James Robert Matthews

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James Robert Matthews FRSE FLS CBE LLD (1889–1978) was a 20th-century Scottish botanist. He was president of the British Ecological Society in 1934 and president of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh 1939 to 1942.

The Linnean Society of London is a society dedicated to the study of, and the dissemination of information concerning, natural history, evolution, and taxonomy. It possesses several important biological specimen, manuscript and literature collections and publishes academic journals and books on plant and animal biology. The society also awards a number of prestigious medals and prizes for achievement.

Order of the British Empire order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

The British Ecological Society is a learned society in the field of ecology that was founded in 1913. It is the oldest ecological society in the world. The Society's original objective was "to promote and foster the study of Ecology in its widest sense" and this remains the central theme guiding its activities today. The Society has almost 5000 members of which 14% are students. It has always had an international membership and currently 42% are outside the United Kingdom, in a total of 92 countries. The head office is located Charles Darwin House in London, alongside a wide range of other biology organisations.



He was born in the village of Dunning on 8 March 1889, the son of Janet (née McLean) and Robert Matthews. He was educated at the local school then at Perth Academy. He then studied science at the University of Edinburgh, graduating MA in 1911. During the same period he attended the Teacher Training at Moray College in Edinburgh, and qualified as a teacher in the same year. In 1911/12 he undertook a course in botany under Isaac Bayley Balfour. [1]

Dunning village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, United Kingdom

Dunning is a small village in Perth and Kinross in Scotland with a population of about 1,000. The village centres around the 12th-13th century former parish church of St. Serf, where the Dupplin Cross is displayed. It is in Strathearn, the valley of the River Earn, north of the Ochil Hills. It is just south of the A9, between Auchterarder and Perth.

Perth Academy is a state comprehensive secondary school in Perth, Scotland. It was founded in 1696. The institution is a non-denominational one. The school occupies ground on the side of a hill in the Viewlands area of Perth, and is within the Perth and Kinross Council area.

University of Edinburgh public research university in Edinburgh, Scotland

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.

In the year 1912/13 he taught at North Berwick Secondary School, then in 1913 he began lecturing in botany at Birkbeck College in London. In the First World War he was employed as a proto-zoologist at Western Command in Liverpool. Returning to Birkbeck after the war, in 1920 he moved to the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer and in 1929 obtained a post as professor of botany at Reading University. In 1934 he moved to the University of Aberdeen.

North Berwick town in Scotland

North Berwick is a seaside town and former royal burgh in East Lothian, Scotland. It is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, approximately 25 miles (40 km) east-northeast of Edinburgh. North Berwick became a fashionable holiday resort in the nineteenth century because of its two sandy bays, the East Bay and the West Bay, and continues to attract holidaymakers. Golf courses at the ends of each bay are open to visitors.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Liverpool City and Metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 within the Liverpool City Council local authority in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

In 1924 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir William Wright Smith, Frederick Orpen Bower, James Ritchie and James Hartley Ashworth. He was vice president of the society from 1958 to 1961, and won the society's Neil Prize for the period 1961–63. [2]

Royal Society of Edinburgh academy of sciences

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland. It was established in 1783. As of 2017, it has more than 1,660 Fellows.

Sir William Wright Smith FRS FRSE FLS VMH LLD was a Scottish botanist and horticulturalist.

Frederick Orpen Bower British botanist

Prof Frederick Orpen Bower FRSE FRS was an English botanist. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1891. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Linnean Society in 1909 and the Darwin Medal of the Royal Society in 1938. He was president of the British Association in 1929–1930.

In 1956 he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and was granted an honorary doctorate (LLD) from Aberdeen University in 1960.

He retired in 1959 and died on 12 April 1978 aged 89.



In 1928 he married Christine Young Blackhall.

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  1. Roger, J. Grant (1980). "Obituary: Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh: Vol 43, No 3". Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. 43 (3): 247–249. doi:10.1080/03746608008685360.
  2. 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.