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Sir Joseph Paxton was born in 1803, the son of a Bedfordshire farm labourer, who went on to become one of the greatest British gardeners whose talents were spotted at an early age by the 6th Duke of Devonshire.
Paxton became head gardener at the Duke's estate at Chatsworth when he was just 20, and was noted for his horticultural genius combined with technical and structural innovation. He became famous as the architect of the Crystal Palace in London, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, for which he was knighted. In 1854, Paxton became the liberal MP for Coventry and remained an MP until his death in 1865.