Collecting localities



Biographical data


Banks, Sir Joseph


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

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 8: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement II)


Born: 1743, London, England. Died: 1820, Spring Grove, Isleworth, Middlesex, England



Possessor of a considerable fortune, benevolent promoter of science rather than an actual worker. From 1788-1820 President of the Linnean Society; founder of the Roy. Hortic. Society (1804); virtually Director of the Roy. Botanic Gardens at Kew for the greater part of his life. In 1766-67 he explored the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador; and afterwards accompanied Cook’s first voyage round the world, together with his librarian Solander and the draughtsman S. Parkinson (the name of the 2nd draughtsman is unknown to me). In the 2nd half of 1772 he and Solander made a journey to Iceland.

He is commemorated in the genera Banksea Koen.and Banksia L.f., and in several plant species.


Collecting localities:

Cook’s 1st Voyage in the ‘Endeavour’, 1768-71.1 cf. Also sub Cook and Solander. Sailing from Plymouth on Aug. 25, 1768; via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Terra del Fuego, Otaheite, Oheteroa, New Zealand, Australia (Endeavour River); through the Torres Straits, touching at the coast of SW. New Guinea (Sept. 3 or 4, 1770); Sava (= P. Sawoe, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands) (Sept. 18-20);2 W. Java: Anger Point (= Anjer) (Oct. 2), ashore on one of the Mille Isles (Oct. 8), Batavia (Oct. 9-Dec. 24); in the meantime the ship had to be docked; the members of the expedition and the crew suffered much from illness during the stay, Batavia at that time being a very unhealthy place; occasionally visiting the islets Kuyper and Onrust; Dec. 25, 26 or 27 under sail, touching at Prince’s Island (= Prinsen-eiland) (Jan. 4-13 or 5-14, 1771), the 11th visiting the town of Samadang on the shore; returning via Cape of Good Hope and St Helena to England, landing at Deal (June 12).



He bequeathed his rich collections and library to the Brit. Mus.3 [BM]. During Cook’s expedition he mainly collected fishes, but plants too. Dupl. in Herb. State Mus. Stockholm [S], Herb. Vienna [W];4 and in Sydney [NSW] c. 600 specimens Australian plants collected by Banks & Solander (pres. by the Brit. Mus. in 1905).5 Plants of Banks & Solander were at the disposal of J. Gaertner, when he prepared his famous book.6

Also dupl. Cook’s lst Voyage in Herb. Edinb. [E].



(1) ‘A Journal of a voyage round the World, in His Majesty's ship Endeavour, in the years 1768, 1769, 1770, and 1771; undertaken in pursuit of Natural knowledge, at the desire of the Royal Society; containing all the various occurrences of the voyage, with descriptions of several new discovered countries in the southern Hemisphere; and account of their soil and productions; etc. (London 1771); ‘Journal of the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks’ edited by Sir J.D. Hooker (London 1896). For other publications cf. sub Cook and S. Parkinson, literature.

J.C. Beaglehole: ‘The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks’ (1st ed. Sydney 1962, 2 vols).

(2) cf. Banks, Journal (ed. by Hooker), l.c. p. 331-361.

(3) ‘Illustrations of the Botany of Capt. Cook’s Voyage round the World in H.M.S. Endeavour in 1768-71 by Sir J. Banks and D. Solander’ with determinations by James Britten (London, 3 vols). For particulars on the drawings, see Cl. Nissen, ‘Die botanische Buchillustration etc.’ 1951, vol. 2, p. 7.

J.H. Maiden: ‘Observations on the Illustrations of the Banks and Solander plants’ (Journ. & Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W. 1905. p. 34-39).

J. Britten: ‘The collections of Banks and Solander’ (Journ. Bot. 43, 1905, p. 284-290; containing description of the various MSS connected with the voyage etc.).

E.W. Groves: ‘Notes on the Botanical Specimens collected by Banks and Solander on Cook’s first voyage, together with an Itinerary of Landing Localities’ (J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Hist. 4, 1962, p. 57-62).

D.J. McGillavry: ‘A checklist for the illustrations of the botany of Cook’s First Voyage’ (Contr. N.S.W. Nat. Herb. 4, 1970, p. 112-125).

(4) cf. Lasègue, Mus. Bot. Deless., 1845, p. 331.

(5) cf. Journ. Bot. 43, 1905, p. 279, and l.c. 44, 1906, p. 70-71.

See also J. Ramsbottom: ‘Banks and Solander’s duplicates’ (J. Soc. Bibliogr. Nat. Hist. 4, 1963, p. 197).

(6) ‘De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum’ (Stuttgardiae et Lipsiae 1788-1807, 3 vois).

W.T. Stearn: ‘The Botanical Results of the Endeavour Voyage’ (Endeavour 27, 1968, p. 305-309, 1 fig., 4 phot.): ‘A Royal Society Appointment with Venus in 1769. The Voyage of Cook and Banks in the Endeavour in 1768-1771 and its Botanical Results’ (Not. & Rec. R. Soc. Lond. 24, 1969, p. 64-90, map facing p. 90).


biographical data:

A. Cuvier: ‘Éloge historique’' (Paris 1821); A. Duncan: ‘A short account of the life of the right honourable Sir Joseph Banks’ (Edinburgh 1821); Biogr. Index Britten & Boulger in Journ. Bot. 26, 1888, p. 86, and in 2nd ed. by Rendle, 1931; Kew Bull. 1891, p. 305-309; A biography in the ‘Journal’ cited above edited by Hooker (cf. literature sub 1) p. xxiii-xxviii; Baillon, Dict. de Botanique 1, 1876; Wittrock, Icon. Bot. Berg., 1903, p. 89-90, and l.c. 2, 1905, p. 75; J.D. Milner, Catalogue portraits in Kew, 1906, p. 5; Maiden: ‘Sir Joseph Banks the “Father of Australia”’ (Sydney 1909); Edw. Smith: ‘Life of Sir Joseph Banks’ (1911); Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Chron. Bot. 9, 1945, p. 94-106; Science. Bot. Disc. in New Zealand. Post-prim. School Bull. 5, no 2, 1951, p. 19-32; Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. 163, 1950-51, p. 21-26 (1952); H.C. Cameron: ‘Sir Joseph Banks, the Autocrat of Philosophers’ (London); W.R. Dawson, ‘The Banks Letters. A Calender of the Manuscript Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks etc.’ (London 1958); Proc. R. Soc. Queens]. 83, 1972, p. 1-19, portr