John Stevens Henslow, botanist and Church of England clergyman, was born on 6 February 1796 at Rochester, Kent. In 1824 Henslow was ordained and obtained a curacy in Cambridge. Henslow then accepted the chair of botany at the University of Cambridge.
Previous to Henslow accepting the chair of botany position, the Cambridge botany garden was a small, traditional botanical garden. Henslow developed the Cambridge Botanic Garden into a modern, 16 hectare (40 acre) site. The transformation of the botanic garden, and the development of the department of botany at Cambridge attracted bright and enthusiastic students, such as Charles Darwin. Henslow's development of the botanic garden had a great impact on Cambridge, its pupils and modern biological science.
Henslow died at the rectory, Hitcham, on 16 May 1861.