Sir George Taylor, botanist, was born in Edinburgh on 15th February 1904. He studied at the University of Edinburgh in the department of Botany housed in the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 1926 he gained a first-class honours degree and was also presented with the University's most prestigious Biology award, which enabled him to undertake a PhD. Soon after, Taylor took his first trip aborad to South Africa with a group of eminent horticulturalists. In 1928 Taylor was appointed to the post of assistant in the general herbarium of the British Museum, London, and in 1934 acted as the museum's leader on an expedition to East Africa.
During the Second World War Taylor was seconded to the Air Ministry as a principal and spent most of his time in Harrogate. At the end of the war he returned to the Museum as Deputy Keeper of Botany. He was elected to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1951, and in 1956 he was appointed director of Royal Botanic Gardens. He held the post until his retirement in 1971 and his period there was happy, positive, and full of achievement. Taylor died at his Old Harbour House, Dunbar, on 12th November 1993.
Rae, D (2004) ‘Taylor, Sir George (1904–1993)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Oxford)