Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871

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British geologist.

From the description of Papers, 1857 and undated. (Duke University). WorldCat record id: 35230784

English geologist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Folkestone, to an unnamed correspondent, 1870 Sept. 5. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270612797

Geologist.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to an unidentified recipient, 1847 July 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270872039

Roderick Impey Murchison was a geologist.

From the description of Correspondence, 1830-1867. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122608833

Murchison was a geologist. He published "The Silurian System" (1838) and, with Von Keyserling and DeVerneuil, "The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains" (1845).

From the description of Correspondence, 1829-1871. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 173465852

English cleric William Buckland worked as a geologist and vertebrate paleontologist. The first Reader of Geology, University of Oxford (from 1819), Buckland is most noted as the scientific discoverer of dinosaurs.

From the guide to the William Buckland papers, 1817-1848, 1817-1848, (American Philosophical Society)

1808 ensign in the 36th infantry regiment; 1809-1811 aide-de-camp to General Sir Alexander Mackenzie in Sicily; 1815 retired from the army; 1816-1818 toured the continent; 1825 fellow of the Geological Society; 1826 Fellow of the Royal Society; 1831 president of the Geological Society; 1843 president of the Royal Geographical Society; 1855 director-general of the Geological Survey; 1863 knighthood; 1866 baronetcy;

Epithet: geologist

Title: 1st Baronet

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000862.0x000158

Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871, APS 1860), geologist, geographer, and advocate of exploration, devoted the bulk of his scientific career to stratigraphy and promoting a catastrophist view of geological change. The Silurian System (1839) was a milestone work exploring fossil-bearing strata in Wales and western England, and The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains (1845, with Alexander von Keyserling and Edouard de Verneuil) established the Permian System. Murchison’s scientific career was littered with theoretical, personal, and political disputes; most significant were rivalries with Charles Lyell and Adam Sedgwick regarding, respectively, uniformitarianism and the Cambrian-Silurian boundary. Murchison was an advocate of imperial expansion and exploration; he viewed science as a nationalistic endeavor.

The Murchisons were a highland clan, stripped of their lands after participating in the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. After seventeen lucrative years as a surgeon in the employ of the East India Company, Kenneth Murchison returned to Scotland, purchased the Tarradale estate in Eastern Ross, and married Barbara Mackenzie in 1791. Roderick was born at Tarradale on February 19, 1792; a brother, Kenneth, followed two years later. The elder Kenneth Murchison died in 1796 after a period of physical decline; Barbara Murchison moved her family to Edinburgh and married Colonel Robert Macgregor Murray, a friend of her late husband. Roderick Murchison was sent to Durham for grammar school in 1799 and in 1805 entered the Great Marlow military college in Buckinghamshire. Murchison lacked a rigorous formal scientific education, but during his schooling he developed a keen interest in practical studies, including topographical appraisal, which were invaluable to his later geological studies.

In 1807 Murchison was gazetted ensign in the 36th infantry. The regiment saw action in Portugal (fighting with distinction at Roliça and Vimeiro in 1808) and Spain (retreating to Corunna with Sir John Moore in 1809). Beginning in the autumn of 1809, Murchison served as aid-de-camp to his uncle, General Sir Alexander Mackenzie, in Sicily and Armagh. Despite seeing action in the Peninsular War (which provided fodder for after-dinner conversations in later years), Murchison’s military career was filled with frustrating near-misses: he purchased a captaincy but went on half-pay with the peace of 1814; he was in Paris when Napolean escaped Elba; he transferred to a cavalry troop hoping to see action, but they did not participate in the fighting. After the Battle of Waterloo he resigned his commission.

In 1815, shortly before his retirement, Murchison married Charlotte Hugonin. His future occupation was uncertain. He briefly considered ordination and during a tour of the continent he studied art and antiquities in Rome and Naples. Returning to the United Kingdom, he sold Tarradale, settled in Durham and devoted himself to fox-hunting. Loans from Charlotte’s father enabled a lavish lifestyle and questionable financial speculation. In 1822 the Murchisons moved to Leicestershire and in 1823 relocated to London. The following year Murchison began attending lectures at the Royal Institution, inspired to explore the physical sciences by Sir Humphry Davy. In January of 1825 Murchison was admitted as a fellow of the Geological Society and by the end of the year his first paper was read to the Society.

Murchison spent the summer of 1826 in Yorkshire and the Scottish coasts and wrote a monograph demonstrating that Jurassic English formations were the same age as the Scottish Brora coalfield. In 1827, he travelled the Highlands with Adam Sedgwick. In 1828, he visited France and Italy with Charles Lyell and Charlotte Murchison, who actively participated in fossil collection, landscape sketching, and communication with francophone locals. In 1829, Murchison and Sedgwick visited the Alps. Previously sympathetic to Lyell’s gradualism, Murchison was converted to Sedgwick’s catastrophist views of geologic processes, beliefs which he would hold and defend for the remainder of his career.

