Charles Lawson (nurseryman)

Charles Lawson of Borthwick Hall (1795–1873) was a Scottish nurseryman and merchant, noted for the introduction of foreign crops into the United Kingdom.[1] He served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1862 to 1865.[2]

Charles Lawson of Borthwick Hall
Alma materEdinburgh High School
Edinburgh University
Spouse(s)Patricia Grant
  • Peter Lawson (father)
  • Patricia Grant (mother)


He was born in Edinburgh, son of the seed merchant Peter Lawson and his wife Patricia Grant. The family live at 19 Blair Street, a street joining the Royal Mile to the Cowgate.[3]

He was educated at Edinburgh High School and Edinburgh University. His father died in 1821, and Charles then took over the family business Peter Lawson & Son.[1]

In Edinburgh he lived at 35 George Square. In 1851 he purchased Borthwick Hall near Gorebridge in Midlothian.[4]

He was connected to the huge Lawson-Donaldson Seed Warehouse off the Shore in Leith.

Successful on a national scale, Lawson became a specialist in grass seeds and conifers. The Cupressus lawsoniana was named after him.[1] Went spectacularly bankrupt by 1873 after unwise investment in guano from San Domingo. [1]

Artistic recognitionEdit

He was portrayed in office by John Graham Gilbert.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Curthoys, M. C. "Lawson, Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/96787. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Grants Old and New Edinburgh
  3. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1800
  4. ^ Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1850
  5. ^