Ref NoMS/115
TitleHints on the subject of gardening - Sir Joseph Banks
AdminHistorySir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet (1743 - 1820), was a British explorer, naturalist, and longtime president of the Royal Society, known for his promotion of science.

Banks was born on 13 February 1743 in London to William Banks, a wealthy Lincolnshire country squire and member of the House of Commons, and his wife Sarah, daughter of William Bate. He had a younger sister, Sarah Sophia Banks, born in 1744. He was educated at Harrow and Eton College. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford University. In order to receive botanical instruction, he paid the Cambridge botanist Israel Lyons to deliver a series of lectures at Oxford in 1764. After university he lived in London and, continuing to have an interest in science and natural history he attended the Chelsea Physic Garden of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and the British Museum, where he met Daniel Solander. He began to make friends among the scientific men of his day and to correspond with Carl Linnaeus, whom he came to know through Solander. As Banks's influence increased, he became an adviser to King George III and urged the monarch to support voyages of discovery to new lands, hoping to indulge his own interest in botany. In 1766, Banks travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador, collecting plant and other specimens. The same year he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1768, he joined the Society's expedition, led by Captain James Cook, to explore the uncharted lands of the South Pacific. The expedition circumnavigated the globe and visited South America, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia and Java. Banks collected an enormous number of specimens on the way and, on his return, his scientific account of the voyage and its discoveries sparked considerable interest across Europe. Banks was offered the herbarium, library and archive of Carl Linnaeus on the death of Carl Linnaeus the Younger in 1783, and Banks encouraged his friend, Sir James Edward Smith, to purchase the collections instead. Smith went on to found the Linnean Society in 1788.

After he became president of the Royal Society in 1778, he promoted the career of many scientists and in his capacity as director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, sent many botanists abroad to find new plants and extend the Gardens' collection.

In 1781 Banks was made a baronet, and in 1795 received the order of Knight Commander of the Bath. Two years later he was admitted to the privy council. In 1793, his name was given to the Banks Islands, a volcanic group of islands near Vanuatu in the Pacific. These were explored and named by Captain Bligh - Banks had helped arrange a previous expedition of Bligh's on HMS Bounty, which had ended in the famous mutiny.

Banks died on 19 June 1820.
DescriptionManuscript entitled 'Hints on the subject of gardening', dated 1792, by Sir Joseph Banks. Original title was 'Hints respecting botanical subjects' but has been partially crossed out.

The manuscript is thought to have been giving instructions to those accompanying the Embassy mission by Lord McCartney to China in 1793. Includes a specimen plant drawing in pencil, partly finished in water colour by an unknown person, and a letter of transmittal from Sir George Staunton dated 26 November 1823.
Date1792 - 1823
Extent1 folder
CopiesIncludes a colour photocopy.
AcquisitionDonated to the Linnean Society by Sir George Staunton on 26 November 1823.
Creator NameBanks, Sir Joseph
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