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"F. Chemists, Physicians, Travellers, and Geographers", 1808-1897

 Item
Identifier: Coll-1997/2

Scope and Contents

This volume is entitled "F. Chemists, Physicians, Travellers, and Geographers" and contains 85 letters addressed to Sir Charles Lyell and others in his family by physicists, chemists, explorers, geographers, geologists, and doctors and surgeons. Most of the letters are accompanied by a facing photograph or portrait print of the letter’s author.

Letters (as they appear in the album)

  1. Humphry Davy, chemist, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Mrs Horner, pp 1, 1808, about an invitation to dinner
  2. Dr William Hyde Wollaston, chemist and physicist, discoverer of palladium and rhodium, with portrait [from a sketch by Chantry]. 1 letter to Mrs Horner, pp 2, 1812, with a pudding recipe.
  3. Michael Faraday, chemist and physicist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Lyell, pp 1, undated 1 letter to Leonard Horner, pp 2, 1854, discussing Horner addressing the Royal Institution. 1 letter to Lady Lyell, pp 1, 1859, discussing social arrangements and Faraday’s indebtedness to the Lyells in helping advance his career. 2 letters to Lady Lyell, pp 2, 1860, as above
  4. Sir Henry Roscoe, chemist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell pp 1, 1895. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 2, 1895, both discussing her proof-reading of Roscoe’s John Dalton and the Rise of Modern Chemistry (1895).
  5. Baron Jacob Berzelius, chemist, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 1, 1834 [in French], about a letter that he forgot to send to Lyell. 1 letter to H.C. Oersted, pp 1, 1837 [in Swedish], with cover sheet, on pp 4, discussing matters concerning the Teknologiska Institutet and Polytechniska Institutet.
  6. Eilhard Mitschelich, chemist, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Lyell, pp 1, 1834 [in French], about geology in the Eifel region.
  7. Baron Justus von Liebig, chemist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to ‘Lieber Bart.’ [Lyell], pp 1, 1869 [in German].
  8. August Wilhelm Hoffman, chemist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, 1858, concerning aniline dyes. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 2, 1863 Note to Mrs Lyell, 1 list of apparatus and chemicals, pp 2, 1865, from a demonstration at the Royal Institution 1865, on coal tar and aniline dyes.
  9. John Tyndall, physicist, with portrait [photograph]. 2 letters to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, 1869, with envelope.
  10. Dr. Edward Frankland, chemist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 1870, concerning the chemistry of volcanic rocks. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, 1877.
  11. Sir David Brewster, physicist, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Leonard Horner, pp 3, 1842, concerning a year he is about to spend in Bonn.
  12. Thomas Graham, chemist, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, 1862, with envelope.
  13. Charles Louis Berthollet, chemist, with 2 portraits, one signed, [plates]. 1 note to the mathematician and physicist Augustin-Louis Cauchy, pp 1, 1816 [in French] about sending a new copy of a defective document.
  14. Hermann von Helmholtz, physicist and physiologist, with portrait [photograph] 1 letter to Emil Du Bois Reymond, pp 2, 1893 [in German], with envelope, commenting on a paper by the physicist Friedrich Kohlrausch, who succeeded Helmholtz as president of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt.
  15. Thomas Archer Hirst, mathematician, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 2, 1869
  16. William Allen Miller, chemist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 1, 1864, concerning the chemical contents of water in Clifford.
  17. Sir William Grove, scientist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 2, 1873. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 4, 1878. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 4, 6 March 1881, about Grove’s lecture at the British Institution on February 13, 1852, on the heating effects of electricity and magnetism, a series of meetings on improving scientific education, and the physical sciences in particular, with reports to Oxford, the Royal Society, etc. and correspondence with Charles Lyell on this matter. Grove is writing this as Katharine Murray is preparing her Life and Letters of Sir Charles Lyell, published later in 1881. Katharine Murray Lyell (1817–1915), daughter of Leonard Horner and sister of Mary Elizabeth Lyell, was married to Sir Charles Lyell’s younger brother.
  18. Benjamin C. Brodie, chemist, with loose portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Francis Galton, pp 4, May 17, concerning the Oxford Convocation.
