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9th March 2016, 2:05pm  (updated 9th March 2016, 2:10pm)
Icelandic professor gives insight into Sir Joseph Banks’ role in Napoleonic Wars
Article title here... The story of Sir Joseph Banks’ efforts to protect Iceland’s interests during the Napoleonic Wars will be the subject of a free-to-attend public talk by a leading Icelandic historian.

Professor Anna Agnarsdóttir from the University of Iceland will deliver a guest lecture, Sir Joseph Banks in Iceland and the North Atlantic, on Thursday 28th April 2016 in the Wren Library at Lincoln Cathedral. The event is co-sponsored by the University of Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral, and the Hakluyt Society.

Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) was the Lincolnshire botanist who not only sailed with Captain Cook on his first voyage of discovery aboard HMS Endeavour, but also led the first British scientific expedition to Iceland in 1772.

His legacy is honoured in the name of the University of Lincoln’s new science facilities, the Joseph Banks Laboratories, home to the University’s Schools of Pharmacy, Chemistry and Life Sciences.

The lecture will focus on manuscripts preserved in the British Library which illustrate how in his later life, including in his long-standing role as President of the Royal Society, Banks acted as a powerful protector of the Icelandic people during the Napoleonic period.

Professor Agnarsdóttir said: “A great many letters relate to trade and the difficulties experienced by both British and Icelandic merchants. These documents are important sources not only for Icelandic history but also for Georgian Britain during the Napoleonic Wars.”

After the talk, Canon Dr Mark Hocknull, Chancellor of Lincoln Cathedral, and a Visiting Senior Fellow in the College of Arts at the University of Lincoln, will lead a tour on a ‘Banks’ Walk’ of  Lincoln Cathedral.

Dr Anna Marie Roos, Reader in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln, said: “The talk from Professor Agnarsdóttir will help to highlight again how fortunate we are in Lincolnshire to have such a rich heritage of significant historical figures including not just Sir Joseph Banks, but Sir Isaac Newton, whose family home was in Woolsthorpe, George Boole, the mathematician, and Charlotte Scott, who was a pioneer for women’s education.”

The event, which runs from 3pm until about 5pm, is part of a programme of activities to mark the publication of Professor Agnarsdóttir’s book, Sir Joseph Banks: Iceland and the North Atlantic, 1772-1820: Journals, Letters and Documents (Taylor & Francis,- forthcoming 2016).

The event is open to the public though attendees must register in advance with Mrs Julie Taylor by emailing:

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