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Notebook No.5, July 1827- August 1827

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 1
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/5

Scope and Contents

This notebook, of worn brown leather, contains geological notes and observations likely written from Lyell's reading papers and journals. Some notes on the law profession. The cover reads 'Inside. D. July 1927' in large script.

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, transcribed from digital surrogates using the platform Transkribus. When known, Lyell's abbreviations and contractions have been expanded using brackets []. When writing is unclear, and transcription is not possible, this is denoted using [...]. Quotation marks are Lyell's own notation for ditto, as is the abbreviation "d'o". The inclusion of [sic] indicates the misspelling of a word is deliberate and taken from the notebook.

Lyell's Own Index

p. 1, Lulworth Cove. shattered shells. Babb[age]
p. 1, Things prejudicial to geol[ogica]l reasoning
p. 2, Earthquake like Spartan arrow
p. 2, Amber. L[ord] Bacon. Insects preserved
p. 2, Marine fish in saltwater L[or]d B[acon]
p. 3, Rain-bow why [...]
p. 3, Spring. dissolve rocks
p. 3, Ebbing + flowing well [Cheswick]
p. 4, Books most immoral most thumbed, Paris
p. 4, Section of [Davies’] well. Bored. E. Acton
p. 4, Boring remarks. Expence [sic]
p. 7, Fire [from] sea. Ed[s?] Balfour
p. 7, Fire from Whales Cardigan Sir T. Phil[osophical Transactions of the Royal Society]
p. 7, Wolves turn to dogs
p. 7, Legendum Mignet’s Hist[oire] de la Rev[olution] Fran[caise]
p. 7, Contortions of the Sybil
p. 8 Gibbon “Then is me God and Mahamoet”
p. 8, Marine form[ation]s more active than ever
p. 9, Oysters in Pl[iocene] clay n[ea]r Winchester
p. 9, Valleys in chalk [dry]
p. 9, Low interest good because [...] implies ma-
p. 10, Briefs not delivered till bill found
p. 11, Why etiquette that council sh[oul]d not see [client]
p. 11, When they do
p. 11, Refereeship of Att[orne]y binds his client
p. 12, Expence [sic] of suit is chiefly witnesses
p. 12, This aggra[vate]d by ignorance of Att[orn]ies
p. 13, Sh[oul]d barristers be so distinct from att[orn]ies
p. 13, Responsibilitys [sic] of att[orn]ies. Reformed
p. 14, Att[orn]ies get up the brief [et cetera]
p. 14, Crossing youth too much
p. 15, As dates deriv[e?]d from dialects so in geol[og]y [et cetera]
p. 15, Commiss[io]n of [...] get business why
p. 15, Att[orn]ies refereeship
p. 16, Taxing costs [sic]
p. 16, Att[orn]ies bills why exorbitant
p. 16, Chalk rubble deluvium Winchester
p. 18, Hertfordsh[ire] puddingst[one] Winchester
p. 19, Council W. circuit in order of precedence
p. 21, [Wash] stone of Hursley Park ploughed furrows
p. 21, [Ditto] Roman camps [et cetera]
p. 22, Winchester Cathedral stone
p. 23, Quadrupeds not in Monat
p. 23, [Fish?] linger clay [and] sections
p. 24, [Πελαγιζειν?] Herod[otus]
p. 25, Talus in Switzerland
p. 25, Prisoners (criminal) say “moriendus inulte"
p. 25, Att[orn]ies do not [share] for Prisoners incrim[ination]
p. 26, Salisbury Diluvium
p. 26, Stewardship of ecclesias[tica]l manors
p. 27, Proverb
p. 27, Buffaloes in Pontine marshes
p. 28, Horse falling over cliff
