Collecting localities




Pryer, William Burgess


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


Died: 1899.



Was a partner in the expedition fitted out by Alfred Dent in 1877 to British North Borneo under the immediate command of Baron Overbeck, with the purpose of obtaining cessions of territory respectively from the sultans of Brunei and Sulu; at Brunei the treaty of 29th Dec. 1877 was obtained. Pryer stayed at Sandakan acting as Agent and Resident for the British North Borneo Company. June 15, 1878 the greater portion of Sandakan was burnt down by accident and he subsequently removed to the new Elopura site. Later Ridley refers to him as Mr Pryer of Byte Estate (Sandakan). He was the owner of an excellent collection of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, also of birdskins.

He and his wife wrote some papers on Borneo.1

Begonia pryeriana Ridl. was named after him.


Collecting localities:

Br. N. Borneo, 1877-99. He made many trips inland, but only few data are known. In 1881 he made a trip up the Kinabatangan River, departing from Sandakan (Febr. 23), reaching Imbok (March 4).2 According to Posewitz he ascended Alfred River in the same year. He is cited to have collected at Pontianak, W. Borneo, too!3



Principally orchids; some cited and described by Ridley.3 In 1885 a consignment of 25 plants from N. Borneo, was received in Singapore, according to the Garden’s Report, sent by a certain Pryor (see there); probably misspelled for Pryer!



(1) W.B. Pryer & F. Witti: ‘Diaries of Messrs Pryer and Witti’ (1881) (non vidi).

W.B. Pryer: ‘Notes on North Eastern Borneo and the Sulu Islands’ (Proc. Roy. Geogr. Soc. Lend. 1883, p. 90-96); ‘Manila Hemp in British North Borneo’ (cf. Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 1898, p. 728 and Kew Bull. 1898, p. 15).

Mrs W.B. Pryer: ‘A decade in Borneo. With introduction by Joseph Hatton’ (Singapore 1893, 199 pp.).

(2) W.B. Pryer: ‘Diary of a trip up the Kinabatangan River’ (in Report on the country of the northern portion of Borneo lately ceded to Messrs. Dent and Overbeck, printed for private circulation).

(3) cf. Journ. Linn. Soc. Bot. 32, 1896, p. 282, 285; Journ. Str. Br. Roy. As. Soc. no 46, 1906, p. 252.