other conditions exist in them which account for
the strange features which their vegetation shows. He extended the
application of such methods to the Himalaya and to Central Asia. He
joined with Asa Gray in like enquiries in North America. The latter had
already given a scientific explanation of the surprising fact that the
plants of the Eastern States resemble more nearly those of China than
do those of the Pacific Slope. In resolving these and other problems
it was not only the vegetation itself that was studied. The changes of
climate in geological time, and of the earth's crust as demonstrated
by geologists, formed part of the basis on which he worked. For it is
facts such as these which have determined the migration of Floras. And
migration, as well as mutability of species, entered into most of his
speculations. The Essays of this magnificent series are like pictures
painted with a full brush. The boldness and mastery which they show
sprang from long discipline and wide experience.

Finally, the chief results of the Phyto-Geographical work of himself
and of others were summed up in the great Address on "Geographical
Distribution" at York. The Jubilee of the British Association was held
there in 1881. It had been decided that each section should be presided
over by a past President of the Association, and he had occupied that
position at Norwich in 1868. Accordingly at York Hooker was appointed
President of the Geographical Section, and he chose as the subject
of his Address "The Geographical Distribution of Organic Beings."
To him it illustrated "the interdependence of those Sciences which
the Geographer should study." It is not enough merely to observe the
topography of organisms, but their hypsometrical distribution must
also be noted. Further, the changes of area and of altitude in exposed
land-surfaces of which geology gives evidence, are essential features
in the problem, together with the changes of climate, such as have
determined the advance and retrocession of glacial conditions. Having
noted these factors, he continued thus: "With the establishment of the
doctrine of orderly evolution of species under known laws I close this
list of those recognised principles of the science of geographical
distribution, which must guide all who enter upon its pursuit. As
Humboldt was its founder, and Forbes its reformer, so we must regard
Darwin as its latest and greatest law-giver." Now, after thirty years,
may we not add to these words of his, that Hooker was himself its
greatest exponent?

And so we have followed, however inadequately, this great man into
the various lines of scientific activity which he pursued. We
have seen him to excel in them all. The cumulative result is that
he is universally held to have been, during several decades, the
most distinguished botanist of his time. He was before all things a
philosopher. In him we see the foremost student of the broader aspects
of Plant-Life at the time when evolutionary belief was nascent. His
influence at that stirring period, though quiet, was far-reaching and
deep. His work was both critical and constructive. His wide knowledge,
his keen insight, his fearless judgment were invaluable in advancing
that intellectual revolution which found its pivot in the mutability of
species. The share he took in promoting it was second only to that of
his life-long friend Charles Darwin.


