Biography of John Hutton Balfour
John Hutton Balfour
John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884), nicknamed "Woody Fibre", was Regius Professor of Botany at the University from 1841 to 1845. He was awarded an LLD in 1879.
Born in Edinburgh, Balfour studied at the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, graduating MD from the latter in 1836 and setting up in private practice. He was a founder member of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh in 1836 and lectured on Botany in the city. In 1841, was invited to fill the Regius Chair at Glasgow.
Balfour was closely involved in laying out the new Botanic Gardens in the city's West End and brought his herbarium with him from Edinburgh. In October 1845, however, he returned to the capital as Professor of Medicine and Botany at the University of Edinburgh and he was subsequently appointed Regius Professor of Botany, Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden and Queen's Botanist in Scotland.