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 8 Collections and/or Records:
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 to Sir Archibald Geikie: Robert Harkness to Francis John Haverfield sub-series consists of:
- 18 letters, alphabetically arranged (1872-1915)
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 1
Scope and Contents This brown leather notebook features Lyell's copy hand throughout, many detailed sketches, Dover, Calais, mention of Auvergne, Fault Shakespeare's Cliff, Geological observations at Dover, Calais and on road south from Paris to Riom. The inside cover notes his address, "Mr. C Lyell, No 9 Crown Office Row, Temple". The following table of contents is Lyell's own words, copied from Lyell's own "Index", found at the beginning and end of the notebook,...
Dates: 4 May 1828-18 May 1828
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 3
Scope and Contents This brown leather notebook contains notes by Charles Lyell on a variety of subjects, including geological observations from various pits in Britain, notes on the latest edition of Elements of Geology, and addresses of correspondents. The front and back cover are blank, index is located at the back of the notebook, p. 172. The following table of contents is Lyell's own words, copied from Lyell's own "Index", found at the beginning and end of the...
Dates: 17 January 1838- April 1838
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 4
Scope and Contents This green leather notebook contains diverse notes by Lyell, including lists, observations, sketches, and plans for future tours to Wales and North America. Notes are in pencil and ink. There is a sketch of a compass p. 21, and a list of books on American geology at the Geological Society of London on p. 101. The index is the last three pages of the notebook, both covers are unmarked. The following table of contents is Lyell's own words, copied...
Dates: 16 June 1841-23 July 1841
Scope and Contents The papers Sir Archibald Geikie consist of: personal, organisational and scientific correspondence geological notebooks with field sketches and water-colours reprints of his work miscellaneous lecture notes student's lecture notes lecture notes and printed maps relating to a visit to Boston proofs for...
Scope and Contents 1 Various documents on John Murchison, Col. Donald Murchison, the Glenshiel Affair, Gaelic songs, and monument to D.M. 2 Various documents re Tarradale, c.1810-1820. 3 Various documents re Tarradale, c.1812-1815. 4 Various documents re Tarradale, July 1815. 5 Various documents re Col. RM.McGregor's estate, 1831-1836. 6 Various documents re McGregor, Massie, etc., 1811-1850. 7 Small notebook labelled: 'Early memoranda of old war from...