Although this is not a history of the progress of Botany, that science is so intimately connected with gardening, that some references to it cannot be left out, for how could the immense number of plants now cultivated, be understood or identified, if it were not for systematic classification ? The two great pioneers in this work are John Ray and Robert Morison. Their relative merit has been the subject of some discussion. Both began to work out a system about the same time. Ray gave an outline of his classification in 1668, in the tables in Bishop Wilkins's Real or Universal Character. Morison's first ideas are embodied in his work, Hortus Blcsensis, 1669, and further developed in his Plantarum Umbelliferum, 1672, and his History of Plants* 1680. Ray's complete system, shown in his Methodus Plantarum, did not appear until two years later, his Synopsis in 1690, and the revised Methodus in 1703. Morison professes to have worked out the system entirely from Nature, but Ray, with perhaps more honesty, owns his indebtedness to Caesalpinus and other foreign writers, and even to Morison. It was Ray who first separated the Monocotyledons from Dicotyledons, and thus laid the basis of the " Natural System" now universally followed. Ray (1628-1705) was the son of a blacksmith, near Braintree, in Essex ; he was educated at the Grammar School there, and in 1644 went to Cambridge, where he soon showed his love of natural history, and especially of botany, and published his catalogue of plants round Cambridge in 1660. He travelled much about England, and also spent three years abroad with his friend, also a naturalist, Francis Willoughby. In 1667 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and contributed many writings to their " transactions." He settled near his native place in 1679, and there passed the remainder of his life in study, and the production of his great works on Natural History and Botany. Morison (1620-1683) was a native of Aberdeen. Being a staunch Royalist, when the war broke out he joined the army, and on the failure of the King's cause went to France. There he studied Natural History, and became so distinguished a botanist that he was appointed Curator of the fine gardens of the Duke of Orleans at Blois, in 1650. Charles II., on his Restoration, invited Morison to return to England, and gave him the supervision of the Royal Gardens. In 1669 he was appointed Professor of Botany, at Oxford, with the degree of Doctor of Physic, and there he lectured and laboured at his Historia Plantarum Oxoniensis, until his death, caused by an accident, in 1683. The systems evolved by these two men differed from those of all preceding Botanists; inasmuch as they were the first to classify plants according to some real likeness in the fruit or flower, and not merely from similarity of habit or place of growth. Morison divided herbaceous plants into fifteen classes; Ray into twenty-five, and trees and shrubs into eight. These systems, which paved the way, so to speak, for Jussieu, Robert Brown, and others, came at a time when they were most needed. From East and West, from the Old World and from the New, plants were pouring in yearly in increasing numbers ; and the necessity of arranging these newly-acquired treasures, was the foremost task of Botanists.
* A second and enlarged edition was published in 1658, with the co-operation of Philip Stephens and William Brown, both botanists of Oxford. It is a great improvement on the first, and makes frequent reference to Gerard and Parkinson.
* Plantarum Historiae Universalis Oxoniensis, pars secunda. The first part was never published. 1680.