Saturday, 16 January 2010

Alexander Macleay (1767 - 1818)

Born in Ross-shire, the son of the Deputy-Lieutenant of Caithness, 24 th June, 1767. Died at Sydney 18 th June, 1848.

Fellow 1794, and Secretary, 1798 -1825, of the Linnean Society. Fellow of the Royal Society 1809. Colonial Secretary of New South Wales 1825-37, and first Speaker of the Legislative Council 1843-46, and First President of the Australian Museum at Sydney, founded in 1836. His name was given by Robert Brown to the genus Macleaya, (Bocconia), belonging to the poppy family.

There is a silhouette drawn on paper and a bust, profile to the right, in the Hooker Collection. There is also a line engraving by Charles Fox, after a painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A., belonging to the Linnean Society; to the waist, seated, clean shaven face, three-quarters to the right There is a copy of this in the rooms of the Linnean Society of New South Wales.

A distinguished entomologist and "a practical botanist." (R.Brown, Proc . Linn. .Soc. ii, 45). See also. The Sydney Botanic Garden was under his official care in the early days and owes much to him. An admirable account of him from the pen of Mr. J. J. Fletcher will be found in the Macleay Memorial volume (Sydney 1893), in honour of his nephew, Sir William Macleay.

He is commemorated in
Anopterus macleayanus F.v.M.
Catakidozamia macleayi Hill
Macrozamia macleayi Hort.
Leichhardtia macleayana Sheph.= Octoclinis macleayana , F.v.M.;
Frenela macleayana Parlat.= Callitris macleayana , F.v.M.

Source: Maiden, J.H. (1908) Records of Australian botanists- (a) General, (b) New South Wales. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Soiciety of New South Wales for 1908 . 42:60-132

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