Paxton, Sir Joseph 1803-1865
Paxton was a remarkable individual who worked his way up from a position of gardener to sufficient prominence to receive a knighthood from the king.*
Paxton became superintendent of the gardens of the Duke of Devonshire who was president of the Royal Horticultural Society at the time. He designed and erected an extensive hothouse which set the style for ranges erected on estates for the cultivation of exotic plants.
With Lindley he founded the Gardeners' Chronicle in 1841, which still is a flourishing magazine and probably the best known of all weekly horticultural journals today. Along with Lindley he helped to revive Kew Gardens near the middle of the 19th Century. He became well known as the Editor of the Magazine of Botany (begun in 1834 and continued through sixteen editions). He also was the author of the Horticultural Register (1831-1836) and Practical Treatise on the Culture of the Dahlia (1838). He helped to develop a movement which changed the whole gardening picture in England and consequently the world.
He was an excellent business man and for a time was a member of Parliament. He devised plants for a massive glass-house structure which was put into operation with the building of Crystal Palace in the suburbs of London. This massive glass house was razed less than 25 years ago. He was also well known because of his relationship with the Duke of Devonshire and his magnificent estate at Chatsworth, still one of the most famous if not the most famous of remaining English royal estates.**
*Professor Howlett's original notes indicate that Sir Joseph Paxton was knighted by the "King". Upon review, it has been confirmed that Sir Joseph Paxton was knighted by Queen Victoria. There was no king in England at that time. - contribution by Judith M. Taylor
**Professor Howlett's original notes indicate that Chatsworth is a royal estate. Upon review, it has been confirmed that the Dukes of Devonshire are not royal dukes and, therefore, Chatsworth is not a royal estate. - contribution by Judith M. Taylor