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Balfour, Colonel Frederick Robert Stephen

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Balfour, Colonel Frederick Robert Stephen

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1873-1945

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Born Denbighshire 1873; died London 1945
Educated at Loretto School, Musselburgh and gaining a BA at Oxford University in 1896, Frederick Balfour was initially employed in his family firm in London. He travelled extensively on business and made several expeditions to the Pacific coast of North America, on one occasion staying there for 4 years, acquiring a deep knowledge of forest trees. He introduced the cultivation of several pines including Picea brewiana and developed the Arboretum at the family estate at Dawyck near Peebles, which he had inherited from his father in 1886. Dawyck was already a well established estate with trees dating back to the late seventeenth century. In 1916 Balfour was sent to France to liaise with the French Army over supplies of timber, being appointed Lieut. Colonel for the purpose. His interest in forestry continued after the war and he travelled extensively to supplement the Dawyck collection. With many business interests and directorships, Balfour was a member of the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland, Royal Company of Archers and a local Justice of the Peace and Vice Lieutenant of the county in Peeblesshire.
Sources: R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists’; Gardeners Chronicle 1945; RBGE obituary folder.
D.W.

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