THE Linnean Society will be engaged to-day, June 17, in celebrating the centenary of Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., who died on June 19, 1820. On the death of Carl von Linné in 1778, Banks endeavoured to buy his herbarium, but that was acquired by Linné's son for the remainder of his short life. Five years later, when the herbarium was again for disposal upon the death of the younger Linné, Banks had changed his mind, for when the collections were offered he passed the offer to Dr. J. E. Smith, recommending the purchase, as it would be of great value to him as a young naturalist. On getting the herbarium Smith spent the winter of 1784–85 in collating his new acquisition with the Banksian collection, with the invaluable help of Jonas Dryander, Banks's factotum; then, after a tour abroad, Smith took counsel with his friends, and the Linnean Society came into being. Banks was chosen as honorary member immediately, and retained that position until his death. Besides continual gifts of books, the cast from Inlander's relief of Linné, which was the model for Wedgewood's plaque, and objects of natural history, he paid for the entire cost of illustration for the first volume of the Transactions. It is well that such liberal actions should be recalled to the memory of the present generation.

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    Notes. Nature 105, 496–499 (1920).

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