Oldalképek
PDF

AND

Library

Boor ii, profited by so favourable an opportunity of renewing the Tu«pfoon. expression of their old and still lurking dissatisfaction with De.oithb |jie cj10ice 0f their President. Horsley addressed to Sir

iSAIf K8IAH

Museum Joseph a letter of indignant and angry remonstrance. Somewhat discreditably, the Bishop chose a pseudonymous signature instead of manfully affixing his own. 'Misogallus'* was the mask under which he made an appeal to those anti-Gallican prejudices which so mauy of us imbibe almost with our mother's milk, and have in after-years to get rid of. He aimed a poisoned dart at his old antagonist, when pointing one of his many passionate sentences in a way which he knew would arrest the special attention of the King. The shaft hit the mark. But the King was presently appeased. He knew Banks, and he knew the Bishop of St. Asaph.

an Joseph From time to time Sir Joseph Banks contributed many ts Althob. interesting articles to the Philosojihical Transactions, and to the Annals of Agriculture. His able paper on the Blight in Wheat did service in its day, and was separately published. But it is not as an author that this illustrious man will be remembered. He knew how to fructify the thoughts and to disseminate the wisdom of minds more largely gifted than his own. Necessarily, space and prominence in the public eye is—more especially after a man's death— a good deal determined by authorship. Hence, in our Biographical Dictionaries, a crowd of small writers occupy a disproportionate place, and some true and illustrious public benefactors remain almost unnoticed. Undeniably, the fame of one such benefactor as a Joseph Banks ought Booiu, to outweigh, and must, intrinsically, outweigh, that of many The Foinscores of minor penmen. His benefactions were world- 1)TMTMTM* wide. And by them he, being dead, yet speaks, and will MusEDM long continue to speak, to very good and lofty purpose. He Lib»a»y. died in London on the ninth of May, 1820, at the venerable age of eighty-one years completed.

* Bishop Horsley certainly forgot the ever-memorable words which he had so often read—Matt, v, 44—when he, a prelate, signed himself

'Misogallus.'

He died without issue, and was succeeded in his chief Lincolnshire estates by the Honourable James Hamilton B"«"Stanhope (afterwards Mr. Stanhope Banks), and by Sir Henry Hawlet. His Kentish estates were bequeathed to Bb^tmtm. Sir Edward Knatchbull.

His Library, Herbarium, Manuscripts, Drawings, En- ^^"*Jan gravings, and all his other subsisting Collections, he 7»ndai;and bequeathed to the Trustees of the British Museum, for 1820. public use for ever, subject to a life-use and a life-interest in them which, together with an annuity, he specifically bequeathed to the eminent botanist, Robert Brown, who was, for many years, both his friend and his librarian. He also gave an annuity of three hundred pounds a year to Mr. Batjkr, an eminent botanical draughtsman; and he added, largely, to the innumerable benefactions he had made in his lifetime to the Botanical Gardens at Kew. To Mr. Brown he also left the use, for life, of his town house in Soho Square, subject to the life-interest, or the voluntary concession, of the testator's widow.

In his first Codicil, Sir Joseph Banks made a proviso that, if it should be the desire of the Trustees of the British Museum—and if that desire should also receive the approval of Mr. Brown—the life-possessor should be at full liberty to cause the Collections to be transferred to the Museum during his lifetime. That, in fact, was the course which, by mutual consent, was eventually taken, to the manifest

Booi II.
Chap. V.
THE FOUN-
Der Of The
Banksian
MrsEfH

AMI
LIBRARY.

Other BeQuests.

Ik I

TRANSFER
OF THE

Banksian

CoLLKO

Tionstotiib

Mlsevm.

advantage of the British Public and the promotion of Science.

Part of Sir Joseph's personal Manuscripts were bequeathed to the Royal Society; another portion to the British Museum; and a third portion (connected with the Coinage of the Realm) to the Royal Mint. A minor part of his Collections in Natural History had been given to the British Museum in his own lifetime, and he had personally superintended their selection and arrangement. He had also been a benefactor to the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow, to the Museum of the London College of Surgeons, and to that, also in London, formerly known as 'Bullock's Museum.' He was, throughout life, as eager to give, as he was diligent to get.

About the year 1825, negotiations were opened by the Trustees of the British Museum with Mr. Robert Brown, with the view of obtaining for the Public the immediate use of the Banksian Library and the other Collections, and, along with them, the public services of the eminent botanist under whose charge they then were. The then President of the Royal Society, Sir Humphrey Davy, acted for the Public in that negotiation; but some delays intervened, so that it was not brought to a close until nearly the end of the year 1827.

At that date, the transfer was effected. Mr. Brown became the head of the Botanical Department of the Museum, and his accession to the Staff added honour to the institution—in the eyes of all scientific Europe—as well as eminent advantage to the public service. Mr. Brown acted as Keeper until nearly the time of his decease. He died in the year 1858, full of years and of botanical fame.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The Library of Sir Joseph Banks comprised the finest Book n, collection of books on natural history which had ever been Thtfoungathered into one whole in England. It was also pre-emi- TM" nently rich in the transactions, generally, of learned »TM»» societies in all parts of the world j and there is a masterly Libraet Catalogue of the Collection, by Jonas Dryander, which was The printed, at Sir Joseph's cost, in the years 1798-1800. That L£! Catalogue, I venture to hope, will, some day, become—with due modification—the precedent for a printed Catalogue of the whole Museum Library—vast as it already is, and vaster as it must needs become before that day shall have arrived.

The Banksian Herbaria comprise Banks' own botanical The collections in his travels, and those of Cliffort, Her- Hemaei". Mann, Clayton, Aublet, Miller, Jacquier, and Loureiro, together with part of those made by TourneFort, the friend and fellow-botanizer of Sloane, and the author of the Corollarium. They also include many valuable plants gathered during those many English Voyages of Discovery which, from time to time, Banks' example and his liberal encouragement so largely fostered. From the Collections now seen in the Botanical Room of the British Museum not a few of the great works of Linnjeus, GroNovitjs, and other famous botanists, derived some of their best materials. These Collections are at present under the zealous and faithful care of Mr. John Joseph Bennett, long the assistant and the friend of Brown.

Among nearly contemporaneous accessions which would Bmr well merit some detailed notice, were the space for it available, are a valuable assemblage of Marbles from Persepolis, which had been collected by Sir Gore Odseley, and were E given to the Museum by the Collector, and a small but

Notice or

SOME OTREK NEAELY CONTEMPOANEOUS

ACCESSIONS.

Boo* Ii, choice Collection of Minerals from the Hartz Mountains, Tit/fiuk. given to the Public by King George The Fourth. Banks""" ^e Persepolitan sculptures were received in the year MD8EIH 1825; the Minerals from the Hartzgebirge, in the year 1829.

[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »