Milne, Colin (DNB00)

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MILNE, COLIN (1743?–1815), divine and botanist, was born at Aberdeen about 1743. He was educated at the Marischal College under his uncle, Dr. Campbell, and afterwards received the degree of LL.D. from the university. He removed to Edinburgh, and became tutor to Lord Algernon Percy, second son of Hugh Smithson, afterwards Percy, duke of Northumberland. He took Anglican orders, and soon made his mark as a preacher. He was appointed evening preacher to the City of London Lying-in Hospital, lecturer to both the Old and the New Church at Deptford, and subsequently rector of North Chapel, near Petworth, Sussex. He continued, however, to reside at Deptford (Cottage Gardener, viii. 185; Nichols, Anecdotes, iii. 760), where in 1783 he founded the Kent Dispensary, now the Miller Hospital, Greenwich. He was a prominent promoter of the Royal Humane Society, and several times preached the anniversary sermon for the society (Nichols, Literary Illustrations, i. 165). As a botanist he was chosen to preach the Fairchild sermon, and sermons which he delivered before the Grand Lodge of Freemasons and at the Maidstone assizes were also printed (cf. Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, iii. 760). He died at Deptford on 2 Oct. 1815.

He published: 1. ‘A Botanical Dictionary, or Elements of Systematic and Philosophical Botany,’ 1770, 8vo, dedicated to the Duke of Northumberland, 2nd ed. 1778, 3rd ed. 1805. 2. ‘Institutes of Botany, a Translation of the Genera Plantarum of Linnæus,’ pt. i. 1771, 4to, pt. ii. 1772, not completed. 3. ‘Sermons,’ 1780, 8vo. 4. In conjunction with Alexander Gordon (M.D. of Aberdeen, ‘reader in botany in London,’ son of James Gordon, the nurseryman of Mile End, who corresponded with Linnæus), ‘Indigenous Botany … the result of several Botanical Excursions chiefly in Kent, Middlesex, and the adjacent Counties in 1790, 1791, and 1793,’ vol. i. (all issued), 1793, 8vo.

[Hist. of English Gardening, by G. W. Johnson, 1829, p. 232; Records of the Miller Hospital, Greenwich, by John Poland, F.R.C.S. (in the press); Biog. Index of … Botanists, by J.Britten and G. S. Boulger, 1893.]

G. S. B.