Elizabeth R. Macgill

[ Age 88 ] Botanical historian was Circuit Court judge's widow

November 08, 2007

Elizabeth R. Macgill, who did historical botanical research and was the widow of a Maryland Circuit Court judge, died of a stroke Oct. 29 at Blakehurst Retirement Community in Towson, where she lived for 13 years. The former Mount Airy resident was 88.

Born Elizabeth Rawson in Godalming, England, and raised in Ontario, she studied at Ottawa Ladies College, the University of Toronto, the National School of Dress Design in Chicago and the Folger Institute of Renaissance Studies in Washington.

She moved to Annapolis in the early 1970s and began her research in botanical history, including work on a 16th-century monk.

In 1978, she married James Macgill, who was chief judge of Maryland's 5th Circuit Court from 1954 to 1980. They lived near Mount Airy, where she entertained extensively and maintained an herb garden.

She belonged to the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America and was its national corresponding secretary.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Survivors include two sons, Howard P. Jackson of Asheville, N.C., and Peter E. Jackson of Salisbury; a stepson, James Macgill Jr. of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Mary M. Agre and Sally K. Craig of Baltimore; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Judge Macgill died in 1993. Her 1938 marriage to Roger Jackson ended in divorce.

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