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300 Years of Growth

James Span (1763-1773)

Merrion SquareJames Span was elected Lecturer in Botany as successor to William Clements on February 12, 1763. On the same day he was also elected to the Chair of Chemistry. This was despite the fact that holding two teaching chairs at the same time was strictly forbidden by Acts of Parliament. Span had been elected a scholar in 1752, and had taken his B.A. degree in the spring of 1754. He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians in September 1768, and elected Fellow in the following May. Span is recorded to have cultivated a small botanical garden on the campus but its location is unknown. He appears to have been popular with his colleagues in the profession, if one may judge by the following lines, published shortly after his death by Gilborne:

James Span shakes off the mortuary Gloom, His bright endowments still retain their Bloom ; On Earth lamented, and admir'd above, His lovely Virtues made him dear to Jove : Daisies and Roses spring where'er He treads, Tulips and Lillies rear their drooping heads ; Nor do Plants sensitive his Touch avoid, Who for Man's good had all his Thoughts employ'd.

Span died in 1773, and his Botany post was filled by the appointment on September 25, 1773 of Edward Hill


T. Percy C. (Thomas Percy Claude) Kirkpatrick: History of the medical teaching in Trinity College, Dublin and of the School of Physic in Ireland


Last updated 24 February 2011 by