  19. Blank page
  20. Neil Arnott, physician and inventor (of the waterbed, inter alia); no portrait. 1 letter to Charles Lyell [?], pp 1, 1838.
  21. Blank page
  22. Alexander Shaw, surgeon and neurologist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 4 October 1864, with envelope. A response to Lyell’s ‘The Glacial Period’ delivered at the Royal Institution in October 1864. Shaw writes: ‘Having frequently listened to you in public, I felt almost as if the words came directly from your lips: and I thought how highly interesting the matter must have sounded when delivered. The subjects were truly overwhelmingly grand. The revelations from Canada were especially astounding. By your philosophy Time–past has become a reality – capable of being relatively counted just as Space with the astronomers: and the Wonders of the one equal those of the other. Have any of the worthy divines now wrangling about the meaning of “everything”, formed a just conception of time that has positively lasted and gone by?’
  23. Matthew Baillie, physician and pathologist, with 2 portraits [one engraved, and a photograph]. 1 letter to W. Allen, pp 2, 1816, concerning Leonard Horner’s illness.
  24. Sir James Clark, Royal physician to Queen Victoria, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 6, 1847, with envelope, with detailed geological observations beginning ‘The Prince [Albert] and myself have paid a visit to the Parallel Roads, and went nearly to the extremity of the Glen…’ Clark details the formations of the strata, called ‘parallel roads’, and refers to Charles Darwin’s paper on the same (Observations on the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, and of other parts of Lochaber in Scotland, with an attempt to prove that they are of marine origin, 1839), Darwin's first scientific publication. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 2, 1861, with envelope, with medical advice for her sister. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 3, 1862, with envelope.
  25. Benjamin Collins Brodie, physiologist and surgeon, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 2 January, 1859, attacking Huxley for his views on the origin of the human race, as published in The Builder, part of a series of lectures given to working men on science and religion and delivered at the Government School of Mines in the autumn of 1858.
  26. Sir Henry Holland, physician to Caroline, Princess of Wales, William IV, and Queen Victoria, with portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 1851; Holland writes in detail to Lyell concerning the geology of Iceland, pointing out errors in Lyell’s Manual of Geology, third edition (1851). Lyell has noted on the letter that he made corrections accordingly for the fourth edition (1852). Holland had travelled extensively in Iceland.
  27. Dr. Allen Thomson, physician, anatomist, and embryologist, with portrait [photograph] 1 letter to Madame Byrne, pp 4, 1869, concerning John Mitchell’s History of Ireland and various current issues in politics. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 2, 1878.
  28. Sir Andrew Clark, physician and pathologist, and colleague of Thomas Henry Huxley, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 2, 1875, concerning the illness of Sir Charles, and written just a few weeks before Lyell’s death. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, [1875]; a sequel to previous.
  29. Sir James Paget, surgeon and pathologist, with 2 portraits [photographs]. 1 letter to Galton, pp 1, 1880.
  30. Sir Joseph Lister, surgeon and pioneer of antiseptic surgery, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Professor Rückert, pp 1, 1896. 1 letter to Rückert, pp 1, 1899. 1 loose letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, 1887.
  31. Sir William Bowman, surgeon and histologist, with portrait [photograph of a painting]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, 1870; thanking Lyell for sending him the new edition of Elements of Geology and praising it and the author 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 1874; thanking Lyell for the latest Elements, and giving a long eulogy on his development of the geological sciences over forty years. This of course was written less than a year before Lyell’s death.
  32. Sir Alexander Burnes, explorer of Afghanistan, diplomat, and spy, no portrait. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 5 March, 1836, with address and seal. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 21, April 1840, with address and part of a seal. Two substantial quarto letters discussing the geology, geography, and fossils of Afghanistan, and the complex politics of Afghanistan and India and problems of the British Empire. Burnes wrote a highly successful work on his travels, Travels into Bokhara. Being an account of a Journey from India to Cabool, Tartary and Persia. Also, narrative of a Voyage on the Indus from the Sea to Lahore (London, John Murray) 1834.
