Renowned botanist Joseph Banks was born in London into a wealthy family in 1743 and developed a passion for the principals of botany whilst studying at Oxford. He successfully lobbied to be included as the botanist on the Endeavour's maiden voyage under the captaincy of James Cook.
Upon successfully landing in Australia, it was the abundance of new plant species that had Cook proclaim the area 'Botany Bay' and many of the flora that Banks discovered were named in his honour including the Banksia and Viola Banksii, the native violet. Despite never returning to Australia, Banks played an active role in the colony, supporting Cook's proposal of Botany Bay as the foundation of a penal colony and having a part in the appointment of governors.
He continued to send botanists on expeditions to Australia at his own expense to collate further information of the plants in the area and to further his own collection of Australian native plants. Throughout colonial history he was the favoured advisor to any English person thinking of visiting Australia and remained a confidant of the governors during the first 30 years of settlement.