Joseph Banks

Joseph Banks (1743 – 1820) naturalist, botanist
Sir Joseph Banks. A naturalist with a deep love of the productions of nature, Banks believed that every consideration that a man made of the works of the Almighty increased a man’s admiration of his Creator. 

Joseph Banks. Banks was born in London on 2 February 1743, and educated at Harrow and Eton where his tutor described him as being well disposed and good tempered but so immoderately fond of play that his attention could not be fixed to study. At fourteen, however, he discovered the passion of his life when walking along a lane the sides of which were enam­elled with flowers. It was more natural, he believed, to be taught to know all those productions of nature in preference to Greek and Latin. It remained the ruling passion of his life, and lingered long after the fires of love and ambition had died in his breast. In 1766 he became a member of the Royal Society on the eve of departing on an expedition to Newfound­land , during which he became so sick that he tied himself to a gun on the deck to defeat the weakness. On his return he offered to sail with Cook and so Banks, who believed that every consideration a man made of the works of the Almighty increased a man’s admiration of his Creator, joined a man who found the mysteries of all religions very dark.

The Endeavour sailed from Plymouth on 26 Au­gust 1768, for which day the entry Cook wrote in his diary sharpens the contrast between him and his predecessors, whether from Catholic or Protestant Christendom. For where Magellan’s and Quiros’ men had taken the sacrament, and Tasman had beseeched God Almighty to vouchsafe His blessing on his work, Cook recorded the facts: ‘At 2 p.m. got under sail and put to sea.’

Further references :

While Banks was not specifically ‘an Australian’ he was one of its first explorers.
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