William Aiton

1731 - 1793

Botanist. Born near Hamilton (South Lanarkshire), Aiton was destined to become a gardener but his great scientific knowledge brought a move to London, at the age of 23, where he obtained a position at the Physic Garden in Chelsea. He was thereafter appointed the first Superintendent of a new botanical garden which had been established at Kew by King George III. Having acquired plant specimens from around the globe, Aiton produced an extensive description of the collection entitled Hortus Kewensis (1789).

He was succeeded at Kew by his son William Townsend Aiton, who in turn was succeeded by Sir William Hooker (1785 - 1865), the first formal Director of Kew Gardens.

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