Pictures from Observations
For Charles Alston (1683–1760), Scottish botanist. He studied initially at Edinburgh until 1703, when his father, a physician, died. But later under the patronage of the duchess of Hamilton studied at Leiden University for two years (1715–1716) under Herman Boerhaave. On his return to Scotland he became a lecturer and later king’s botanist and regius professor of botany for the Royal Gardens at Edinburgh University. He had a special interest in materia medica – the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing (i.e. medicines) – and had a special interest in opium, among other drugs. He was critical of Linnaeus’s ‘sexual system’ and wrote a book Tirocinium Botanicum Edinburgense (1753) in which he attacked this botanical theory.