p. 28, Barton fossils 200 in Miss S’s coll[ection]
p. 28, Cyclostoma freshw[ate]r in Lond[o]n clay
p. 28, Dentalia [mad?n] Eng[lish]
p. 28, [Encrinus] + species in chalk
p. 28, Crustacea Pappenheim
p. 28, Buffonite [sic] and fishes teeth Newbury
p. 28, Sepias tooth why [frequent]
p. 29, Sect[io]n of chalk breccia W[es]t Sarum
p. 30, Digestible things disapp[ea]r [Therry]
p. 30, Election tyranny excitments [sic] [et cetera]
p. 31, Corpora [horis] mischievous now. Why
p. 31, Elections sh[oul]d last only 3 days as [horw]
p. 31, Diluvium difficulties due to evelat[ion]n
p. 32, Earthquakes elevate when rocking
p. 32, Fossil air bladder in fish
p. 33, Insects in amber
p. 33, Pool Harbour double [...]
p. 33, Pool Harbour shifting bar of sand 2 miles ½
p. 33, Oysters bored by shells
p. 34, Earthquake at Lisbon
p. 34, Storm of Nov[ember] 1824 at Pool
p. 34, Wareham [?] sea. Amber
p. 34, View of Old Harry rocks
p. 35, Waste of chalk between wind and water
p. 35, Waste of chalk stone waste formed
p. 36, Chalk at E[ast] side Purbeck
p. 36, Sand of Swaneage Bay [sic] countless layers
p. 37, Geological prejudices Purbeck stone small
p. 37, Veget[abl]e matter now buried will change
p. 37, Geodes subseq[uen]t crystallisation
p. 37, Section Swanage Luckf[ord] limest[one]
p. 38, 20 distinct layers in an inch of sandst[one]
p. 38, Errors as to Time lead us astray every way
p. 38, Colour of beds. Calybeates [sic]
p. 39, Swanage N[orth] sect[io]n inf[...] to Culver firestone
p. 39, Swanage green sand contains much white
p. 39, Entomology in low hands
p. 40, Entomology better than many idle hobbies
p. 40, [Pens] and [Buggs]. Q. R.
p. 42, Purbeck beds shale might form slate
p. 42, Purbeck beds most of whole thickness useless
p. 42, Fish in Purbeck beds in part where water
p. 43, [Pens] and [Buggs]
p. 47, Durlston P[oin]t beds like Binstead stone
p. 47, Durlston P[oin]t beds prove very slow depos[itio]n of countless shells
p. 48, Gyps[um] of Paris why contains no shells
p. 48, Purbeck – shell beds between indurated
p. 48, Soft marl like Forfar between stone [et cetera]
p. 48, [Infiltration] not the indurating cause
p. 48-49, Weathering exposes fossil concealed
p. 49, Waste of cliff by alienated shales
p. 49, Petrication tufac[eous] of fern mad'n
p. 50, Megalosaurus bones from Hast beds
p. 50, Waste of cliffs
p. 51, Lamarck’s theory changes of species
p. 53, Human rem[ain]s proof of their absence
p. 53, Kimmeridge slate planes, like and old
p. 53, Kimmeridge org[ani]c remains becoming evanesc[en]t
p. 53, Rivers channel[s] longer than they where [sic]
p. 54, Kimmeridge bed describe[e]d
p. 54, Waste of cliffs
p. 55, Why inclined beds produce inequalities
p. 55, Lulworth cove section
p. 56, Sheppard dog hereditary instinct
p. 56, Animals fall over cliffs sea and river
p. 57, Shifting dunes bury quadrupeds
p. 57, Stonesfield opossum how last
p. 57, Crag formation not yet over
p. 57, Crag formation why quadrupeds in it
p. 58, Kings new Holl[an]d lizard diff[eren]t as Plesios[...]?
p. 58, Relative importance of fossils - table
p. 59, Oolitic structure whence denuded
p. 59, Oolitic structure less extended than is thought
p. 60, Earthquakes raise most when least they dislocate
p. 61, Insects [cruelty] [ts] thawed and frozen
