Collecting localities



Biographical data


John, Spenser St


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)



Secretary of J. Brooke (see there), whom he accompanied to Borneo in 1848, sailing with him for the East in H.M.S. ‘Maeander’ under command of Capt. H. Keppel; later (1855) appointed Consul General for Br. N. Borneo. In 1861 he was appointed deputy of the Republic of Haiti.

Author of some publications on Borneo.1

Pilea johniana Stapf and Symplocos johniana Stapf were named after him.


Collecting localities:

Philippines. Twice visiting the Sulu Islands, both times Zamboanga (Mindanao) too, the first time in the ‘Maeander’ with Capt. H. Keppel and J. Brooke in Dec. 1848.-1851. NW. Borneo, Sarawak: starting from Kuching (March), by sea to the Lundu River; visit to the Batang Lupar and Lingga and Sakarang rivers; the Rejang River and the Kanowit; in April trip to the Baram River.-1852. Sarawak River, visiting limestone caves of Mt Rumbang, Samarahan River and the Caves of Sirih.-In 1856 leaving Sarawak and taking up residence in Brunei; journey up the Limbang River (Dec.); in Sept. 1857 ascending the Mandalam River (karst landscape), failing endeavour to reach Mt Molu; in Febr. 1858 2nd attempt, this time in company with Hugh Low, however, climbing Batu Rikan instead (limestone mountain of 3500 ft).-Br. N. Borneo: Mt Kinabula with Sir Hugh Low (see there) (Apr. and July 1858, the last time collecting some days at Marei Parei); in Aug. 1858 from Brunei ascending the Limbang River and going by way of the Madihit River, Rawan River, Urud River, to the Upper Limbang (collecting ‘Anoectochili plants’ on behalf of Low on the Adang Range) and the Murud country.-Sailing along the coast of Sabah (= Br. N. Borneo) for topographical surveying.



In his Enum. Born. Pl. 1921, Merrill cites some Nepenthaceae collected by Sp.St John.



(1) ‘Observations on the North-West Coast of Borneo’ (Journ. Roy. Geogr. Soc. 32, 1862, p. 217-234; practically identical to Chapt. XI of the next book!); ‘Life in the Forests of the Far East’ (London 1862; chapts 8-10 on Kinabalu trips; he disposed of Low’s journals of the joint expeditions).


biographical data:

cf. Capt. Ch. Hunter, The adventures of a naval officer, London 1905 (non vidi); Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.