Murchison turned his attention to Wales and western England and the “greywacke” formations underlying the Old Red Sandstone. Between 1831 and 1836 Murchison and Sedgwick conducted fieldwork in Wales and Devon. Fossils in the greywacke formed a sequence with those in the Old Red Sandstone, making the greywacke part of the oldest fossiliferous classification known at the time. Though he coined the term “Silurian” in 1835 (in honor of a Welsh tribe), it was not until 1939 that Murchison published The Silurian System, based upon his own fieldwork and that of others. Murchison revised The Silurian System and republished it as Siluria in 1854, 1859, and 1867, incorporating the latest geological and paleontological discoveries.

After their fieldwork in west England, and a subsequent trip to Germany and the Boulonnais, Murchison and Sedgwick defined the Devonian System (between the Carboniferous and Silurian) in “On the Physical Structure of Devonshire” (1939).

Accompanied by French paleontologist Edouard de Verneuil, Murchison travelled to Russia three times. This work, along with fieldwork conducted in Scandinavia, formed the basis of The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains, published by Murchison, de Verneuil, and Alexander von Keyserling in 1845. The book set forth the Permian System, another Paleozoic strata separating Carboniferous rocks from the Mesozoic strata.

Murchison’s last major geological work focused upon the highlands of Scotland. The region was a geological puzzle: Torridon sandstone, “fundamental gneiss,” quartzites, limestones, and schists occurred in unexpected sequences. In 1858, 1859, and 1860, Murchison conducted fieldwork with Charles Peach, Andrew Ramsay, and Archibald Geikie, respectively. Murchison and Geikie jointly wrote a paper, read to the Geological Society in 1861, positing that Moine schists were metamorphosed Silurian strata. A decade and a half after Murchison’s death, Geikie conceded that their conclusions were incorrect; ironically, catastrophic processes of displacement (rather than patient metamorphosis) explained the curious geological landscape of the highlands.

Murchison was a strong advocate for exploration. He organized all major British expeditions between 1850 and 1870. He was a proponent of arctic exploration (a subject much in the public eye after the loss of Franklin’s expedition). He supported the African exploration of Speke, Grant, Baker, and Livingstone, who dedicated Missionary Travels (1857) to Murchison. Based upon explorers’ reports, he was able to predict geographical features of Africa. Murchison believed geology in general (and his Silurian System in particular) had practical implications. If Silurian strata predated terrestrial vegetation, then their presence in a region precluded the presence of coal; fruitless excavation could be avoided and industrial needs could be met more efficiently. In 1845 he predicted the discovery of gold in Australia, citing parallels between the Cordillera and Ural regions. In the 1854 edition of Siluria, Murchison set forth conditions under which gold and coal might be found.

In 1855, Murchison was appointed Director-General of the Geological Survey. In his official capacity, he appointed colonial geological surveyors, and he was able to offer more general government patronage to specific geologists and the wider field. Murchison believed that colonial expansion could serve the scientific community (as science also served the empire) and sometimes argued in favor of specific territorial annexations.

Murchison’s fieldwork was his great strength. He could ascertain the dominant geological features of an area and thus grasp the “big picture.” He could perceive parallels in different regions, enabling him to extrapolate African and Australian geography. When dealing with sister disciplines, such as paleontology and petrology, Murchison relied upon the expertise of others. Perhaps influenced by his early military training in topography, Murchison’s preference for taking in the overall landscape lead him to ignore details. He employed the geological strategies of the 1820s throughout his career, an approach that proved particularly inadequate to explain the geology of the Scottish highlands.

A practicing Anglican, Murchison perceived some tension between his religious beliefs and scientific inquiries. He doubted the divinity of Christ, but in Siluria he asserted belief in a creator and the majestic nature of geography as evidence thereof. He rejected Darwin’s theory of evolution and accepted the idea of successive creations, mitigating some of the religious questions raised by his geological observations and informing his catastrophist views.

Murchison was active in the service of various scientific societies and acquired an array of royal honors. He was an elected fellow of the Geological Society and Royal Society, and served as the President of the Royal Geographical Society of London and the British Association and Director-General of the Geological Survey. He received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, and was an honorary member of various foreign societies. He won the Copley Medal, Brisbane Prize, and Wollaston Medal. He was knighted in 1846, created Knight Commander, Order of Bath in 1863 and, after a quarter century of lobbying, created Baronet in 1866. He was also honored by foreign sovereigns, most notably in Russia with the orders of St. Anne and St. Stanislaus.

Murchison's career was marked by a series of professional disagreements, which typically had a personal or political element, and to which he typically responded by vigorously campaigning to recruit supporters for his position. He clashed with Charles Babbage (severed his relationship with the British Association after Murchison retracted an offer of the Presidency of the organization), Sir Henry De la Beche (objected to the Devonian System as defined by Murchison and Sedgwick), James Niccol (disagreed that highland schists belonged to the Silurian), Louis Agassiz (supported theories of continental glaciation), and Thomas Henry Huxley (advocated theories of Devonian vertebrates which threatened Murchison's geological conclusions). His most significant rivalries were with fellow geologists Charles Lyell and Adam Sedgwick.

