David Nelson (botanical collector)

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For other people named David Nelson, see David Nelson.

David Nelson (died 20 July 1789) was gardener-botanist on the third voyage of James Cook, and botanist on the HMS Bounty under William Bligh at the time of the famous mutiny.

Nothing is known of his ancestry or early life. In 1776, he was recommended as a suitable botanical collector to Cook, who had failed to attract an established botanist to the position. He was appointed, and received a small amount of botanical training and instruction by Joseph Banks and William Aiton before embarking. On returning to London in 1780, he worked as a gardener at Kew Gardens for seven years, before accepting an appointment as botanist to Bligh's voyage to Tahiti to obtain breadfruit trees. He was caught up in the mutiny and, remaining loyal to the captain, was one of the 19 men cast adrift without arms in a small boat. He survived the famous 3800-mile voyage to Timor, but a few days after arriving he spent a day botanising in the mountains, caught a cold, and died.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ St. John, Harold (1976). "Biography of David Nelson, and an account of his botanizing in Hawaii". Pacific Science 30 (1): 1–5. hdl:10125/1529. 
  2. ^ "Author Query for 'Nelson'". International Plant Names Index. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Brosse, Jacques (1983). Great Voyages of Exploration. The Golden Age of Discovery in the Pacific. Transl. Stanley Hochman. Sydney: Doubleday. ISBN 0-86824-182-2.