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Book Ii, joined to those of the British Museum.' Wendeborn* Tl°rp' was a German preacher, resident in London for many
KiKb'a Or years jje was known to Queen Charlotte, and had Library, occasional intercourse with the Court. May it not be inferred that on some occasion or other the King had intimated, if not an intention, at least a thought on the matter, which some courtier or other had repeated in the hearing of Dr. Wendeborn?
* See, before, p. 339.
THE POUNDER OF THE BANKSIAN MUSEUM
'11 may be averred for truth that they he uot the highest
'Not every man is fit to travel. Travel makes a wise
The Life, Travels, and Social Influence, of Sir Joseph Banks.—The Royal Society under his Presidency.— His Collections and their acquisition by the Trustees of the British Museum.—Notices of some other contemporaneous accessions.
We have now to glance at the career—personal and Bookii, scientific—of an estimable public benefactor, with whom T',',°frIuNKing George The Third had much pleasant intercourse, DEEOV both of a public and a private kind. Sir Joseph Banks Mu»euh was almost five years younger than his royal friend and Libbam correspondent, but he survived the King by little more than three months, so that the Georgian and the Banksian Libraries were very nearly contemporaneous accessions. The former, as we have seen, was given in 1823, and fully received in 1828; the latter was bequeathed (conditionally) in 1820, and received in 1827. These two accessions, taken conjointly, raised the Museum .collection of books
or Kehksby Abuky.
(for the first time in its history) to a respectable rank amongst the National Libraries of the day. The Banksian bequest made also an important addition to the naturalhistory collections, especially to the herbaria. It is as a cultivator and promoter of the natural sciences, and preeminently of botany, that Sir Joseph won for himself enduring fame. But he was also conspicuous for those personal and social qualities which are not less necessary to the man, than are learning and liberality to the philosopher. For the lack of such personal qualities some undoubted public benefactors have been, nevertheless, bad citizens. In this public benefactor both sets of faculties were harmoniously combined. They shone in his form and countenance. They yet dwell in the memory of a survivor or two, here and there, who were the contemporaries of his closing years.
Joseph Banks was bom at Reresby Abbey, in Lincolnshire, on the thirteenth of December, 1743. He was the only son of William Banks-hodgkenson, of Reresby Abbey, by his wife Sophia Bate.
Mr. Banks-hodgkenson was the descendant of a Yorkshire family, which was wont, of old, to write itself 'Banke,' and was long settled at Banke-Newton, in the wapentake of StaincliS'e. The second son of a certain Henry Banke, of Banke-Newton, acquired, by marriage, Beck Hall, in Gigglesvvick; and by his great grandson, the first Joseph Bankes, Reresby Abbey was purchased towards the close of the seventeenth century. His son (also Joseph) sat in Parliament for Peterborough, and served as Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1736. The second (and eldest surviving) son of the Member for Peterborough took the name of Hodgkenson, as heir to his mother's ancestral estate of Overton, in Derbyshire, but on the death of his elder brother (and his consequent heirship) resumed the paternal name, and resigned the Overton estate to his Book Ii, next brother, who became Robert Hodgkenson, of Overton. Th« FotmMr. Banks-hodgkenson died in 1761, leaving to his son, HTM^,TM afterwards Sir Joseph Banks, a plentiful estate. Mcotm
The youngster was then little more than beginning his Librart. career at Oxford, whither he had recently come from Eton, £arly
•* YKAR3 OF
though his schooling had been begun at Harrow. He was Sir Josim 'lord of himself,' and of a fine fortune, at the critical age of eighteen. To many, such an inheritance, under like circumstances, has brought misery. To Joseph Banks, it brought noble means for the prosecution of a noble aim. It was the ambition of this young Etonian—not to eclipse jockies, or to dazzle the eyes of fools, but—to tread in the footsteps of Linnjeus. Rich, hardy, and handsome in person, sanguine in temperament, and full of talent, he resolved that, for some years to come, after leaving the University, the life that might so easily be brimmed with enjoyments should incur many privations and face many hardships, in order to win both knowledge and the power of benefiting the Public by its communication. That object of early ambition, it will be seen, was abundantly realised in the after-years.
There is no reason to think that a resolution, not often formed at such an age as eighteen, was come to in the absence of temptation to a different course. Banks was no ascetic. Nor was it his fortune, at any time, to live much with ascetics. One of his earliest friends was that Lord Sandwich* whose memory now chiefly connects itself with the unsavoury traditions of Medmenham Abbey, and with the peculiar pursuits in literature of John Wilkes. With Sandwich he spent many of the bright days of
* John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1729-1792).
Book II, Chap. V. The FounDer or THE Ranks Lan Museum
fishing on Whittlesea
Mere. Banks had the to make his early acquaint
anceshij) with the future First Bord of the Admiralty conducive to the interests of science. The connexion with the Navy of another friend of his youth, Henry Phipps, afterwards Earl of Mllgrave, was also turned, eventually, to good account in the same way.
Part of young Banks' vacations were passed at Reresby and in frequent companionship with Lord Sandwich; part at his mother's jointure-house at Chelsea, very near to the fine botanic garden which, a few years before, had been so much enriched by the liberality of Sir Hans Sloane. In that Chelsea garden, and in other gardens at Hammersmith, Banks studied botany with youthful ardour. And he made frequent botanic excursions in the then secluded neighbourhood. In the course of one of these rambles he fell under suspicion of felony.
He was botanizing in a ditch, and his person happened to be partially concealed by a thick growth of briars and nettles, at a moment when two or three constables, who were in chase of a burglar, chanced to approach the spot. The botanist's clothes were in a miry condition, and his suspicious posture excited in the minds of the local Dogberries the idea that here they had their man. They were deaf to all expostulations. The future President of the Royal Society was dragged, by ignominious hands, before the nearest justice. The magistrate agreed with the constables that the case looked black, but, before committing either the prisoner or himself, he directed that the culprit's pockets should be searched. They contained little money, and no watches; but an extraordinary abundance of plants and wild flowers. The explanations which before had been refused were now accepted, and very courteous apologies