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John White

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We had an enquiry from Australia this week about one of the specimens we have in the collection.  It is one of the oldest we have and probably collected around 1793 by John White.  He was the Surgeon-General at Port Jackson (now Sydney).

He sent his specimens to James Edward Smith, the first president of the Linnean Society of London.  J. E. Smith gave away many of his duplicate specimens and eventually some of this duplicates came to Manchester Museum via an extraordinary character called The Prince of Mantua and Montferrat (he wasn’t a real prince but more of that later!)

You can see a more detailed image of this specimen at the Manchester Museum’s main website here

monotoca scoparia
Monotoca scoparia collected by John White in Australia in 1793

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