  33. Captain Basil Hall, naval officer, explorer, and geologist, with dedicated and signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Leonard Horner, pp 4, 1829, with address and part of seal. 1 letter to Leonard Horner, pp 4, 1833, with address. Two substantial quarto letters. The first concerns the geologists John Playfair (1748–1819) and Lord Webb Seymour (1777–1819). Horner had urged Hall to write a biography of Lord Webb Seymour, but Hall explains the many reason why he is inadequate, and that such a work could only have been written by the late John Playfair. The two geologists had published together ‘An account of observations made by Lord Webb Seymour and Professor Playfair, upon some geological appearances in Glen Tilt and the adjacent country’ (Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1814). Basil Hall himself had written a joint paper with Playfair in 1813 on the granitic intrusions within the sedimentary sandstone structures that he saw in the Platteklip Gorge near the Table Mountain in the Cape of Good Hope (The phenomenon was re-examined at another location called as the Green Point Contact by Charles Darwin in 1836). In 1843 Leonard Horner published his own ‘Biographical Notice of Lord Webb Seymour’. The second letter largely concerns Lyell’s Principles of Geology (1830–33). ‘I think his book by many many degrees the best work not only on his subject but on any scientific subject with which I am acquainted. It reduces an intricate, obscure, and most enormously copious subject to one which is almost mathematically arranged – clear and condensed.’ Hall continues with a fulsome critique of the work, praising its superiority over the products of French geologists, whom he castigates as having no interest in any geological area outside of the Paris basin.
  34. Sir John Richardson, Arctic explorer and naturalist, with portrait [plate], 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, 16 April, 1850, concerning the current locations and access to Richardson’s collections of plants and fossils from his Arctic explorations with John Franklin in search of the Northwest Passage, and related papers by Lyell 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 6 May, 1850, following from above, on the geology of areas explored by Richardson, Virginia coal formations, geology of New York, etc.
  35. Sir William Edward Parry, Arctic explorer of the Northwest Passage, with portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Symonds, pp 1, 1898.
  36. Sir Leopold McClintock, Arctic explorer who discovered the fate of the Franklin expedition, with portrait [photograph]. 1 note to Mr and Mrs Horner, pp 1, 8th March, about having to turn down an invitation as he is obliged to return to Ireland.
  37. Sir George Back, Arctic explorer, with signed portrait [plate]. 1 note to [?], pp 1, no date, about accepting an invitation.
  38. Sir Charles Augustus Murray, explorer and diplomat in Persia, with portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 1858. 1 letter to Leonard Horner, pp 4, 1858. 1 note to [?], pp 2, June 7, about having missed a dinner and the opportunity of meeting Mr Prescott. The first two letters concern the geology of the Persia, papers on same, the ascent of Damavand in Persia (5906 metres), geological specimens despatched to Lyell, plant specimens for William Hooker, etc.
  39. Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, adventurer, with dedicated and signed portrait [plate]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, 1865. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 1869, with envelope, about fossil discoveries in Sarawak.
  40. Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, geologist and Arctic explorer, with portrait [photograph, showing Nordenskiöld in his study]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 1887, about the geology of Spitsbergen and the upheaval of the land in Sweden. Nordenskiöld addresses Lyell as ‘the great reformator of the modern geology’ 1 note, book index.
  41. Benjamin Leigh Smith, Arctic explorer, and of Svalbard in particular, with portrait [photograph]. 1 note to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, July 1st, about an invitation to dinner. 1 note to Mrs Lyell, pp 1, 1885, about same.
  42. Francis Galton, statistician and proto-geneticist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 3, 6 February, 1866. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 4, 28 October, 1873. 1 letter to Mrs Lyell, pp 3, 1890.
  43. Dr. Heinrich Barth, African explorer, with portrait [plate]. 1 note to Mrs Horner, pp 1, 1857.
