The life and impact of botanist Sir Joseph Banks was explored by the Curator of Eton’s College Natural History Museum during a visit of the Malden and Coombe Natural History Society.

The presentation by George Fussey discussed Banks’ early life at Eton and his subsequent botanising on the Endeavour voyage with Captain Cook. His impact as President of the Royal Society and in directing British science for over 40 years was also discussed.

George went on to explain that, as unofficial director of Kew Gardens, Banks sent botanists all over the world to collect specimens, with the gardens becoming a depository for plants from far and wide. Many of the plants which we now think of as standard garden plants were in fact gathered in the name of Banks and he made a key impact on the horticultural life of the nation.