  Absorption, Aristotelian views on, 68

  ---- Grew and, 58

  ---- Hales and, 73-76

  ---- Mariotte and, 68

  Adanson, Plant families and, 41

  Agassiz, appreciation of, 215, 319

  Agriculture, investigations in, 234, 236-237

  ---- physiology and, 7

  ---- Theophrastus and, 9

  Algae, Berkeley on British, 226

  ---- collection of, 214, 216

  ---- Harvey on, 208, 210-212, 216

  ---- systematic work on, 202

  ---- Williamson and, 252

  Algal floras, 219

  Alston, Charles, King's Botanist, =283-284=

  ---- Hales and, 285-286

  ---- investigations of, 285

  ---- publications of, 286

  Alternation of generations, 188-189, 198

  Amman, Morison's method and, 26

  _Anabena_ filaments, Griffith on, 190, 196

  Anatomical method, W. Hooker and, 147-148

  Anatomy, Balfour and comparative, 262

  ---- Founders of, 2, 6, 44, 63, 67

  ---- Grew and plant, 47-57

  ---- Henfrey and Monocotyledon, 199

  ---- Hill and plant, 93, 94, 95

  Annals of Botany, Ward and, 266

  Annual rings, J. Hill and, 94

  Antarctic flora, J. D. Hooker and, 305, 311-312

  Anthrax, Ward on, 272

  Apical growth, Nägeli and Leitgeb on, 135

  Apogamy, Alston and, 286

  Aquatic fungi, Ward on, 265

  Aquatic _Myxomycete_, Ward and, 265

  Arber, Agnes, on Grew, 44-64

  Arber, Newell, on _Primofilices_, 257

  Arboretum, founding of Edinburgh, 300

  Archaeology, Williamson and, 249

  Archegonia, discovery in Ferns of, 196-198

  Aristotle, botanical writings of, 8

  Aristotle, value of work of, 15

  ---- physiology and, 68

  Ascent of sap, Grew's explanation of, 58

  _Asclepiadaceae_, R. Brown on the, 114-116

  Assimilation, Hales on, 80

  Bacteria, action of light on, 273

  Bacteriology, Ward on, 265, 271-273

  Baker, J. Hill's quarrels with, 89-91

  ---- _Synopsis Filicum_ and, 146

  _Balanophoraceae_, Griffith on the, 186

  ---- J. D. Hooker and the, 308

  Balfour, Andrew, pioneer work of, 281

  Balfour, J. Bayley, on the Edinburgh Professors, 280-301

  ---- ---- on the Ginger-beer plant, 269

  Balfour, John Hutton, life of, =293-300=

  ---- ---- Edinburgh Professorship and, 293-295

  ---- ---- at Glasgow, 295

  ---- ---- administrative work of, 295

  ---- ---- teaching methods of, 299

  Banks, Sir Joseph, W. Hooker and, 129

  ---- ---- R. Brown and, 110-111

  ---- ---- on "rust" disease, 275

  Banksian collections, R. Brown and, 112-123, 134

  de Bary, on potato disease, 266

  ---- on "rust" disease, 27

  ---- Ward's visit to, 264

  Basidia, Berkeley's researches on, 230

  Bauer, W. Hooker and, 144-145

  Bauhin, Caspar, Pinax of, 14-15

  ---- and John, Morison on, 20

  Bean, collections of, 248

  ---- on Yorkshire Fossil Flora, 247

  Bentham, collaboration with Hooker, 313

  ---- bequest of, 144

  ---- collections of, 140

  ---- Herbarium of, 310

  Berkeley, Miles Joseph, life of, =225-232=

  ---- ---- fungal morphology and, 230-231

  ---- W. Hooker on, 227

  ---- as naturalist, 225-226

  ---- as plant pathologist, 231-232

  ---- as systematic mycologist, 227-230

  ---- as zoologist, 226

  Binney, on Carboniferous plants, 253

  ---- on coal balls, 245

  ---- fossil plant tissues and, 307

  ---- Geological Survey and, 245-246

  ---- publications of, 246

  Blair, on Morison and Ray, 31

  Bobart, Jacob, Keeper of Oxford Physic Garden, 17

  ---- ---- the younger, 18

  ---- ---- ---- and Morison's work, 18, 23

  ---- ---- ---- influence on Ray, 43

  Botanic gardens, of British colonies, 136

  ---- ---- of Calcutta, 181-182, 305

  ---- ---- of Cambridge, 153

  ---- ---- Chelsea Physic, 84, 92, 179

  ---- ---- of Glasgow, 129, 130, 292

  ---- ---- Glasnevin, 213

  ---- ---- Government subsidy of, 288

  ---- ---- Kew, 136-137

  ---- ---- Oxford, 17, 18

  ---- ---- purpose of, 281

  ---- ---- rivalry between Edinburgh, 282, 283

  _Botanical Gazette_, Henfrey and, 201, 202

  _---- Magazine_, editorship of W. Hooker, 142

  Botanical Society of Edinburgh, founding of, 294

  Botanical illustration, Bauer and, 179

  ---- ---- Berkeley and, 226

  ---- ---- Dickson and, 301

  ---- ---- W. Fitch and, 141-142, 246

  ---- ---- Grew and, 52

  ---- ---- Harvey and, 202, 206, 212

  ---- ---- Hill and, 100, 102, 103

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 141

