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Batey [née Lever], Mavis Lilian (1921–2013), code-breaker and garden historian, was born on 5 May 1921 at 20 Crebor Street, Dulwich, London, the only daughter and younger child of Frederick (formerly Fred, later Stanley Frederick) Lever (1887/8–1971) and his wife, Lily Elizabeth, ...

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Beales, Peter Leslie (1936–2013), rose breeder and historian, was born on 22 July 1936 at May Farm, Banningham, Norfolk, the elder child and only son of Evelyn May Beales (1916–2006), domestic servant, who in 1938 married Walter John Howes (1900–1970). He was brought up for his first eight years by his maternal grandparents and their family, and then by his mother and stepfather. He rejoiced in his early childhood and the garden where he recalled that the only ornamental plant among greens and vegetables was a fine bush of the rose ‘Maiden's blush’ cherished by his grandfather (who died when ...

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Ekins, (Emily) Helen (1879–1964), horticulturist and educational administrator, was born on 9 November 1879 at Market Place, St Albans, the only daughter of Arthur Edward Ekins, pharmaceutical chemist, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Childs. She matriculated from St Albans high school, where she was one of its original pupils. During the following ten years she undertook voluntary work; but in her spare time she grew plants for market, winning in the process a number of prizes at local flower shows. This experience awakened in her what was to become a lifelong interest in horticulture....

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Vicary Gibbs (1853–1932) by Lafayette, 1927 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Gibbs, Vicary (1853–1932), genealogist and gardener, was born at Hampstead, Middlesex, on 12 May 1853, the second surviving son of the prominent banker Henry Hucks Gibbs (1819–1907) and his wife, Louisa Anne (d. 1897), third daughter of Dr William Adams. He was great-great-nephew of the judge ...

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(Grace) Beatrix Helen Havergal (1901–1980) by Valerie Finnis, 1960s © Valerie Finnis; collection Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library

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Havergal, (Grace) Beatrix Helen (1901–1980), horticulturist and teacher, was born on 7 July 1901 at Roydon Manor House near Bressingham, Norfolk, the second of three children of the Revd Clement Havergal (1858–1941), vicar of Bressingham, and his wife, Eveline Mary Barrett (1869–1931). The children had a happy life despite friction between their father, an eccentric and repressive character, and their artistic and romantic mother. In 1902 the family moved to ...

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Kennon, Sidney (d. 1754), midwife and collector, whose family background and education are obscure, distinguished herself initially in her services to the royal family, especially to Queen Caroline and Augusta, princess of Wales. The infant George III was delivered by her. Kennon was highly respected for her professional acumen and, at the time of her death, could command ...

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Lyons, John Charles (1792–1874), horticulturist and antiquary, was born on 22 August 1792, the only child of Charles John Lyons (1766–1796), captain of the 12th light dragoons, and his wife, Mary Anne (d. 1855), daughter of Sir Richard Levinge. His grandfather, who survived his father, was ...

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Nicholson [née Weeks], (Lorna) Rosemary (1919–2004), garden historian and museum founder, was born on 3 July 1919 at 17 Alexander Road, Southport, Lancashire, the youngest of the five children of Robert Foster Jeffrey Weeks, a mining engineer and a former officer in the ...

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Walker, Richard (1679–1764), horticulturist and college administrator, was the son of Robert Walker, of Tanfield, near Ripon, Yorkshire. After school in Tanfield, he was admitted as sizar in Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1703, matriculated in 1704, and graduated BA in 1707. He obtained a fellowship in 1709, proceeded MA in 1710, and was vice-master in 1734–64. From 1744 to 1764 he was Knightbridge professor of moral philosophy. ...

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Richard Walker (1679–1764) by Peter Spendelowe Lamborn, pubd 1771 (after D. Heins) © National Portrait Gallery, London