Despite their divergent working styles and theoretical conclusions, Murchison and Lyell remained on generally friendly terms. Murchison praised Lyell’s Principles of geology, the third volume of which was dedicated to Murchison. However, the relationship became strained in the 1830s. Lyell felt Murchison was patronizing and that he attempted to claim credit for the course of Lyell’s career and the development of his ideas. He considered Murchison too political, more concerned with honors than science. A liberal supporter of democratic institutions, Lyell’s politics were sharply different from those of the Tory Murchison. In 1850, Murchison formally renounced the conclusions he and Lyell had reached in 1828; instead of erosion, he now argued that earth movements were responsible for the formation of the Auvergne valleys. Lyell’s gradualism was the “piddling” school. During the 1860s Murchison was gratified that uniformitarians acknowledged the effects of occasional catastrophes, though this theoretical victory would be short-lived.

Murchison felt great pride in (and ownership of) the Silurian and eagerly sought to prove that the earliest fossils belonged to this period. He placed new fossils in his system and claimed a portion of the Cambrian, defined by Sedgwick, in fact belonged to the Silurian. Murchison characteristically bolstered his viewpoint with tireless advocacy. Sedgwick objected on grounds scientific (Murchison had confused strata in two places) and political (accusing the Geological Society of tampering with a paper, he broke with the organization). The friendship was permanently soured and British geologists were split between the two camps. Charles Lapworth finally ended the controversy in 1879 by proposing an Ordovician System between the Silurian and Cambrian.

Despite his well-known professional rivalries, Murchison did not demand ideological purity in his friends. Though he dismissed Agassiz’s geological theories, Murchison relied upon his expertise as a paleontologist. Ramsay and Geikie rejected the catastrophists’ view of mountain building, erosion, and glaciation, but both benefitted from Murchison’s patronage and ultimately ushered in more progressive scientific views. Murchison was himself socially progressive, insofar as he was instrumental in convincing the Royal Geographic Society to award its Gold Medal to women (Lady Franklin and Mary Somerville) he considered deserving. He used his wealth and influence to support scientific inquiry. After the 1939 death of Charlotte’s father, the Murchisons used her inheritance to move into a mansion, 16 Belgrave Square, and transform it into an intellectual salon. Shortly before his death Murchison donated £6000 to the University of Edinburgh, half the endowment for a chair of geology (initially held by his protégé Archibald Geikie). He bequeathed £1000 each to the Geological and Geographical Societies.

Thanks to his network of supporters, Murchison enjoyed a good (if not uncontroversial) reputation during his life. The hagiographic Life of Sir Roderick I. Murchison (1875), written by Geikie, elided some of Murchison’s professional mistakes. Various terrestrial geographical features (including an island in British Columbia, a waterfall in Uganda, and mountains in British Columbia and Antarctica) are named for Murchison, as is a lunar crater. Despite accolades during his life and praise after his death, many of Murchison’s scientific arguments (including catastrophism and the mechanisms responsible for creating highland schists) were proven incorrect.

Murchison was a passionate man and inspired strong feelings in others, collecting close friends and harsh detractors throughout his life. His scientific feuds were not without personal and political dimensions and Murchison never hesitated to defend his position, but neither were they purely dogmatic. He was willing to examine new evidence and refine his opinions.

Murchison suffered a stroke in November of 1870, from which he partially recovered. He died of bronchitis in his London home on October 22, 1871. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery in London alongside his wife, who had died two years earlier.

T. G. Bonney, “Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey, baronet (1792–1871),” rev. Robert A. Stafford, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004, online edition May 2009), accessed 28 July 2010, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19555.

Michael Collie and John Diemer, Murchison in Moray: A Geologist on Home Ground, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Vol. 85, Pt. 3 (1995), accessed 28 July 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1006602.

Edmund W. Gilbert and Andrew Goudie, “Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, Bart, KCB 1792–1871,” The Geographical Journal Vol. 137, No. 4 (Dec. 1971): 505-511, accessed 2 August 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1797146.

Leroy E. Page, “The Rivalry between Charles Lyell and Roderick Murchison,” The British Journal for the History of Science Vol. 9, No. 2, Lyell Centenary Issue: Papers Delivered at the Charles Lyell Centenary Symposium, London, 1975 (July 1976): 156-165, accessed 28 July 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/4025803.

Henry C. Rawlinson, “Address to the Royal Geographical Society,” Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London Vol. 16, No. 4 (1871–1872): 291-377, accessed 28 July 2010, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1799549.

From the guide to the Sir Roderick Impey Murchison correspondence, 1829-1871, 1829-1871, (American Philosophical Society)

Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871, APS 1860), geologist, geographer, and advocate of exploration, devoted the bulk of his scientific career to stratigraphy and promoting a catastrophist view of geological change. The Silurian System (1839) was a milestone work exploring fossil-bearing strata in Wales and western England, and The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains (1845, with Alexander von Keyserling and Edouard de Verneuil) established the Permian System. Murchison’s scientific career was littered with theoretical, personal, and political disputes; most significant were rivalries with Charles Lyell and Adam Sedgwick regarding, respectively, uniformitarianism and the Cambrian-Silurian boundary. Murchison was an advocate of imperial expansion and exploration; he viewed science as a nationalistic endeavor.

