Research tools

  •   Menu
  •   Search
  • Share
  •   Help

Series 30: Correspondence, being mainly letters received by Banks from William Kent, and others, 1801, 1806

Provenance note

The documents in this series, previously located at ML A78-3, were purchased in 1884 from Lord Brabourne by Sir Saul Samuel, the Agent-General for New South Wales. They were transferred to the Mitchell Library in 1910 and were part of the accession which became known as the Brabourne collection.

It is now not possible to reconstruct Banks' original arrangement, the series has therefore been arranged chronologically.

Background note

William Kent, naval officer, and nephew of Governor John Hunter, arrived in New South Wales in command of HMS Supply in 1795.

In October 1800, promoted by Hunter to second in command of HMS Buffalo, Kent left New South Wales and returned to England. Before leaving the colony he sold his house to the government for conversion to a home for orphans. He took with him, for Sir Joseph Banks, several emus and black swans, as well as iron ore samples for testing in England.

In 1806 Kent was suggested by Lord St Vincent to continue the survey begun of the Australian coastline by Matthew Flinders. Kent however, sought Banks' intercession in obtaining a position in New South Wales as assistant to the Governor. Unsuccessful in this, he accepted further routine naval appointments.