George Caley dies in England

23rd May 1829

When Allan Cunningham was busy exploring in the Morton Bay area, he would have been unaware that his predecessor, George Caley, had died in England on this day, 23rd May 1829.

Sir Joseph Banks appointed George Caley (1770 – 1829) as a botanical collector in New South Wales in 1798. He was given a free passage to Sydney aboard the Speedy, arriving in Port Jackson on 15 April 1800. He was paid weekly wage of 15 shillings, was allowed rations by the government and he was also given a cottage at Parramatta. Governor Philip Gidley King, writing to Banks in September 1800, expressed his intention to establish a botanical garden near the cottage. Caley sent many botanical and other specimens to Banks and his letters also kept Banks informed of the general conditions of the colony as well as scientific matters. Caley was the first to make a serious effort to study the Eucalyptus. George Caley was considered a skilful and accurate botanist and he an honest man. He did not publish any works, but his collections did much to spread a knowledge of Australian plants in the early years of the nineteenth century. George Caley is denoted by the author abbreviation Caley when citing a botanical name. He is recognised in the orchird genus Caleana and in Grevillea caleyi, Viola caleyana, Banksia caleyi, and Eucalyptus caley. ((Source: Wikipedia – George Caley))