This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Among the celebrated Florists of Philadelphia who have recently passed away, the subject of this sketch deserves remembrance. He was the son of a Yorkshire squire, and was born in the year 1803. All of his relatives moved in the high circles of English society, and some of them like Kilvington emigrated to this country. Dr. Thos. B. Wilson, one of the founders of the celebrated Academy of Natural Sciences, and one of its most generous benefactors, was his first cousin, and the eminent Dr. Spackman, is also a cousin by another of his father's sisters. Devoted to horticulture, Mr. Kilvington became gardener to Mr. Sheaff of White Marsh, about fifteen miles from Philadelphia, which for many years was famous in the history of American gardening, and earned for itself an honorable notice in the great landscape gardening work of A. J. Downing. Mr. Kilvington subsequently engaged in the Florist's business. His excellent education, and fondness for scientific pursuits, gave him great influence among the more intelligent classes of horticul tural amateurs, and aided greatly in the eminence which Philadelphia horticulture once obtained. He was an enthusiastic worker, and gave the success of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society his constant care.
He never married, and seemed to have no ambition to make money, though at one time worth probably fifty-thousand dollars. In his old days what he had saved gradually passed from him, and he earned a mere daily pittance in the end, as porter to a public Institution. He died at seventy-eight leaving nothing behind him, but a large herbarium of dried plants, and a name connected with a long life of singular horticultural usefulness.