Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

The Scottish Nation

GARDEN, FRANCIS, LORD GARDENSTONE, an eminent judge, second son of Alexander Garden, Esq. of Troup, in Aberdeenshire, by Jane, daughter of Sir Francis Grant of Cullen, one of the lords of session, was born at Edinburgh, June 24, 1721. After passing through the usual course of liberal education at the university of his native city, and attending the law classes, he was admitted advocate 14th July 1744. In spite of his inclination for literary pursuits, and a strong taste for convivial enjoyments, he soon acquired eminence at the bar. In the celebrated Douglas cause he took a leading part, and was one of the counsel sent to France to inquire into the circumstances connected with the case in that country. He made a distinguished figure before the parliament of Paris, where he was opposed by Mr. Wedderburn (afterwards lord chancellor), and astonished all present by his legal knowledge and fluency in the French language. In 1748 he was appointed sheriff depute of Kincardineshire, and on 22d August 1759 was nominated one of the assessors for the city of Edinburgh. On 30th April 1760 he was appointed conjunct solicitor-general with James Montgomery, afterwards lord chief baron, and on 3d July 1764 he was raised to the bench, when he assumed the title of Lord Gardenstone.

      In 1762 he had purchased the estate of Johnston in Kincardineshire, and in 1765, greatly added to the value of this property by laying down a plan for the extension of the adjoining village of Laurencekirk, then a mere hamlet, which, in 1779, he procured to be erected into a burgh of barony. He built a commodious inn, styled the Gardenstone arms, for the reception of travellers, founded a library for the use of the villagers, with a museum for the attraction of strangers, and established manufactures of various kinds. Although some of his undertakings in connection with this village did not succeed, this did not in the least dishearten him, or cause him to abate in his philanthropic exertions, and he had at length the satisfaction of seeing the village of Laurencekirk, which afterwards became famous for its manufacture of snuff-boxes, attain to a degree of prosperity and importance, which exceeded his most sanguine expectations.

      In 1785, on the death of his elder brother, who was for some time M.P. for Aberdeenshire, he succeeded to the family estates in Banffshire, worth about £3,000 a-year, when, in accordance with the natural generosity of his disposition, he remitted to the tenants all the arrears due to him as the heir of his brother. He had been appointed, in 1776, to a seat on the justiciary bench, in the room of Lord Pitfour, which he now resigned for a pension of £200 a-year; and, in September 1786, he went to the Continent for the recovery of his health, which had been much impaired. After travelling through France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, he returned home in the end of 1788. In 1791 he published the first volume of his ‘Travelling Memorandums, made in a Tour upon the Continent of Europe in the years 1786, 1787, and 1788.’ In 1792 he added a second volume, and a third, supplied from his papers by his friends, appeared after his death. In 1791, a collection of satires and light fugitive pieces, entitled ‘Miscellanies in Prose and Verse,’ which had been published by a person of the name of Callander, was, by general report, although erroneously, attributed to Lord Gardenstone, as partly his own, and partly the composition of some of the convivial friends of his youth. His lordship resided, during the latter years of his life, chiefly at Morningside, near Edinburgh. Having derived benefit from the use of the mineral spring, called St. Bernard’s Well, in the vicinity of that city, he erected over it a massy building of freestone, surmounted by a temple, in which he placed a statue of Hygeia, the goddess of Health. He died July 22, 1791, aged seventy-three.

GARDEN, ALEXANDER, an eminent botanist and zoologist, was born in Scotland in January 1730. At the university of Edinburgh, where he was educated, he studied botany according to the system of Tournefort, under Dr. Alston, and it is probable that he took the degree of M.D. there. In 1752 he settled as physician at Charlestown, in South Carolina, and soon after married. From the outset of his residence in America he engaged in botanical researches, with the assistance of the works of Tournefort and Ray, but he found the greatest difficulty in ascertaining his discoveries, and especially in reducing such plants as appeared nondescript to their proper places in the systems of those writers, which were more adapted for Europe than America. Having met with the ‘Fundamenta Botanica’ and the ‘Classes Plantarum’ of Linnaeus, he opened a correspondence with that great naturalist, in March 1755, by an elegant and enthusiastic Latin letter. He soon after received from Europe the ‘Philosophia Botanica,’ the ‘Systema Naturae,’ and some other works of the Swedish botanist, which greatly assisted him in his investigations. His labours were directed to the discovery and verification of new genera among the animal and vegetable tribes of North America, in which he was very successful. Top his exertions Linnaeus was indebted particularly for a knowledge of the insects and fishes of South Carolina, among which is the “Siren lacertina,” a most curious animal, resembling both a lizard and a fish, of which he sent a description, with specimens, to Linnaeus at Upsal in the spring of 1765.

      After a residence of more than twenty years in Charlestown, the revolutionary disturbances in America interrupted his scientific correspondence, and finally obliged him, as he had joined the loyalists, to quit that country and take refuge in England. He left a son behind him, but was accompanied by his wife and two daughters. In June 1773 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, but was not admitted till May 10, 1783, the latter being probably his first opportunity of attending in person after he came to London, where he died April 15, 1791, in the 62d year of his age. On the recommendation of Linnaeus, he had, in 1761, been elected a member of the Royal Academy of Upsal. Dr. Garden published an account of the ‘Gymnotus Electricus,’ or Electric Eel, in the Philosophical Transactions, and also wrote some other detached papers, but produced no separate work. His name will be botanically perpetuated by the elegant and fragrant “Gardenia,” dedicated to him by his friend Ellis.

Return to The Scottish Nation Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus