Maxwell T. Masters

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Maxwell Tylden Masters FRS (15 April 1833 – 30 May 1907) was an English botanist and taxonomist.[1][2] He was the son of William Masters, the nurseryman and botanist of Canterbury and author of Hortus duroverni.[3]

Maxwell T. Masters
15 April 1833
Maxwell Tylden Masters

15 April 1833
Died30 May 1907(1907-05-30) (aged 74)
Mount, Ealing, England, United Kingdom
OccupationBotanist, taxonomist
Parent(s)Wiliam Masters


He was educated at King's College London and the University of St Andrews. He attended the lectures of Edward Forbes and John Lindley.[4]

His most famous works are perhaps Vegetable Teratology, which dealt with teratology (abnormal mutations) of vegetable species, and several works on Chinese plants (particularly conifers), describing many of the new species discovered by Ernest Henry Wilson.

The larch Larix mastersiana and the Nepenthes hybrid N. × mastersiana are named after him, among other plant species. Including a genus that was published in 1871, Maxwellia from New Caledonia.[5]

He was the editor of the Gardeners' Chronicle between 1866 and 1907, which led to him corresponding with Charles Darwin.[6]

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1870.

He was made a correspondent of the Institute of France in 1888.

He was also a chevalier of the order of Leopold.[4]

He died at the Mount, Ealing, on 30 May 1907. His body was cremated at Woking.[4]

His obituary in The American Florist credited him with preventing Kew Gardens "from being handed over to a political clique", with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) holding onto its Chiswick Garden, and for preventing "confiscation" of the RHS Lindley Library "in the dark days of the society at South Kensington".[7]


In 1858 he married Ellen, daughter of William Tress, by whom he had four children. His wife and two daughters survived him.[4]


  1. ^ "Masters, Maxwell T." Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 1192.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Dr. Maxwell T. Masters, F.R.S". Nature. 76 (157): 157. 13 June 1907. doi:10.1038/076157a0.
  3. ^ Desmond, R. (1994). Dictionary of British & Irish Botanists & Horticulturists,  p.475. Taylor & Francis, and Natural History Museum, London. ISBN 0-85066-843-3
  4. ^ a b c d Boulger 1912.
  5. ^ "Maxwellia lepidota Baill. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  6. ^ Darwin, F. ed. 1887. The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter, London: John Murray. page 385
  7. ^ "Dr. Maxwell T. Masters". The American Florist. Vol. June 22. 1907. p. 1106.
  8. ^ IPNI.  Mast.


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