AITON, William (1766-1849)
A Treatise on the Origin, Qualities, and Cultivation of Moss-Earth
Glasgow: Niven, Napier and Khull, 1805. Octavo. (7 3/4 x 4 1/2 inches). , 178pp., table of contents leaf at the end.
Early half green morocco and marbled paper covered boards
Provenance: William Davidson (early signature on title); Rothamsted Laboratory (inked stamp on pastedown)
First edition of this work on moss.
William Townsend Aiton was a Scottish botanist, the eldest son of botanist and gardener William Aiton, who worked at the Chelsea Physic Garden and Kew Royal Botanical Gardens. Aiton succeeded his father at Kew in 1793 and went on to work at Richmond Gardens, the royal gardens at Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. He also was one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society. In this work, Aiton brings attention to what he perceives as the neglected issue of the immense area of soil in Scotland covered in moss and its detriment to the land. He offers a comprehensive study of the origins, classifications, chemical qualities, and uses of moss as manure, fuel, and beyond.