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July 12th 1834

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Botanist meets bull

Within the churchyard of Old Scone parish church is a large monument to the memory of David Douglas who was born in the village. He became one of the foremost botanists of his day and from his travels in Canada and California, brought back a vast collection of seeds of many trees, shrubs and many flowering plants such as lupins and marigolds. Seeds of the Douglas fir and flowering currant were also brought back to Britain.

He made a second expedition to British Columbia in 1833 and from there visited Hawaii. As the 2nd Statistical Account puts it, “intelligence was received of his death in very shocking circumstances. He had fallen into a pit made by the natives of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) for the purpose of catching wild bulls and a bull being in the pit at the time, this celebrated botanist was killed in the most horrible manner.” 

He was only 36 years old at the time of his death.

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