George Bentham

George Bentham

Birth
England
Death 10 Sep 1884 (aged 83)
Burial West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 124661739 · View Source
Suggest Edits

He was an English botanist, characterized by Duane Isely as "the premier systematic botanist of the nineteenth century". His father, Sir Samuel Bentham, a naval architect, was the only brother of Jeremy Bentham to survive into adulthood. He had neither a school nor a college education, but at an early age acquired the power of giving sustained and concentrated attention to any subject that occupied him. He also had a remarkable linguistic aptitude. By the age of seven he could speak French, German and Russian, and he learned Swedish during a short residence in Sweden when little older. He became attracted to botanical studies by applying to them his uncle's logical methods, and not by any special interest in natural history. While studying at Angoulême he came across a copy of A.P. de Candolle's Flore française, and he became interested in the analytical tables for identifying plants. He immediately proceeded to test their use on the first plant he saw. The result was successful and he continued to apply it to every plant he came across. A visit to London in 1823 brought him into contact with the brilliant circle of English botanists. He spent his childhood in Russia and France. His father was the naval architect Sir Samuel Bentham, and his uncle the political economist Jeremy Bentham. His early plant collecting in the south of France formed the basis of his herbarium. In 1829 he became Secretary to the Horticultural Society (later the Royal Horticultural Society) In 1854 Bentham presented his herbarium of more that 100,000 specimens to Kew. He spent most of his retirement working at Kew. He produced the Handbook of the British Flora (1858), which promoted botany as a pastime for amateurs and became a classic. In 1883 the Genera Plantarum was completed, the fruit of a 21-year collaboration with Sir Joseph Hooker. This monumental work outlined what became known as the Bentham-Hooker classification system for flowering plant, which was then adopted as the system used in the Herbarium at Kew.


Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Created by: julia&keld
  • Added: 5 Feb 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 124661739
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Bentham (22 Sep 1800–10 Sep 1884), Find A Grave Memorial no. 124661739, citing Brompton Cemetery, West Brompton, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England ; Maintained by julia&keld (contributor 46812479) .