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Anderson, Thomas

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Anderson, Thomas

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  • Dr. Thomas Anderson

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1832-1870

History

Born Edinburgh 1832; died Edinburgh 1870.
After graduating with an MD at the University of Edinburgh, Thomas Anderson entered the East India Company Bengal medical service in 1854, serving in the North West Provinces and then Lucknow (he was present at the time of the Siege). He returned to Calcutta in 1858 as garrison assistant surgeon but ill health sent him back to Britain. He had developed an interest in botany at university and whilst in India studied the local flora and collected plants in the Himalayas. During his journey back to Britain he stayed briefly in Aden where his collections formed the basis of ‘Florula Adenensis’, a supplement to the Journal of The Linnean Society. Anderson returned to India in 1860 and took temporary charge of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, becoming superintendent in 1861, a post he held until 1868. In 1861 he went to Java to bring back plants and seeds of Cinchona calisaya a source of quinine for new plantations in India. He was invalided back to Britain in 1869, resuming his research on Indian flora, but died the following year from a liver complaint.
Sources: DNB; Desmond's Dictionary; Gard Chron 1870, Jnl Bot 1870
by D.W.

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