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British Industrial History

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Robert Tosswill Veitch

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2020. Home in Elm Grove Road.

Robert Tosswill Veitch (c1823-1885) of Robert Veitch and Son

Born the son of James Veitch

1861 Living at Heavitree, Exeter: Robert Tosswill Veitch (age 39 born Broadclyst), Nursery Man. With his wife Sarah J. Veitch (age 32 born Cape of Good Hope) and their seven children; William J. Veitch (age 12 born Cape of Good Hope); Peter Christian Veitch (age 11 born Cape of Good Hope); Robert H. Veitch (age 8 born Cape of Good Hope); Walter Frances Veitch (age 6 born Cape of Good Hope); Quinteen R. Veitch (age 4 born Heavitree, Exeter); Marion R. Veitch (age 2 born Heavitree, Exeter); and Ester Amelia Veitch (age 4 months born Heavitree, Exeter).[1]

1871 Living at 11 Elm Grove Road, Exeter

1885 January 18th. Died. Probate to his widow Sarah Jacoba Veitch.


1885 Obituary.[2]

Citizens of Exeter will learn with regret of the death of Mr. Robert Tosswill Veitch, of the Exotic Nurseries, and the last surviving son of the late Mr. James Veitch. The deceased succumbed to consumption at his residence at Torquay on Sunday evening, and was 62 years of age.

In early life Mr. Veitch studied farming between Windsor and Slough, and subsequently managed a large corn-growing farm at Smyrna. After returning from Asia Minor he went to the Cape of Good Hope, where he resided for many years carrying on farming operations. While there he married, and four of his children were born. He also took part in two of the Kaffir Wars, and acted as standard-bearer to Sir H. Edwardes.

He returned to Exeter in 1852 or 1853, and conducted the large nursery establishment in Topsham-road in conjunction with his father until the latter's death in 1853, when the property was sold, and Mr Veitch established the Exotic Nurseries in the New North-road. The business gradually extended from the four acres in the New North-road to ground in the Hoopern Fields, and behind the Barracks in Hill's-court, and subsequently 12 acres at Exminster were enclosed making the total area of the nursery 37 acres.

Mr. Veitch was principally known as very successful nurseryman, and he took especial interest developing new varieties of fruit and rhododendrons. He devoted a great deal of personal attention to the propagation of new fruit and experiments as to which varieties were best suited to the Devonshire climate. He also brought into commerce a number of plants......


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Sources of Information

  1. 1861 Census
  2. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette - Friday 23 January 1885