Charles Daubeny

Charles Giles Bridle Daubeny (1795-1867), English chemist, botanist and geologist, was born at Stratton near Cirencester February 11, 1795. He became interested in natural science as a student at Magdalen College, Oxford, beginning in 1810. From 1815 to 1818 he studied medicine in London and Edinburgh. He took his M.D. degree at Oxford, and was a fellow of the College of Physicians. In 1819, in the course of a tour through France, he developed an interest in and knowledge of volcanic phenomena which continued for many years. His chemical knowledge of volcanic soils was found to be useful by the farming community.

In November 1822 Daubeny became professor of chemistry at Oxford, and retained this post until 1855. In 1834 he was appointed to the chair of botany, to which was subsequently attached that of rural economy. At the Oxford Botanic Garden he conducted numerous experiments upon the effect of changes in soil, light and the composition of the atmosphere upon vegetation. He also built, at his own expense, a special tank to grow Victoria at the Botanic Garden.

Nymphaea 'Daubenyana', a tropical day-blooming viviparous waterlily, thought by some to be a hybrid between N. caerulea and N. micrantha, was named for him by William T. Baxter. This might have been one of the earliest waterlily hybrids and different references date it between 1851 and 1864. Daubeny died in Oxford December 12, 1867. The Herbarium at Oxford is named for him.

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