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Volume 05: Drawings of plants of New South Wales, approximately 259 botanical watercolours [Contents

by Thomas Watling


The majority of these drawings probably sent from Port Jackson not before October 1794 (from the date on sheet 140), probably directly to Thomas Wilson, or to Lambert, and were accompanied by specimens for James Edward Smith. White left the colony on 17 December 1794. One sheet is watermarked 1795. Inscriptions on the versos of two drawings confirm the recipient of the specimens, some preserved in spirits: (216) (glauca) ‘Natural size May! This plant is very rare & difficult to dry from their / being very succulent & of a tender texture, three / or four will be found in the long bottle full of flowers for Doctr. Smith in No. 5 a small box in case / no. 20 [10?]’, and (222) ‘This plant is very rare & difficult to dry from its being very succulent & of a tender texture. three or four of it will be found in the long bottle full of flowers in spirits for Doctr. Smith’.

‘Paterson’ must refer to Captain William Paterson of the New South Wales Corps, later Lieutenant-Colonel and Lieutenant-Governor, who corresponded with and sent botanical specimens to Banks from 1792, who was assigned an artist, the convict John Doody (as White had been assigned the convict Thomas Watling). ‘Major Ross’ (1740-1794), (192), is the officer in charge of Royal Marines on the First Fleet, and later Lieutenant Governor of Norfolk Island, who left New South Wales on 13 December 1791, and is credited in Smith’s A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland ... ,London, 1793 (‘Our figure [p.46, crimson styphelia] is taken from a drawing, obligingly communicated by the late Major Ross, and assisted by very magnificent specimens from Mr White.’) — the present drawing not the aforementioned.