Medals and Honours awarded to Sir George Taylor
Scope and Contents
- 1 x Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh / German (Junior), Session 1911-1912, Awarded to Annie J. Whitson (bronze medal in presentation case, Alex'r Kirkwood and Son, Medalists, 9 St. James Square, Edinburgh)
- 1 x Heriot-Watt College, Edinburgh / German (Intermediate), Session 1912-1913, Awarded to Annie J. Whitson (bronze medal in presentation case, Alex'r Kirkwood and Son, Medalists, 9 St. James Square, Edinburgh)
- 1 x The Veitch Memorial Medal, James Veitch born at Killerton May 24 1815 died at Chelsea September 10 1869 / Awarded to Dr. George Taylor for his work on Mecanopsis, December 1934 (silver medal in presentation case, John Pinches, London)
- 1 x Societe Botanique de France, 1854-1954. Dr. George Taylor
- 1 x Royal Horticultural Society, Victoria Medal / 1837-1897, VRI, RHS  (in presentation case, John Pinches, London)
- 1 x Royal Horticultural Society, Victoria Medallist (gold badge, in small box)
- 1 x Knight Bachelor. Breast Badge (the MBE, awarded to George Taylor 1962, in presentation case of the Royal Mint)
- 1 x The Veitch Memorial Medal, James Veitch born at Killerton died at Chelsea September / Sir George Taylor 1963 (gold medal in presentation case, John Pinches, London)
- 1 x International Botanical Congress XI, Seattle 1969 / Sir George Taylor Vice President
- 1 x The Bradford Washburn Award / The Museum of Science, Boston, Mass. Presented to Sir George Taylor, Plantsman Extraordinary 1969
- 1 x Colloquia Botanicorum XII. MCMLXXV. Leningrad / XXV Years International Association For Plant Taxonomy. Linnaeus / edge inscribed George Taylor
- 1 x Scottish Horticultural Medal Inst.SHM 1959 Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Sir George Taylor 
- 1 x Association Francaise pour L'Avancement des Sciences / G. Taylor (in presentation case)
- 1 x Kirstenbosch, 1913-1963 [Capetown] (silver medal, not enscribed / not engraved)
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Biographical / Historical
The University's botanical sciences courses had been delivered at the Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, and while studying there he acquired a wide knowledge of the plants of the world. After his graduation, in 1927-28, he participated in a plant expedition to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe), and in 1934 he was joint-leader of an expedition to the mountain region of Ruwenzori and other mountainous regions of East Africa. In 1938 he joined Major George Sherriff and Frank Ludlow of the Natural History Museum on an expedition to Bhutan and south eastern Tibet. While in the Himalayas he was able to see the Blue Poppy (Mecanopsis) which had been part of his research and which had culminated in the definitive work about this group of poppies (1934), and for which he was awarded a doctorate (D.Sc., Edinburgh University).
During the Second World War, Taylor served as a principal in the Air Ministry between 1940 and 1945, mostly in Harrogate. After the war however he became Deputy Keeper of Botany at the British Museum (Natural History) from 1945 to 1950, then Keeper of Botany there from 1950 until 1956. On the retiral of Sir Edward Salisbury in 1956, he became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, a post which he held until 1971. In 1962 he was Knighted (award of MBE) in public recognition of the changes and improvements that he had made and set in motion at Kew.
Taylor wrote An account of the genus Mecanopsis which was published in 1934, and he had contributed on flowering plants to various periodicals. In addition to receiving many many Honours and Medals he was given an Honorary Dr.Phil. from Gothenburg University, Sweden, in 1958, and an Honorary Doctorate by Dundee University, Scotland, in 1972. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1933, was a member of the Royal Society of Science, Uppsala from 1956, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1968.
After his retiral from Kew in 1971, Sir George Taylor became Director of the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, a post which he held until the late-1980s when illness made it impossible for him to continue. He died in Dunbar, East Lothian, on 12 November 1993.
1 box containing 14 pieces, and 1 letter
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Medals and Honours awarded to Sir George Taylor (1904-1993)