Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Arnott, George Arnott Walker

ARNOTT, GEORGE ARNOTT WALKER (1799–1868), botanist, was born at Edinburgh, 6 Feb. 1799. His early years were spent at Edenshead and Arlary, on the borders of Fife and Kinross; in 1807 he went to Edinburgh, entering the university in 1813, where he took his A.M. degree in 1818. He studied for the law, and was admitted to the faculty of advocates in 1821; but the profession was uninteresting to him, and he soon abandoned it. His attention some three or four years previously had been turned to botany, and to this study he now devoted himself, becoming acquainted with Wight and Greville, and a little later with Dr. (afterwards Sir William) Hooker. In 1821 he went to France, where he worked in the Paris herbaria, and published two papers on mosses. He afterwards visited Spain and Russia, and, on his return to Scotland, married in 1831 Miss Mary Hay Barclay, of Paris, Perthshire. From 1830 to 1840 he was engaged with Sir William Hooker upon an account of the plants collected in Captain Beechey's voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Straits, which formed a quarto volume published in 1841. During these ten years he was very active in publishing descriptions of new plants from South America, India, and Senegambia, in various periodicals; he co-operated with Wight in his 'Illustrations of Indian Botany,' and in the 'Prodromus Floræ peninsulæ Indiæ Orientalis.' In 1839 he temporarily took Dr. Hooker's place as botanical lecturer at Glasgow, and in 1845 was appointed professor of botany in that university, leaving Arlary in 1846, and taking up his residence in Glasgow. In 1850 he was associated with Sir William Hooker in the sixth edition of the 'British Flora.' About this time he took up the study of Diatoms, of which he formed a large and valuable collection, publishing several memoirs on the subject. In 1868 his health, which had previously begun to fail, gave way, and the delivery of his university course had to be abandoned. Jaundice set in, and he died on 17 April 1868, and was buried in the Lighthill cemetery, Glasgow, He left three sons and five daughters. His large collections subsequently became the property of the university of Glasgow. He was a good correspondent, an esteemed professor, an accurate observer, and a zealous worker.

[Trans. Bot. Sec. Edinburgh, ix. 414-26.]

J. B.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.9
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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121 i 15 Arnott, George A. W. : for Lighthill cemetery read Sighthill cemetery