This site uses cookies, your continued use implies you agree with our cookie policy.

The Young Sir George

A Love of Plants

From an early age, Sir George was passionate about plants.

As part of his education, the primary focus of his father's attentions, he used to visit the house of John Symonds, a member of the Royal Society in London who kept 'a rare and choice collection of plants, exitoc and indigenous'.

In a letter to the head of the Linnean Society, the oldest biological society in the world, he reveals how impressed he is with young George, as well as his concerns over the boy's health.

"His little boy [our Sit George] comes with his tutor to my garden every day, and goes over the collection of plants in a regular course, with a Linnaeus and a Hortus Kewensis in his hand. His memory is great, and his apprehension quick and lively, so that there can be little doubt of his progress in that, or any other study to which he applies his mind. But I have fears for his health, which seems but ill established, and cannot, in my judgement, be benefitted by those continued attentions to all that diversity of  languages and sciences which the Baronet is perpetually pouring into him. The vessel is certainly of fine but delicate materials, and may be prematurely broken by too frequent use.”


Letter from John Symmons, Esq., F.R.S. of Paddington House to Sir James Smith,

London, 30 September 1794


This page is part of HISTORY