The Murchisons were a highland clan, stripped of their lands after participating in the 1715 and 1745 rebellions. After seventeen lucrative years as a surgeon in the employ of the East India Company, Kenneth Murchison returned to Scotland, purchased the Tarradale estate in Eastern Ross, and married Barbara Mackenzie in 1791. Roderick was born at Tarradale on February 19, 1792; a brother, Kenneth, followed two years later. The elder Kenneth Murchison died in 1796 after a period of physical decline; Barbara Murchison moved her family to Edinburgh and married Colonel Robert Macgregor Murray, a friend of her late husband. Roderick Murchison was sent to Durham for grammar school in 1799 and in 1805 entered the Great Marlow military college in Buckinghamshire. Murchison lacked a rigorous formal scientific education, but during his schooling he developed a keen interest in practical studies, including topographical appraisal, which were invaluable to his later geological studies.

In 1807 Murchison was gazetted ensign in the 36th infantry. The regiment saw action in Portugal (fighting with distinction at Roliça and Vimeiro in 1808) and Spain (retreating to Corunna with Sir John Moore in 1809). Beginning in the autumn of 1809, Murchison served as aid-de-camp to his uncle, General Sir Alexander Mackenzie, in Sicily and Armagh. Despite seeing action in the Peninsular War (which provided fodder for after-dinner conversations in later years), Murchison’s military career was filled with frustrating near-misses: he purchased a captaincy but went on half-pay with the peace of 1814; he was in Paris when Napolean escaped Elba; he transferred to a cavalry troop hoping to see action, but they did not participate in the fighting. After the Battle of Waterloo he resigned his commission.

In 1815, shortly before his retirement, Murchison married Charlotte Hugonin. His future occupation was uncertain. He briefly considered ordination and during a tour of the continent he studied art and antiquities in Rome and Naples. Returning to the United Kingdom, he sold Tarradale, settled in Durham and devoted himself to fox-hunting. Loans from Charlotte’s father enabled a lavish lifestyle and questionable financial speculation. In 1822 the Murchisons moved to Leicestershire and in 1823 relocated to London. The following year Murchison began attending lectures at the Royal Institution, inspired to explore the physical sciences by Sir Humphry Davy. In January of 1825 Murchison was admitted as a fellow of the Geological Society and by the end of the year his first paper was read to the Society.

Murchison spent the summer of 1826 in Yorkshire and the Scottish coasts and wrote a monograph demonstrating that Jurassic English formations were the same age as the Scottish Brora coalfield. In 1827, he travelled the Highlands with Adam Sedgwick. In 1828, he visited France and Italy with Charles Lyell and Charlotte Murchison, who actively participated in fossil collection, landscape sketching, and communication with francophone locals. In 1829, Murchison and Sedgwick visited the Alps. Previously sympathetic to Lyell’s gradualism, Murchison was converted to Sedgwick’s catastrophist views of geologic processes, beliefs which he would hold and defend for the remainder of his career.

Murchison turned his attention to Wales and western England and the “greywacke” formations underlying the Old Red Sandstone. Between 1831 and 1836 Murchison and Sedgwick conducted fieldwork in Wales and Devon. Fossils in the greywacke formed a sequence with those in the Old Red Sandstone, making the greywacke part of the oldest fossiliferous classification known at the time. Though he coined the term “Silurian” in 1835 (in honor of a Welsh tribe), it was not until 1939 that Murchison published The Silurian System, based upon his own fieldwork and that of others. Murchison revised The Silurian System and republished it as Siluria in 1854, 1859, and 1867, incorporating the latest geological and paleontological discoveries.

After their fieldwork in west England, and a subsequent trip to Germany and the Boulonnais, Murchison and Sedgwick defined the Devonian System (between the Carboniferous and Silurian) in “On the Physical Structure of Devonshire” (1939).

Accompanied by French paleontologist Edouard de Verneuil, Murchison travelled to Russia three times. This work, along with fieldwork conducted in Scandinavia, formed the basis of The Geology of Russia and the Ural Mountains, published by Murchison, de Verneuil, and Alexander von Keyserling in 1845. The book set forth the Permian System, another Paleozoic strata separating Carboniferous rocks from the Mesozoic strata.

Murchison’s last major geological work focused upon the highlands of Scotland. The region was a geological puzzle: Torridon sandstone, “fundamental gneiss,” quartzites, limestones, and schists occurred in unexpected sequences. In 1858, 1859, and 1860, Murchison conducted fieldwork with Charles Peach, Andrew Ramsay, and Archibald Geikie, respectively. Murchison and Geikie jointly wrote a paper, read to the Geological Society in 1861, positing that Moine schists were metamorphosed Silurian strata. A decade and a half after Murchison’s death, Geikie conceded that their conclusions were incorrect; ironically, catastrophic processes of displacement (rather than patient metamorphosis) explained the curious geological landscape of the highlands.

