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The artist’s impressions
Despite his early death, Sydney Parkinson made a great contribution to the records of the Endeavour voyage, being the first European artist to create drawings of Australia’s indigenous people, as well as Australian landscapes, from direct observation.
Hundreds of his drawings survive in the British Museum. He is famous for his botanical illustrations, which were later used to create the lavish plates for Joseph Banks’ Florilegium, a collection of engravings of plants collected by Banks and Daniels Solander during the Endeavour’s first voyage.
Parkinson was one of the casualties of sea life mentioned by James Roberts, dying of dysentery in January 1771 on board the Endeavour. His works later became the subject of a dispute between Joseph Banks and Sydney’s brother, Stanfield Parkinson. As his employer, Banks claimed rights to Sydney’s drawings, papers and collections made on the voyage. Stanfield, however, alleged that Sydney had willed them to his family.
"Draughtsman - Died at Sea 26 Feby. 1771 Fever and Ague"