  44. Colonel James Augustus Grant, African explorer who, with James Hanning Speke, discovered the source of the Nile, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter from Speke to Francis Galton, pp 3. 1 letter to Francis Galton, pp 2, 4 December, 1880, with stamped address.
  45. Sir John Gardner Wilkinson, ‘father’ of British Egyptology, no portrait. 1 letter to Francis Galton, pp 3, 4 December, 1880.
  46. Sir Charles Fellows, archaeologist and explorer, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to [?], pp 2, Monday 28 June.
  47. Sir Edward Herbert Bunbury, barrister and politician, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 2, no date. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 3, August 10. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 4, 1881. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 2, Monday. Four long letters to Katharine Murray Lyell (1817–1915), botanist, and sister of Mary Elizabeth Lyell (Mrs Lyell in the correspondence), concerning publications of her works, mutual friends, Charles Lyell, etc. She corresponded with Wallace and Darwin. ‘[Katharine] Lyell undertook the editorship of volumes of correspondence and memoirs of three of her era's outstanding scientists. When her brother-in-law Charles died in 1875, she became the compiler and editor of a two-volume edition of his life, letters, and journals. A decade later, following her father's death, she edited two volumes of his letters. She also edited the life and letters of another of her brothers-in-law, Charles Bunbury, a noted palaeobotanist’.
  48. Sir Henry Lefroy, colonial administrator and investigator of terrestrial magnetism, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell (see n 47), pp 4, 1878, thanking her for her book on the geographical distribution of ferns, and including his observations and compilation of species of ferns in Bermuda. 1 letter to Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 2, 1883, with further details on new species of ferns.
  49. Karl Richard Lepsius, Egyptologist and pioneer archaeologist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 6, 12 April 1853 [in German], about water courses in Egypt This is a substantial letter about Egyptian geology, the Nile and alluvial deposits in Egypt, the role and effects of flooding, and with a diagram. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, no date [in English].
  50. Thomas Belt, geologist, no portrait. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 1, 1873. 1 letter to Charles Lyell, pp 2, 1874, thanking him for the new edition of Principles; with stamped envelope.
  51. Admiral Lindesay Brine, explorer and ethnographer, no portrait. 1 letter to Lady Lyell, pp 12, 14 November 1869, a substantial letter written from the ‘Upper Waters of Minnesota’ about Brine’s travels through the Great Lakes area and Indian territories, with detailed geological and anthropological observations. Brine was the author of Travels Amongst American Indians, Their Ancient Earthworks and Temples (1894). Brine travelled extensively in North and Central America, examining the ancient mounds, earthworks and temples in the Ohio valley, Mexico and Guatemala. 1 letter Katharine Murray Lyell, pp 3, 1894, about reading her Memoir of Leonard Horner, and his Life of Savonarola, then going on to mention the ‘difficult question of the origin of the Mexican knowledge of astronomy and architecture’.
  52. Friedjof Nansen, explorer and scientist, with portrait [photograph]. 1 letter to Sir William Henry Flower, surgeon and comparative neurological anatomist, pp 2, 1897, with stamped envelope.
  53. Captain John Franklin, Arctic explorer, with portrait [engraved plate]. no correspondence

Dates

  • Creation: 1808-1897

Creator

Language of Materials

English, French, Swedish, German

Physical Description

Large autograph album (361 by 265 mm), contemporary dark purple half morocco over purple roan boards, gilt edges, with manuscript label "F. Chemists, Physicians, Travellers, and Geographers". In fine condition, with its original waxed linen protective cover.

Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Extent

1 album (in its original waxed linen protective cover) ; 361 x 265 mm

Arrangement

The letters and portraits are not arranged alphabetically or chronologically in the album.

Custodial History

Leonard Lyell's signature is on the inside front cover.

Physical Description

Large autograph album (361 by 265 mm), contemporary dark purple half morocco over purple roan boards, gilt edges, with manuscript label "F. Chemists, Physicians, Travellers, and Geographers". In fine condition, with its original waxed linen protective cover.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Contact:
Centre for Research Collections
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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