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The Scottish Nation

AITON,—for the origin of the name of Aiton, see ATTON.

AITON, WILLIAM, 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.

Entries for this name from the Dictionary of National Biography

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