Sir Joseph Banks GCB PRS 1st Baronet
(1743-1820)

Died aged c. 77

Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS (24 February [O.S. 13 February] 1743 – 19 June 1820) was a British naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage (1768–1771), visiting Brazil, Tahiti, and, after 6 months in New Zealand, Australia, returning to immediate fame. He held the position of President of the Royal Society for over 41 years. He advised King George III on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and by sending botanists around the world to collect plants, he made Kew the world's leading botanical gardens. Banks advocated British settlement in New South Wales and colonisation of Australia, as well as the establishment of Botany Bay as a place for the reception of convicts, and advised the British government on all Australian matters. He is credited with introducing the eucalyptus, acacia, and the genus named after him, Banksia, to the Western world. Approximately 80 species of plants bear his name. He was the leading founder of the African Association and a member of the Society of Dilettanti which helped to establish the Royal Academy.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Photo of Joseph Banks, Robert Brown, David Don, and The Linnean Society stone plaque
Spudgun67 on Flickr

Sir Joseph Banks 1743-1820, President of the Royal Society, Robert Brown 1773-1858 and, David Don 1800-1841 botanists, lived in a house on this site, The Linnean Society met here 1821-1857

32 Soho Square, Westminster, W1, London, United Kingdom where they lived (1820-1857)