Biography

1817 On 12 February, birth of Jean Linden in Luxembourg.
1834 Jean Linden completes his studies at the Athénée Royal in Luxembourg.He starts studying at the faculty of sciences of the Université de Bruxelles.
Spring 1835 The Belgian government hunts for candidate explorers amongst the academic circles, with a view to explore tropical areas in Latin America. Jean Linden puts forwards his candidature.
1835 On 25 September, Jean Linden, Nicolas Funck (1816-1896), and Auguste Ghiesbreght (1810-1893) leave Antwerp for Rio de Janeiro. They reach Brazil three months later, on 27 December.
1836 – 1837 Exploration of tropical regions, plant collecting and capture of animals in Brazil.
1837 The expedition returns to Belgium in March. They receive a warm welcome from scientific circles, as well as royal rewards. In September, the three explorers leave Le Havre (France) for Cuba. The team reaches Havana in December.
1837 – 1840 Expedition in Cuba and Mexico. The team collects animals, plants, and commercial information.In 1839-1840, Jean Linden suffers a serious case of yellow fever, which holds him back in the Laguna de Terminos.
1840 Funck and Ghiesbreght return to Europe in September 1840. Jean Linden returns to Belgium via Cuba and the United States. The three explorers meet again in Brussels, on 20 December 1840.
1841 In Paris, Jean Linden obtains some contacts who grant him subsidies for a third expedition. The Belgian government also agrees to contribute to the expenses of the expedition. Jean Linden stays in Paris from August to October. Jean Linden and his stepbrother Louis-Joseph Schlim leave Bordeaux in October. They reach La Guayra (Venezuela) on 27 December.
1841 – 1844 Expedition and collection (plants and animals) in Venezuela and Colombia. Two sojourns in the German colony of Tovar (March-April 1842, September-October 1843), and a visit to the hacienda El Palmar, owned by the Vollmer family.
1844 After a brief passage in Jamaica in March, the explorer returns to Europe via Cuba, Mexico, and the United States. In December, Linden arrives in Brussels. As a “reward for services rendered to his motherland”, Jean Linden receives the El Tocuyo estate (Venezuela), which he will sell in 1866.
1845 Linden applies for a job as Director of the Brussels Botanical Garden (he does not get the posting) and simultaneously offers to supply the Paris Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle with plants. In October, Jean Linden dispatches Funck and Schlim in Latin America for some new plant collecting [harvesting]. On 13 October, he marries Anna Reuter in Luxembourg.
1846 On 27 January, Jean Linden launches his first company – Etablissement d’Introduction de Plantes, in partnership with Nicolas Funck – on the Limpertsberg plateau (suburb of Luxembourg). He recovers the plants he had collected in Venezuela and stocked at his commercial competitor and nonetheless Ghent friend, horticulturist Louis Van Houtte (1810-1876). In November-December, English botanist John Lindley sends Jean Linden the description of orchids he collected throughout his expeditions, the Orchidaceae Lindenianae.
1847 First publication of a catalogue of plants imported and cultivated by Jean Linden.
1850 The Linden family settles in Brussels.
1851 On 30 august, Jean Linden is appointed scientific director of the Royal Society of Zoology, Horticulture and [jardins d’agrément: ornamental gardens] of the City of Brussels, situated in the Parc Léopold.
1852 On 9 October, Jean Linden is awarded with a Knighthood of the Order of Léopold.
1853 Termination of the Établissement d’Introduction de Plantes du Limpertsberg. The plants are transferred to Brussels and bedded in the greenhouses of the Brussels Parc Léopold.
1854




1859 - 1860
Start of the publication of the illustrated plates of the Pescatorea.

Publication of the Hortus Lindenianus.
1861 Jean Linden resigns from his position of scientific director of the Parc Léopold. Nevertheless, he continues to manage and develop horticultural companies privately, and carries on living in the director’s house.
1862 On 20 January, Jean Linden is elevated to the status of Consul of Columbia to the Belgian government in Brussels.
1864 Jean Linden participates to the organisation of the Congrès international d’Horticulture de Bruxelles (Brussels international Horticulture Congress).
1865 It would seem that, from 7 to 12 April, Jean Linden accompanied King Léopold to the International Horticulture Exhibition held in Amsterdam’s Paleis voor de Volksvlijt.
1868 Acquisition of lands to set-up additional greenhouses in the Parc Léopold. Jean Linden is appointed first consul to the Grand-duchy of Luxembourg, in place in Brussels.
1869 Repurchase of the Établissements Verschaffelt in Ghent. Furthermore, Jean Linden is once again the editor of the L’Illustration horticole magazine, which will be published until 1896.
1870 Jean Linden intervenes in diplomatic negotiations in the French-Prussian conflict under the cover of an economic mission to clarify the position of the grand-duchy of Luxembourg.
1873 The King (Léopold II) and the Queen (Marie-Henriette) visit the ninth Ghent flower show with Jean Linden, who is promoted to the rank of Commander of the Order of Léopold. He also receives a title of Commander of the Order of Franz-Joseph of Austria. In the autumn, Jean Linden hands over the directorship of his Ghent company to his son Lucien.
1875 King William III appoints Jean Linden as consul-general of Luxembourg. He retires from the sales management of his companies (taken over by Lucien), but continues to supervise his expeditions of collectors.
1879 Opening of a Paris branch of the Linden company. Edouard Otlet marries Linden’s daughter, hence becoming his son-in-law.
1880 Beginning of sojourns in the île du Levant, the new property of the Otlet-Linden couple, where the cultivation of Côte d’Azur palm-trees begins.
1881 Launch of the Compagnie continentale d’Horticulture sa in Ghent.
1885 Beginning of the publication of the Lindenia journals. This publication will spread over the next twenty-one years, until 1906.
1887 Restructuring of the company, which becomes the Horticulture internationale, implemented in Brussels.
1888 Creation of the Compagnie méridionale d’Horticulture SA for the Linden Company that are implemented in the south of France. On 15 October, creation of the Orchidéenne association.
1890 15 March, publication of the first edition of the Journal des orchidées.
1893 Jean Linden resigns from his position of consul-general for Luxembourg. However, he will hold on to the honorific title until his death.
1897 Beginning of the publication of La Semaine horticole, which will be available until 1900.
1898 12 January, Jean Linden dies in Ixelles. He is buried in the communal cemetery two days later, on 14 January.
1899 Lucien Linden creates the Horticole coloniale company.
1906 – 1914 All the companies founded by the Linden family cease trading.