Peter Ewing was a native of Kinross. His father was a stationer / photographer, and there were six sons and two daughters. He was the second son, and his education was limited. He first trained as a joiner, but when he moved to Glasgow he was able to attend evening classes to remedy some of the deficits. He worked for many years, indeed until his retirement (in 1913), for the Phoenix Fire Assurance Association.
Likewise, he was a member of the Glasgow Natural History Society for many years, several times occupying the office of vice-president and President. He published many letters and papers in their Transactions. The first of these was in 1883 – ‘A list of the flora of Ben Laoigh’, this was followed by “A week in Glen Shee’, and several ‘Contributions to the Topographical Botany of the West of Scotland”. These resulted in the ‘Glasgow Catalogue of Native and Established Plants’ in 1892. He had an expert and detailed knowledge of the Scottish Mountains – especially around Clova and Breadalbane. He was particularly interested in Carices, and contributed many specimens to the Botanical Exchange Club, of which he was a member. He was elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1894.
He was quite tall, but of slim and ‘spare’ build, and able to undertake stiff climbs and long walks – being described as a “skilful and daring cragsman”. He married twice and had seven children. His second wife was also an accomplished field botanist.
The above photograph appeared in the Journal of Botany, courtesy of George Goode.
For further details see http://www.archive.org/stream/journalofbotanyb52trim#page/298/mode/1up/search/barclay see page 298