  ---- ---- Lindley and, 170, 174

  ---- ---- McGillivray, 244

  ---- ---- Tuffen West and, 200

  ---- ---- Williamson and, 257

  Botany, local study of, 249

  Botany teaching, Henslow's methods, 158, 159

  ---- ---- pioneers of, 281, 296

  Bottomley, on Gilbert, 233-242

  Bower, F. O., 258

  ---- on W. Hooker, 126-150

  ---- on J. D. Hooker, 302-323

  Boyle, influence on Hales, 66

  Bridging species, Ward on, 277

  British Algae, Berkeley on, 226

  British Flora, Bentham and Hooker on, 315

  ---- ---- Berkeley on, 227-228

  ---- ---- W. Hooker on, 143

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker on, 315

  Brome grass, Ward on, 276-277

  Brongniart, Williamson and, 254-256

  ---- antiquity of Dicotyledons and, 244

  ---- on fossil seeds, 257

  ---- influence of, 246

  Broome, collaboration with Berkeley, 229

  Brown, Robert, life of, =108-125=

  ---- ---- J. Banks and, 110, 111

  ---- ---- collections of, 112

  ---- ---- Cycad ovule and, 187

  ---- ---- diary of, 111

  ---- ---- Griffith and, 186

  ---- ---- Linnean Society and, 112, 123-124

  ---- ---- on the ovule, 184-185

  ---- ---- period of, 134

  ---- ---- on vegetation of New Holland, 113

  Brownian movement, 120

  _Bryophyta_, Griffith and, 188-189, 190

  Bud protection, Grew on, 50

  _Calamites_, Williamson on, 253, 254, 256

  ---- secondary growth in, 254

  Calcutta Gardens, Falconer and, 305

  ---- ---- Griffith and, 181-182

  Cambridge, Ward at, 262

  ---- Botanic Gardens, 153

  ---- Herbarium, Lindley's presentation to, 170

  Cambridge Philosophical Society, founding of, 151

  ---- ---- ---- presentations to, 152-153

  ---- ---- ---- Ward and, 276

  ---- Professorship, 152, 274

  Carboniferous period, Binney on, 246, 253, 307

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker on, 307

  ---- ---- Williamson on, 4, 253, 256

  Cell structure, discovery of, 53

  ---- ---- Grew on, 53-54

  ---- theory, Williamson and, 251

  Cesalpino, Andrea, abstract of results of, 12, 13

  ---- ---- classification and, 11

  ---- ---- on Cryptogams, 21

  ---- ---- Morison and, 26

  ---- ---- Theophrastus and, 11

  Ceylon Flora, Hooker and, 312, 313

  Chelsea Physic Garden, Botany lectures at, 84

  ---- ---- ---- Griffith and, 179

  ---- ---- ---- Hill's use of, 92

  Chemiotaxis, R. Brown on, 115

  ---- Myoshi on, 275

  ---- Pfeffer and, 275

  Chlorophyll, Grew's observations on, 59

  Circumpolar uniformity, Hooker and, 321

  Classification, Adanson on, 41

  ---- Bauhin and, 14

  ---- Cesalpino and, 11

  ---- De Candolle and, 41

  ---- first attempt at, 9

  ---- flower and fruit in, 11

  ---- Gesner on, 10

  ---- Hill on, 100

  ---- historical review of, 173

  ---- Jung and, 15

  ---- de Jussieu on, 41

  ---- leaf in, 21

  ---- Lindley and, 172, 173

  ---- Malpighi on, 35

  ---- Morison and, 18, 22

  ---- natural system of, 13, 41, 172, 173

  ---- progress in, 9

  ---- Ray on, 29

  Climbing plants, anatomy of, 55

  Coal-balls, first investigation of, 245

  ---- Williamson and, 251

  Coffee disease, investigations of, 263

  Coleridge, on Grew, 46, 47

  Constancy of species, W. Hooker on, 148

  Contact stimulus, Hill on, 98, 99

  Controversies, Gilbert and Liebig, 238

  ---- Hill's, 89-91

  ---- Morison and Ray, 21, 31

  ---- Rothamsted and German physiologists, 242

  ---- Williamson and Brongniart, 254

  Copley medal, Hales and, 70

  Coprolite, discovery of, 155-156

  Corn laws, Lindley and repeal of, 169

  Cotyledons, Malpighi on, 35, 36

  ---- systematic value of, 36

  Croonian lecture, Timiriazeff's, 80

  Cryptogamic botany, Berkeley and, 4, 226

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 128

  Cryptogamist, Ward as Government, 262

  Cryptogams, R. Brown on, 121, 122

  ---- Cesalpino and, 21

  ---- Griffith and, 188-191

  ---- Harvey and, 4, 205

  ---- Williamson and fossil, 254, 255

  Cycads, R. Brown on, 114, 117, 187

  ---- relationships of, 254

  ---- _Zamia_ and, 253

  _Cycas_, R. Brown on, 118, 119

  ---- Griffith on ovule of, 187, 188

  Cytase, importance of, 267

  Darwin, Charles, omission of, 5

  ---- ---- Harvey and, 221

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker and, 303, 307, 308, 315, 316, 320, 322, 323

