During 2014 we visited family and friends in Sweden. We discovered many places new to us and lots of information to take away. Our aim was to learn a little bit about Solander and Sparrman, the Swedish men who travelled with Captain Cook.
We quickly found they were both apostles of the famous Swedish botanist Carl von Linné, born as Carl Linnaeus.1 As a result we started with him. Linné was born on 23 May, 1707, in Råshult, near Ljungby, south Sweden.2
In 1714, aged seven, Linné went to school at Växjö. He spent one year at the University at Lund, and then in 1728 moved to the University at Uppsala, in the north of Sweden.3
In 1732, he undertook an exceptional journey to Lapland, the far north of Sweden, including what is now part of Finland. From 1735 he travelled to Denmark, Germany, Holland (where he obtained his doctorate), England and France. He returned to Sweden in 1738, where he lived for the rest of his life.
Linné became a professor at Uppsala University in 1741. He was given a house in the south corner of the Botanic Garden. Both house and garden were in a terrible state of decay, so rebuilt. Today, the house is a museum, and the garden has been restored to how it looked when Linné was there.
In 1758 he bought an estate in the country at Hammarby, 15 kilometres from Uppsala. He used it during the summer months, and built a house there to keep his books and collections. He often walked there from the University with his students, who continued their studies in the main building. Daniel Solander and Anders Sparrman were two of them.
Carl Linnaeus was ennobled in 1761, taking the name Carl von Linné. He died in Uppsala in 1778.
Teija and Michael Spiekien
- Cook’s Log, page 8, vol. 32, no. 3 (2009).
- Cook’s Log, page 9, vol. 30, no. 1 (2007).
- Cook’s Log, page 31, vol. 29, no. 4 (2006).
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 26, volume 38, number 1 (2015).