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 13 Collections and/or Records:
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 from Joseph Beete Jukes and family series consists of:
- 18 letters, chronologically arranged (1864-1871)
Scope and Contents The Correspondence: John Phillips to Frederick William Rudler sub-series consists of:
- 40 letters, alphabetically arranged (1845-1901)
Item — Volume: MS 2918.1
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
Item — Volume: MS 2917.4
Scope and Contents 2 notebooks pasted together containing minutes of meetings. Membership details include: details of new and retiring members and those who attended each meeting. A list of names and address for members in 1858 is pasted into the back of the book. The financial affairs of the Society are reported, and the annual report for 1850 is pasted into the front of the book. The reading of member's papers are minuted, along with the resultant discussions, although many abstracts have been...
Dates: 17 October 1850 - 04 June 1857
Item — Volume: MS 2917.5
Scope and Contents Notebook containing minutes of both council and general meetings, including an alphabetical index at the beginning of the book and 172 numbered pages. Full details of the Society's business is recorded including: details of honorary, corresponding and normal membership, details of office-bearers and their election, financial details, reports on the Society's general business, plans and reports on a Conversazione held on 15 March 1863, details of donations for the Society's museum...
Dates: 16 January 1862 - 26 October 1863
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 3
Scope and Contents In this green leather notebook, Lyell's notes focus on Scottish and British geology, and planning for Principles and Elements of Geology. He and Mary visit the Isle of Arran for the first time, their visit referenced in Leonard Wilson's book. Spectacular drawings of Goatfell, envisioning lava veins, as well as line drawings of the landscape. Notes are written in pencil and ink, with tables, illustrations, lists, and draft letters. The following...
Dates: 3 February 1836-12 August 1836
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 3
Lyell's Own Index This black leather notebook contains Lyell's notes on current scholarship from other well-known natural history colleagues, including Darwin, Deshayes, Blackadder, Owen, and more. Notes are made in pencil and ink with some sketches. The index is pasted to the back cover, and the front cover is blank.
Dates: August 1836- April 1837
Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 4
Scope and Contents This marbled paper and red leather notebook includes Charles Lyell's geological notes on Kinnordy and surrounding area, as well as other areas of Scotland, illustrated with a watercolor cross section on page 61. There are also 'to do' lists, notes on correspondence sent, meeting agendas and lists of persons to whom papers were sent, and notes on conversations with Agassiz. He makes more observations on glacial moraines, and lists of Faluns fossils. Notes are in pencil and ink and complete index...
Dates: 21 October 1840-8 December 1840
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...