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Balfour, Sir Isaac Bayley, 1853-1922 (professor of botany, University of Edinburgh and regius keeper of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh)



  • Existence: 1853 - 1922


Isaac Bayley Balfour was born in Edinburgh on 31 March 1853. He was the son of the Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884). Balfour was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then he studied at Edinburgh University where he was awarded the degrees of B.Sc. in 1873, and D.Sc. in 1875. He also studied abroad at Strasbourg and Wurzburg. He participated in expeditions to Rodriguez in 1874, Socotra in 1880, and Japan and China in 1909-1910. Balfour was Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University between 1879 and 1884, then Sherardian Professor of Botany at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Magdalen College, from 1884 to 1888. From 1888, he was Professor of Botany at Edinburgh University, Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, and the King's Botanist in Scotland. During his Keepership of the Garden, the whole establishment underwent re-organisation, buildings and gardens. He was knighted in 1920. Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour died at Haslemere on 30 November 1922.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Examination Book (Sir Lyon Playfair and Alexander Crum Brown), 1866-1873

Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/C2/12
Scope and Contents

Register of students attending chemistry classes of Sir Lyon Playfair, then Alexander Crum Brown, including examination results and awards obtained. Students include Sophia Jex Blake and Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour.

Dates: 1866-1873

Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour, 05 August 1873

Identifier: Coll-74/11/8/12
Scope and Contents

Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour telling Geikie he will be pleased to co-operate in the scheme which he has sent a prospectus for.

Dates: 05 August 1873

Notes of lectures given by Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour, taken down by James R. Watson

Identifier: Coll-1953
Scope and Contents

One volume containing notes of botany lectures given by Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour, taken down by James R Watson at the University of Edinburgh in 1890.

Dates: 1890

Papers of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour

Identifier: Coll-8
Scope and Contents

The papers of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour consist of material relating to work on the flora of Socotra, 1883; letters; class tickets from 1871 and into the mid-1870s; notebook; notes; lecture notes; University of Glasgow class catalogues; material relating to the University of Edinburgh Commission of 1858, and its Reports on Botany, and Botany in the Arts Curriculum; material on the Universities Scotland Bill; and, material on botany excursions.

Dates: circa 1870-1920

Additional filters:

Archival Object 2
Collection 2
Botany 2
Botanists 1
Chemistry 1
Class List 1
Examinations 1