Richard Lynch was born in Cornwall in 1850. His father was head gardener to the Earl of St. Germans and he followed his father into the same career. He gained a position as student gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1867 and after just four years he was promoted to foreman of the herbaceous department.
Lynch became curator of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden in 1879. The site had been somewhat neglected and he set about many new innovations and improvements to the existing collections. He rapidly increased the collections, procuring a diverse range of plants from his many connections. His reputation grew internationally, and he developed a particular interest in creating hybrids. By the end of the 19th century Cambridge was regarded as second only to Kew, and in 1901 Lynch was awarded the Veitch memorial medal. In 1906 he was awarded an honourary MA degree by the University, and he also gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria medal of honour. He retired due to ill health in 1919, and died in 1924.
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