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395148
  • Title
    Sir Joseph Banks Papers, 1767-1822. Includes some papers of Sarah Sophia Banks, 1766, 1773-1774, 1779; and Dorothea, Lady Banks, 1817-1822.
  • Creator
  • Level of description
    Aggregated collection
  • Date

    1767-1822
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    395148
  • Issue Copy
    Digitised : (from the microfilm copies) online access at http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/
  • Physical Description
    Textual Records
    Drawings
  • Scope and Content
    Joseph Banks was born in London on 13 February 1743. He was educated at Harrow and Eton Schools and Oxford University. In 1767 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1778 he was elected President of the Royal Society, a position which he held until his death in 1820.
    He successfully lobbied the Royal Society to be included on James Cook's first Pacific voyage on board the Endeavour (1768-1771). Following his return from the Pacific, Banks was actively involved in almost every aspect of Pacific exploration and early Australian colonial life. He actively supported the proposal of Botany Bay in New South Wales as a site for British settlement, founded on 26 January 1788. He corresponded with the early governors of New South Wales and recommended William Bligh to succeed Philip Gidley King as fourth Governor.
    Banks sent botanists to all parts of the known world, often at his own expense. He organised the breadfruit voyages under the command of William Bligh (1787-1789 and 1791-1793), as well as Matthew Flinders voyage on the Investigator (1801-1803).
    Banks was created a baronet in 1781 and invested Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1795. In March 1779 he married Dorothea Hugessen (1758-1828). They had no children. Sir Joseph Banks died on 19 June 1820.

    This collection contains those papers of Sir Joseph Banks which are held in the Mitchell and Dixson collections at the State Library of New South Wales. These amount to approximately 10,000 manuscript pages and include correspondence, principally letters received, but also reports, invoices and accounts, journals, plus a small quantity of maps, charts and watercolours.

    Many of these documents have been published in various works before. The collection is described here and extensively indexed.

    SECTION 1 - JOURNALS
    Series 01: Journal of an excursion to Chatham, Rochester, Sheerness, Sheppey, 21 January - 4 March 1767
    Series 02: Journal of a tour in Holland, 12 February - 22 March 1773

    SECTION 2 - THE FIRST PACIFIC VOYAGE OF JAMES COOK
    Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, August 1768 - July 1771
    Series 04: Anonymous note concerning the voyage of HMS Endeavour, ca. 1771
    Series 05: Papers concerning the publication by Comte Louis de Lauraguais of Banks’ abstract account of the voyage of HMS Endeavour, 1772

    SECTION 3 - THE SECOND PACIFIC VOYAGE OF JAMES COOK
    Series 06: ‘Voluntiers, Instructions, Provision for 2d. Voyage’ , being papers concerning Banks’ preparations for the second Pacific voyage of HM Ships Resolution and Adventure, James Cook, 1768, 1771-1773
    Series 07: Letters received by Banks from James Cook concerning the second Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Adventure, 1772
    Series 08: Letters received by Banks from Charles Clerke concerning the second Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Adventure, James Cook, 1772

    SECTION 4 - THE THIRD PACIFIC VOYAGE OF JAMES COOK
    Series 09: Letters received by Banks, with related papers, from John Montagu, Lord Sandwhich, mainly concerning publication of the account of the third Pacific voyage in in HM Ships Resolution and Discovery, James Cook, 1774, 1780-1785, 1795 Includes a letter received by Banks from Lord Howe, 1784
    Series 10: Letters received by Banks from James Cook concerning the third Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Discovery, 1776
    Series 11: Letters received by Banks from Charles Clerke, concerning the third Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Discovery, James Cook, 1776, 1779
    Series 12: Copies, extracts and summaries of letters written by James Cook, Charles Clerke and others, concerning the third Pacific voyage in HM Ships Resolution and Discovery, 1779-1780

    SECTION 5 - GARDENERS AND COLLECTORS
    Series 13: Letters received by Banks from Francis Masson, 1776-1800, 1805
    Series 14: Letters received by Banks from William Wright, 1778, ca 1782-1793
    Series 15: Letters received by Banks from David Burton, 1790-1794
    Series 16: Letters and plant lists, received by Banks from Christopher Smith, 1795-1801
    Series 17: Documents concerning the appointment of Peter Good, and the equipping of the Royal Admiral, 1794
    Series 18: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from George Caley, 1795-1809, 1814
    Series 19: Correspondence concerning the outfitting and equipping of H.M.S. Porpoise for a voyage to New South Wales, 1797-1801
    Series 20: General correspondence being mainly letters received by Banks from various persons, 1791-1820
    Series 21: Botanical reports received by Banks, 1799, 1817-1818, undated. Includes ‘Rules for Collecting and preserving Specimens of plants’ , undated
    Series 22: Plants and specimen lists kept or received by Banks, 1780’s-1890’s

