English naturalist, traveler, president of the Royal Geographical
Born in London, educated at Harrow and Eton, then at Oxford.
At the age of 14, the boy decided to become a nerd.
The first lessons he received from an old village woman who
taught him the secrets of herbal medicine.
Banks' sense of purpose allowed him to overcome all obstacles.
Learning that Oxford did not lecture on his subject, he went to
Cambridge and brought back from there I. Lyons, a young nerd who
became his personal tutor.
At the age of 18, Banks received an inheritance from his father,
which gave him £ 6,000 in annual income.
Shortly after the death of his father, he left school and in 1766
made a trip to Labrador and Newfoundland with botanical research.
In 1767, he was accepted into the Royal Geographical Society,
though, rather, not for his achievements, but as a gifted and
But after a short time, Banks showed that he was not an amateur
Together with Dr. Solander, a Swede, a student of Carl Linnaeus,
assistant librarian in the British Museum, he traveled around the
world with the great James Cook on the ship Endeavor in the years
1768-1771, visiting Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, the Malay
Archipelago, Oceania Islands.
In New Zealand, Banks managed to discover an unknown plant
species, to make valuable observations on geography, zoology and
Banks and Solander's next journey was a trip to Iceland in 1772.
Shortly thereafter, Banks received his doctorate from the
University of Oxford, and in 1778 replaced John Pringle as president
of the Royal Society, which he held until the end of his life.
Other honorary awards were the appropriation of the nobility, the
awarding of the Order of the Bath and the election of members of the
Until the end of his days, Banks remained an avid collector and
explorer of nature, but his posts were increasingly drawing him into
Numerous public duties distracted the scientist from his own
He helped other researchers a lot, having managed to publish few
of his own works.
Banks Memorial in Lincoln
He died in London.
He was buried at
St. Leonard's cemetery.
In 2001, the Banks Memorial was opened in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.
(view from space)
An island in the west of the
Canadian Arctic archipelago.
Opened and named
by W. Parry in 1820.
Peninsula in the north of Canada in