Jack, William (DNB00)

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JACK, WILLIAM (1795–1822), botanist, was born at Aberdeen 29 Jan. 1795, and received his early education at that university. At sixteen years of age he graduated M.A., but an attack of scarlet fever prevented him from going to study medicine at Edinburgh. He came to London in October 1811, and passed his examination as surgeon in the next year. Having been appointed surgeon in the Bengal medical service, he left for his post on his eighteenth birthday. He went through the Nepal war in 1814–15, and after further service in other parts of India, he met Sir Stamford Raffles at Calcutta in 1818, and accompanied him to Sumatra to investigate the botany of the island. Broken down by fatigue and exposure, he embarked for the Cape, but died the day following (15 Sept. 1822). He published some papers on Malayan plants in the scarce ‘Malayan Miscellanies’ (two volumes printed in 1820–1 at Bencoolen), and these were reprinted by Sir W. J. Hooker thirteen years later. Jack's name is commemorated in the genus Jackia, Wallich.

[Hooker's Comp. Bot. Mag. i. 122; Hooker and Thomson's Flora Indica, i. 48.]

B. D. J.