William Edward Gumbleton
(1840 - 1911)
Born in 1840, he was a member of an old Irish family. They were residents of County Cork and owned Belgrove estate on the east end of Great Island.
Gumbleton had a passion for rare plants and cultivated some which were the only specimens in Ireland though many were described as being 'very wretched.'
He had a special interest in herbaceous perennials and most particularly in species and cultivars of the composite Arctotis, one of which was named Arctotis gumbeltonii after him.
Unfortunately he did not make careful botanical studies of his plants or prepare herbarium specimens. Much of his considerable knowledge was lost on his death though his published notes preserve a small summary along with his letters.
Little remains of Gumbleton's ornamental gardens in which there were over 60 variously shaped beds of herbaceous plants at Belgrove in 1909 and Buddleia colvilei flowered there for the first time in the British Isles. Gumbleton's grave lies outside the walled garden, near a small pond. It is marked by a plain limestone slab engraved with his name and dates.
(Extract from an undated article "Irish Horticulturists II" by B.D. Morley & E.C. Nelson)