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Biographical entry Bidwill, John Carne (1815 - 1853)

Exeter, England
16 March 1853
New South Wales, Australia
Botanist and Land commissioner


John Bidwill was Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens and Government Botanist for a brief period in 1847-1848, when by a misunderstanding the Colonial Office gave the position to Charles Moore. He then established a Botanic Garden at Tinana, Queensland.


Born Exeter, England, 1815. Died Tinana (now a suburb of Maryborough), Queensland, 16 March 1853. Arrived Sydney 1838; joined a commercial firm; explored and collected botanical specimens New Zealand 1839, 1840; Kew 1841-44; Tahiti 1845-46; director of Sydney Botanic Gardens and government botanist 1847-48; commissioner of crown lands at Wide Bay 1848-1853; established a botanic garden at Tinana. The genus Bidwillia and some twelve species of native Australian and New Zealand plants commemorate his name.


Taxonomy event - Collector of the holotype Eucalyptus populifolia Hook. (1852) (= Eucalyptus populnea F. Muell. (1859))

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Queensland Herbarium

  • John Carne Bidwill - Records, 1815 - 1853; Queensland Herbarium. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Moon, Paul, The Voyagers: Remarkable European Explorations of New Zealand, Penguin Books, Auckland (N.Z.), 2014, 251 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Herbert, D. A., 'Bidwill, John Carne (1815-1853)', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp. 98-99. Also available at Details
  • Tucker, Jane, 'John Carne Bidwill, 1815-1853', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Journal Articles

  • Mabberley, D. J., 'Plant introduction and hybridisation in colonial New South Wales: the work of John Carne Bidwill, Sydney's first director', Telopea, vol. 6, no. 4, 1996, pp. 541-62. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists - (a) General, (b) New South Wales', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. xlii, 1908, pp. 60-132. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, vol. xii, 1909, pp. 373-383. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material, CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978, 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Rigby, R.