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joined to those of the British Museum.’ WENDEBORN“ was a German preacher, resident in London for many years. He was known to Queen CHARLOTTE, and had 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?
' Gnomoxas' LIBRARY.
‘* See, before, p. 339.
T/ie Life, Travels, and Social Influence, of Sir Josepli BANKs.——Tlie Royal Society under Iris Presidency.— His Collections and their acquisition by tlze Trustees of tile Britisk Jluseurn.—Abtices qf some ot/ier contemporaneous accessions.
‘IVE have now to glance at the career—personal and scientific—of an estimable public benefactor, with whom King GEORGE THE THIRD ' had much pleasant intercourse, both of a public and a private kind. Sir Joseph BANKS was almost five years younger than his royal friend and 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 182-3, 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
amu- (for the first time in its history) to a respectable rank gift-:5... amongst the National Libraries of the day. The Banksian bequest made also an important addition to the naturallefm‘“ history collections, especially to the herbaria. It is as a Linn-ma cultivator and promoter of the natural sciences, and prov eminently of botany, that Sir Joseph won for himselfenduring 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 born 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 Barn.
M Mr. BANKS-HODGKENSON was the descendant of a York' shire family, which was wont, of old, to write itself Annex. ‘Banke,’ and was long settled at Banke-Newton, in the wapentake of Stainclitl'e. The second son of a certain Henry BANKE, of Banke-Newton, acquired, by marriage, Beck Hall, in Giggleswick ; 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 I-Ioncxanson, 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 next brother, who became Robert HODGKENSON, of Overton. Mr. BANKS-Honoxnnson died in 1761, leaving to his son, afterwards Sir Joseph BANKS, a plentiful estate.
The youngster was then little more than beginning his career at Oxford, whither he had recently come from Eton, though his schooling had been begun at Harrow. He was ‘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 anytime, 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).
Emu. youth in fishing on Whittlesea Mere. BANKS had the iiiipiii'uu. good fortune—and the skill—to make his early acquaint”" °' 1'" anceship with the future First Lord of the Admiralty con
it?" ducive to the interests of science. The connexion with
Liann- the Navy of another friend of his youth, Henry Pnrrrs, afterwards Earl of MULGRAVE, was also turned, eventually, to good account in the same way.
Part of young BANKs’ vacations were passed at Rercsby 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.
nim' He was botanizing in a ditch, and his person happened to be partially concealed by a thick growth of briars and ;:;:\HT‘|‘:" nettles, at a moment when two or three constables, who 4 I A were in chase of a burglar, chanced to approach the spot. The botanist’s clothes were in a miry condition, and his sus-'
picious posture excited in the minds of the local Dogber
ries 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