Skip to main content

Notebook No.150, February 1847- March 1847

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 6
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/150

Scope and Contents

This black leather notebook was written whilst Lyell was in London, at 11 Harley Street and starts with memoranda, then a list of 'scientific visitors'. Written in London in the years between his travels in America, this notebook considers giraffe and bony fossil fish, but in particular focuses on the work of William, Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780 – October 2, 1842), Unitarian preacher, and on race, slavery and religion.

Lyell's own index

Content warning: Lyell uses his Scientific Notebooks to gather evidence, based on both his own observation, by reviewing other people's works, by correspondence, asking questions and analyses. The language used in this index is historical, can be discriminatory and may cause offence.
The following table of contents is Lyell's own words, copied from Lyell's own "Index", found at the 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 [...]. The inclusion of [sic] indicates the misspelling of a word is deliberate and taken from the notebook.

Scope and Contents

1847 Index
p. 3 Names of scientific visitors [includes Charles and Emma Darwin]
p. 6 Cautley Capt[ain] address
p. 8, 10 Feb 3rd Geol[ogical Society], Prestwich, paper on London clay,
p. 8 to p. 10 Geol[ogical Society], Sheppey beds Bagshot & Druid sandst[one] Barton
p. 10 Iceland infusorial beds
p. 10 - [Iceland] fumeroles [sic fumaroles] making amygdaloids [sic amygdales]
p. 10 Bancrofts [sic Bancroft’s] Hist[or]y Edinb[urgh] Rev[iew]
p. 11 [Bancrofts] bigotry of Puritans
p. 14 Barrister & Att[orne]y in U.S.
p. 14 “To scorn delights" motto for mass[es] [references New England] “Eat hog & hominy”
[maize] for V[irgini]a
p. 16 Channing on Ch[urch] Establishm[en]t.
p. 16 - [Channing] on Americans reading foreign books
p. 18 Sects in U.S. advantages of -
p. 18 Equal division of property in U.S.
p. 20 Channing, antiswearing Soc[iety]
p. 20 - [Channing] all sh[ould] not be cast in one mould
p. 20 - [Channing] Unitarianism, revivals, sectarianism
p. 22 - [Channing] Slavery - free negroes
p. 22 Nechers & Condes fossil bones
p. 23 to p. 25 -[Nechers & Condes ] list of by Owen & Bravard
p. 26 House of Lords most tolerant in religion - why
p. 26 Division of property feudal [sic] & French
- Channing Temperance Soc[iety]
p. 28 - [Channing] progressive religion. Sundays
p. 28 - [Channing] quarrels away States [p.]30. Annexation
p.30 - [Channing] Free trade best – diff[icul]t. States having same language leads to war
p. 30 Repudiation, Matheson on “smartness” of
p. 32 Irish Elk fossil at Grays Thurrock
p. 32 Medical Trinitarianism, Paget
p. 32 - [Medical] Prize essay St. Bartholomews [Hospital]
p. 33 Coll.[ege] of Surg[eons]. Sivatherium
p. 33 - [College of Surgeons] Bramatherium, eyes of fishes.
p. 34 Architecture best for Brit[ish]. Mus[eum]
P. 34 and p. 35 Nechers Tarandus priscus, old
p. 35 Water heated when air excluded, [Leonard] Horner
p. 35 Manners in U.S. Owen. Lady Shelley.
p. 36 Slavery in Eng[lan]d. “Maid of all work”
p. 36 Irishman's cold, open gate of field.
p. 37 Channing P. Office - Monarchy
p. 37 - [Channing] Federalists – Bad school masters
p. 38 - [Channing] Schoolmasters. Sermons. Educat[io]n
p. 40 - [Channing] Punishment in schools - religion in [schools].
p. 40 - [Channing] Unitarian, Divinity of Christ
p. 42 - [Channing] Creeds position of Clergy -
p. 43 Hallam, Rogers of Birmingham. Empson authors of Art[icles]. in Q[arterly]. R[eview]. & Edinb[urgh Review].
p. 45 Silurian System Murchison on identical fossils in Upper & Lower
- Channing on slavery
p. 46 - [Channing] do [ditto] & Russian serfs -
- [Channing] conscientiousness - Geol[ogical] age of the world
p. 48 [Channing] Slavery must be rebuked
- [Channing] his arguments as strong ag[ains]t. it
- [Channing] state of English peasants
