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medica class during the winter session. But, finding his health impaired by his unwearied and constant attentions, he resigned the chair of materia medica in 1768, and confined himself to his favourite science of botany. On this occasion, he got a new commission from his Majesty on the 8th May 1768, as Regius Professor of Medicine and Botany in the University; and the offices of Kings Botanist and Superintendant of the Royal Garden, which had hitherto been granted during pleasure only, were now conferred upon him for life.
Not many months after resigning the professorship of materia medica, Dr Hope was elected one of the physicians to the Royal Infirmary, then vacant by the death of the late worthy Dr David CLERK. He continued to discharge the duties of this employment, almost to the day of his death, with much humanity, besides bestowing the most unremitting attention to a very extensive private practice.
It has been already mentioned that there. were formerly two botanical gardens occupied by the professor of botany, one belonging
to the Crown, and attached to the office of Kings botanist, while the other was the property of the town, and was attached to the professorship of botany. Both of these were small and ill situate; and the public funds allowed for the purpose were quite insufficient for the establishment of a fit bota. nical garden, or the erection and management of proper conservatories for plants. Dr Hope therefore transmitted a judicious memorial to the Crown on this subject, during the administration of the Earl of Bute, a no bleman who was peculiarly attached to the science of botany; in consequence of which adequate funds were granted for the purpose of purchasing a convenient spot of ground, and for erecting a new botanical garden, with appropriate conservatories. On this occasion, the present garden in Leith Walk was established, planned, and perfected by Dr HOPE, and is a lasting memorial of his warm and judicious attachment to the sciences in general, and to botany in particular. During the administration of the Duke of PORTLAND, Dr Hope afterwards procured additional royal aid to this his favourite object; and through his perseverance, the University of Edinburgh finally became possessed of the most exten,
sive public botanical garden in Europe, which has been enriched with a vast variety of vegetable productions from every part of the globe.
Besides these unremitting and successful exertions in forming and enriching the botanical garden, Dr Hope was most assiduous
cherishing and promoting a zeal for botanical studies among the young gentlemen who resorted to the University of Edinburgh for medical education. His predecessor, Dr Alston, had only been in use to read a very small number of lectures on this science; but Dr Hope was quite indefatigable in perfecting his lectures, till they became as complete and comprehensive as any scientific course in the celebrated medical school of Edinburgh; and in delivering this extended course, he always evinced an ardent enthusiasm to advance and extend his favourite science, which had a powerful effect to inspire similar emotions in his hearers. Among the means he employed to excite a spirit for botanical studies, he was long in use to bestow an annual gold medal entirely at his own expence, as a spur to exertion, and as a testimony of superior merit, for the best botanical essay
written by the students on a prescribed subject; a description of which has been already given.
Besides some useful manuals for facilitating the acquisition of botany by his students, Dr Hope was long engaged in the composition of an extensive botanical 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 the great Linnaeus, 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 the public has been deprived of the fruits of his labours on this important subject, as it was left imperfect at his death. Two valuable dissertations by this learned professor of botany have been published in the London Philosophical Transactions; one on the Rheum Palmatum, and the other on the Ferula 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 assafoetida plant has not been equally attended to.
About the year 1760, Dr Hope married JULIANA, the daughter of Dr StevenSON, an eminent physician in Edinburgh, by whom he had four sons and a daughter. After long enjoying much domestic felicity, and high honour in his profession, both as a physician and professor, he died, while President of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, after a short illness, on the 10th November 1786, in the 62d year of his age. The following character of this eminent person, from the pen of his friend Dr ANDREW Duncan, senior, Professor of the Institutes of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh, gives a just and fair estimate of his talents and virtues *
“ Although he possessed from nature a considerable heat of temper, yet this was so regulated by the dictates of prudence, that it led only to such exertions as were good and useful. Although he often mentioned to his most intimate friends the trouble it
* Med. Comment, Dec. II, vol. iii. p. 394.