Murchison was a strong advocate for exploration. He organized all major British expeditions between 1850 and 1870. He was a proponent of arctic exploration (a subject much in the public eye after the loss of Franklin’s expedition). He supported the African exploration of Speke, Grant, Baker, and Livingstone, who dedicated Missionary Travels (1857) to Murchison. Based upon explorers’ reports, he was able to predict geographical features of Africa. Murchison believed geology in general (and his Silurian System in particular) had practical implications. If Silurian strata predated terrestrial vegetation, then their presence in a region precluded the presence of coal; fruitless excavation could be avoided and industrial needs could be met more efficiently. In 1845 he predicted the discovery of gold in Australia, citing parallels between the Cordillera and Ural regions. In the 1854 edition of Siluria, Murchison set forth conditions under which gold and coal might be found.

In 1855, Murchison was appointed Director-General of the Geological Survey. In his official capacity, he appointed colonial geological surveyors, and he was able to offer more general government patronage to specific geologists and the wider field. Murchison believed that colonial expansion could serve the scientific community (as science also served the empire) and sometimes argued in favor of specific territorial annexations.

Murchison’s fieldwork was his great strength. He could ascertain the dominant geological features of an area and thus grasp the “big picture.” He could perceive parallels in different regions, enabling him to extrapolate African and Australian geography. When dealing with sister disciplines, such as paleontology and petrology, Murchison relied upon the expertise of others. Perhaps influenced by his early military training in topography, Murchison’s preference for taking in the overall landscape lead him to ignore details. He employed the geological strategies of the 1820s throughout his career, an approach that proved particularly inadequate to explain the geology of the Scottish highlands.

A practicing Anglican, Murchison perceived some tension between his religious beliefs and scientific inquiries. He doubted the divinity of Christ, but in Siluria he asserted belief in a creator and the majestic nature of geography as evidence thereof. He rejected Darwin’s theory of evolution and accepted the idea of successive creations, mitigating some of the religious questions raised by his geological observations and informing his catastrophist views.

Murchison was active in the service of various scientific societies and acquired an array of royal honors. He was an elected fellow of the Geological Society and Royal Society, and served as the President of the Royal Geographical Society of London and the British Association and Director-General of the Geological Survey. He received honorary degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, and was an honorary member of various foreign societies. He won the Copley Medal, Brisbane Prize, and Wollaston Medal. He was knighted in 1846, created Knight Commander, Order of Bath in 1863 and, after a quarter century of lobbying, created Baronet in 1866. He was also honored by foreign sovereigns, most notably in Russia with the orders of St. Anne and St. Stanislaus.

Murchison's career was marked by a series of professional disagreements, which typically had a personal or political element, and to which he typically responded by vigorously campaigning to recruit supporters for his position. He clashed with Charles Babbage (severed his relationship with the British Association after Murchison retracted an offer of the Presidency of the organization), Sir Henry De la Beche (objected to the Devonian System as defined by Murchison and Sedgwick), James Niccol (disagreed that highland schists belonged to the Silurian), Louis Agassiz (supported theories of continental glaciation), and Thomas Henry Huxley (advocated theories of Devonian vertebrates which threatened Murchison's geological conclusions). His most significant rivalries were with fellow geologists Charles Lyell and Adam Sedgwick.

Despite their divergent working styles and theoretical conclusions, Murchison and Lyell remained on generally friendly terms. Murchison praised Lyell’s Principles of geology, the third volume of which was dedicated to Murchison. However, the relationship became strained in the 1830s. Lyell felt Murchison was patronizing and that he attempted to claim credit for the course of Lyell’s career and the development of his ideas. He considered Murchison too political, more concerned with honors than science. A liberal supporter of democratic institutions, Lyell’s politics were sharply different from those of the Tory Murchison. In 1850, Murchison formally renounced the conclusions he and Lyell had reached in 1828; instead of erosion, he now argued that earth movements were responsible for the formation of the Auvergne valleys. Lyell’s gradualism was the “piddling” school. During the 1860s Murchison was gratified that uniformitarians acknowledged the effects of occasional catastrophes, though this theoretical victory would be short-lived.

Murchison felt great pride in (and ownership of) the Silurian and eagerly sought to prove that the earliest fossils belonged to this period. He placed new fossils in his system and claimed a portion of the Cambrian, defined by Sedgwick, in fact belonged to the Silurian. Murchison characteristically bolstered his viewpoint with tireless advocacy. Sedgwick objected on grounds scientific (Murchison had confused strata in two places) and political (accusing the Geological Society of tampering with a paper, he broke with the organization). The friendship was permanently soured and British geologists were split between the two camps. Charles Lapworth finally ended the controversy in 1879 by proposing an Ordovician System between the Silurian and Cambrian.