  ---- ---- _Index Kewensis_ and, 314

  Darwin, Francis, on Hales, 65-83

  Darwinism, Balfour and, 298

  De Candolle, A. P., Prodromus of, 134

  ---- ---- classification of, 41, 42

  De Candolle, A. P., work of, 109

  Deep sea deposits, Hooker and, 307

  ---- ---- ---- Williamson and, 251

  Development, on study of, 118

  Dewar, on Gilbert, 234, 235

  Dickson, Alexander, Edinburgh Professorship of, =300-301=

  Dublin Herbarium, Harvey and, 211, 222

  ---- Professorships at, 210-211, 218

  East India Company, Griffith and, 3, 180, 184

  Ecology, J. H. Balfour and, 297, 298

  ---- Grew on, 61

  ---- Griffith and, 182

  ---- J. S. Henslow and, 152, 154

  ---- J. D. Hooker and, 321

  ---- scope of, 7

  Economic botany, Berkeley and, 231

  ---- ---- Griffith and, 180

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 139

  ---- ---- Museum of, 137-138

  Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, Mackay and Don and, 291

  ---- ---- ---- the McNabs and, 299

  ---- ---- ---- Rutherford and, 291

  ---- ---- Schools, rivalry of, 282

  ---- Medical School, 290, 295

  Edinburgh Professors, J. B. Balfour on, =280-301=

  ---- ---- Charles Alston, 283-286

  ---- ---- William Arthur, 284

  ---- ---- J. H. Balfour, 293-300

  ---- ---- Dickson, 300-301

  ---- ---- Graham, 291-293

  ---- ---- John Hope, 286-290

  ---- ---- Charles Preston, 282-283

  ---- ---- Rutherford, 290-291

  ---- ---- Sutherland, 281-283

  Elfving, Ward and, 264

  ---- on bacteria, 273

  Embryogeny, Dickson on plant, 300

  Embryo-sac, Ward on the, 262

  _Encyclopædia Britannica_, on Hales, 68

  ---- ---- Ward and the, 265

  Endosperm, Grew on, 63

  Eriksson, on "rust" disease, 276

  Evolution, Harvey and, 221

  ---- J. D. Hooker and, 316

  Falconer, Herbarium of, 312

  Farmer, J. B., on R. Brown, 108-125

  Farming, J. S. Henslow and, 155

  Ferments, Ward on, 270, 271

  Ferns, Grew on spores of, 63

  ---- W. Hooker and, 144-148

  ---- Morison on, 21

  ---- sexuality in, 135

  ---- Williamson on, 254, 257

  Field botany, Balfour and, 297

  ---- ---- Edinburgh School and, 296

  ---- ---- Graham and, 292

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 132

  ---- Hope and, 289

  Fitch, W., as illustrator, 131, 141, 145, 146

  Flora of British India, 312

  ---- of Britain, 43

  ---- of South Africa, 219

  ---- of Antarctic, 305, 311, 312

  ---- of Ceylon, 312, 313

  ---- of Scotland, 132

  ---- Fossil, 245, 252

  ---- ---- of Williamson, 248

  ---- ---- of Yorkshire, 247

  Floras, migration of, 322

  Flowers, Ray on morphology of, 35

  ---- Grew on anatomy of, 52, 62

  Food solutions, Grew on, 60

  _Foraminifera_, Williamson on, 250, 251

  Fossil botany, Binney and, 243, 307

  ---- ---- Brongniart and, 244

  ---- ---- R. Brown and, 122

  ---- ---- in England, 243

  ---- ---- in France, 254, 255

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker on, 243, 307

  ---- ---- Lindley on, 176

  ---- ---- Williamson and, 7, 256, 259

  ---- ---- Witham and, 243

  ---- plants, development in, 258

  Fossils, Williamson's collections of, 258

  Frankland, Percy, Ward and, 271

  Fungi, J. Banks on, 275

  ---- basidia in, 230

  ---- Berkeley on, 229

  ---- ---- Berkeley and Broome on, 229-230

  ---- classification of, 227-230

  ---- on epiphyllous, 263-264

  ---- Eriksson on, 276

  ---- on exotic, 228

  ---- J. S. Henslow on, 156, 157

  ---- Kew collections of, 228

  ---- life-history of, 271

  ---- morphology of, 230-231

  ---- nutrition of, 265

  _Gardeners' Chronicle_, editorship of Lindley, 166, 169

  Gardening, Williamson and, 252

  Gatty, Mrs, on seaweeds, 216, 221

  _Genera Filicum_, 144, 145, 147

  _---- Plantarum_, of Bentham and Hooker, 313

  ---- ---- of Endlicher, 314

  ---- ---- of de Jussieu, 314

  ---- ---- of Linnaeus, 314

  Genera, Tournefort and, 40

  Geographical distribution, of Fungi, 228, 229

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker on, 319-322

  Geological zones, Williamson and, 248

  Geology, Binney and, 245, 246

  ---- Father of English, 247

  ---- of Yorkshire, 247

  ---- Williamson and, 251

  Geotropism, Grew on, 59

  Gesner, classification and, 10, 11

  Gilbert, Sir Joseph Henry, life of, =233-242=

  ---- ---- career of, 234

  ---- ---- chemical training of, 233-234

  ---- ---- Hellriegel and, 240

  ---- ---- Lawes and, 233

  ---- ---- Rothamsted and, 234

  Ginger-beer plant, Ward on, 269, 270

  Glasgow, Botanic Gardens at, 129, 130, 292

  ---- W. Hooker and Professorship of, 130-133

  Glasnevin, Harvey and Botanic Gardens of, 213

  Goebel, on W. Hooker, 148, 149

  ---- on _Bryophyta_, 189

  Golden age, of Botany, 193-194

  Graham, Edinburgh Professorship and, =291-293=

  ---- Glasgow Gardens and, 292

  ---- teaching and, 292, 293, 299

  Grand'Eury, Williamson and, 253

  Graphical method, Ward and, 276

  Gray, Asa, 224, 321

  Greeks, Botany of, 9

  Greenhouses, ventilation of, 81

  Greville, W. Hooker and, 144, 147