p. 61, [Curtis?] connect[io]n of Entomology [and] bot[an]y
p. 61, Barristers identified with their case
p. 61, Hereditary ideas in dogs
p. 61, Val de Bagnes
p. 61, Chalk flint gravel on Bagsh[o]t sand
p. 62, Preface to Frayssinous
p. 62, Bulletin des Sciences [on] ambiguity of globe [et cetera]
p. 63, Bulletin des Sciences on temperature of globe [et cetera]
p. 63, We compare our own against all former times
p. 63, New [Holland] animals not quite peculiar
p. 63, Were unknown shells once in deep ocean?
p. 64, Mastodon found perfect in a marsh N[orth] Am[erica]
p. 64, Prandis address
p. 66, Interpretation of scripture accords and facts
p. 66, Ammonites [subter] [landie]. human skull
p. 66, Cypris
p. 67, Conglom[eration] not marl at foot of Grampians
p. 67, Organic remains depend not on what beds rest
p. 68, Chalk flints on Bags[ho]t sand
p. 68, Hereditary instinct
p. 68, Curtis q[uer]y as to same spec[ies] [...]
p. 69, Evergreens only keep leaves 2 summers
p. 69, Queries - insects number - plants [et cetera]
p. 70, [Fronts] gorge [...] p. 76 and
p. 70, Q[uer]y bones of otter in marl?
p. 70, Delta of Ganges. buffalo. tiger
p. 70, Delta of Ganges floating isles of wood. Sand bank[s?]
p. 71, Conglomerates, volcanic d[itt]o
p. 71, No tide at St Helena or in mid ocean
p. 71, Why more wood in tropical sea
p. 72, Red sea fills fast [M?] harbour destr[oye]d
p. 72, Palms long lived
p. 72, Basalt in Forth wastes not between high and low water
p. 72, Alligators in Sea opposite Ganges and [...]
p. 73, Furrow[e]d sand beach Leith
p. 74, Oyster bed in Forth
p. 74, Oyster bed [progress?] of show that firth full [et cetera]
p. 75, Q[uer]y Curtis dif[feren]t habits of close species
p. 75, Forth Estuary. Oysters. Sand [et cetera]
[p. 75], Q[uer]y oysters grow cannot on mud?
p. 76, Forth Est[uar]y [parallel?] [?] [form-s?][p. 76?] Queries - 2 pages
p. 79, Insects wanted for Kinnordy Coll[ectio]n
p. 80, Terms diffuse. Archives of minerals
p. 80, Changes in chemical nature of [fluid?]
p. 80, Irish elk extermin[ate]d not by catastrophe
p. 81, Mushroom large size Kinnordy
p. 81, Seeds conveyed by birds
p. 81, Q[uer]y Curtis destruction of insects. 2 queries
p. 81, All fossils called human [ones?]
p. 82, Queries 2 pages
p. 84, Insects wanted [and] Entom[ology] mem[oranda]
p. 85, Queries 2 pages
p. 87, Stereotype in reign of [Augustus] Brit[ish] Mus[eum]
p. 87, L[och] of Forfar. Isle in. Horsemen drowned?
p. 87, Barometers. Difference of
p. 87, Bones from Bakie marl
p. 88, Why superficial men are unconvincible in geol[ogy]
p. 89, Marl [and] of Kinnordy
p. 89, Chambered [univals] 10 in own sea [Flem]
p. 89, Melville Isl[an]d shells and [?] [same?] as [?]!
p. 89, Sponges in Angus
p. 89, [Area?] Pilasap.
p. 90, Asturias caput medusae now not tropical
p. 90, Terebratula British at Oban [and] Rossch[...]
p. 90, Mount[ain] [and] Magn[esia]n limest[one] same fossils?
p. 90, Terebratula no smooth ore in old form[ation]s
[p. 90], Shells of salt live in brackish [et cetera]
p. 91, Geological aras [sic] in zoology
p. 91, Collect[io]n of Perthsh[sire] insects
p. 91, Testacea Brit[is]h almost all known
p. 91, Powgavie shells disturbed format[io]n?
p. 92, Testacea eat shells
p. 92, Lakes why at summits [and] feet of mount[ain]s
