Obituary | Published:

Mr. W. J. Bean, M.V.O., I.S.O

Nature volume 159, pages 667668 (17 May 1947) | Download Citation



IT is with deep regret that we have to record the death of William Jackson Bean, formerly curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was known to every cultivator of hardy trees and shrubs by his standard three-volume work, “Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles”. His death occurred on April 19 after a rather protracted illness, when within a few weeks of his eighty-fourth year. Born on May 26, 1863, in a village at the foot of the Yorkshire Wold, near Malton, his love for plant life was inherited, as for three generations his forbears had functioned as nurserymen. He was educated at Holgate School, York, and at the age of sixteen entered the famous gardens at Belvoir Castle to receive his early training in horticulture. At twenty years of age he entered the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as a student gardener, and was quickly earmarked for promotion. After serving as sub-foreman in the Palm House and Orchid Houses, he was appointed foreman of the Temperate House, a position he occupied for several years before being transferred to the Arboretum as foreman in 1892.

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