  Grew, Nehemiah, life of, =44-64=

  ---- ---- anatomy and, 47-57, 135

  ---- ---- Hales and, 81

  ---- ---- Malpighi and, 48

  ---- ---- Schleiden and, 48

  ---- ---- versatility of, 45

  Griffith, William, life of, =178-191=

  ---- ---- botanical work of, 180

  ---- ---- collections of, 182

  ---- ---- contemporaries of, 183

  ---- ---- Herbarium of, 312

  ---- ---- methods of, 183

  ---- ---- morphology and, 182-183

  ---- ---- travels of, 180-182

  ---- ---- University College and, 179

  Griffiths, Mrs, on algae, 211, 223

  Growth, Hales on, 82

  ---- logarithmic curve of, 273

  Gwynne-Vaughan, on _Nymphaeaceae_, 199

  Gymnosperms, R. Brown on, 117, 118

  ---- seeds of, 257

  Hales, Stephen, life of, =65-83=

  ---- ---- Alston and, 285-286

  ---- ---- Chemistry and, 67, 78-80

  ---- ---- Physics and, 67

  ---- ---- Physiology and, 67, 71-78, 80-83

  Hartog, Marcus, Williamson and, 255

  Harvey, William Henry, life of, =202-224=

  ---- ---- collections of, 208-210, 216-218

  ---- ---- Darwin and, 221

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 207-208, 211, 219

  ---- ---- influence of, 221

  ---- ---- lectures of, 213-215

  ---- ---- publications of, 219

  Hellriegel, on _Leguminosae_, 240-241, 267

  Henfrey, Arthur, life of, =192-203=

  ---- ---- on critical species, 201

  ---- ---- on fertilisation, 195

  ---- ---- on sex in plants, 193-198

  ---- ---- Suminski and, 197-198

  ---- ---- text-books of, 200

  ---- ---- as translator and editor, 200

  ---- ---- work of, 192

  Henslow, George, on Henslow, 151-163

  Henslow, John Stevens, life of, =151-163=

  ---- ---- Berkeley and, 226

  ---- ---- botanical work of, 154

  ---- ---- collections of, 152-153

  ---- ---- Ecology and, 152-153

  ---- ---- Education and, 153-154, 158-159

  ---- ---- lectures of, 157

  ---- ---- on "rust" disease, 275

  ---- ---- scientific studies of, 151-152

  ---- ---- views of, 156

  Herbalist, Hill as, 92, 100

  Herbalists, work of, 47

  _Herbals_, of Culpeper, 47

  ---- of Dodonaeus, 10

  ---- of Fuchs, 9

  ---- of Lobelius, 10

  ---- of Parkinson, 47

  ---- of Pierre Pena, 10

  ---- of Tragus (Bock), 9

  Herbarium, of Falconer and Griffith, 312

  ---- Kew, 140

  Herbs, classification and, 29, 30, 34

  Hermann, work of, 26, 39

  Hill, John, life of, =84-107=

  ---- ---- as actor, 85

  ---- ---- on anatomy, 93-96

  ---- ---- character of, 104-107

  ---- ---- as gardener, 93

  ---- ---- as herbalist, 92

  ---- ---- on Linnean method, 39

  ---- ---- on literature, 86-87, 92-93

  ---- ---- medical career of, 85

  ---- ---- methods of, 88

  ---- ---- on Natural History, 87

  ---- ---- on physiology, 96-100

  ---- ---- as systematist, 103

  ---- ---- on taxonomy, 100-103

  Hill, T. G., on J. Hill, 84

  _Himalayan Journals_, Hooker's, 305

  Hofmeister, influence of, 6

  ---- morphology and, 4

  ---- predecessors of, 135

  ---- work of, 186, 191, 194, 195

  Hofmeisterian epoch, papers of, 198

  Hooke, on anatomy, 135

  ---- on cellular structure, 53

  ---- microscope and, 53

  Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton, life of, =302-323=

  ---- ---- as Administrator, 308-311

  ---- ---- Bentham and, 313

  ---- ---- Darwin and, 303, 316-319

  ---- ---- early life of, 302-303

  ---- ---- Edinburgh and, 293

  ---- ---- Essays of, 319-322

  ---- ---- as Geologist, 307-308

  ---- ---- as Systematist, 311-315
  ---- ---- as Traveller, 304-307

  Hooker, Sir William, life of, =126-150=

  ---- ---- Berkeley and, 227

  ---- ---- collections of, 139, 140

  ---- ---- on cryptogams, 227

  ---- ---- diagnosis and, 147-148

  ---- ---- Floristic works of, 143-145

  ---- ---- Glasgow and, 127, 129

  ---- ---- _Icones Plantarum_, 143

  ---- ---- Journals and, 142-143

  ---- ---- Kew and, 127, 130, 133-134, 136, 140, 149

  ---- ---- Linnean Society and, 127

  ---- ---- as Naturalist, 126-127

  ---- ---- as Pteridologist, 144-148

  ---- ---- as Systematist, 148-149

  ---- ---- teaching and, 130-132

  Hookerian collections, Kew and, 310

  Hope, life of, =286-290=

  ---- Alston and, 287

  ---- Botanic Gardens and, 288

  ---- de Jussieu and, 287

  ---- physiology and, 286-289

  Horticulture, Lindley and, 3, 171, 172

  How, British Flora and, 43

  Hutton, Fossil botany and, 176-177

  Huxley, lectures of, 261

  ---- on mutability of species, 317

  _Icones Plantarum_, W. Hooker and, 143

  Imbibition of water, Hales on, 75-76

  ---- ---- Sachs on, 76

  Immunity, Grass and, 276

  ---- Ward on, 266

  _Index Kewensis_, origin of, 314

  India, J. D. Hooker's flora of, 312

  ---- J. D. Hooker's travels in, 306

  Ingenhousz, on plant nutrition, 69

  Insectivorous plants, J. D. Hooker on, 308

  Ipswich Museum, J. S. Henslow and, 156, 159, 160

  Jackson, Daydon, _Index Kewensis_ and, 314

  Jodrell Laboratory, Ward at, 262

  ---- ---- Williamson and, 259

  Judd, on Williamson, 251

  Jung, Linnaeus and, 15

  ---- Ray and, 35

  ---- Systematic botany and, 15

