Sir Joseph Banks: Journals

Scope and Content

Two journals in a volume of 94 folios:

1. 'Journal of an Excursion to Eastbury and Bristol etc. in May and June 1767'.

2. 'Journal of an Excursion to Wales etc. Began August the 13th 1767 Ended January the 29th 1768'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Joseph Banks, Baronet (1743-1820), was born at Argyle Street, London, on 13 February 1743. He was educated by a private tutor, before attending Harrow School and Eton. He entered Christ Church, Oxford, in 1760, where his interest in botany prompted him to procure a teacher in this field for the students. In 1766 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in that year travelled to Newfoundland to collect plants. During 1768-1771 he journeyed with Cook around the world in the Endeavour, and made natural history collections. In 1772 he visited Iceland. He was President of the Royal Society, 1778-1820, and was created Baronet in 1781. Banks died at Spring Grove, Isleworth, on 19 June 1820. His collections and library passed to the British Museum after his death.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Spencer George Perceval, 1921.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Banks in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, Vol. I (London, 1908), pp. 1049-1053.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

The volume was sold at Sotheby's in 1886. It was bought from the original purchaser, John W. Ford of Enfield, in 1887 by S.G. Perceval (see the correspondence in MS.Add.6334, nos 39-45).


Journal no. 1 was printed by S.G. Perceval in Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists' Society, NS 9 (1899), p.6 et seq.