Joseph Banks - more

Written on 10/18/2022
Robert Williams

Bank's house in Soho Square

Bank’s birthplace at 30 Argyle Street is not marked by a blue plaque, but the address is referred to in a number of references. After his marriage in 1779, he settled in a large house at 32 Soho Square and here you will find a stone marking the site of his former home. His home became the headquarters of the Zoological Society of London and his fellow scientists are named on the stone.


-pic- The plaque at Soho Square

Banks was to be the greatest proponent of British settlement in New South Wales. For 20 years after the first settlement, Banks was the general advisor to the British government on all Australian matters. He was continually called on for advice in developing the colony’s agriculture and trade. He was influential in selecting early free settlers. Giving evidence before a House of Commons committee, the record states:

“That in his [Banks] opinion the place most eligible for the reception of convicts was Botany Bay, on the coast of New Holland, on the general grounds that, it was not to be doubted that a Tract of Land such as New Holland, which was larger than the whole of Europe, would furnish Matter of advantageous Return”

Reference - here