Robert Graham (botanist)

Robert Graham FRSE FRCPE MWS (3 December 1786 – 7 August 1845) was a Scottish physician and botanist.

Robert Graham by Colvin Smith
Robert Graham
Robert Graham's house at 62 Great King Street, Edinburgh


Graham was born in Stirling the son of Dr Robert Graham,[1] physician. After studying at Stirling Grammar School he continued first to the University of Glasgow and then to the University of Edinburgh where he graduated around 1806, and completed his MD in 1808. He trained further at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he qualified as a surgeon. He then returned to Scotland to practice at Glasgow Royal Infirmary 1812-3 and 1816–19.[2]

In 1816 he began lecturing in botany at the University of Glasgow, taking over from Thomas Brown of Lanfine and Waterhaughs following his resignation.[3] He was a major figure in the creation of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and was the inaugural Chair of Botany at the Glasgow in 1818. In 1820 he moved to Edinburgh to take up the position of Professor of Botany and Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, a role he continued until 1845.[1] He was also physician to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and the 6th Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (1820–1845).

In 1821 Graham was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his proposer being Thomas Charles Hope.[1]

In the 1830s he is listed as living at 62 Great King Street in Edinburgh's New Town.[4]

From 1840 to 1842 he served as President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.[5]

He died at Coldoch in Perthshire on 7 August 1845.

Memberships and positions heldEdit

Botanical contributionsEdit

He wrote descriptions of new and rare plants cultivated in the gardens which were published in Edinburgh New Philosophical Magazine, Curtis's Botanical Magazine and Hooker's Companion to the Botanical Magazine.

Among plants he described was the Australian shrub Lasiopetalum macrophyllum.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 – 2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
  2. ^ "Biography of Robert Graham". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  3. ^ "john/huntmin/Lanfine". Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Edinburgh Post Office annual directory, 1832-1833". National Library of Scotland. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Lasiopetalum macrophyllum Graham". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
  7. ^ IPNI.  Graham.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit