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Sir Joseph Banks, the “Father of Australia”

Nature volume 82, page 362 (27 January 1910) | Download Citation



IN an old gazetteer we read that Botany Bay was discovered in 1770 by Captain Cook, who so named it from the great quantity of herbs which he found on its shores. This statement is true, of course, as to the main fact, but it is otherwise inaccurate and incomplete, for no doubt the name was suggested by Sir Joseph Banks's report on the vegetation of the country around their first landing-place in Australia and the very rich botanical collections obtained. After circumnavigating New Zealand the question arose whether the Endeavour should sail in search of the supposed southern continent or make for the coast of New Holland, and the latter course was determined upon because the condition of the ship was not considered equal to encounter the stormy southern seas. The expedition arrived in the bay on April 28 and left on May 6, and an entry in Banks's journal, dated May 3, runs as follows:

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