S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bolton, Maj-Gen Daniel (plant collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: 16 May 1860, Cape Town, South Africa.

Daniel Bolton became a second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1811. He served in the Peninsular War (1811-1814), in Holland (1814-1815), France (1815-1816), and at the Cape of Good Hope from 1853 until his death in 1860. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1846, Colonel in 1854, and Major-General in 1859. While stationed in Grahamstown he was in command of the Royal Engineers at its headquarters for the Eastern District. During these years he collected plants and according to P. MacOwan*, in an address to the Albany Natural History Society in 1867, covered the district thoroughly. He sent some of his plants to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London, and to W.H. Harvey* in Dublin, and is commemorated in the name of the orchid species Bonatea boltonii. Harvey acknowledged his contributions of plants from the neighbourhood of Grahamstown in the preface to Volume 1 of the Flora Capensis (1860).

Early in 1856 Bolton became a member of the Grahamstown Literary, Scientific and Medical Society. He left on retirement shortly after suffering an apoplectic attack and died in Cape Town.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope almanac and annual register, 1856, 1857.

Grahamstown Journal, 15 March 1856, p. 2, "Literary, Scientific and Medical Society"; 11 October 1867, p. 3, "Albany Natural History Society".

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration in southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Harvey, W.H. & Sonder, O.W. Flora Capensis, being a systematic description of the plants of the Cape Colony, Caffraria, and Port Natal (Vol. 1). Ashford, Kent: Lovell Reeve, 1894 (originally published 1860).

Compiled by: C. Plug