  de Jussieu, de Candolle and, 41, 42

  ---- classification and, 109, 134, 287

  ---- Tournefort and Ray and, 42

  Keeble, F., on Lindley, 164-177

  Kew Gardens, Administration of, 309-310

  ---- ---- Bentham's gifts to, 140

  ---- ---- Hales and, 81

  ---- ---- Herbarium at, 305

  ---- ---- Herbarium and Library at, 141, 310

  ---- ---- Hill and, 93

  ---- ---- W. Hooker Director of, 127, 130, 133-4, 136-7, 140, 149

  ---- ---- the two Hookers at, 308-309

  ---- ---- Lindley and, 136-138, 169-170

  ---- ---- Mycological Herbarium at, 231

  ---- ---- Orchid Herbarium at, 170

  ---- ---- Thiselton-Dyer and, 81, 150, 203, 259

  Kidston, Witham's collection and, 245

  _Kingia_, R. Brown on, 117

  King's Botanist, Alston as, 283

  ---- ---- Arthur as, 284

  Knaut, work of, 26, 39

  Lang, on Griffith, 178-191

  Lankester, E., 193

  Lankester, Ray, on _Schizomycetes_, 265

  Lawes, agriculture and, 235

  ---- Gilbert and, 235-236

  ---- on nitrogen assimilation, 267

  Leaves, classification on form of, 21

  ---- movements of, 96-99

  ---- structure and functions of, 96-97

  ---- vernation of, 50

  Leguminous nodules, Gilbert on, 239

  ---- ---- Hellriegel and, 240

  ---- ---- Ward on, 267

  _Lepidodendron_, Williamson and, 258

  Lichens, Ward on, 264, 270

  Liebig, mineral theory of, 237-240

  ---- controversy with Gilbert, 238

  Light on plants, Hales and, 80, 81

  ---- ---- Hill on, 97

  Lily disease, Ward on, 266, 267

  Lindley, John, life of, =164-177=

  ---- ---- activities of, 166

  ---- ---- J. Banks and, 168

  ---- ---- _Botanical Register_ and, 174

  ---- ---- characteristics of, 177

  ---- ---- on cryptogams, 195

  ---- ---- on Darwin, 174

  ---- ---- Horticulture and, 171

  ---- ---- Hutton and, 245, 248

  ---- ---- Library and, 174, 177

  ---- ---- literary work of, 169-174

  ---- ---- Professorship of, 168, 169

  ---- ---- Williamson and, 250

  Linnaeus, British botany and, 6

  ---- Hope and, 286

  ---- Jung and, 15

  ---- on Morison and Cesalpino, 27-28, 42, 43

  ---- on Ray, 38, 42, 43

  ---- Taxonomy and, 6

  ---- method, 2, 3, 39

  ---- ---- Adanson and, 41

  ---- ---- Hill and, 101-103

  ---- ---- England and, 39, 40

  ---- period, 109, 134

  ---- system, Alston on, 285

  ---- ---- Hope on, 289

  ---- ---- influence of, 193

  Linnean school, influence of, 195

  Linnean Society, R. Brown and, 111, 112, 114, 121-124

  ---- ---- Berkeley and, 232

  ---- ---- Darwin-Wallace Celebration, 317, 318

  ---- ---- Griffith and, 183-185

  ---- ---- Harvey and, 207

  ---- ---- Ward and, 263, 264

  ---- ---- publications of, 184-186, 253

  London University, Botany teaching at, 179

  ---- ---- Henslow and, 154

  _Loranthaceae_, Griffith on, 185-186

  Lotsy, morphology and, 186

  Lycopods, Williamson and, 256

  Lyell, _Calamites_ and, 253

  ---- J. H. Hooker and, 308, 320

  ---- mutability of species and, 317

  _Lyginodendron_, Williamson and, 256, 257

  Malpighi, anatomy and, 44, 135, 286

  ---- Grew and, 6, 48, 63

  ---- Hales and, 67, 68, 81

  ---- on seeds and seedlings, 35, 36

  Manchester, Geological Society of, 245

  ---- Natural History Society of, 249

  ---- Professorship at, 250

  ---- Ward and, 264

  Mangroves, Griffith and, 186-187

  Manures, experiments with, 234, 236, 237

  ---- effect of, 237

  ---- nitrogenous, 238

  _Marchantia_, Henfrey on, 199

  Massee, George, on Berkeley, 225-232

  _Materia Medica_, Alston and, 285

  ---- ---- Hope and, 287-289

  ---- ---- the Prestons and, 283

  ---- ---- Sutherland and, 282

  Mayow, Hales and, 66, 79

  McNab, Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and, 291, 292, 299

  Medullary rays, Grew on, 56

  Metabiosis, Ward on, 270

  Microscope, R. Brown and, 119, 120

  ---- Hill and, 94

  Microtechnique, Henfrey and, 199

  Microtome, Hill's use of, 94

  von Mohl, protoplasmic continuity and, 199, 200

  Morison, Robert, life of, =16-43=

  ---- ---- the Bauhins and, 20

  ---- ---- Cesalpino and, 26

  ---- ---- classification of, 19, 21

  ---- ---- method of, 22-25

  ---- ---- Ray and, 34, 35, 39

  ---- ---- on _Umbelliferae_, 22

  ---- ---- works of, 19-20

  Morphology, Berkeley on Fungal, 230-231

  ---- Floral, 35

  ---- Foundation of Plant, 15

  ---- Griffith on, 179

  ---- Hofmeisterian epoch, 198

  ---- modern, 135

  ---- Ray's essays on, 35

  ---- of reproductive organs, 187

  Museums, J. S. Henslow and, 160

  ---- Hill and, 87

  ---- W. Hooker and, 137-140

  Mutability of species, 317, 320

  Mycology, Systematic, 227

  Mycoplasm theory, 274, 275

  Myoshi, chemiotaxis and, 275

  Nägeli, fertilisation in Ferns, 196

  Nathorst, on Bennettiteae, 253

  Natural History, Henslow and, 3

  ---- ---- Hill on, 87

  ---- ---- Ray on, 43

  Nature Study, J. S. Henslow and, 161, 162

  Newton, Hales and, 66, 72, 78, 80

  Nitrogen assimilation, Gilbert and Lawes and, 238-241

  ---- ---- Hellriegel and, 240-241

  ---- ---- leguminous plants and, 240

  ---- ---- Ward and, 267, 268

  ---- theory, 237-241

