Robert Graham (botanist)

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Robert Graham by Colvin Smith
Robert Graham
Robert Graham's house at 62 Great King Street, Edinburgh

Robert Graham FRSE FRCPE MWS (3 December 1786, Stirling – 7 August 1845, Coldoch, by Blairdrummond, Perthshire) was a Scottish physician and botanist.


He was born in Stirling the son of Dr Robert Graham, physician.

After studying at Stirling Grammar School he continued first to Glasgow University and then to Edinburgh University where he graduated around 1806 and gained his doctorate (MD) in 1808.[1]

He trained further at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he qualified as a surgeon. He then returned to Scotland to practice at Glasgow Royal Infirmary 1812-3 and 1816-19.[2]

He began lecturing in Botany in 1816 at Glasgow University, taking over from Thomas Brown of Lanfine and Waterhaughs following his resignation.[3]

He was a major figure in the creation of Glasgow Botanic Gardens and was the inaugural chair of botany at the Glasgow in 1818. In 1820 he moved to Edinburgh to take on the role of Professor of Botany and Medicine at Edinburgh University, a role he continued until 1845.[4] He was also physician to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the 6th Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (1820–1845).

In 1821 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposer being Thomas Charles Hope.[5]

In the 1830s he is listed as living at 62 Great King Street in the centre of Edinburgh's Second New Town.[6]

From 1840 to 1842 he served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.[7]

He died at Coldoch in Perthshire on 7 August 1845.

Memberships and Positions Held[edit]

Botanical Contributions[edit]

He wrote descriptions of new and rare plants cultivated in the gardens which were published in Edinburgh New Philosophical Magazine, Curtis's Botanical Magazine and Hooker's Companion to the Botanical Magazine.

Among plants he described was the Australian shrub Lasiopetalum macrophyllum.[8]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]