SOLANDER, Daniel Charles (1736-1782)


SOLANDER, Daniel Charles (1736-1782)
naturalist
son of a clergyman, was born in the province of Norrland, Sweden, on 28 February 1736. He took the degree of M.D. at the university of Upsala, was a pupil of Linnaeus and came to London in July 1760 with strong recommendations, but found it difficult to obtain an appointment. In 1762 Linnaeus obtained for him the offer of the professorship of botany at St Petersburg, but Solander had just obtained some work at the British Museum, and declined the appointment. He was shortly afterward appointed an assistant at the museum, and in 1764 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He met Sir Joseph Banks (q.v.) about this time, and in 1768 was engaged by him as a scientific assistant on the first voyage of Captain Cook (q.v.). On his return from this voyage Solander became secretary and librarian to Banks, and lived at his house. His position at the British Museum had been kept open for him, and in 1773 he became keeper of the natural history department (Dict. Nat. Biog.). He died following a stroke of apoplexy, on 16 May 1782.
Solander was a good-humoured, modest man, of much knowledge and ability. But he had an indolent procrastinating nature, and did not fulfil the hopes of his great master Linnaeus. He was associated with Banks in Illustrations of the Botany of Captain Cook's Voyage Round the World, and his The Natural History of Many Curious and Uncommon Zoophytes, Collected by the late John Ellis, was published posthumously in 1786. His name was given to a particular form of box used for holding specimens, and botanically it is preserved by the genus Solandra.
A. Chalmers, The General Biographical Dictionary, 1816, vol. XXVIII; Biographical Sketch by B. D. Jackson prefixed to Journal of the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, ed. by Sir Joseph D. Hooker, 1896.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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