    SECTION 6 - AUSTRALIA AND THE SOUTH SEAS
    Series 23: Correspondence with various persons concerning Australia and the South Seas, being mainly letters received by Banks, 1786-1809
    Series 24: Correspondence and newscuttings concerning the prisoner Mary Rose, 1788-1789
    Series 25: Copies of correspondence concerning the withdrawal of Mungo Park from a voyage of exploration to Australia on board HMS Porpoise, 1798
    Series 26: ‘Correspondence relative to Boring Machinery to try for Coal in NSWales’ , 1799
    Series 27: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from William Patterson, 1782, 1790-1808
    Series 28: ‘Applications to Sir J. Banks for free passages to N.S.W.’ being letters received by Banks from various persons, 1800-1801
    Series 29: ‘Letters [received by Banks] from persons wishing to proceed to Botany Bay’ , 1801-1804
    Series 30: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from William Kent, and others, 1801, 1806
    Series 31: ‘Proposals for Conveying Convicts to New South Wales, also for their Maintenance and Clothing &c by W. [William] Richards Jnr’ , 1791-1793
    Series 32: ‘Whale and Seal Fisheries & Sir Jos Banks’ Remarks... & Statistics...’, 1793-1798, 1802-1806
    Series 33: ‘A project for supplying N.S.W. with a circulating medium’ , 1805
    Series 34: ‘Volunteers who did not proceed [to New South Wales]’ , 1810
    Series 35: Miscellaneous reports and memoranda concerning the settlements in Australia, [1770], ca 1786-1808
    Series 36: Newscuttings concerning the settlements in New South Wales, 1788-1791
    Series 36A: Illustrations and charts concerning the settlments in Australia, ca 1790s

    SECTION 7 - GOVERNORS OF NEW SOUTH WALES
    Series 37: Letters, with related papers and journal extract, received by Banks from Arthur Phillip, 1787-1792, 1794-1796
    Series 38: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from John Hunter, with related papers, 1795-1802, 1807
    Series 39: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from Philip Gidley King, with related papers, 1788, 1791-1807
    Series 40: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from William Bligh, 1805-1811
    Series 41: Copies of documents ‘Receivd [by Banks] April 9 1808 Chiefly Relating to Leut Short’ , 1806-1808. Written in the hand of a clerk. Includes memorandum written by Philip Gidley King, ca 1807
    Series 42: Documents written or transmitted to Banks by Elizabeth Bligh, 1807-1809
    Series 43: Letters received by Banks from various persons, concerning the governorship of William Bligh, 1808-1809
    Series 44: Copy of a letter written by Banks to Lachlan Macquarie, 1809

    SECTION 8 - THE FIRST BREADFRUIT VOYAGE OF WILLIAM BLIGH
    Series 45: ‘Plan for the Voyage with Letters from various persons who interferd in the management of it’ , being papers concerning preparations for the voyage of the HMS Bounty, William Bligh, ca. 1787
    Series 46: ‘Correspondence Bounty’ , being letters received by Banks from William Bligh concerning the breadfruit voyage of HMS Bounty, 1787-1790. Includes a copy of a letter written by Joseph Coleman, 1788; and newscuttings, 1790, 1792
    Series 47: ‘David Nelson Gardiner. Third Voyage in H.M. Brig Bounty’ , being papers concerning David Nelson and the breadfruit voyage of HMS Bounty, William Bligh, 1787, 1790.
    Series 48: Miscellaneous correspondence concerning the breadfruit voyage of HMS Bounty, William Bligh, 1792, 1795-1796

    SECTION 9 - THE SECOND BREADFRUIT VOYAGE OF WILLIAM BLIGH
    Series 49: ‘outfit orders’ , being papers concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1790-1791
    Series 50: ‘Correspondence’ being mainly letters received by Banks from William Bligh, with other papers, concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant 1791-1795. Includes newscuttings, 1791, 1793.
    Series 51: Letters received by Banks from Nathaniel Portlock concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1791, 1793 Includes a letter recevied by Banks from Elizabeth Bligh, 1791.
    Series 52: ‘Gardiners on the Providence’ , being letters received by Banks, and related papers, from James Wiles and Christopher Smith concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1791-1793
    Series 53: ‘Accounts’ concerning James Wiles and Christopher Smith and the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1791-1794, 1797
    Series 54: Draft letter written by Banks to William Pitt, Lord Chatham, concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, 1791, 1793
    Series 55: Letter received by Banks from Robert Brooke, concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1792
    Series 56: Letters and plant lists received by Banks from Alexander Andersonk concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1792-1793
    Series 57: Letters and plant lists received by Banks from Thomas Dancer, concerning the breadfruit voyage of HM Ships Providence and Assistant, William Bligh, 1793