Despite his well-known professional rivalries, Murchison did not demand ideological purity in his friends. Though he dismissed Agassiz’s geological theories, Murchison relied upon his expertise as a paleontologist. Ramsay and Geikie rejected the catastrophists’ view of mountain building, erosion, and glaciation, but both benefitted from Murchison’s patronage and ultimately ushered in more progressive scientific views. Murchison was himself socially progressive, insofar as he was instrumental in convincing the Royal Geographic Society to award its Gold Medal to women (Lady Franklin and Mary Somerville) he considered deserving. He used his wealth and influence to support scientific inquiry. After the 1939 death of Charlotte’s father, the Murchisons used her inheritance to move into a mansion, 16 Belgrave Square, and transform it into an intellectual salon. Shortly before his death Murchison donated £6000 to the University of Edinburgh, half the endowment for a chair of geology (initially held by his protégé Archibald Geikie). He bequeathed £1000 each to the Geological and Geographical Societies.

Thanks to his network of supporters, Murchison enjoyed a good (if not uncontroversial) reputation during his life. The hagiographic Life of Sir Roderick I. Murchison (1875), written by Geikie, elided some of Murchison’s professional mistakes. Various terrestrial geographical features (including an island in British Columbia, a waterfall in Uganda, and mountains in British Columbia and Antarctica) are named for Murchison, as is a lunar crater. Despite accolades during his life and praise after his death, many of Murchison’s scientific arguments (including catastrophism and the mechanisms responsible for creating highland schists) were proven incorrect.

Murchison was a passionate man and inspired strong feelings in others, collecting close friends and harsh detractors throughout his life. His scientific feuds were not without personal and political dimensions and Murchison never hesitated to defend his position, but neither were they purely dogmatic. He was willing to examine new evidence and refine his opinions.

Murchison suffered a stroke in November of 1870, from which he partially recovered. He died of bronchitis in his London home on October 22, 1871. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery in London alongside his wife, who had died two years earlier.

From the guide to the Sir Roderick Impey Murchison correspondence, 1830-1867, 1830-1867, (American Philosophical Society)

Roderick Impey Murchison was born on 19 February 1792 at Tarradale in Eastern Ross, Scotland. He was educated at military college in Great Marlow, later serving with the army during the Napoleonic Wars. After resigning his commission in the army, he settled in England and became acquainted with Sir Humphry Davy, who persuaded him to attend lectures at the Royal Institution in London. After developing a keen interest in geology, Murchison became a fellow of the Royal Geological Society in 1825 where he presented his first paper on the geology of Sussex. Between 1826 and 1831, he examined the Jurassic rocks of England and Scotland and conducted a study of the geology of the eastern Alps. He became a founding member of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830, later serving as its president on four separate occasions, and was elected president of the Royal Geological Society in 1831.

During the 1830s, Murchison undertook the investigation of previously undifferentiated rock strata in Wales and England, establishing the Silurian as a new geological system, which he described in a work of two volumes in 1839. The following year he collaborated on the establishment of the Devonian System with the Cambridge geologist, Adam Sedgwick, and later proposed the establishment of the Permian System after conducting an extended survey in Russia between 1840 and 1844. Knighted in 1846, he became a co-founder of the Hakluyt Society, serving as its president from 1847 until his death. In 1855, Murchison was appointed director-general of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, directing his final investigations towards the geology of the Scottish highlands. He was made a K.C.B. in 1863 and a baronet in 1866 and was the recipient of numerous awards and medals throughout his career. In 1871, he helped to establish the chair of geology at the University of Edinburgh and died later in the same year.

