Monday, 13 April 2009

Joseph Banks in Lisbon 1766

The ship reached Lisbon on 17 November, the date on which the surviving journal ends, with its later-written descriptton of the harbour, the town, and the customs of the inhabitants. Portugal treated Banks kindly: although he never saw the inside of a Portuguese gentleman's house, he made friends in natural history,2 added a good deal to his collections, and saw for the first time that rare substance, caoutchouc or indiarubber. Early in the new year the Niger duly returned to England, and Banks with her. He arrived in London on 30 January 1767.

There are, for instance, in Kew B. C. I, several letters from Gerard De Vismes, of Lisbon, beginning with 2 June 1767; the second announces the gift of a hogshead of ‘that choice Calcavellas’, with instructions for its treatment.

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