    SECTION 10 - NAVAL COMMANDS OF WILLIAM BLIGH
    Series 58: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from William Bligh while commander of HM Ships Calcutta, Director, Glatton, Irresistible and Warrior, 1795-1798, 1800-1801, 1803, 1805. Includes a letter received by Banks from Elizabeth Bligh, 1805
    Series 59: Letters received by Banks from Lord Camden and James Chapman, while Bligh was commander of HMS Warrior, 1805. Includes a letter written by William Bligh to William Marsden, Secretary to the Admiralty, 1805

    SECTION 11 - THE VOYAGE OF GEORGE VANCOUVER TO THE WEST COAST OF AMERICA
    Series 60: Papers concerning the equipping and voyage of HM Ships Chatham and Discovery, George Vancouver, 1791-1792
    Series 61: Letters and related papers, received by Banks from Archibald Menzies and others, 1791-1795, 1798

    SECTION 12 - LORD MACARTNEY’S EMBASSY TO CHINA
    Series 62: Papers concerning publication of the account of Lord Macartney’s Embassy to China, 1797 (possibly later)

    SECTION 13 - THE VOYAGE OF MATTHEW FLINDERS
    Series 63: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from various persons, concerning the fitting out of HMS Investigator, Matthew Flinders, 1800-1801
    Series 64: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from the Honourable East India Company concerning the voyage of HMS Investigator, Matthew Flinder, 1801
    Series 65: Correspondence being mainly letters received by Banks from Matthew Flinders, 1807-1811
    Series 66: ‘Letters about Capn Flinders while a prisoner on Isle of France [Mauritius]’ , 1804-1808. Includes letter received by Banks from John Allen, 1803
    Series 67: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks concerning the results of the voyage of HMS Investigator, Matthew Flinders, 1804-1806
    Series 68: Reports concerning the wreck of HM Ships Porpoise and Cato, 1805
    Series 69: ‘Drawings for Flinder work’ , being notes concerning the drawings of William Westall from the voyage of HMS Investigator, Matthew Flinders, 1805-1806
    Series 70: ‘Engravings &c for F’s work’ , being correspondence and invoices concerning the publication of the voyage of HMS Investigator, Mattew Flinders, 1811-1814

    SECTION 14 - THE DISCOVERY OF PITCAIRN ISLAND
    Series 71: Papers concerning the discovery of Pitcairn Island and the mutineers of HMS Bounty, 1808-1809, 1813-1815

    SECTION 15 - GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE AND MEMORANDA
    Series 72: Letters received by Banks from various persons, 1773-1819, [1884]
    Series 73: Copies of letters received by various persons from Banks, 1782-1818, undated
    Series 74: Letter-press copies of letters received by various persons from Banks, 1782-1783, undated
    Series 75: Certificates and diplomas presented to Banks, 1785-1813
    Series 76: ‘Begging letters’ received by Banks from various persons, 1786-1808, [1884], undated
    Series 77: Correspondence with British Museum
    Series 78: Correspondence concerning a monument to Dr Samuel Johnson, 1791
    Series 79: Extracts and abstracts of letters, 1771-1810, 1818, undated
    Series 80: Miscellaneous memoranda and other documents, 1778-1807
    Series 81: Miscellaneous invoices and receipts, 1788-1805
    Series 82: Indexes to correspondents compiled by Banks, 1768, undated

    SECTION 16 - MISCELLANEOUS REPORTS AND ARTICLES
    Series 83: ‘Simkin’ s Poetry’ being newscuttings, 1785-1792
    Series 84: Papers concerning coinage and the Royal Mint, 1787-1813
    Series 85: ‘Translation of a paper communicated by Mr Stuart to Lord Hobart relative to the Map now existing in the Church of St Michael di Murano at Venice
    Series 86: Satirical verse, ca 1807, undated
    Series 87: ‘A Work upon Ancient Dresses’, undated
    Series 88: Papers written by Banks, and some others, about various topics, ca 1805-1816, undated
    Series 89: Miscellaneous cuttings and printed material, 1777, 1793-1795, undated

    SECTION 17 - LINCOLNSHIRE
    Series 90: Correspondence and memoranda concerning Banks’ Lincolnshire estates, including Revesby Abbey, 1790-1808, undated
    Series 91: Correspondence and memoranda concerning the office of High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, 1794-1795
    Series 92: ‘Papers relating to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathederal’ , 1807-1808

    SECTION 18 - SARAH SOPHIA BANKS
    Series 93: Letters received by Sarah Sophia Banks from Joseph Banks, 1766, 1773-1774, 1779
    Series 94: ‘Copy of Some Account of Lisbon, & the adjacent Countrey, & Customs of the Inhabitants’ , [1766]

