A Family Business
Today is the anniversary of the death of James Veitch Jr., who died on this day in 1869.
Veitch was born into the famous family nursery business known the world over as Veitch Nurseries. His grandfather, John, had started the business. After growing up and learning the business from his father and grandfather, Veitch went to London to train with other nurserymen.
After he quickly became a partner in the nursery, he married Harriott Gould. In addition to being a wonderful plantsman himself, James Jr. was an exceptionally bright businessman. He acquired a nursery called the Royal Exotic Nursery in London to ensure the Veitch Nursery stayed competitive, and he turned Royal Exotic into the largest specialty nursery in Europe.
James Veitch Jr created the RHS Fruit and Floral Committees, which still exist today.
His love of the plants and the business were carried on in his three sons.
The oldest, John Gould Veitch, was one of the first plant hunters to visit Japan.
The second son, Harry James, oversaw the business during a period of peak growth.
The third son, Arthur, worked with Harry to send Plant Explorers on missions all over the globe.
Of the brothers, it was the middle son, Harry, who outlived them both. His older brother John Gould died young at age 31 from tuberculosis. Harry survived his younger brother, Arthur, who died young as well - he died after a short illness when he was just 36 years old.