Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Francis, George William

FRANCIS, GEORGE WILLIAM (1800–1865), botanical writer, was born in London in 1800. Besides the works enumerated below, he edited the first five volumes of the ‘Magazine of Science and School of Arts,’ 1840–5. His family increasing he emigrated to Australia, arriving in the colony by the Louisa Baillie 2 Sept. 1849. Shortly after his arrival he took the old botanical garden, north of the Torrens river, as a yearly tenant, and was subsequently appointed director of the Adelaide botanic garden. This position he held until his death, after a long illness, of dropsy on 9 Aug. 1865; he was buried the next day. He left a widow and ten children.

He published:

  1. ‘Catalogue of British Plants and Ferns,’ 1835; 5th edition, 1840.
  2. ‘Analysis of British Ferns,’ 1837; 5th edition, 1855.
  3. ‘Little English Flora,’ 1839.
  4. ‘Grammar of Botany,’ 1840.
  5. ‘Chemical Experiments,’ 1842, abridged by W. White, 1851, and republished as ‘Chemistry for Students.’
  6. ‘Favourites of the Flower Garden,’ 1844.
  7. ‘Manual of Practical Levelling for Railways and Canals,’ 1846.
  8. ‘Art of Modelling Wax Flowers,’ 1849.
  9. ‘Electrical Experiments,’ 8th edition, 1855.
  10. ‘Dict. Practical Receipts,’ new edition, 1857.
  11. ‘Acclimatisation of Animals and Plants,’ Royal Society, South Australia, 1862.

[South Australian Register, 10 Aug. 1865.]

B. D. J.