Skip to main content

Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey, 1792-1871 (1st Baronet | Scottish geologist)

 Person

Dates

  • 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 17 Collections and/or Records:

Correpondence relating to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison's dispute with Adam Sedgwick about Silurian classification, c1852

 Series
Identifier: Coll-74/10/3
Scope and Contents The correpondence relating to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison's dispute with Adam Sedgwick about Silurian classification consists of:
  1. correspondence
  2. notes and related papers
Dates: c1852

Correspondence: from Duncan M Irvine to Alfred John Jukes-Browne, 1865-1899

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/12/7
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: from Duncan M Irvine to Alfred John Jukes-Browne sub-series consists of:
  1. 44 letters, alphabetically arranged (1865-1899)
Dates: 1865-1899

Correspondence: John Edward Marr to C Neaves, 1852-1899

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/12/16
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: John Edward Marr to C Neaves sub-series consists of:
  1. 54 letters, alphabetically arranged (1852-1899)
Dates: 1852-1899

Correspondence: John Phillips to Frederick William Rudler, 1845-1901

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/12/18
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: John Phillips to Frederick William Rudler sub-series consists of:
  1. 40 letters, alphabetically arranged (1845-1901)
Dates: 1845-1901

Correspondence to Sir Archibald Geikie: Robert Harkness to Francis John Haverfield, 1872-1915

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/11/22
Scope and Contents The Correspondence to Sir Archibald Geikie: Robert Harkness to Francis John Haverfield sub-series consists of:
  1. 18 letters, alphabetically arranged (1872-1915)
Dates: 1872-1915

Letter to Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay from Professor Alphonse Favre, 03 April 1872

 Item
Identifier: Coll-74/11/1/10
Scope and Contents Letter to Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay from Alphonse Favre enquiring whether it would be possible for the central public library at Geneva to continue receiving Geological Survey publications, an arrangement first brought into operation the previous December by Sir Henry de la Beche and Sir Roderick Impey Murchison.
Dates: 03 April 1872

Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from John Jeremiah Bigsby, 20 April 1879

 Item
Identifier: Coll-74/11/8/49
Scope and Contents Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from John Jeremiah Bigsby asking Geikie to include his Thesaurus Siluricas in the list of recent palaeontology works in his next edition of Life of Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Bart, ( 1875) . He mentions that Sir Roderick Impey Murchison gave him advice for the book, and a listing would help the sales of his forthcoming Thesaurus Devonico-Carboniferous. A list of Scottish towns against...
Dates: 20 April 1879

Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from John Jeremiah Bigsby, 27 April 1875

 Item
Identifier: Coll-74/11/8/50
Scope and Contents Letter to Sir Archibald Geikie from John Jeremiah Bigsby thanking Geikie for the note in which he apologised for accidentally missing Bigsby's Thesaurus Siluricas from his list of recent paleontology works in Life of Sir Roderick I. Murchison, Bart, ( 1875) .
Dates: 27 April 1875

Letters to Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, 1843-1879

 Sub-Series
Identifier: Coll-74/11/1
Scope and Contents The Letters to Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay sub-series consists of:
  1. 14 letters from a variety of European correspondents concerning geological papers and research (1843-1879).
Dates: 1843-1879

Minute Book No 7, 07 November 1867 - 18 March 1879

 Item — Volume: MS 2918.1
Identifier: Coll-43/1/7
Scope and Contents Notebook containing minutes of ordinary meetings with 432 numbered pages. Full details of the Society's business is recorded including: details of honorary, corresponding and normal membership and diplomas awarded, reports from Annual General Meetings including details of office-bearers and their election, financial details, details of the publications of Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society, details of donations for the Society's museum and...
Dates: 07 November 1867 - 18 March 1879