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Prof. Daniel Rutherford


1749 - 1819

Scientist. Born in Edinburgh, Rutherford was educated at the University of Edinburgh under Joseph Black (1728-99). As a student he discovered the gas Nitrogen (1772) and described oxygen or Vital Air (1778). In 1786, he was appointed to the Regius Chair of Botany in Edinburgh and as Keeper of the Botanic Gardens (1786), following the death of Professor John Hope (1725-86). Rutherford in turn held these posts until his own death. Rutherford was a maternal uncle of Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832).


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