Author: Leonie PatersonPage 1 of 3

Harry’s Gates

Every day, hundreds of visitors pour into the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, many of them through our East Gate. To do this, one must pass through two sets…

The David Douglas Telescope – what can one object tell us?

The RBGE Archives do not just hold papers – correspondence, administration and photographs – we also have a number of objects; plant models, gardening tools and camera equipment…

Naming of Primula species from the 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest

In Wade Davis’ account of the ‘Mallory’ expeditions to Mount Everest1, there is a brief but intriguing reference to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. In a section describing…

Ross Eudall (1924-2021)

Ross Eudall was born in London on the 29th December 1924, an only child. Ross’s father was a butler, which led to Ross spending time in Kilmarnock, Inverness…

RBGE World War Two Service Roll

1939-1945 The Service Roll is different from the Roll of Honour in that it shows the names & a short statement of service of all members of staff of the…

Hidden Histories: Stories found in the George Forrest archive – The Temple of the Goddess of Mercy

I am fortunate to be able to work with archive material produced by people like plant collector George Forrest (1873-1932), who travelled extensively in Yunnan province, southwest China…

Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour (1853-1922) – an appreciation

This is an extended version of the talk I gave at the ‘Trailblazers’ online event to mark RBGE’s 350th anniversary on the 15th October 2020. I work in…

Reginald Farrer: A Centenary Tribute by Graham Avery, FLS

Reginald Farrer (1880-1920) was a remarkable botanist whose correspondence and photographs are among the treasures of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Archives. Many of the species that he…

RBGE World War One Service Roll

1914-1919 The Service Roll is different from the Roll of Honour in that it shows the names & a short statement of service of all members of staff…

RBGE’s World War One Roll of Honour

We Will Remember Them Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh Roll of Honour, 1914–1919 At the outbreak of war in August 1914 the appeal for H.M. Forces met with ready…

RBGE’s World War Two Memorial

Situated beneath the Memorial to the members of staff at RBGE who gave their lives during the First World War is a smaller, but no less poignant memorial…

A Desperate Escape – George Forrest on the run in China, July 1905

Some of us may be lucky, or in this case, unlucky enough to experience a life altering event that comes to define us whether we want it to…

In memory of Captain Robert Chapman Davie (1886-1919)

“Indirectly the war has robbed the Botanical Society of a member of its Council and a frequent contributor to its meetings in the person of Dr. R.C. Davie,…

Christmas Island and other ventures – legacy of RBGE gardener David Reid Tait

When I was contacted by Dr Bill Lynch in August 2018 with a query about a former RBGE gardener called David R. Tait and his work for Sir…

The Poppy Patch

With the dry, warm weather this autumn the Annual Poppy, Papaver rhoeas, has produced a timely show of flowers to add colour in the lead up to Armistice…

In memory of Corporal Henry McBeath (1878-1918)

Henry McBeath was from Rogart in Sutherland, born in November 1878 to James McBeath, a farm grieve (foreman) and his wife Johan from Rovie, a farm in Rogart…

In memory of Gunner Andrew Ewing Calder (1884-1918)

Andrew Ewing Calder was born in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, on the 12th January 1884 to Robert Calder, a blacksmith, and his wife Sarah Jane, who was a tailoress. Calder…

In memory of Private James Christopher Adam (1882-1918), and his brother Lt. Robert Moyes Adam (1885-1967)

The 21st March 2018 marks the centenary of the death of Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) Helper James Christopher Adam. He was the older brother of RBGE’s photographer…

The Battle of Glen Tilt

“was ye at the Glen o’ Tilt, An’ did the shindy see, man? John Hutton Balfour, Regius Keeper at the RBGE and Professor of Botany at the University…

In memory of Lance Sergeant James Maxwell Hampson (1891-1918)

The 8th March 2018 marks the centenary of the death of James Maxwell Hampson, former labourer at RBGE. He was born in around May 1891 in Neston, Cheshire,…