This series contains papers of the horticulturist, George W Robinson. It consists of four groups of records: correspondence (ROB/1), newspaper cuttings and miscellaneous papers (ROB/2), photographs (ROB/3), glass negative slides (ROB/4). The photographic album and photographs relate to Robinson's time at Kew, whilst the correspondence and papers date from the early 1960s. The glass slides on the whole date from Robinson's employment in Chile; although some appear to have been used for lectures given at Oxford.
This collection is subject to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kews standard access and reproduction conditions. Access is unrestricted. Reproduction information is available on request.
Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
The material was donated to Kew as a gift by the son of George W Robinson on 21 July 2005. The accession number is PrP 05-0001.
No accruals are expected.
Administrative / biographical background:
Born 14 August 1898, George W Robinson began his career in horticulture at 15 as an apprentice in Cumberland at Brackenburgh Towers, Calthwaite, Carlisle. Following military service in World War I, Robinson gained experience of construction and landscaping whilst working for the War Graves Commission in France and Belgium from 1920 to 1922 as sub-foreman gardener. He studied for a Kew Certificate between 1922 and 1924, working in the Palm House and later as sub-foreman of the T-Range.
Robinson then travelled to Chile where he worked for the late Chilean Minister in London, laying out an estate for him near Valparaiso, cultivating temperate and sub tropical plants between 1924 and 1929. Robinson worked a Head Gardener to Dowager Marchioness of Linlithgow (1929) and Head Gardener to London Electric Railways (1930-1931).
He returned to Kew as Assistant Curator in January 1931, before becoming Curator at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1937. Robinson later became Curator at the old University Botanic Garden in Oxford in 1942. He continued to live there until ill health forced him to take early retirement in 1963, upon which he moved to Coventry. During his time at Oxford he was awarded an honorary MA degree, the Victoria Medal for Horticulture (VMH) and the Associate Honour of the Royal Horticultural Society (AHRHS) in 1946 and became an Associate of the Linnean Society (ALS) in 1952. Robinson was also President of the Kew Guild from 1957-1958. He passed away in May 1972.
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