Collecting localities



Biographical data


Staunton, Sir George Leonard, Baronet


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


Born: 1737, Cargin, Galway, Ireland. Died: 1801, Portland Place, London, England.



Physician who practised in the West Indies since 1762, but soon changed the medical profession for that of law; visited Brazil; he accompanied Macartney to Madras in 1781-84, and to China in 1792-94.1 The latter embassy was accompanied by 2 gardeners, one of them was J. Haxton (see there), the other’s name is not known to me.

Staunton is commemorated in several plant species.


Collecting localities:

Embassy to China, 1792-94.1 Sailing from Portsmouth in the ‘Lion’ and the ‘Hindustan’ (Sept. 26, 1792); via Madeira, Teneriffe, the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro, St Paul and Amsterdam Island; Sunda Strait (Febr. 25, 1793); W. Java: Batavia (March 6-17); Bantam (March 17-Apr. 26), at St Nikolaas Punt etc., and in this period sailing to and fro between Java and S. Sumatra in search for a good berth, evidently going ashore in the latter island; passing Banka Strait to Pulo Condor (May 17-18) and proceeding to Cochin-China and China; voyage home via St Helena, to Portsmouth (Sept. 6, 1794, arrival).



Large collection of plants to Banks = Herb. Brit. Mus. [BM]. Duplicates in Herb. Kew [K]: China plants (ex Herb. Brown, pres. 1879); Herb. Vienna [W]: China and Brazil, 500 nos; Herb. Webb (= Florence [FI]); Herb. Deless. and Decand. (Geneva [G]); Herb. v. Heurck (Antwerp [AWH]). Possibly in Herb. Oxford [OXF] too, presented by Lord Macartney.2

Plants of his were sold with the Lambert Herbarium;3 at the time acquired by Pamplin.

The greater part of his collections is from China, probably only few plants from Malaysia; he is cited as the collector of Sterculia polyphylla R.Br. in Sumatra.4



(1) G. Staunton: ‘An authentic account of an embassy from the king of Great Britain to the emperor of China; including cursory observations made ... together with a relation of the voyage undertaken on the occasion by H.M.S. Lion and Hindostan ... with notices etc. taken chiefly from the papers of H.E. the Earl of Macartney’ (London 1797, 2 vols; 2nd ed. 1798, 2 vols + atlas); transl. into Dutch (1798-1801, 7 vols). Herein some natural history observations, and some lists of plants collected in China.

Other reports on the embassy, by A. Anderson and J. Barrow.

(2) cf. Hook. Journ. Bot. & Kew Gard. Misc. 6, 1854, p. 251; and Druce, An account of the Herbarium of the University of Oxford, 1897, p. 15.

(3) cf. Catalogue of the sale (in Libr. Brit. Mus. and Kew).

(4) cf. Bennett & Brown, Plant. Javan. rar., p. 227.


biographical data:

Alg. Konst-en Letterbode 18011, p. 209-210; Gent. Magaz. 711, 1801, p. 89-90, 183; Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. 10, 1860, p. xxvi; Biogr. Index Britten & Boulger in Journ. Bot. 28, 1890, p. 314 and in 2nd ed. by Rendle, 1931; Bretschneider, Hist. Bot. Discov. China, 1898, p. 156-157; Buckland, Dict. Ind. Biogr., 1906; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; G. Staunton: ‘Memoirs of the Life and Family of the late Sir G.L. Staunton.’