Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Moore, Thomas (1821-1887)

MOORE, THOMAS (1821–1887), gardener and botanist, was born at Stoke, near Guildford, Surrey, on 21 May 1821. He was brought up as a gardener, and was employed at Fraser's Lee Bridge Nursery, and subsequently, under Robert Marnock [q. v.], in the laying out of the Regent's Park gardens. In 1848, by the influence of Dr. John Lindley [q. v.], he was appointed curator of the Apothecaries' Company's Garden at Chelsea, in succession to Robert Fortune [q. v.], an appointment which gave him leisure for other work. He acted as an editor of the ‘Gardeners' Magazine of Botany’ from 1850 to 1851, of the ‘Garden Companion and Florists' Guide’ in 1852, of the ‘Floral Magazine’ in 1860 and 1861, of the ‘Gardeners' Chronicle’ from 1866 to 1882, of the ‘Florist and Pomologist’ from 1868 to 1874, and of the ‘Orchid Album’ from 1881 to 1887. He made a special study of ferns, most of his independent works being devoted to that group of plants; but he also acquired a knowledge of garden plants and florists' flowers generally, which was probably greater than that of any of his contemporaries. He acted as one of the secretaries of the International Flower-show in 1866, and was for many years secretary to the floral committee and floral director of the Royal Horticultural Society. Moore was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1851, and was also a member of the Pelargonium, Carnation, Auricula, and Dahlia Societies. He was constantly called upon to act as judge at horticultural shows, and only a short time before his death was engaged in classifying the Narcissi for the Daffodil Congress. After three or four years of infirm health he died at the Chelsea Botanical Garden on 1 Jan. 1887, and was buried in Brompton cemetery. His collection of ferns was purchased for the Kew herbarium. A somewhat roughly engraved portrait appears with an obituary notice in the ‘Gardeners' Chronicle’ for 1887 (i. 48).

Besides papers on ferns in various botanical journals (Royal Society Cat. of Papers, iv. 458, viii. 432), Moore's chief publications were: 1. ‘Handbook of British Ferns,’ 16mo, 1848. 2. ‘Popular History of British Ferns,’ 8vo, 1851, 2nd edit. 1855, abridged as ‘British Ferns and their Allies,’ 8vo, 1859, and also issued, with coloured illustrations by W. S. Coleman in 1861. 3. ‘Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland,’ edited by J. Lindley, and nature-printed by H. Bradbury, fol., 1855, and in 2 vols. 8vo, 1859. 4. ‘Index Filicum,’ 8vo, twenty parts, ending at the letter G, 1857–63. 5. ‘Illustrations of Orchidaceous Plants,’ 8vo, 1857. 6. ‘The Field Botanist's Companion,’ 8vo, 1862, of which a new edition appeared in 1867 as ‘British Wild Flowers.’ 7. ‘The Elements of Botany for Families and Schools,’ 10th edit. 1865, 11th edit. 1875. 8. ‘The Treasury of Botany,’ with John Lindley, 2 vols. 8vo, 1866, 2nd edit. 1874. 9. ‘The Clematis as a Garden Flower,’ with George Jackman, 8vo, 1872. 10. ‘Thompson's Gardener's Assistant,’ 2nd ed. 8vo, 1876. Moore also wrote the article ‘Horticulture’ in the ninth edition of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ in conjunction with Dr. Maxwell Masters, afterwards published in an expanded form as ‘The Epitome of Gardening,’ 8vo, 1881.

[Gardeners' Chron. 1887, i. 48; Annals of Botany, 1888, p. 409; Journal of Botany, 1887, p. 63.]

G. S. B.