Linnaeus’ collections came to London by a rather circuitous route. They were originally left to Linnaeus’ son (also called Carl, also a naturalist), but Carl Filius died young, and with four other children to provide for, Linnaeus’s widow Sara Lisa was forced to sell. She approached the buccaneering explorer and scientific patron Joseph Banks, who recommended a sale to Smith, then a promising botanist recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh. Smith snapped up the huge collection of books, manuscripts, and nearly 14,000 specimens for the bargain price of 1,000 guineas (around £76,000 in today’s money). They are now housed in a purpose-built, bombproof vault beneath the teeming shoppers of Piccadilly.