Joseph Banks Facts

Joseph Banks Facts
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS (February 24, 1743 to 19 June 1820) was an English naturalist and botanist. He was the president of the Royal Society for over 41 years and he was the advisor to King George III on the establishment of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Interesting Joseph Banks Facts:
Joseph Banks was born in London to a wealthy country squire.
In 1752 he entered Harrow School and in 1756 Eton college.
When he was 17 he was inoculated with smallpox, became ill and did not return to school.
In 1760 he entered the Christ Church, University of Oxford where he studied natural history.
He was so taken with botany that in 1764 he paid the Cambridge botanist, Israel Lyons to deliver a lecture series on the topic.
He left Oxford in 1764 without a degree because his father had died in 1761 and he took over the family estate of Revesby Abbey and became the local magistrate.
He continued his interest in science and attended lectures in the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and the British Museum.
He became an advisor to King George III and urged him to support voyages of scientific discovery and exploration.
In 1766 he was elected to the Royal Society and left aboard the HMS Niger to explore Newfoundland and Labrador.
He furthered his reputation as a scientist by publishing the first Linnean descriptions of the flora and fauna of that area.
From 1768 to 1771 he sailed on the first of James Cook's voyages which was a joint Royal Navy/Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific
He went to Brazil where he made the first scientific description of the bougainvillea and then on to Tahiti, New Zealand and the east coast of Australia.
They discovered and described many new species of Australian flora.
He arrived back in England on July 12, 1771 and began work on his 35 volume Florilegium.
In 1808 he purchased a 35 acre estate known as Spring Grove and created a famous botanical masterpiece with the many species of plants he had collected in his travels.
While advisor to the King, Banks sent many explorers and botanists around the world and made Kew Gardens the ultimate botanical garden in the world.
He sponsored William Bligh's voyage to transplant breadfruit from the South Pacific to the Caribbean and supported William Smith's efforts to create the first geographical map of England which would also be the first geographical map of an entire country.
He lobbied the House of Commons to establish a penal colony on Botany Bay in Australia and for 20 years he fostered it and was a general advisor to the British government on Australian matters.
In 1794 he was elected High Sheriff of Lincolnshire and served as a trustee of the British Museum for 42 years.
He died at Spring Grove and is buried in Heston.


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