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GOURLIE, WILLIAM (1815–1856), botanist, was born at Glasgow in March 1815, his father being a merchant in that city. He was educated at the public school and university of Glasgow, studying botany under Dr. (afterwards Sir) W. J. Hooker and Dr. J. H. Balfour. Being regular and orderly in his habits, he was able, though in partnership with his father, to spare time for the study of science, for which he had an ardent love. He collected British plants, especially mosses, and also shells and fossil plants. In 1836 he joined the Edinburgh Botanical Society, and in 1841 the Glasgow Philosophical Society. In 1855 he became a fellow of the Linnean Society. He took an active part in the promotion of various benevolent institutions, and in 1855 acted as local secretary in connection with the Glasgow meeting of the British Association. He was attacked by cancer and died at his brother's house at Pollockshields, 24 June 1856, leaving a widow and two children.

[Proceedings of Linn. Soc. 1857, vol. xxvii.]

G. S. B.