Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 15.djvu/47

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Dickson
Dickson
41

Dickson's third son by his first wife is the present General Sir Collingwood Dickson, V.C., K.C.B., royal artillery, late president of the ordnance select committee, an artillery officer who served with much distinction in the Crimea, and in India during the mutiny, and who, as before stated, is the holder of his father's professional memoranda, &c.

[Foster's Baronetage, under 'Dickson; 'Duncan's Hist. Roy. Artillery; Gurwood's Well. Desp. particularly vols. v. vi. and viii.; Kane's List of Officers Roy. Artillery (revised ed. 1869); Gent. Mag. 1831, 1840.]

H. M. C.

DICKSON, ALEXANDER (1836–1887), botanist, descended from a family long the proprietors of Kilbucho, Lanarkshire, and Hartree, Peeblesshire, was born in Edinburgh on 21 Feb. 1836, and graduated in medicine at Edinburgh University in 1860. He had previously written some papers for the ' Transactions of the Edinburgh Botanical Society,' and he was selected in 1862 to lecture on botany at Aberdeen University during the illness of Professor George Dickie [q. v.] Having continued to studv and write upon the development and morphology of flowers, Dickson was appointed professor of botany at Dublin University on the death of Dr. Harvey. In 1868 he became professor of botany at Glasgow, and in 1879 he succeeded Dr. J. H. Balfour in the botanical chair at Edinburgh, and as regius keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden. He was a successful lecturer, having a very attractive and kind manner; an excellent draughtsman and field botanist, and a skilled musician and collector of Gaelic airs. He was also a generous and improving landlord. He died suddenly, of heart disease, during an interval of a curling match, in which he was a leading player, at Thriepland Pond, near Hartree, where he was spending the Christmas vacation, on 30 Dec. 1887. Dickson's very numerous papers on botany were published in the 'Transactions of the Edinburgh Botanical Society,' 'Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal,' 'Proceeding' and 'Transactions of Royal Society, Edinburgh,' and 'Journal of Botany.' Many of them are of considerable morphological value, but Dickson was essentially a cautious botanist. He also contributed a paper 'On Consanguineous Marriages viewed in the light of Comparative Physiology ' to the 'Glasgow Medical Journal,' iv. 1872. He was hon. M.D. Dublin, LL.D. Glasgow, F.R.S. Edinb., and had been twice president of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh.

[Scotsman, 81 Dec. 1887, 6 Jan. 1888; Nature, 6 Jan. 1888; Athenæum, 14 Jan. 1888.]

G. T. B.

DICKSON or DICK, DAVID (1583?–1663), Scottish divine, was the only son of John Dick or Dickson, a wealthy merchant in the Trongate of Glasgow, whose father was an old feuar of some lands called the Kirk of Muir, in the parish of St. Ninians, Stirlingshire. He was born in Glasgow about 1583, and educated at the university, where he graduated M.A., and was appointed one of the regents or professors of philosophy. These regents, according to the recommendations of the general assembly, only continued in office eight years, and on the conclusion of his term of office Dickson was in 1618 ordained minister of the parish of Irvine. In 1620 he was named in a leet of seven to be a minister in Edinburgh, but being suspected of nonconformity his nomination was not pressed (Calderwood, History of the Kirk of Scotland, vii. 448). Having publicly testified against the five articles of Perth, he was at the instance of Law, archbishop of Glasgow, summoned to appear before the high court of commission at Edinburgh, 9 Jan. 1622, but having declined the jurisdiction of the court, he was subsequently deprived of his ministry in Irvine, and ordained to proceed to Turriff, Aberdeenshire, within twenty days (ib.vii. 630-42). When about to proceed on his journey northward, the Archbishop of Glasgow, at the request of the Earl of Eglinton, permitted him to remain in Ayrshire, at Eglinton, where for about two months he preached in the hall and courtyard of the castle. As great crowds went from Irvine to hear him, he was then ordered to set out for Turriff, but about the end of July 1623 was permitted to return to his charge at Irvine, and remained there unmolested till 1637. Along with Alexander Henderson and Andrew Cant, he attended the private meeting convened in the latter year by Lord Lorne, afterwards Marquis of Argyll, at which they began to regret their dangerous estate with the pride and avarice of the prelates (Spalding, Memorials of the Troubles, i. 79). The same year he prevailed on the presbytery of Irvine for the suspension of the service-book, and he formed one of the deputation of noblemen and influential ministers deputed by the covenanters to visit Aberdeen to 'invite the ministry and gentry into the covenant' (Gordon, Scots Affairs, i. 82; Spalding, Memorials, i. 91). The doctors and professors of Aberdeen proved, however, 'not easily to be gained,' and after various encounters with the covenanters published 'General Demandis concerning the lait Covenant,' &c. 1638, reprinted 1662 (the latter edition having some copies with the title-page dated 1663), to which Henderson and Dickson drew up a