Nettleton & Moortown WI
Born to wealthy parents at Revesby Manor, Banks was a keen observer of all flora and fauna from a very young age.
He was educated at Eton, Cambridge and Oxford. In 1768, at the age of 22, he went on the research vessel Endeavour with Captain Cook to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus.
The voyage continued further into the southern hemisphere to explore New Zealand and the northern coast of Australia and, while Cook mapped the coastal waters, Banks collected more than 1,300 new herbarium specimens.
When they arrived home in 1771, they were treated as heroes. King George III gave Banks the run of Kew Gardens, and he was subsequently made president of the Royal Society, a post he held for 40 years.