the origin of the name of Aiton, see ATTON.
styled the Scottish Linnaeus, was born in 1731, at a village near
Hamilton. Going to England in 1754, he was employed as an assistant in the
Physic gardens at Chelsea, under Philip Miller, the superintendent, on
whose recommendation he was in 1759 appointed head gardener to the Royal
botanical garden at Kew, and became a great favourite with George III. In
1783 he obtained also the appointment of superintendent of the
pleasure-grounds at Kew. He introduced a number of improvements into the
Royal gardens, and formed there one of the best collections of rare exotic
plants then known, a catalogue of which, with the title, Hortus
Kewensis, was published in 1789 in 3 vols. 8vo, containing an
enumeration of between five and six thousand species, with thirteen
plates. He died in 1793, of a schirrus in the liver, and his son, William
Townsend Aiton, was nominated by the king himself his successor. Mr.
Aiton’s publications are:
Hortus Kewensis or a
Catalogue of the Plants cultivated in the Royal Botanic Gardens at
Kew, illustrated with Engravings. Lond. 1789, 3 vols. 8vo.
New Edition enlarged. Lond. 1810-43, 5 vols. 8vo.
An Epitome of 2d. edit. Lond. 1814, 8vo.