Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Barton, John (England 1789-1852)
economics, phytogeography

Not much is known about the life of John Barton; he seems to have been a well-to-do amateur who concerned himself largely with local affairs. He did have the means to travel, however, and apparently did so with an acute eye for observation. He is best known as a would-be economist who produced a series of interesting pamphlets on political economy (and who corresponded with some of the greats of his time), but he also wrote one of the first extended English language treatises on the geography of plants. In this work he demonstrates a debt to von Humboldt, but also displays an extensive knowledge of literature and geography suggesting he had already traveled widely by that point, and had received a good general education earlier in life.

Life Chronology

--born in Southwark, London, England, on 11 June 1789.
--1810: becomes a partner in a Chichester counting house
--1814: after marrying into wealth in 1811, gives up his business life
--1817: publishes his pamphlet Observations on the Circumstances which Influence the Condition of Labouring Classes
--1820: publishes his pamphlet An inquiry into the Causes of the Progressive Depreciation of Agricultural Labour in Modern Times
--1825: is living in Stoughton
--1827: leaves Society of Friends and joins the Church of England
--1827: publishes his A Lecture on the Geography of Plants
--1830: publishes his pamphlet A Statement of the Consequences Likely to Ensue from Our Growing Excess of Population
--1834: buys East Leigh, in Havant, Hampshire
--1847: publishes his last pamphlet, The Monetary Crisis of 1847
--dies at Chichester, England, on 10 March 1852.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 4 (2004).     Malvina Reynolds
--The Economic Journal, Vol. 62 (1952): 87-102.
--History of Political Economy, Vol. 14 (1982): 366-384.

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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