Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jardine, William

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JARDINE, Sir WILLIAM, seventh baronet (1800–1874), naturalist, eldest son of Sir Alexander Jardine, sixth baronet, of Applegarth, Dumfriesshire, was born in Edinburgh 23 Feb. 1800. After some education at home and at a school in York, he at the age of seventeen entered the university of Edinburgh, taking both literary and medical classes. He studied natural history and geology under Professor Jameson, and anatomy under Barclay, Allan, and Lizars. He succeeded his father as seventh baronet in 1820. Jardine devoted himself especially to ornithology. His earliest publication (with Prideaux John Selby), ‘Illustrations of Ornithology,’ gave him a high rank among zoologists. In 1833 he commenced the publication of the ‘Naturalists' Library,’ a popular scientific account of very many groups of the vertebrate kingdom, with coloured illustrations. The series, which was very useful in its day, and may still be consulted with advantage, appeared at intervals of about three months until 1845, and fourteen volumes, dealing chiefly with birds and fishes, were by Jardine. In addition he wrote many memoirs of naturalists as prefaces to volumes by other writers. In 1836 he was president of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club. In 1837 he started at Edinburgh with Selby the ‘Magazine of Zoology and Botany,’ which became in 1838 the ‘Annals of Natural History,’ and in 1841 the ‘Annals and Magazine of Natural History.’ He was also for some years a joint editor of the ‘Edinburgh Philosophical Journal.’ In 1860 he was one of the royal commissioners on salmon fisheries of England and Wales, and he was an active member of the British Association from its foundation. In addition to his wide ornithological knowledge, Jardine knew many orders of vertebrates both as sportsman and naturalist; he was also a good geologist and botanist. He formed a valuable museum at Jardine Hall, and drew up a catalogue, the bird list containing six thousand species. He was an ardent fisherman and a good shot. He died at Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 21 Nov. 1874. In 1820 Jardine married Jane Home, daughter of Daniel Lizars of Edinburgh, by whom he had three sons and four daughters. After her death, in 1871, he married Hyacinthe, daughter of the Rev. W. S. Symonds. Lady Jardine married in 1876 Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Jardine wrote:

  1. ‘Illustrations of Ornithology’ (with Prideaux John Selby), 4to, Edinburgh, 1830, 2 vols.
  2. ‘Life of Alexander Wilson, Ornithologist,’ prefixed to Wilson's ‘American Ornithology,’ 1832; another edition, 1840.
  3. ‘The Naturalists' Library,’ edited by Jardine, Edinburgh, 1833–1845, 40 vols. 8vo. He wrote the volumes dealing with monkeys (vol. ii.), felinæ (vol. iii.), pachyderms (vol. ix.), ruminants (vols. x. xi.), humming-birds (vols. xiv. xv.), sunbirds (vol. xvi.), gallinaceous birds (vols. xx. xxi.), the perch family (vol. xxix.).‘
  4. Calendar of Ornithology,’ 1849.
  5. ‘The Ichnology of Annandale, or Illustrations of Footprints impressed on the New Red Sandstone of Corncockle Muir,’ Edinburgh, 1853, fol.
  6. ‘Memoirs of H. E. Strickland’ (his son-in-law) [q. v.], London, 1858, 8vo.
  7. ‘British Salmonidæ,’ Edinburgh, 1861, 2 parts, fol.
  8. ‘The Birds of Great Britain and Ireland, with Memoirs of Sir R. Sibbald, W. Smellie, J. Walker, and A. Wilson,’ London, 1876, 4 vols. 8vo.

He also edited editions of White's ‘Selborne,’ and of H. E. Strickland's ‘Ornithological Synonyms,’ 1855.

[Nature, vol. xi. 26 Nov. 1874; Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinb. ix. 207.] GTB