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Sir Joseph Banks Guildhall lecture

Sir Joseph Banks, who sailed as botanist with Captain Cook on the Endeavour, was instrumental in founding Kew Gardens, was Recorder for Boston and one of the world's most influential scientists.

His portrait, as Boston Recorder, pictured, hangs in the Guildhall Museum and on Friday, May 18, the Sir Joseph Banks Society holds its annual public lecture at the museum.

Richard Barley, director of horticulture, learning and education at Kew Gardens, will give a lecture entitled "Sir Joseph Banks and Kew".

Sir Joseph was the son of a wealthy Lincolnshire squire and he inherited the Revesby Abbey estate, near Horncastle, becoming the local squire and magistrate and eventually High Sheriff of Lincolnshire.

He returned from the Cook voyage to fame, holding the position of President of the Royal Society for 41 years and advised King George III on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

As well as having around 80 species of plants named after him he sent botanists around the world to collect plants and made Kew the world's leading botanical gardens.

He leant support to voyages by Captain George Vancouver, of King's Lynn, and Matthew Flinders, of Donington. He was especially interested in plants with commercial promise and sent the infamous Bounty on a mission to transplant bread fruit plants from Tahiti to British interests in the West Indies. Some of the crew mutinied in the south Pacific.

His knowledge of Australia led to him suggesting Botany Bay as a location for convicts on the basis that the area's fertility could support a population. He advised on the colonisation of Australia.

His interest in nature sprang from his childhood spent in Lincolnshire and as an adult he split his time between Lincolnshire and London.

Richard Barley joined Kew in 2013, relocating from Victoria, Australia. He was formerly chief executive officer of Open Gardens, Australia, and a director within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

The lecture begins at 7.30pm and admission is £5, available on the door or from Lady Sally Bruce-Gardyne on or telephone 01507 524145