William Clarson (1832-1890) was born in England, immigrating to Melbourne in 1853. He spent his working life in publishing, writing, editing, and gardening. He was a respected businessman and horticulturist, and was a member or officer of numerous organisations and societies. He was a fellow of the Linnean Society (London), an early member of Melbourne Trades Hall, a member of the Royal Horticultural Society of England and Victoria, and a trustee of the latter from 1870-1884. Clarson was an honorary director of the Burnley Horticultural College (Melbourne) from 1868-1872 and a member of the Victorian Institute for the Advancement of Science.