  Nucleus, R. Brown and, 119, 135

  Nutation, Grew on, 60

  ---- Hales on, 74

  Nutrition, Hales on, 72, 80, 83

  ---- Ingenhousz on, 69

  ---- transference of, 278

  _Nymphaeaceae_, Henfrey on, 199

  Oceanic islands, J. D. Hooker on, 321

  Oliver, F. W., on Henfrey, 192-203

  Oolitic plants of Yorkshire, 253

  _Orchidaceae_, R. Brown and, 115, 116

  ---- Lindley and, 165, 174-176

  Organography, Dickson and, 301

  Origin of Species, J. D. Hooker's essay, 320

  Ovule, R. Brown on, 117-119, 184-185

  ---- Griffith on, 185-188

  ---- Schleiden and, 185

  Oxford, Professorship at, 16, 17

  ---- Gardens of, 16, 17, 27

  Parasites, education of, 277

  ---- host of, 268

  Parasitic habit, adoption of, 269

  Parasitism, adaptive, 277

  Permanence of species, Lindley and, 173

  Philosophical Biology, J. D. Hooker and, 315-323

  Philosophical Transactions, Ward and, 264, 266-267, 269, 270, 275

  Phlogiston theory, 66, 79

  Photosynthesis, 80

  Plant diseases, Ward on, 268

  Plant histology, early work in, 199

  Plant nutrition, 69, 72

  Plant pathology, 4, 231-232

  Plant physiology, Agriculture and, 7

  ---- ---- Chemistry and, 7

  ---- ---- experimental, 68, 83

  ---- ---- founders of, 2, 6, 68

  ---- ---- Gilbert and, 234-235

  ---- ---- Grew on, 58, 60, 61

  ---- ---- Hales and, 71-78, 80-83

  ---- ---- Hope and, 287, 289

  ---- tissues, Grew on, 54

  Plants, medicinal properties of, 47

  Pleomorphism, Bacteria and, 265

  ---- _Uredineae_ and, 266

  Pollen, Amici's discovery, 194, 195

  ---- R. Brown and, 115-116

  ---- chamber, in _Cycas_, 187-188

  Polyembryony, 117

  Popularisation of Science, 250

  Potato disease, 231, 266

  Praeger, R. L., on Harvey, 202-224

  Presl, on Ferns, 145-147

  Preston, C. and G., _Materia Medica_ and, 283

  _Primofilices_ of Arber, 257

  _Proteaceae_, R. Brown on, 114

  Protective mimicry in _Orchidaceae_, 116

  Protoplasm, von Mohl and, 135

  _Pteridophyta_, Griffith on, 188

  ---- alternation of generations, 188-189

  Pteridosperms, secondary growth in, 256

  ---- seeds of, 257

  Q. J. M. S., Ward and, 263-266

  Quaker Schools, Science in Irish, 205

  Ray, John, life of, =28-43=

  ---- ---- on Classification, 28-29, 34, 36-38

  ---- ---- on floral morphology, 35

  ---- ---- influence of, 23, 109

  ---- ---- Jung and, 15

  ---- ---- _Methodus Plantarum_, 32-34

  ---- ---- on seeds and seedlings, 35

  ---- ---- on transmission of water, 68

  ---- Society, Harvey on, 210

  Renaissance of Botany, 5, 193, 194, 203

  Renault, Williamson and, 255

  Reproduction, Hill's views on, 99-100

  _Rhamnus infectorius_, Ward on, 267

  Ringing experiments, Hales and, 76-77

  Root pressure, Hales on, 77, 78

  Roots, Grew on, 51, 53, 55, 56

  Ross, J. D. Hooker's travels with, 303-305, 312

  Rothamsted, experiments on plants, 234-241

  ---- experiments on animals, 241

  ---- publications, 235-236, 241

  Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley and, 166, 168

  Royal Society, Gilbert and, 234

  ---- ---- Grew and, 63

  ---- ---- Hales and, 70

  ---- ---- Henfrey and, 193

  ---- ---- Hill and, 88-91

  ---- ---- Hooker, J. D., and, 310-311

  ---- ---- Ward and, 279

  ---- ---- Williamson and, 251, 253, 257, 259

  ---- ---- medal, 172, 234, 279

  Rust fungus, physiological species of, 276

  Rutherford, Edinburgh Medical School and, 290

  ---- Chemical work of, 290

  Sachs, on growth, 82

  ---- on Hales, 65, 67, 68

  ---- History of Botany, 65, 191, 193

  ---- on Hofmeister, 198

  ---- on physiology, 72, 74, 75

  ---- on Ray, 68

  ---- Textbook, 194

  ---- on transpiration, 72-74

  ---- on water transport, 76

  ---- on Ward, 262

  _Schizomycetes_, Ward on, 265

  Schleiden, fertilisation, 194-196

  ---- Grew and, 48

  ---- morphology and, 134, 185, 186, 197

  Schwendener's Theory, Bornet and, 278

  ---- ---- Ward and, 264, 278

  Science and Art Department, Ward and, 261

  Scientific exploration, Golden age of, 304

  Scott, D. H., on Williamson, 243-260

  Scottish Flora, Hope and, 289

  Seaweeds, Flora of, 219

  ---- Harvey and, 208, 210-212, 214, 216

  ---- systematic study of, 202

  Secondary growth, in Cryptogams, 254-256

  ---- ---- systematic importance of, 254, 256

  Seeds and seedlings, Grew on, 49, 62

  ---- ---- ---- Malpighi on, 35

  ---- ---- ---- Ray on, 35

  Sex in plants, Alston on, 286

  ---- ---- ---- in Cryptogams, 195, 196

  ---- ---- ---- denial of, 285

  ---- ---- ---- in Ferns, 135, 196-197

  ---- ---- ---- in flowering plants, 194

  ---- ---- ---- Grew on, 61, 62

  Shrubs, Ray's classification of, 30, 34

  Sibbald, 281

  Solms-Laubach, on Williamson, 256, 257

  ---- ---- on Scott, 258

  Sorby, Williamson and, 251

  South Kensington, Science Schools at, 261, 262

  Species, critical, 201

  ---- "lumping" of, 201

  _Species Filicum_, 145, 146

  Spencer, Herbert, 80

  _Sphenophyllum_, Williamson and, 255-256

  Starch, extraction of, 160, 161

  Stems, annual rings in, 57

