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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 (Auckland (N.Z.): Penguin Books, 2014), 251 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Herbert, D. A., 'Bidwill, John Carne (1815-1853)' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 1 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1966), pp. 98-99. Details
  • Tucker, Jane, 'John Carne Bidwill, 1815-1853' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 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, 6 (4) (1996), 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, xlii (1908), 60-132. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, xii (1909), 373-383. Details


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 (Melbourne: CSIRO, 1978), 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Rigby, R.