    SECTION 19 - DOROTHEA, LADY BANKS
    Series 95: Letters received by Dorothea, Lady Banks from various persons, 1817-1822, undated
  • System of arrangement
    Mindful of Banks' original and subsequently dispersed arrangement, these papers have been arranged into 96 series and grouped under nineteen section headings.¶The intention is to reflect, as far as possible, the way the papers were used and accumulated by Banks during his lifetime.¶Banks kept together letters he received within a given year, arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name. He often drafted his reply directly onto the letter received, this serving as his copy. These were usually bound together to form volumes, paginated in the top right hand corner, and given an index to the names of correspondents. It is difficult to determine how far this arrangement extended across Banks' entire archive as bound volumes have subsequently been disbound and the papers are now split and held in many different institutions around the world. It is therefore not possible to replicate completely Banks' original arrangement in theses papers.¶Where many letters have been received by Banks from the same person, these have been treated separately as a series, arranged chronologically.¶The remaining letters received by Banks have been arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name. This arrangement approximates Banks' probable original arrangement.¶Copies of letters written by Banks to other, often unnamed correspondents have been arranged chronologically.¶Seemingly naturally occurring series with already assigned titles, such as 'Voluntiers, Instructions, Provisions for 2d. Voyage', 'Correspondence Bounty' and 'Letters and Papers relative to Capt. Bligh', occasionally occur in the collection. It is no longer possible to be sure that all such groupings were formed by Banks himself, or by later owners such as Lord Brabourne, the Library, or the Government Printing Office during the preparation of Historical records of New South Wales. These groupings have been retained essentially undisturbed. It is thought that this arrangement probably replicates Banks' own.
  • Language
  • Access Conditions

    Access to this manuscript collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian
  • Finding Aids
    The papers of Sir Joseph Banks available online - www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/
  • Published Information
    The journal of Joseph Banks in the Endeavour / with a commentary by A.M. Lysaght. Guildford, Surrey : Genesis Publications ; Adelaide : Rigby, 1980. (A facsimile publication of Series 03: The Endeavour journal of Joseph Banks, August 1768 - July 1771)
  • General note

    When Sir Joseph Banks died in 1820, he left behind a well organised archive which documented his influential career. It was the most comprehensive archive of its kind in Britain, perhaps the world.
    The custodial history of the archive is confused. Essentially the dismemberment of the archive, which resulted in the loss of much information, began in the 1880s when Lord Brabourne, Banks' collateral descendant started selling the papers.
    The main consignment of Banks papers held in the Mitchell Library were acquired in 1884. The papers did not come to the Library immediately but were first used in the compilation of the History of New South Wales from the records, the first volume of which appeared in 1889, published by the New South Wales Government Printer. They were again used in the multi-volume Historical records of New South Wales, which appeared from 1892 until 1901, also emanating from the Government Printer. The papers, having already been subject to earlier reorganisation, were annotated and rearranged during this process. They were transferred to the Mitchell Library when it opened as the Australiana collection in 1910 and have become known as the Brabourne collection, an appellation which obscured Banks.
    Some Banks papers, including the Endeavour journal, were also included in the bequest of the Library's founding benefactors David Scott Mitchell and Sir William Dixson.
    In the ensuing 100 years, numerous smaller accessions have been made as estrays from the now far-flung Banks archive appeared in auction sales and dealers' catalogues. The latest acquisitions have been a single letter written by Comte de Lauraguais, acquired in 1989 for $7,500, and a single letter written by George Caley, acquired in 1996 for $850.

    Microfilm copies (15 reels; 9,322 frames) available at CY 3003-3011 and CY 3680-3685.
    Series 01-02 (CY 3011, frames 1-104)
    Series 03-05 (CY 3003, frames 1-33; CY 3006, frames 1-493; CY 3010, frames 1-707)
    Series 06-08 (CY 3003, frames 34-592)
    Series 09-12 (CY 3003, frames 593-708)
    Series 13-22 (CY 3680, frames 1-753; CY 3681, frames 1-547)
    Series 23-36A (CY 3008, frames 1-903; CY 3011, frames 105-119)
    Series 37-44 (CY 3005, frames 1-746; CY 3007, frames 1-885)
    Series 45-48 (CY 3004, frames 1-192)
    Series 49-57 (CY 3004, frames 193-573)
    Series 58-59 (CY 3004, frames 574-702; CY 3007, frames 886-895)
    Series 60-61 (CY 3011, frames 120-297)
    Series 62 (CY 3011, frames 298-311)
    Series 63-70 (CY 3009, frames 1-469)
    Series 71 (CY 3011, frames 312-382)
    Series 72-82 (CY 3682, frames 1-588; CY 3683, frames 1-527)
    Series 83-89 (CY 3684, frames 1-509)
    Series 90-92 (CY 3685, frames 1-309)
    Series 93-94 (CY 3685, frames 310-360)
    Series 95 (CY 3685, frames 361-393)
  • Creator/Author/Artist
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