From the guide to the Roderick Murchison collection, 1842-1860, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Richard Owen papers, 1827-1889, 1827-1889 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Adam Sedgwick: Letters and Papers, 1818-1916 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
creatorOf Vol. cxl (ff. 205). Sept. 1844-March 1846.includes:ff. 1-7v John Caillard Erck, Ecclesiastical Commissioner for Ireland: Sir James Robert George Graham, 2nd Baronet; of Netherby; statesman: Correspondence, etc., of John Caillard Erck and Sir James Ro... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXV (ff. 320). Jan.-June 1863.includes:ff. 1, 224 Carlo Poerio: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1859-1863.: Ital.ff. 3, 30, 37, 63, 79, 86, 153, 197, 203, 280 Bernard Quaritch, bookseller: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1858-189... British Library
referencedIn Robert Dawes Aldrich collection, 1857 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Vol. CCXIII (ff. 340). Aug. 1853-5 Jan. 1854.includes:f. 1 Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley: Correspondence with Lord Aberdeen: 1842-1853.f. 3 Field-Marshal Sir Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge Governor-General of India: Corr... British Library
referencedIn Handwriting samples of naturalists and others, ca. 1800-1970 (inclusive) Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
referencedIn Vol. XXII (ff. 279). 1849-1854.includes:ff. 3, 59 Sir William Molesworth, 8th Baronet; d.1855: Letters to R. Cobden: 1848-1850.ff. 7, 15 Francis Place, reformer: Letters to R. Cobden: 1840-1849.ff. 8-238b passim Joseph Hume, MP: Correspondence..., 1849-1854 British Library
referencedIn Osborn, James Marshall,. James Marshall Osborn collection of Lady Sydney Morgan, 1805-1833. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sir Francis Leopold McClintock collection, 1848-1903 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXIX (ff. 372). 18 May-7 June 1842.includes:f. 1 Hon George Charles Grantley FitzHardinge Berkeley, author: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1842-1850.ff. 3-7 William Collins, RA; painter: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1825-1842.ff. 8,... British Library
creatorOf Faraday, Michael, 1791-1867. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
referencedIn Manuscript Albums, 1615 - 1959 Newcastle University: Special Collections
referencedIn Vol. CLXXXI (ff. 282). July-Sept. 1864.includes:f. 1 Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet; geologist: Letters to Sir A. H. Layard: 1863-1869. f. 1 John Hanning Speke, African explorer: Letters, etc., rel. to: 1863, 1864. ff. 3, 133, 185, 187 ... British Library
referencedIn Manuscript Albums, 1615 - 1959 Newcastle University: Special Collections
referencedIn Letters of Professor Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), 1843-1861 Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Vol. XI (ff. 213). Mar.-Aug. 1867.includes:ff. 4, 87, 150 Major-General Sir Henry Marion Durand, KCSI: Correspondence with Sir J. L. M. Lawrence: 1867, 1868: Copies. f. 16 General Sir Richard John Meade, KCSI: Letters to Sir J. H. Lawrence: 1867, 18... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXVIII (ff. 295). May-Sept.1864.includes:ff. 1, 3 Henry Ashworth, founder of the Anti-Corn Law League: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1862-1868. f. 5 Acton Smee Ayrton, PC; MP: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1864-1874. f. 7 Thomas Baring, ... British Library
referencedIn Vol. IX. (ff. 569). Nov. 1862-1864.Prosper Mérimée: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1850-1870.includes:ff. 1, 329 Luigi Settembrini: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1852-1867.: Ital. ff. 2, 415, 556 Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet; geologist: Letters to A...., 1862-1864 British Library
referencedIn Vol. X. (ff. 566). 1865-July, 1866.Prosper Mérimée: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1850-1870.includes:ff. 1, 54, 485 Sir Charles Thomas Newton, KCB; archaeologist: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1854-1872. ff. 3, 9, 47, 48, 50, 61, 169, 235, 295, 456 John Evelyn De..., 1865-1866 British Library
referencedIn Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. Archive of the Darwin Papers Editorial Project, 1821-1882. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Whewell, William, 1794-1866. Letters. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Vol. XLV (ff. 231). July 1845-March 1846.includes:f. 1 Major-General Philip McPherson: Letter to Sir C.J. Napier: 1845.f. 3 Major John Brooks, Bombay Army: Letter to Sir C.J. Napier: 1845.f. 5 Lieutenant Richard Dawson, 40th Foot: Letter to Sir... British Library
referencedIn MURCHISON PAPERS. Miscellaneous letters from persons of note, English and foreign, addressed to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (b. 1792, d. 1871), geologist, F.R.S. 1826, Knt. 1846, K.C.B. 1863, Bart. 1866; 1820-1871. The letters, which are mainly pers..., 1820-1871 British Library
referencedIn Vol. CLXXXVIII (ff. 480). Jan., Feb. 1866.includes:ff. 1, 84, 313 Odo William Leopold Russell, 1st Baron Ampthill: Correspondence with Sir A. H. Layard: 1861-1880. ff. 5, 25, 37, 46, 71, 138, 303. 379, 413, 455 Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st E... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXV (ff. 418). 16-26 Nov. 1841.includes:f. 1 Charles Goddard, Archdeacon of Lincoln: Letter to Lord Hertford: 1841.ff. 3, 5 General Beaumont Hotham, 3rd Baron Hotham: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1824-1844.f. 7 Sir Roderick Impey Mur... British Library
