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Notebook No.248, 30 March 1863 - 29 July 1863

 Item — Box: Lyell-temp-box 9
Identifier: Coll-203/A1/248

Scope and Contents

This dark green Notebook documents Lyell's work whilst in London, and on location in Suffolk and Kent, Lyell is considering the antiquity of man, flints, hatchets and heights and depths of sea levels. The two previous notebooks 246 and 247 - have no indexes. This notebook is the first one featuring Lyell's Secretary, Arabella Buckley. Born in 1840, Buckley started to work as secretary to Lyell at the age of 24, and remained with him until his death in 1875. The index starts in Lyell's own handwriting, and is then taken over and completed by Buckley.

Scope and Contents

The following table of contents is Lyell's - and then his secretary Arabella Buckley's own words transcribed from digital surrogates using the platform Transkribus. In this Notebook, Lyell has arranged the index by date, subject and page number. Dates are indicated by adding [th] or [st]. 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.'Do' and " are replaced by 'ditto'. Brackets () indicates Lyell's own use of brackets.

Lyell's own index:

Index 1863 p. 1 April 3rd. Herne Bay gravel topping London clay
p. 5 Thanet sands casts of shells near Herne
[p. 5] - April. 6. Swale Cliff, grand top of cliff
p. 6 Herne Bay county like Primrose Hill
[p. 6] - April 7. Reculvers, Bishopston, (with Katherine & Leonard) Corbular? Bed, gravel on cliff
p. 7 Ap[ril] 16. Pegwell Bay – Margate Rev[eren]d. Prosser
p. 8 - 20 Chadwick - Sir Colt Hoare on Wiltshire tumuli or barrows
- Antiquity of Man App[endix] copies sent to, list
p. 9 Drumstick erratum Rolleston
p. 11 May 6[th] Visit to Asborne
- Post glacial origin of caves
- Moulin Quignon [Quarry near Abbeville] jaw notes on [with G. Busk]
p. 12 Huxley on transitional form wanting’ in genus as classes - q[uery] is it not only to gaps & not as H[uxley] says to [?catren] ante-Silurian antiquity of organic world?
p. 13 H[uxley]. on Owen classificat[ion] of mammalie Gyrencephele [sic Gyrencephalic] & [?Lepencephala] in some species confounded
Index contin[ue]d
p. 13 Huxley on Regions who had two few skulls for long & short head theory
p. 14 Bronze period with E[dward] Bunbury. Iron [vanishes from view?] in Herculaneum [and Pompeii] - yet bronze surgital [sic surgical] instruments
- Steel swords from Noricum in Tyrol
- Tin of ancients from Cornwall
p. 16 E. Bunbury on iron swords in time of Augustus Caesar
[ditto] Prestwich on Lyell & others making Grays Thurrock preglacials
[ditto] Later glacial term proposed
[ditto] Prestwich says more water over in actual hydrographical basins.
Prestwich analysis of the paper in Phil[osophical]. Trans[actions] on gravels Index. From. p. 173.
March 30th 1863 to July 29th 1863
Trans[actions]. Geol Soc. 2d Series vol. 6 p 439- 1837.
p. 16 G. Austen on Upper volley gravels in Devonshire being pre-glacial & age of Norwich Crag
[ditto] Prestwich on loess as gauge of upper level of old rivers
[ditto] Action of ice proved by large blocks
[ditto] Flint implements found always in beds from 30 to 100 ft higher or lower above the rivers
p. 17 Upper level gravels occur in discontinuous patches
[ditto] Hoxne Flint implements
[ditto] Valley of Thames. High non-fossiliferous gravels. probably marine
[ditto] Valley of Severn - some gravels similar to those of Grays Thurrock, others marine?
p. 18 Valley of the Somme. Upper sand & gravel pipes
[ditto] Paris. Freshwater shells found by Prestwich in gravel 20 ft above Seine
p. 18 English Vallies [sic Valleys] Contain debris of same basins like French
p. 19 Lower level gravels not contorted
[ditto] Rouen - Freshwater shells found by Prestwich
[ditto] Pont de l'Arche gravel & lolss 200 ft high
[ditto] Loess of Meudon 320 ft above Seine, but land 100 ft higher.
[ditto] Ivry loess height of
p. 20 Hoxne. Treated by Prestwich as high level gravel
[ditto] Hoxne. Copford on
p. 22 Cave animals belong to high level gravel periods
p. 22 Ancient climate of Somme valley cold
p. 23 Excavation of valleys
p. 24 Swiss glaciers once within 1200 ft of sea now within 3.400.
p. 25 June 6th North Sea. Murray on - Irish Channel- Dogger Bank.
p. 26 Hunds Head off coast of Norway [note actual Notebook entry this looks like Normandy] – depression
p. 27 Cause of Floods, Prestwich on
[ditto] Change of Level
p. 28 Gravels - Drucats [sic Drucat] sand pipes.
p. 28 High level gravels Prestwich on [Abbeville]
p. 29 Depth between Rockall & Ireland 1660 Fathoms
p. 32 Woodward on Colonizing of Mediterranean from Atlantic & Red Sea
p. 33 Barton Hall - great gravel pit-no flint implements [compares to Somme Valley]
[ditto] Proportion of Monocotyledons & Diocotyledons in tropics 5 to 1
p. 34 Icklingham. Bury St Edmunds Mr. Prigg collected in Trenches. Hatches etc workmen say skeletons.
p. 34 Elephants Tooth.


  • Creation: 30 March 1863 - 29 July 1863


Language of Materials



181 folios

90 Leaves

1 volume

Processing Information

Catalogued by Pamela McIntyre, Strategic Projects Archivist, December 2022

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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