Hope, John

, an eminent professor of botany in the university of Edinburgh, was the son of Mr. Robert Hope, surgeon, and grandson of lord Rankeilar, one of the sena tors of the college of justice in Scotland. He was bori May 10, 1725, and educated at the university of Edinburgh, where his attention was first directed to the medical art. He afterwards visited other medical schools, particularly Paris, where he studied his favourite science, botany, under the celebrated Bernard Jussien. On hi; return to Scotland, he obtained the degree of M. D. from the university of Glasgow in 1750, and being a few monthi after admitted a member of the royal college of physicians Edinburgh, entered upon the practice of medicine in that city. On the death of Dr. Alston, in 1761, he was appointed king’s botanist in Scotland, superintendant of the royal garden, and professor of botany and materia medic. The latter, the professorship of materia medica, he resignd in 1768, and by a new commission from his majesty, was nominated regius professor of medicine and botany in the university, and had the offices of king’s botanist and supeintendant of the royal gardens conferred upon him for lit;, which till that time had been always granted during pleasnre only. While he thus enjoyed his honours at horn;, he received the most flattering marks of esteem from t/e learned of other countries, having been elected a member not only of the royal society of London, but also of several celebrated foreign societies, and having been enrolledin the first class of botanists even by Linnæus, who denoiiinated a beautiful shrub by the name of Hopea and a time when he might be justly considered as at the very head of his profession in Edinburgh, holding the distingnished office of president of the royal college of pysicians, he was seized with an alarming illness, which in the space of a few days, put a period to his life, Nov. 10, 1786. This gentleman richly deserves to be remembred as one of the earliest lecturers on the vegetable physiology, as well as an experienced practical botanist. Edinbrgli is indebted to his spirit and perseverance, in establihing and providing suitable funds for its botanic garden, one of the first in the kingdom. | Besides some useful manuals for facilitating the acquisition of botany by his students, Dr. Hope was long engaged in the composition of an extensive work, on which he bestowed much study and reflection; the object of which was, to increase the advantages which result from the highly ingenious artificial system of Linnæus, by conjoining with it a system of vegetables distributed according to their great natural orders. He had made very considerable progress in this valuable work; and it is much to be regretted by every lover of botany, that it was left imperfect at his death. Two valuable dissertations were published by him in the Philosophical Transactions, one on the Rheum palmatum, and the other on the Femla Assafoetida, in which he demonstrates the practicability of cultivating these two officinal plants in our own country. The true rhubarb has been since extensively and successfully cultivated; but that of the assafaetida plant has not been equally attended to. 1


Life by Dr. Duncan, Medical Commentaries, Dec. ii. vol. III.