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Gordon, George (1806-1879) (DNB00)


GORDON, GEORGE (1806–1879), horticultural writer, born at Lucan, co. Dublin, 25 Feb. 1806, was trained by his father, who was land-steward and gardener at Sterling House, near Dublin, entering into service at fourteen years of age. From 1823 to 1827 he was employed in the gardens of two country gentlemen. In 1827 he was in the nursery of J. Colvill in King's Road, Chelsea, when, on 18 Feb. 1828, he was taken on the staff of the Horticultural Society at Chiswick, and, with a brief exception, remained there during the rest of his life. He rose to be one of the foremen, two of his contemporaries being Robert Fortune [q. v.], the Chinese traveller, and Robert Thompson, well known for his standard volume on garden management. Gordon was foreman of the arboretum, and, having paid special attention to coniferous trees, he brought out his 'Pinetum' in 1858, Robert Glendinning being associated with him in this and a 'Supplement' in 1862, of which book a second edition was produced by B. G. Bohn, the bookseller, in 1875. Dr. Lindley used Gordon's practical knowledge in some papers on conifers in the 'Journal of the Horticultural Society' in 1850 and 1851, hence the authority of Lindley and Gordon for certain species and varieties. The 'Pinetum' was unfortunately neither popular nor scientific, but between both those extremes. His herbarium was bought at his death by Sir Joseph Hooker, and by him presented to the herbarium of the Royal Gardens, Kew. Gordon died at Kew 11 Oct. 1879, having been an associate of the Linnean Society since 16 Feb. 1841.

Pritzel, in his 'Thesaurus,' confuses the subject of this notice with the Rev. George Gordon, who published anonymously 'A Collectanea for the Flora of Moray' at Elgin in 1839, 8vo.

[Gard. Chron. new ser. (1879), xii. 569.]

B. D. J.