New South Wales

Botany Bay Part 3

LINKS to other pages in the New South Wales website and the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

NSW Home Page
1 : Cook's Landing
2 : First Fleet and Sir Joseph Banks
3 : Daniel Solander and Cook Museum
4 : Bare Island and Cape Banks


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Daniel Carlsson Solander or Daniel Charles Solander (19 February 1733 – 16 May 1782) was a Swedish botanist and has been commemorated in many places including the naming of the south headland of Botany Bay (Point Solander) and in a monument at Kurnell erected by the Swedish community in 1914 (left and below) .

Solander was born in Piteå, Norrland, Sweden, the son of a Lutheran principal. He enrolled at Uppsala University in July 1750 and studied languages and the humanities. The professor of botany was the celebrated Carolus Linnaeus who was soon impressed by young Solander's ability and accordingly persuaded his father to let him study natural history. In 1760 Solander travelled to England to promote Linnaeus' new system of classification. He became an assistant librarian at the British Museum in 1763 and elected Fellow of the Royal Society in the following year. Afterwards he held the position of Keeper of Printed Books at the British Museum.

In 1768 Solander and his fellow scientist Dr. Herman Spöring were employed by Joseph Banks to join him on James Cook's first voyage to the Pacific Ocean on board the Endeavour. During Cook's expedition's landings in Australia, Solander helped form and describe an important collection of Australian plants and most particularly while the Endeavour was beached at the site of present-day Cooktown for nearly 7 weeks after being damaged on the Great Barrier Reef. The collection later formed the basis of Banks' Florilegium.

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On his return to England in 1771 Solander became Banks' secretary and librarian and lived in Banks' house at Soho Square. In 1772 he accompanied Banks on his voyage to Iceland, the Faroes and the Orkney Islands. Between 1773 and 1782 he was Keeper of the Natural History Department of the British Museum.

Solander died at Banks' home in Soho Square of a stroke, aged 49.

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This colonial style residence (left) stands on the hill above the monument to Solander.

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Behind the residence is a small museum of local memorabilia and a description of Cook's landing (right and below)

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A sample of banksia described by Joseph Banks (right)

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A cartoon by Michael Pickering in the Kernell museum (left)

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