Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey, 1792-1871 (1st Baronet | Scottish geologist)
- Existence: 22 February 1792- 22 October 1871
Sir Roderick Impey Murchison ( 1792-1871), developed the modern classification of the Palaeozoic period, through his research emphasising biostratigraphy; the deposition of strata indicated by fossils. In the course of his career he successively defined the Silurian, Devonian and Permian strata, which replaced Greywacke and Coal Measures in the scientific literature.
After serving with the army in the Peninsula War and a period of time pursuing his interest in hunting, the independently wealthy Murchison began attending lectures at the Royal Institution. In 1825 he joined the Geological Society of London. Shortly afterwards he read the society his first paper, on the geology of parts of Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey. In the following five years Murchison made field explorations to Scotland, France, and the Alps with either Adam Sedgwick or Charles Lyell. In 1831 he began a study of the Early Palaeozoic rocks in South Wales. These studies were the basis of his defining work The Silurian System, ( 1839) . Further geological research in south western England and the Rhineland, in collaboration with Adam Sedgwick, defined the Devonian System. Russian field expeditions, in conjunction with French colleagues, became the basis for the definition of the Permian System. These expeditions also resulted in his works The Geology of Russia in Europe, ( 1845) and The Ural Mountains, ( 1845) . Successive editions of his expanded treatise on the Silurian System, Siluria, ( 1854) (5th ed. 1872) were also prepared. Latterly he became interested in encouraging geographical exploration and colonialism.
Murchison was president of the Geological Society of London in both 1831-1832 and 1842-1843 and became long term president of the Royal Geographical Society in 1844. As one of the founders of the British Association he was elected president for 1846. He was knighted in 1846 and also awarded the Russian Order of St. Stanislaus of the 1st Class. Appointments as director general of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and director of the Government School of Mines and the Museum of Economic Geology, London, followed in 1855. From 1863-1871 he was Patron of the Edinburgh Geological Society during which time he was raised to a Baronet. In 1871 he founded a Chair of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Edinburgh.
Found in 40 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Addressed from Port Philip Heads, Melbourne, 10 July 1855, the autograph letter signed by Sir Charles Hotham (then lieutenant governor of the Australian colony of Victoria) is to the geologist Sir Roderick Murchison (1792-1871).The letter begins with Hotham assuring Murchison that with regard to the 'pretensions' of 'Mr. Clarke' (meaning the geologist William Branwhite Clarke, 1798-1878), in claiming to have made the first discovery of gold in Australia, he is 'delighted' that Murchison...
Correpondence relating to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison's dispute with Adam Sedgwick about Silurian classification, c1852
Scope and Contents The correpondence relating to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison's dispute with Adam Sedgwick about Silurian classification consists of:
- notes and related papers
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: from Duncan M Irvine to Alfred John Jukes-Browne sub-series consists of:
- 44 letters, alphabetically arranged (1865-1899)
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: John Phillips to Frederick William Rudler sub-series consists of:
- 40 letters, alphabetically arranged (1845-1901)
Scope and Contents The Correspondence of Sir Archibald Geikie A-M series consists of:
- letters alphabetically arranged by sender, including those from Charles Robert Darwin, the Geological Society, Joseph Lister, Sir Charles Lyell and Sir Roderick Impey Murchison
Scope and Contents The Correspondence of Sir Roderick Impey Murchison series consists of: letters from Murchison to his wife, 1854 and 1857 miscellaneous correspondence and notes (including letters to Sir Archibald Geikie) 1831-1871 correspondence relating to Murchison's dispute with Adam Sedgwick regarding Silurian classification 1838 and 1852-1866 assorted correspondence,...
Scope and Contents The Correspondence to Sir Archibald Geikie: Robert Harkness to Francis John Haverfield sub-series consists of:
- 18 letters, alphabetically arranged (1872-1915)
Series — Multiple Containers
Scope and Contents 1 .1: 'Family dates C.K.M. 25.2.1935'. 1 fol. 1.2: 'Chronological table of the family of the Murchisons or as called in Gaelic McColman'. Notebook. 1 .3: 'Notes on Murchison family papers at Hargrave made by A.F.Rowe Aug. 1924'. 1.4: 'List of letters & papers acquired from Haffenden 1921 ...' with correspondence between various lawyers, Dec. 1920 - April 1922. 25 fols. 1.5: 'Incidents in the life of Colonel Donald Murchison'. 7pp, with postcards of...