In 1828 Lt-Governor Arthur set aside 13 acres for a collection of native plants and appointed William Davidson as Superintendant. In 1843 control was transferred to the newly formed Botanical and Horticultural Society of Van Diemens Land which soon became the Royal Society of Tasmania. By 1856 the area of the Gardens had increased to 20 acres and by 1863 there were 20,000 visitors annually. The Gardens were returned to the Crown in 1885 and a board of Trustees, including representatives of the Royal Society, was established to manage them. On 17 September 1967 permission was granted for the Gardens to be styled "Royal". From 1 July 1990 the Gardens came under the administrative control of the Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage although the Trustees continued to have a policy-making role. In 1993 the Department of Environment and Land Management took over control, followed by the Department of Primary Industry Water and the Environment in 1998. With the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens Act 2002, the Gardens became a State Government statutory organisation, managed by a Board of seven members. In 2006 the Gardens became part of the Department of Tourism, Parks, Heritage and the Arts. In 2009 the gardens became part of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.