Collecting localities



Biographical data


Hamilton, Francis Buchanan


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 8: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement II)


Born: 1762, the Branziet, county of Stirling, Scotland. Died: 1829, Leny, near Callander.



Studied medicine at Edinburgh, where he developed a keen interest in botany. Early in 1785 he embarked on the first of his eastern voyages. In 1794 he accepted a commission from the Hon. East India Company as Assistant Surgeon; 1806-14 Surveyor; 1814-15 Superintendent of the Botanic Garden at Calcutta. In February 1815 he left India.

Clerodendron buchanani Walp. was named after him.


Collecting localities:1

He made 4 voyages as surgeon to an Indiaman, viz: in the ‘Duke of Montrose’ sailing May 22, 1785 for Bombay, returning May 1787; in the ‘Duke of Montrose’ to Bombay and China, 1788-89, sailing by way of Malaysia (cf. Fl. Mal. vol. 1); in the ‘Phoenix’ to the Coromandel Coast and Bengal, 1791-92; in the ‘Rose’ to Bengal, 1794. On the 8th of January 1789, his vessel was in the sea of Celebes about midway between the Philippines and the Moluccas, on the 12th of April of the same year somewhere in the southern Atlantic.



Prain says in his biography (see below) that there are no indications as to collecting during the East Indian voyages. When staying in India he made extensive collections, e.g. in Nepal, which are preserved in Herb. Wallich (= Kew now [K]), Herb. Brit. Mus. [BM], Kew [K], Edinburgh [E], and Herb. Deless. (Geneva [G]). It is recorded that he forwarded 4 species of Dipterocarps from Sumatra to Sir Joseph Banks in 1798. We do not know whether he collected them himself.

A MS. catalogue of dried plants, collected and presented to the Museum of the E.I. Comp. in Library Calcutta Bot. Gardens.



(1) Cf. D.G. Crawford, Hist. Ind. Medic. Service 1600-1913, vol. 2, London 1914, p. 62.


biographical data:

Biogr. Index Britten & Boulger In Journ. Bot. 27, 1889, p. 49; Prain in Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. Cale. 102, 1905, p. i-lxxv; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.