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Sydenham Teak Edwards was born in Usk (Monmouth) in 1768, the son of an Abergavenny organist and schoolmaster. His skill as a draughtsman was quickly recognized by the founder of the Botanical Magazine, William Curtis (1746-1799) who took him to London. From 1798 Edwards was a regular contributor of illustrations to the magazine and worked on the Cynographia Britannica, consisting of Coloured Engravings of the various Breeds of Dogs in Great Britain (1800-1805). He was also involved with the New Botanic Garden New Flora Britannica. In 1815 he left the Botanical Magazine to found a rival publication, the Botanical Register, for which he provided illustrations to texts by J. B. Ker-Gawler and subsequently Dr. John Lindley.
Edwards exhibited twelve paintings of flowers and animals at the Royal Academy between 1792 and 1814.