p. 92, Artaxerxes (P.) when found
p. 92, Firth of Forth beds with Phoca[...] whale shells [et cetera]
p. 93, Q[uer]y does marine earthquake drive in whales?
p. 93, [Lamin?] littoral cetacea
p. 93, [Fuci?] do not live in deep water
p. 93, Sertularia
p. 93, Distribution of animals from e[ast] coast Scotl[an]d. Shells of w[est] [differ?]
p. 94, Universal form[ation]s why suppose[e]d
p. 94, Fossils thinning out in coal field
p. 94, Oysters fix to each other if [...]
[p. 94], Cardium
p. 94, L[och] of Forfar marl bones
p. 95, How long have marl locks been drained
p. 95, Chalk in Shiant Isles Fleming
p. 97, Bakie [posit[io]n?] of bones in
p. 98, Bakie marl 20 [f?] ox in lower sand
p. 99, Bakie rock marl
p. 100, Human skeletons in Bakie marl
p. 101, Bakie oxen in peat when drain dug!
p. 101, Castle Hill Kinnordy. Lake on
p. 101, Trap conglom[eration] d[itt]o
p. 102, Queries one page
p. 103, Rings in trees. Their age
p. 103, Equable temperature of sea. Cause
p. 103, Ditrib[utio]n of animals, circles. Fleming
p. 104, Zoological ora, earliest
p. 104, Legendum Scoresby Arctic region
p. 104, Paddock mire Forfar a peat moss
p. 105, Queries 2 pages
p. 107, Paddock mire [and] other Mosses. Forfar
p. 108, L[och] of Restenneth a long latus
p. 110, L[och] of Forfar S[outh?] of d[itt]o also N[...]?
p. 110, L[och] of Forfar [?] name of marl man
p. 110, Flow of water is w[est?] from L[och] Forfar
p. 110, Restenneth L[och]
p. 111, Furrowed [...]
p. 111, Oaks size of
p. 112, Trees in Peat. Aberdeen Caithness [et cetera]
p. 112, Legend[u]m For[...] forest trees. Oaks
p. 112, Comparition number of plants [and] insects
p. 113, Queries 4 pages
p. 117, Otters in Angus
p. 117, Aurora Borealis Kinnordy [and] q[uer]y
p. 118, Creigh Hill mica shist [sic]. [Diluv[iu]m?]
p. 118, Excav[atio]n of valleys in Grampians
p. 118, Hill peat. Bones. Cath no bones high up
p. 118, Basins [and] ravines on Carity
p. 119, Creigh Hill red mica shist [sic]
p. 119, Stones grow. waste
p. 120, Dog watching on dogs grave
p. 120, Trap Port-Patric Serpentinish [...]
p. 121, Giants cause way. any [...]
p. 121, Catarpillars [sic] alive after maggots ecape
p. 121, Shrinking of moss at Kinnordy
p. 121, Peat accumating [sic?] to quality [sans] loch
p. 121, Valley in Scotland cuts axis
p. 122, Granite [bolders?] [sic] decomp[osin]g - Forfar dil[uviu]m
p. 122, Diluv[iu]m of Forfar not from conglom[eration]
p. 122, L[och] of [Rescobie?]. section
p. 123, L[och] of [Rescobie?] deeper now than ever
p. 123, Newtons [sic] questions of optics
p. 123, [+ 130] Trap of Dunkeld
p. 126, Temperature
p. 126, Baldovie Conglomerate
p. 126, Torrents – cause of hills washing
p. 127, Forfar diluvium
p. 128, Diluv[iu]m of the Sidlaw valley
p. 129, Valley of Sidlaw lakes
p. 130, Waste of cliffs - English coast
p. 130, Alyth, trap dike
p. 130, Carse of Gowrie
p. 130, Valley of Lunan
p. 130, Diluv[iu]m [and] alluv[iu]m Strathmore
p. 131, Error in Ainslie’s map
p. 131, Forth, course of the
p. 131, Sandst[one] above Dunkeld
p. 131, Sidlaw beds
p. 131, Granite, Forfar Diluv[iu]m
p. 132, S[outh] Esk, course of the
p. 132, Diluv[iu]m at junct[io]n of Tay [and] Isla
p. 134, Section of Glen Prosen
p. 135, “Mortar”, diluv[iu]m sect[io]n on Esk
p. 135, Chalk flints [sd?] to be found at Coul?
