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Biographical entry White, John (c. 1756 - 1832)

Born
c. 1756
Died
20 February 1832
Worthing, Sussex, England
Occupation
Naval officer and Surgeon

Summary

John White was chief surgeon of the First Fleet and the subsequent colony of New South Wales, remaining in the colony until December 1794. He was responsible for the building of a hospital and decreasing the illness and death rate. He was also a keen amateur naturalist; his journal and accompanying specimens were sent to England in November 1788 and subsequently published as "Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales" in 1790.

Details

Born ca 1757. Entered the navy as third surgeon's mate in H.M.S. "Wasp" 1778, diploma of the Company of Surgeons 1781, naval service, West Indies and India 1781-86, surgeon, "Irresistible" 1786, chief surgeon, First Fleet 1786-96, various ships 1796-99, surgeon, Sheerness Navy Yard 1799-1803, surgeon, Chatham Yard 1803-20. Keen amateur naturalist, who sent specimens to England. The convict artist assigned to him from 1792-94, Thomas Watling (q.v.), made many natural history drawings for him.

Events

1778 - 1780
Career position - Surgeon's mate, Royal British Navy
1780 - 1787
Career position - Surgeon, Royal British Navy
1787
Career event - Named Surgeon-General of New South Wales
1790
Career event - Published Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales
1793
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus robusta Sm., of which White collected the type
1793
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus piperita Sm. White collected the type
1793
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus corymbosa Sm. (= E. gummifera (Sol. ex Gaertn.) Hochr.
1793
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus capitellata Sm., of which White collected the type
1795
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm., of which White collected the type
1797
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus saligna Sm., of which White collected the type
1797
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus resinifera Sm., of which White collected the type
1797
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus pilularis Sm., of which White collected the type
1797
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus haemastoma Sm., of which White collected the type

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Rienits, Rex, 'White, John (1756?-1832)', in Douglas Pike (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 2, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1967, pp. 594-595. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020536b.htm. Details
  • Simpson, Rob, 'John White MD, RN: Surgeon General to the First Fleet', in John Pearn (ed.), Pioneer Medicine in Australia, Amphion Press, Brisbane, 1988, pp. 15-31. Details

Journal Articles

  • Anderson, D, 'John White: Surgeon General to the First Fleet', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 1933, no. 1(6), 1933, pp. 183-7. Details
  • Evans, Sue, 'Joseph Banks and the continuing influence of European colonisation on Australian herbal practice.', Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, vol. 21, no. 3, 2009, pp. 63-65. Details
  • Nelson, E. Charles, 'John White AM, MD, FLS (c.1756-1832), Surgeon General of New South Wales: a New Biography of the Messenger of the Echidna and Waratah', Archives of Natural History, vol. 25, 1998, pp. 149-211. Details
  • Piggott, Louis J., 'John White's Journal of a voyage to new South Wales (1790): comments on the natural history and the artistic origins of the plates', Archives of Natural History, vol. 27, no. 2, 2000, pp. 157-74. Details
  • Pigot, Louis J., 'John White's Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales (1790): Comments on the Natural History and the Artistic Origins of the Plates', Archives of Natural History, vol. 27, 2000, pp. 157-174. 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

Rosanne Walker