About the Book
Sir Robert Hermann Schomburgk (1804–1865) was a German-born surveyor and traveller. In 1835–1839 he explored British Guiana for the Royal Geographical Society. In 1840 he was appointed to define its boundaries with Brazil, as Brazilian encroachments were wiping out native tribes. His report to the Colonial Office was published as A Description of British Guiana, Geographical and Statistical in 1840, and was the first detailed account of the colony. As well as surveying the land, and being the first European to reach the source of the Essequibo River, he discovered many new species of plants. His work on the boundaries led to the establishment of the 'Schomburgk Line' which was the basis for the definition of the borders with Brazil and Venezuela at the end of the century. He was knighted in 1845, and spent much of the rest of his life abroad as a British consul.