p. 135, Loch of Forfar, things found in
p. 135, Thickness of peat, Ballock [and] Kinnordy
p. 135, [& 137, 140] Diluvium
p. 135, Isla’s original course
p. 136, Pearsie, basins and defiles
p. 137, Basins in Glen Prosen [and] Clova
p. 137, Loch Brandy
p. 138, [Coul Law?] mount[ai]n peat
p. 139, Prosen, R., above Pearsie
p. 140, Cavity deepens its bed
p. 140, Slate, Pearsie
p. 141, Prosen, above Balnaboth, sect[io]n
p. 142, [+ 151, 149, 144] Baromet[er]s? observ[ation]s
p. 142, Craig [Tillelair], above Kilbo
p. 144, Broom [cairn]
p. 144, King’s seat – [Mair]
p. 146, Little Dreish
p. 147, Prosen, rocks seen on its banks
p. 148, Balnaboth section
p. 150, Diluv[iu]m Strathmore
p. 150, Cliffs in Angus, waste little
p. 152, Legendum Allan’s paper on geol[ogy] of Nice
p. 152, Wild ducks building in trees
p. 152, Changing seeds of plants
p. 153, Migration of plants
p. 153, Frogs buried, [acc[oun]t] of
p. 154, Marl Loch of Kinnordy, sect[io]n of
p. 154, Bolder on hill n[ea]r Culhawk
p. 156, Diluvium Bucklandi - Tilgate waders
p. 156, Monitor in chalk, Mantells [sic] Sussex p. 242
p. 156-157, Tilgate bones
p. 157, Cetacea - Lewes Levels
p. 157, Stag in d[itt]o
p. 157, Climate
p. 157, Chalk, fragm[ent]s of slate in, but rare
p. 158, Iguanodons
p. 158, Cetacea
p. 158, Bones of Tilgate - waders
p. 158, Esox in chalk
p. 158, Lewes alluv[iu]m
p. 159, Tilgate plants
p. 159, Monitor
p. 159, Rolled bones
p. 159, Flint fossils
p. 160, Freshwater [and] marine in Tilgate
p. 160, Crocodiles
p. 160, Didelphis
p. 160, Anoploth[eriu]m at Binstead
p. 121, Moss shrinking
p. 121, Balgavies diluvium
p. 130, Alyth traps dike
p. 131, Faults in Sidlaw


  • Creation: July 1827- August 1827


Historical context

This notebook, the second of 1827, was written by Lyell early in his geological career, after Lyell and Buckland made their discoveries in Scotland in 1824, but whilst he was also maintaining a law practice, funded by his father. Lyell was greatly involved with the Geological Society (of London), serving as Secretary with George Poulett Scrope in 1825, and presenting papers on Tertiary exposures of the Hampshire coast in 1826. During the course of this notebook, Lyell began writing the first drafts of Principles of Geology. The first manuscript was delivered to the publisher at the close of 1827.

During this period, Lyell's eyes, weakened from a time spent in Tuscany as a youth, grew stronger, and allowed him to plan trips further afield to Europe, but still maintain his law practice. Most biographies point to this period of time when he resolved to dedicate his time to his geology work.

While working as a barrister on the western circuit, Lyell reads the evolutionary theories of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) and realizes that the mutability of species would affect geology as much as the biological sciences. Lyell nonetheless concludes that the fossil record is too imperfect to support the theory of evolution, and that the physical world is a stable balanced system. This notebook contains notes and observations while on Western Circuit in July; Geological observations on coast of Dorset and Somerset; Legal notes; Notes at Kinnordy in August.


179 folios

89 Leaves

1 volume