Thursday, 19 July 2007

Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany

Botanist Sir Joseph Banks examines a floral specimen (I think probably a Banksia cone) in the park named after him in the suburb of Botany.
Banks sailed with Captain Cook on Cook's 1768 expedition to Tahiti for astronomical observations, a chance for naturalist Banks to study new plants in unknown lands.

They made collections and observations in South America, Tahiti and New Zealand before reaching Australia. His major landfalls on the eastern coast of Australia were at Botany Bay (28 April - 5 May 1770) and at the Endeavour River (17 June - 3 August).
The plant material collected and sorted on the voyage was extensive, with the herbarium specimens accounting for about 110 new genera and 1300 new species.

Back in England, he ran his estates, and controlled the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and was a Trustee of the British Museum and made other botanical trips. In 1778 he also became President of the Royal Society, an office which he held until his death in 1820. He was knighted in 1781.

Linneaus' suggested naming the new country (Australia) 'Banksia' . Although not adopted, Bank's name was bestowed upon a genus of Australian plants and he made his mark upon Australian history in other ways. When the British government was casting about for a suitable place to establish a penal colony, Banks was an advocate for Botany Bay. After the settlement was established at Sydney Cove, he encouraged further investigation of the natural history of the area and became the acknowledged authority on matters relating to New South Wales. His impact on the study of natural history in both Britain and Australia cannot be overestimated.


  1. elle est tres belle cette statue, avec cette loupe. merci pour la biographie de sir Joseph Banks

    it is very beautiful this statue, with this magnifying glass. thank you for the biography to sir Joseph Banks

  2. Hello Sally!
    I love your blog. Just yesterday I was asking an aussie friend for pictures of the ocean and then your blog came along. It's great and you've got so much talent for taking pictures! But I'd die for you to send me a few pictures of the ocean alone, would you?

    And it was great to see the pic of these aussie magazines, although Bec's doesn't look that great with dark hair...which reminds me I haven't watched Home and Away in a while...I want to know what's going on!!!

    Ps if you have any suggestion of how to improve my blog, putting email subscriptions and the like please do get in touch!!

  3. This sculpture is complete with the dog. It makes it that way for me. So often those animals we take for granted are a big part of our lives and this dog surely was to this man, Banks.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  4. wow thats nice i hope my friend can se it.. he is going there in sydney later. coming in from los angeles. they are going to visit sydney and melbourn.

  5. Lovely picture; the guy looks great, and well dressed for the chilly weather... It's weird: the summer is too fresh here, at least for the time being!

  6. Joseph Banks ranks pretty highly in my book, Sally...clever in many fields.

  7. It's ironic [especially in light of Banks' undoubted ability as a botanist] that his major role in the First Fleet being despatched to Australia rested upon such "evidence" as his quite exaggerated assessment of the Botany Bay hinterland's suitability for agriculture, and his equally erroneous decription of the utility of the trees found there for timber.

  8. I like the details on the statue (folds in the robe, esp.) and the details ofyour commentary.