  ---- comparative anatomy of, 51, 56

  ---- modified, 57, 58

  ---- secondary thickening in, 56

  _Sternbergiae_, Williamson on, 252

  _Stigmaria_, Williamson on, 257

  Suminski, sex in Ferns, 196-197

  ---- and Schleiden's theory, 197

  Susceptibility, Ward on, 268

  Sutherland, Edinburgh Professor, =281-282=

  Symbiosis, physiological aspect of, 269

  ---- fermentation and, 270

  _Synopsis Filicum_, publication of, 146, 147

  Systematic botany, Balfour and, 299

  ---- ---- Bauhin and, 14

  ---- ---- Berkeley on, 227-230, 231

  ---- ---- British School of, 6

  ---- ---- R. Brown and, 121

  ---- ---- Cesalpino and, 11

  ---- ---- Ferns and, 144-148

  ---- ---- first publication on, 32

  ---- ---- Founders of, 2

  ---- ---- Griffith and, 184

  ---- ---- Harvey and, 220

  ---- ---- W. Hooker and, 3, 127, 132

  ---- ---- J. D. Hooker, 311-315

  ---- ---- Lindley and, 3

  ---- ---- _Materia Medica_ and, 282

  ---- ---- Morison and Ray and, 6, 47

  ---- ---- Seventeenth Century and, 14

  Taxonomy, Hill and, 100

  ---- Linnaeus and, 6

  ---- Ray on, 6

  ---- rise of, 202-203

  Theophrastus, Botany and, 8, 9

  ---- Cesalpino and, 11

  ---- Hill and, 85, 86

  ---- influence of, 11

  ---- Jung on, 15, 35

  ---- Ray on, 35

  Theory of Descent, J. D. Hooker and, 316

  Thiselton-Dyer, 2, 81, 259

  ---- ---- anatomy and, 150

  ---- ---- New Botany, 203

  ---- ---- on Ward, 261-279

  Thomson, Gilbert under, 233-234

  ---- J. D. Hooker and, 306, 312

  Timiriazeff, 80

  Tournefort, Alston on, 285

  ---- on Cesalpino, 27

  ---- on Ray, 38

  ---- on Morison, 27

  ---- on de Jussieu, 42

  ---- work of, 40

  Tracheae, Grew on, 51, 57

  Transmission of water, Hales on, 68

  Transpiration, Hales on, 72-77

  ---- and Light, 81

  Trees, classification of, 31, 34

  Treub, 186, 187

  Trimen, Ceylon Flora and, 312

  Tulasne, on "rust" disease, 275

  Turgescence, Hales and, 82

  University College, London, Gilbert and, 232, 233-4

  ---- ---- ---- Griffith and, 179

  ---- ---- ---- Lindley and, 166, 168, 177

  ---- ---- ---- Williamson and, 249

  _Uredineae_, Banks and, 275

  ---- Eriksson and, 276

  ---- Ward and, 263, 266, 274, 275

  Vascular Cryptogams, classification of, 254-255

  ---- ---- Henfrey and, 194

  ---- system, of climbing plants, 55

  Vegetable physiology, Weddell and, 248

  Vernation of leaves, Grew on, 50

  Vessels, Hill and function of, 95

  ---- Grew and formation of, 52

  ---- Grew and nature of, 55

  ---- Grew and spiral, 57

  Vienna Congress and Hill, 104

  Vines on Morison and Ray, 8

  ---- on Ward, 261, 262

  Wallace and Darwin, 315, 317

  Ward, Harry Marshall, life of, =261-279=

  ---- ---- at Cambridge, 274

  ---- ---- in Ceylon, 262-264

  ---- ---- at Cooper's Hill, 266

  ---- ---- at Manchester, 264

  ---- ---- methods of, 278-279

  ---- ---- on coffee disease, 262-264

  ---- ---- on bacteriology, 265-268, 271-274

  ---- ---- on symbiosis, 268-271

  ---- ---- on _Uredineae_, 266, 275-277

  Warming, on Ecology, 321

  Water supply, Ward on, 274

  _Welwitschia_, J. D. Hooker on, 308

  Wheat, experiments on, 236-237

  Wieland, on fossil plants, 253

  Wilfarth, 267

  Williamson, William Crawford, life of, =243-260=

  ---- ---- collections of, 258

  ---- ---- early life of, 247

  ---- ---- as Fossil Botanist, 7, 253

  ---- ---- as Geologist, 249

  ---- ---- as Lecturer, 250, 251

  ---- ---- at Manchester, 250

  ---- ---- mistakes of, 257, 258

  ---- ---- as Naturalist, 248

  ---- ---- results of, 256

  ---- ---- Ward and, 264

  ---- ---- as Zoologist, 4

  _Williamsonia_, 253

  Witham, 243-245, 307

  Yorkshire, palaeontology of, 247

  _Zamia_, Williamson on, 253

  Zoologist, Williamson as, 4

  ---- Berkeley as, 226


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
  Bold text is denoted by =equal signs=.
  Superscripts are denoted by ^ and have not been expanded.
  Subscripts in chemical formulae are denoted by _  eg CO_2.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors
  have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences
  within the text and consultation of external sources.

  All botanical terms in the text have been retained. Except for
  those changes noted below, misspelling by the authors,
  inconsistent or archaic usage, has been retained. For example,
  cell-walls, cell walls; sea-weed, seaweed; Linnæus Linnaeus;

  p 69  'limped' changed to 'limpid'.
  p 106 'concensus' changed to 'consensus'.
  Footnote [105] 'completer' changed to 'more complete'.
  Footnote [112] 'p. 8*.' changed to 'p. 8.'.
  p 173 'Endogens' (repeated in list) changed to 'Exogens'.
  p 220 'deterrants' changed to 'deterrents'.
  p 248 'estuarian' changed to 'estuarine'.
  p 300 'Walker Arnott' changed to 'Walker-Arnott'.

  Index: 'Anabaena' changed to 'Anabena'.
  Index: (De Candolle:) 'Prodomus' changed to 'Prodromus'.
  Index: 'Elfing' changed to 'Elfving'.
  Index: (Ward:) '261-279' made bold '=261-279='.

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