Beggars - wanting in slave States
p. 50 Channing, Slavery - Overseers
- [Channing] political influence of slavery,
- [Channing] imposing manners of planters
p. 52 Architecture of railway stations
- Geol[ogy]. Coal ooliths of V[irgini]a & peat
p. 54 [Geology] 8 points of resemblance between old coal & ooliths of V[irgini]a
- atmosphere of carb[oni]c acid -reptiles
p. 56 Charcoal & cryst[alline]. coal alternating in Welsh as in V[irgini]a coal
p. 57 Channings [sic] discourses heard by men & women of all sects
p. 59, 61 Theory of synchronism of Eo [Eocene] & Plio [Pilocene].
p. 61 Dana’s papers on Geol[og]y in Jameson’s
p. 62 Zoology w[oul]d do more for medical men than Botany - Owen
p. 62 Opera - the "ballet” immoral
p. 67 Fossil Plants of Richmond (V[irgini]a Coal Field) Gifford marks explained & list of localities of
p. 68 Channing Slavery eval[uatio]n of - paupers
p. 69 Negro brain of [Jean Louis Rodolphe] Agassiz & [Richard] Owen on English agricul[tura]l labourer
p. 69 Prof[esso]r [Joseph] Henry notes of letter to on Geol[ogical] Survey, & certificate for [James] Hall
p. 69 Mulatto with hybrid intellect
p. 70 Channing, Slaves gay. anti-negroism
p. 72 - [Channing] discussion of slavery not allow[ed].
p. 72 Feudalism of rank in Engl[and]. Oxf[ord].
p. 74 Geol[ogy]. - Glacial shells E. Forbes list of
p. 76 March 2nd Sam[uel] Rogers , Macaulay & Hallam
p. 77 2nd. Ed[itio]n. of Romlly’s life 300, last
p. 78 Channing on raising the negroes
p. 78, 80 -[Channing] on Abolitionism – definition
p. 80 Scientific men ag[ains]t. free enquiry if ag[ains]t their interests
p. 82 Fossil fish with Sir P[hilip de Malpas Grey]. Egerton. Antrim
p. 82 to 84 Fish fossil Catopterus Sir P. Egerton - Rich[mon]d V[irgini]a
p. 86, 88, 91, 92 Dictyopyge
p. 92 Dr Fitton, Airy railway commission & New Planet
p. 92 Brigges Gen[era]l. salt-eating Persian
p. 94 Channing Abolition agitation
p. 94 - [Channing] high bearing of South
p. 94 - [Channing] high number of bastards in South
p. 96 H Cooper on rarity of white mothers of mulattos
p. 96 Free discussion not allowed in India or S[outhern] States
p. 97 Anti negro, aristocratic feeling
p. 98 Channing Abolitionist martyrs
p. 98 Abolitionists have injured the negro by checking amalgamat[io]n
p. 100 Channing, prophetic on Mexico.
p. 100 - [Channing] Texas perpetuates slavery
p. 100 - [Channing] Republicanism in Engl[an]d - Destiny
p. 102 - [Channing] future of U.S.
p. 102 Will Engl[and]. or U.S. progress most?
p. 103 Fossil fish Durham Connect[icu]t B[enjamin]. Silliman spec[ies] named by Sir P[hilip] E[gerton]
p. 104 Channing Intolerance - Preachers
p. 104 - [Channing] infallibility of most sects.
p. 105 - [Channing] Catholicism in West- flexibility of Romanism
p. 105 p.106 Fossil Plants & shells Richm[on]d V[irginia] oolitic Coal field
p. 106 Cypraea in Faxoe Chalk. E[dward] Forbes
p. 106 Sam Patch’s leap
p. 107 Channing, catholic church always open
p. 107 - [Channing] present religion will go away
p. 108 - [Channing] Sects - essentials of Xtianity [Sic Christianity]
p. 108 - [Channing] Creeds riddles, & dark sayings
p. 108 - [Channing] Ignorance costs Society much
p. 109 Lecture at Roy[al] Inst[itution]. Auvergne
p. 110 and p. 112 Geol[og]y of N.Y. Silurian. D. Sharpe on shells identical with Europe
p. 114 Channing Excitement required in U.S.
p. 114 - [Channing] normal schools - laymen teaching
p. 114 - [Channing] Dancing, theatres, Opera
p. 116 Channing “books [are] the true levellers”,
p. 116 - [Channing] Rich without political power
p. 116 - [Channing] bankruptcies
p. 116 - [Channing] Cheap Newspapers on opposite sides sh[oul]d be read
p. 116 - [Channing] labour of all kinds equal in dignity


  • Creation: February 1847- March 1847


Language of Materials



124 folios

62 Leaves

1 volume

Processing Information

Transcribed by Bob Burrell Volunteer, and catalogued by Pamela McIntyre, Strategic Projects Archivist March 2023.



Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379