William Darlington was a botanist who represented the next set in the botanical sciences after Humphry Marshall. Above is a picture of him actually from the time, painted by John Neagle – not by Adrian Martinez.

William Darlington was born on April 28th, 1782 in Chester County. Born on a farm he would go on to excel in a variety of different fields, he was doctor, botanist, congressman, banker, and historian among other things. His most important connection in the context of the Martinez presents Marshall show was his long friendship with another botanist named William Baldwin. Another Chester County native (1779) Baldwin’s love of botany was inspired by none other than Moses Marshall, who would often take him on tours through Humphry’s botanic garden. Baldwin in turn inspired a deeper interest in botany in Darlington. A sufferer of tuberculosis all of his life Baldwin died young and it is partially in his memory that Darlington used his considerable resources as a historian to create The Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall, the first major record of Humphry’s life and letters. Without Darlington’s work and the lineage of great botanists that inspired its creation, this show wouldn’t even be possible!

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