Forsyth, William

, an able horticulturist, was born at Old Meldrum in the county of Aberdeen, in 1737, and having been early initiated in horticulture, a favourite study in his own country, he came to London in 1763. Shortly after he became pupil to the celebrated Philip Miller, gardener to the company of apothecaries at their physic-garden at Chelsea, and succeeded him in that situation in 1771. Here he remained until the beginning of 1784, when he was appointed by his majesty chief superintendant of the royal gardens at Kensington and at St. | James’s; which employments he held until his death, July 25, 1804.

About 1768, Mr. Forsyth paid particular attention to the cultivation of fruit and forest trees, and turned his thoughts especially toward the discovery of a composition to remedy the diseases and injuries incident to them. After repeated trials, he at length succeeded in preparing one which fully answered his expectation; and in 1789 the success of his experiments attracted the notice of the commissioners of the land revenue, upon whose recommendation a committee of both houses of parliament was appointed to report upon the merits of his. discovery. The result of their inquiries was a perfect conviction of its utility; and in consequence, an address was voted by the house of commons to his majesty, praying that a reward might be “ranted to Mr. Forsyth, upon his disclosing the secret of his composition to the public, which was accordingly done; and in 1791, Mr. Forsyth published his.” Observations on the diseases, defects, and injuries of Fruit and Forest Trees,“to which he added the whole of the correspondence between the commissioners of the land revenue, the committee of parliament, and himself. In 1802 he published the final result of his labours, inA Treatise on the culture and management of Fruit Trees," &c. 4to, the value of which work has been duly appreciated by the public, three editions having been sold in a very short time. Mr. Forsyth was a member of the society of antiquaries, and of the Linnaean and other learned bodies. He was a man of great benevolence, and although allowed to, rank high in his profession, had all the diffidence and modesty which adhere to men of real worth and knowledge. 1


Gent. Mag. for 1804 and 1805, where are the details of a controversy on his discovery, which appears to terminate to his honour.