John Templeton (botanist)

John Templeton (Botanist)

John Templeton (botanist)

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John Templeton (1766–1825) was an early Irish naturalist and botanist. He is often referred to as the "Father of Irish Botany". He was the father of naturalist, artist and entomologist Robert Templeton.


Templeton was born at , Belfast in 1766 (some 68 years after it was so named from William of Orange having tethered his horse to a Spanish Chestnut tree beside the house on his way south from Carrickfergus to face the armies of James II at the River Boyne). He married Katherine Johnson of Seymour Hill, on the outskirts of Belfast, the daughter of a Belfast merchant on 21 December 1799. The couple had five children: Ellen, born on 30 September 1800, Robert, born on 12 December 1802, Catherine, born on 19 July 1806, Mary, born on 9 December 1809 and Matilda on 2 November 1813.

The union between the two already prosperous merchant families provided more than ample means enabling Templeton to devote himself passionately to the study of natural history. Influenced by the French Revolution, which many saw as lighting a beacon of enlightenment before the counter-revolutionary Civil War and the ensuing "Terror", Templeton was an early member of the United Irishmen. At once a fervent advocate of Irish independence from the United Kingdom he changed the name of the family home to ‘Cranmore’ (Irish: crann mór; 'big tree'). Disillusionment came with the murders of a number of Protestants and the rise of sectarian Irish nationalism, though he...
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