Charles Lyell was a famous nineteenth century Geologist
When and Where was Charles Lyell born?
14th November 1797, Kinnordy, Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, Scotland.
Charles Lyell was the eldest of son of ten children of a Scottish botanist Father, Charles Lyell of Kinnordy and an English Mother.
Schools at Ringwood, Salisbury and Midhurst. Exeter College, Oxford.
Chronology/Biography of Sir Charles Lyell:
1798: The Lyell family moved to Bartley Lodge in the New Forest in Hampshire.
1816: He attended Oxford University and studied Mathematics and law.
1819: Started his Career at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London as a lawyer. Elected as a Fellow of The Geological and Linnean Societies as his interest in Geology had been evoked by attending lectures at Oxford by Dr William Buckland.
1822: He wrote his first scientific paper “On a Recent Formation of Freshwater Limestone in Forfarshire.”
1823: Charles Lyell visited France where he met the famous scientist Humboldt.
1824: Made a geological tour of Scotland with Dr Buckland.
1825: Eventually called to the Bar, the delay being caused by a weakness of his eyes.
1826: He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
1827: Charles Lyell finally abandoned the law to become a full time geologist.
1828: Made a geological tour of France and Italy with Roderick Murchison.
1830: Publication of the First volume of “The Principles of Geology”.
1831: Appointed Professor of of geology at Kings College, London.
1832: Publication of the Second volume of “The Principles of Geology”.
1833: Publication of the Third volume of “The Principles of Geology”. Eleven editions of this work were now to be published between now and 1872. The complete works stated that geological observations at the time were enough to explain geological history but that the action of water, earthquakes and volcanoes were more likely to explain the geological history of ancient times. He described what he called uniformitarianism based on a vast time scale for the earth’s history.
1834: Visited Denmark and Sweden.
1835: Lyell became President of the Geological Society”.
1837: Visited Norway and Denmark.
1841: Spent a year traveling through the United States and Canada.
1845: Second Tour of the United States.
1848: Given a Knighthood.
1858: Visited Sicily to study Mount Etna.
1863: Charles Lyell wrote the “Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man” which owed a a great deal to his friendship with the scientist Charles Darwin.
1864: Given a Baronetcy. Also became President of the British Association at Bath.
1830: First volume of “The Principles of Geology”
1832: Second volume of “The Principles of Geology”
1833: Third volume of “The Principles of Geology”
1838: “Elements of Geology”
1845: Travels in North America”
1849: “A Second Visit to the United States”
1863: “Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man”
1871: “Student’s Elements of Geology”
1832 to Mary, eldest daughter of Leonard Horner.
When and Where did he Die?
22nd February 1875, London, England.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
North aisle of the Nave, Westminster Abbey, London.
Places of Interest:
Natural History Museum.