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Parks, John Damper

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Rose discoverer   Listing last updated on 08 Jul 2020.
United Kingdom
[From Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, 1826, p.323:] ...Mission of Mr. John Damper Parks, who was sent to China on account of the Society, on board of the Lowther Castle, Captain Thomas Baker, in the year 1823 [sailed from the Deal/Downs April 26, 1823; arrived in China on August 17, 1823 ]. He was instructed to collect, among other rarities, as many good varieties of Chrysanthemums as possible. Part of his collection was sent home by him, and arrived in the spring of 1824, on board the General Kyd, commanded by Captain Nairne [General Kyd left China on December 3, 1823 and arrived off Dover on March 22, 1824]. The remainder were brought by himself in the Lowther Castle, which arrived in England in the month of May subsequently. [The East Indiaman Lowther Castle departed from China on January 6, 1824 and arrived at Gravesend on May 13, 1824].
[From The Gardener's Magazine, 1829, p. 572]: We met at Mr. Donald's Mr. John Damper Parks, F.H.S., late gardener to the Earl of Arran, at Bognor...and at one time Voyaging Botanist to the Horticultural Society. ...Mr. Parks is a good botanist and gardener, and a prudent man. He was sent to China by the Horticultural Society some years ago...
[From The Horticultural Register, 1835] nurseryman at Dartford
[From The Journal of the Horticultural Society, 1850, p. 43] Practical gardeners admitted to the privileges of fellows.....Parks, Mr. John Damper. Dartford, Kent.
[From Roll Call: The Old Rose Breeder, p. 389:]
John Damper Parks
London, England
Lived c 1791 - January 11, 1866
[From British Naturalists in Qin China, by Fa-ti Fan, 2013, pp. 23-26:] ...collectors sent out by individuals and scientific institutions were mostly transient visitors....Unlike the Trader-naturalists, who pursued natural history and horticulture as a Hobby, the collectors were gardeners selected to do the work....Without prior knowledge of China, they could not communicate with the Chinese effectively....The only way to ensure the efficiency and success of their exertions was to secure the support of local patrons....As gardeners representing powerful institutions at home, they found themselves in a slippery social Position somewhere between gentlemen and servants....On his voyage to China in 1823, John Damper Parks was assigned to the same cabin as the carpenter of the ship.....This Arrangement was...a compliment to the well-connected Horticultural Society, though Parks complained that both the captain and the carpenter treated him coolly.....Although John Potts and John Parks earned the same meager £100 as Kerr, they had as their patron and host in Canton an ardent Naturalist John Reeves. Reeves closely supervised their work, personally escorted them to the Fa-tee nurseries and gardens of the Hong merchants, and introduced them to merchant Thomas Beale's Chinese gardener, from whom they gained practical knowledge of Chinese horticulture....Parks reported to the Society that "you could not have placed me under a better person than Mr. Reeves, for he has shown me every attention".
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