AITON, WILLIAM (1731-1793), Scottish botanist, was born near Hamilton in 1731. Having been regularly trained to the profession of a gardener, he travelled to London in 1754, and became assistant to Philip Miller, then superintendent of the Physic Garden at Chelsea. In 1759 he was appointed director of the newly established botanical garden at Kew, where he remained until his death on the 2nd of February 1793. He effected many improvements at the gardens, and in 1789 he published Hortus Kewensis, a catalogue of the plants there cultivated. A second and enlarged edition of the Hortus was brought out in 1810-1813 by his eldest son, WILLIAM TOWNSEND AITON (1766-1849), who succeeded him at Kew and was commissioned by George IV. to lay out the gardens at the Pavilion, Brighton.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)