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As Dr Hope, besides his connexion with Mr Smellies botanical studies, was one of his earliest friends and patrons, and contributed, by his assistance, to Mr Smellies first establishment in life as a master printer, to be afterwards mentioned, some biographical notice of that worthy and ingenious physician and professor seems called for in this place.
The late Dr John Hope, professor of Botany, was born at Edinburgh on the 10th of May 1725. His father, Mr Robert Hope, a respectable surgeon, was a younger son of Sir ARCHIBALD Hope, Lord Rankeilar, a distinguished senator of the College of Justice. His mother, MARION Glass, was an descendant of the ancient family of Glass of Sauchie in Stirlingshire. Dr Hope received his early education at the school of Dalkeith, then taught by the celebrated Mr BAR
From thence he removed to the University of Edinburgh, where he prosecuted his medical studies under the elder Dr Monro and the other early luminaries who laid the solid foundation of the present celebrated medical school of that University. He became an early member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh, which has been many years
justly celebrated as an excellent source of improvement to the industrious medical students, and was one of the first of those who were raised to the rank of an honorary member in that society.
AFTER going through the usual academical course of studies at the University of Edinburgh, he went to some of the foreign medical schools, and had the advantage of studying botany, his favourite science, under the then celebrated BERNARD Jussieu, the botanical professor at Paris. Recalled to Scotland by the death of his father, he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Glasgow about the beginning of the year. 1750; and was soon afterwards admitted a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and entered into the practice of medicine in that city: the duties of which profession he always discharged with much judgment, and with that humane attention which so much becomes a medical practitioner, and for which he was eminently conspicuous.
On the death of Dr Alston, the professorships of botany and materia medica became
vacant; and as Dr Hope had shown an early and decided partiality and attachment to the science of botany, he was considered as a fit successor for that chair; one in whose hands the credit of the university might safely be entrusted, and by whose exertions its rising fame might be both supported and extended. Accordingly, by a royal commission, dated 13th April 1761, he was appointed Kings Botanist for Scotland, and Superinten dant of the Royal Garden at Edinburgh. A few weeks after receiving that commission from the Crown, Dr Hope was elected by the Town Council of Edinburgh as the successor of Dr Alston in the professorships of botany and materia medica. The Royal Garden, then occupied by the Kings botanist, was situate close to the Palace of Holyrood-house; and the professor of botany had the use of another piece of ground belonging to the City of Edinburgh, called the Physic Garden, immediately to the east of the North Bridge.
He continued for about six years to give regular courses of lectures on both these sub jects, with much credit to himself, and greatly to the satisfaction and improvement of the students; teaching the science of botany during the summer months, and the materia
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 botanical 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 Buțe, a nobleman 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 lacting ineriprial of his warm and judicious attachment (o the sciences in general, and to botany in particular. During the administration of the Duke of PortLAND, Dr Hope aftestards procured additional royal aid to this his favourite object; and through his perseverance, the University of Edinburgh finally became possessed of the most extens