Hennedy, Roger (DNB00)


HENNEDY, ROGER (1809–1877), botanist, was born in August 1809 at Carrickfergus, near Belfast, but was of Scottish extraction, his father being descended from the Kennedys of Ailsa Craig, Ayrshire, who changed their name to Hennedy in Ireland. His mother was born at Paisley. On leaving school he was apprenticed to cutting blocks for a firm of calico-printers. His master was of a tyrannical disposition. Hennedy ran away before his time was out, and somehow managed to get employment in a firm of calico-printers at Rutherglen, close to Glasgow, where he finished his time. In 1832 he was appointed to a post in the customs at Liverpool, but heartily disliking the new duties he quitted the place, and went back to his old employment at Glasgow. When the growing practice of lithography threatened to deprive him of his livelihood by substituting a new method of printing fabrics, he acquired the art of drawing on stone, and especially devoted himself to making designs for textiles. About this time he began the study of plants as a source of design, and in 1838 he was studying botany for its own sake while at Millport. The Athenæum at Glasgow was started in 1848, and in that year he began to teach a class in botany, and in the following year he was engaged in a similar capacity at the Mechanics' Institute.

In 1851 he embarked in business with a partner, but the concern does not appear to have been very successful, although prosecuted during six years. He was appointed professor of botany at the Andersonian University at Glasgow in 1863, which chair he occupied till his death, 22 Oct. 1877, at Whitehall, near Bothwell, Lanarkshire.

The manual which he drew up for the use of his botanical class, the ‘Clydesdale Flora,’ was published at Glasgow, 1865, and went through three editions in the lifetime of the author; a fourth, entitled ‘The Memorial Edition,’ came out after his death in 1878.

He married, in 1834, a daughter of David Cross of Rutherglen, who survived him.

[Preface, Clydesdale Flora, 4th edit.]

B. D. J.