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Notebook No.7, December 1827- March 1828

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 1
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/7

Scope and Contents

This noteboook contains gostly geological notes; lists of books to be read. Features a passage on respect for human opinions.

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, Chalk flint, ammonite in
p. 1, Alligators in Mississippi
p. 2, Chalk, fissures in
p. 2, Echini in Chalk
p. 2, Sheppey fossils
p. 3, 13, Lewes levels
p. 3, Mediterr[anean]
p. 3, Rapidity of format[ion]
p. 4, Murex on Ammonite
p. 4, Quartzose sandst[one]
p. 4, Wind
p. 5, Earthq[uake]
p. 6, Pentacrinus Europous
p. 7, Rules, mammalia, birds, […]
p. 7, Freshw[ater] form[ation]
p. 8, Final […]
p. 8, Change of vegetables
p. 8, Dicotyl[…] wood in Green s[and]
p. 10, Queries
p. 11, Tilgate, monocotyl[…] wood
p. 11, Storm of Nov[ember] 1824
p. 12, Castle, circle half destroyed
p. 13, Sharks teeth, Tilgate etc.
p. 13, Turbo littoreus of Weald […]
p. 13, Diluvium
p. 13, Chalk, slate in
p. 14, Beattie on Earthq[uake]
p. 14, Wood in chalk
p. 14, Silicif[ied] wood
p. 15, Chalk, org[anic] re[mains]
p. 15, Dredging the English channel
p. 15, Wisdom of Solomon
p. 15, Byron on the ocean
p. 16, Extracts from Don Juan
p. 16, Island of Antlantis (poem)
p. 17, Wood coal
p. 17, Mammalia
p. 18, Rarity of fossils
p. 18, Inclination, Jamieson
p. 18, Fissures
p. 19, Chalk fossils, lists of
p. 20, Gault, D[itt]o, D[itt]o
p. 20, Green sand D[itt]o, D[itt]o
p. 21, Sharks very universal
p. 22, Weald clay fossils
p. 22, Tilgate beds, d[itt]o
p. 23, Waders in d[itt]o
p. 23, Mantell on destr[uction] of Brighton coast
p. 23, D[itt]o on submarine forest
p. 24, No foss. Quad. of height of Cameleopard [sic]
p. 25, Climate
p. 26, Tides highest on French side of British Chan[nel]
p. 26, Bo[?]e in rivers
p. 27, Baltic
p. 27, Rivers colder than seas
p. 28, Height of Tides
p. 28, Freshwater lakes
p. 28, Inland seas
p. 28, Wood […] at Christch[urch] Head
p. 29, Primitive rocks
p. 29, Bonnard, M on primitive rocks of Burgundy
p. 32, Brongniart, M on des gres d’ Hor
p. 34, Desnoyer de la form[ation] Ool [?] de la France
p. 35, Unknown causes
p. 36, Elev[ation] of Mount[ains]
p. 36, Toleration of spin[…]
p. 37, Jamieson on sands of Egypt
p. 38, Flinders s[an]d pumice formed cement to some coral isles
p. 38, Chateauvieux on the Maremmes of Tuscany
p. 43, Guanas of N.S. Walls
p. 45, Valleys in mountain chains how caused
p. 48, Voltaire, extracts from
p. 50, Elevation
p. 50, Smyths Sicily, extracts
p. 57, Insects in marl
p. 58, Free fern, silicif[ied] in Saxony
p. 58, Mastodous
p. 59, Prevost on Chalk of Paris
p. 60, Refrig'n of globe in 2000 years
p. 60, Subapennines
p. 61, Ava bones
p. 61 Sea, greatest depth
p. 61 Deluge
p. 61 Cuvier revol's
p. 62 Chateauvieux's Letters extracts from
p. 66 Hordwell Cliff, [...]
p. 66 Plastic clay
p. 68 Mont Dor silex
p. 68 Amygdaloid
p. 69 Opalized wood
p. 69 Eifel wood in traps
p. 69 Brown coal form[ation]
p. 69 M[on]t Bolea fish
p. 70 Diluvium, flint gravel
p. 70 Limena of N[orth] Holland
p. 71 Burmese fossil shells
p. 73 Lias, Syenite, of Sky
p. 73 Water spout n[ea]r Croydon
p. 74 Legendum
p. 75 Central Heat
p. 76 Skeleton of Rhinoceros with marine shells adhearing to it. Piacenza.
p. 76 Skeletons of Elephants [et cetera] with d[itt]o
p. 78 Turtles in Bay of Bincay
p. 78 Crocodile in Paris gyps[um]
p. 78 Coal in the Andes
p. 78 Ronca, marine + volcanic form[ation] alternating
p. 79 Sulp[hur] of Barytes, Auvergne
p. 79 Gergovia, trap versus
p. 80 Mezen, Trachyte above basalt
p. 80 Cantal, Subap[...] beds contin[ued] to within 30 miles of
p. 80 Potoie, hot spring
p. 81 Isthmus of Suez
p. 81 M. testaceo, Roman jars
p. 82 M. Mario, bones of Eleph[ants]
p. 82 Lake Titicaca, 7000 sq. miles height of 12,900 ft
p. 83 Volc[ani]c from lat. 16 to Cape Horn
p. 84 Auvergne mem[oranda]
p. 90 Tree ferns in Upper Peru at height of 6500 ft.
p. 90 Legendum
p. 90 Voluta, remarks on
p. 91 Trachyte, modern
p. 91 Gold + Silver, mines of
p. 91 Peru, their age
p. 92 Glaris slate - fish?
p. 92 Tilgate beds
p. 92 Pappenheim, oolite
p. 93 Caithness Fish
p. 93 Oolite coal, Yorksh[ire]
p. 93 Errors in Fleming
p. 101 Forfarsh[ire] Lead
p. 102 Salt from [...]
p. 102 Verona, deposit of crabs
p. 102 Peru, Silver mines in Mag[nesian] limest[one]
p. 103 Peru section of d[itt]o
p. 105 Encrinites + Producto at elev[ation] of 15,000 ft
p. 105 Boulade Bones
p. 105 Isocardium Cor
p. 105 Soldier Crab in Subap[...]
p. 106 Subap[...] format[ions] + shells
p. 108 Bordeaux shells
p. 108 Cerith[...] + Potamides, diff[erence]
p. 109 Lepidoptera
p. 111,112,119, Dante [...]
p. 111 Merricks Cardigan
p. 115 Elev[ation] of limest[one] Andes
p. 115 Elev[ation] of coal Andes
p. 115 Tripli rock, red marl
p. 116 Marine shells in ravines n[ea]r Lima [et cetera]
p. 117 Ammonites f[oun]d in Indea believed to cont[inue] Violana
p. 120 Benddant found recent shells under Coiron basalt
p. 122 Pentland on foss[il] fish
p. 169 Supap[...] queries
p. 170 Geolog[y] queries


  • Creation: December 1827- March 1828


Language of Materials


Historical context

This notebook, the first of 1828, shows Lyell's continued interest in the Auvergne region of France, and comes at a time when he begins to plan for a grand trip. In May 1828, Lyell joined Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) and his wife Charlotte Hugonin (1788-1869) for a fieldwork tour of France and Italy. The journey was planned expressly for geological fieldwork, the purpose of which was to educate the travellers themselves, thus being closely related to what today would be called a field trip rather than field research. There were both educational and recreational aspects to the journey; Roderick Murchison referred to this journey as their (geological) Grand Tour.

Through travels Lyell's theories evolved. His studies of the Roman Macellum or 'Temple of Serapis' in Pozzuoli, near Naples, in 1828 provide a perfect illustration of his understanding of the impact and significance of modern marine and geological processes.

A subject of concern for Lyell was the power and exclusivity of British Universities; 9 May 1828, parliament repealed the Test and Corporation Acts which had banned Catholics from holding government and public offices or from attending universities.


174 folios

87 Leaves

1 volume

Archivist's Note

Created by Elise Ramsay, Project Archivist; Nicky Monroe, Volunteer, April 2021

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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