creatorOf CLEVELAND PAPERS. Vol. I (ff. 142). Correspondence and papers; 1737-1870. Partly French.Harry George Powlett, 4th Duke of Cleveland; formerly Vane: Correspondence and papers of Harry George Powlett: 1737-1893, n.d.includes:f. 2 Frances Anne Vane, w..., 1737-1870 British Library
referencedIn (ff. 330). May -July 1853.includes:ff. 1, 2b, 20 General Sir Howard Douglas, 3rd Baronet Lord High Commissioner, Ionian Islands: Correspondence with Lord Aberdeen: 1829-1853.f. 3 Charles William Vane, Baron Stewart; formerly Stewart; 3rd Marques... British Library
creatorOf Sir Roderick Impey Murchison correspondence, 1830-1867, 1830-1867 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf William Buckland papers, 1817-1848, 1817-1848 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn GRAHAM OF DRYNIE PAPERS. Vol. II (ff. 244). Letters to Mrs Graham and her husband from:-(1) George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon, and Katherine, his wife; 1833-[1869?]. ff. 1-154;-(2) Charles Pelham Villiers, P.C., M.P., brother ..., 1830-1870 British Library
referencedIn Samuel Peckworth Woodward letters, 1836-1865, 1836-1865 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Vol. XXX (ff. 268). Mar. 1857-May 1858.includes:ff. 1-4b Arthur FitzGerald Kinnaird, 10th Baron Kinnaird: Correspondence with Lord Halifax: 1857.f. 5 Edward Ellice, the elder; MP: Letters to Lord Halifax: 1855-1857.ff. 7, 150, 205, 221, 241 Vic... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXV (ff. 265). Apr.-11 June 1866.includes:ff. 1, 36, 67, 262 Admiral Clarence Edward Paget, GCB; 4th son of Henry, 1st Marquess of Anglesey: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1860-1870.f. 2 Thomas Joseph Weld-Blundell, of Ince-Blundel... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCIV (ff. 252). Jan.-May 1858.includes:ff. 1, 46, 82, 86, 91, 121 James Wright, of the Oxford University Press: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1857-1858.ff. 3, 4 John Gilbert Talbot, PC; MP: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1853-1892.ff. 6... British Library
creatorOf WARREN DAWSON PAPERS. Vol. XLVII. Biographical material: 18th-20th cent. Partly copies. Some French. Partial contents list, ff. 1-2. W.D.63. Paper; ff. 451+(144*, 187*, 308*). Contents: 1. ff. 1-95. Papers of and relating to Sir Grafton Elliot Smith;..., 18th century-20th century British Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Papers, 1857 and undated. Duke University, Medical Center Library & Archives
creatorOf Vol. XXIV (ff. 181). 1816-Mar. 1855.includes:f. 1 Admiral Sir Edward Chetham, afterwards Chetham-Strode; KCB: Letter to: 1816.f. 1 Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth: Letter to Sir E. Chatham-Strode: 1816.ff. 10-37, 102, 107 Joseph Parkes, ele... British Library
referencedIn Woodward, Samuel Pickworth, 1821-1865. Letters, 1836-1865. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. VIII. (ft. 509). 1835-1836.includes:ff. 1, 87, 98, 152, 199 G-F-Young: Letters to C. Babbage: 1835, n.d. ff. 3, 21, 90, 128 Francis Offley Martin, Charity Commissioner (1837): Correspondence with C. Babbage: 1832-1864. ff. 5, 59, 247, 261, 2..., 1835-1836 British Library
referencedIn Paget, James, Sir, 1814-1899. Correspondence, 1784-1932. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn James Marshall Osborn collection of Lady Sydney Morgan, 1805-1833 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lesley, J. P. (J. Peter), 1819-1903. Papers, 1826-1898. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCCIV (ff. 454). 1-12 Feb. 1846.includes:f. 1 Isaac Buchanan of P. Buchanan and Co, of Glasgow: Letter to Lord Metcalfe: 1846.: Autogr. copy.ff. 9-16 Charles Brownlow, 1st Baron Lurgan 1839: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1818-1846.ff. 18... British Library
creatorOf MCCRIMMON COLLECTION. Vol. VIII (ff. 128). Letters to Sir Antonio Panizzi; 1838-1873, n.d. English, French, German and Italian. Includes one photograph. Arranged in alphabetical order, with a list of most of the items made by Mrs. McCrimmon attached...., 1838-1873 British Library
creatorOf AYRTON PAPERS. Vol. X (ff. 105). Letters and papers found loose in 52335-52342; 1803-1855, n.d. Includes (ff. 4-34) accounts, a plan, etc., of the King's Theatre, 1814-1824, n.d.includes:ff. 1-3b Henry Dance, Secretary, Philharmonic Society: Corres..., 1803-1855 British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCVIII (ff. 376). Jan.-June 1860.includes:ff. 1, 254 Thomas Milner-Gibson, MP: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1859-1872.ff. 3, 7 William Francis Cowper, Baron Mount-Temple; afterwards Cowper-Temple: Correspondence with W. E. Gladston... British Library
creatorOf MILLAR BEQUEST. Vols. XC, XCI. Autograph collection, 1689-1937 British Library
creatorOf Vol. XXXI (ff. 204). Nov. 1858 -July 1859, n.d.includes:f. 1 H. Taylor, lawyer, of St Leonards on Sea: Letters to 4th Lord Carnarvon from H. Taylor: 1858. f. 2 Captain John Ord, of Great Crosby: Arthur W. Birch: Letter to Arthur W. Birch from Capt. ... British Library
creatorOf Vol. VI (ff. 190). 1869-1871.includes:f. 1 Richard Holt Hutton, Editor, 'The Spectator': Correspondence with Sir J. Lubbock: 1867-1891.f. 3 Sir William Boyd Dawkins, geologist: Letters to Lord Avebury: 1863-1910.f. 5 Sir Percyvall Hart Dyke, 6t..., 1869-1871 British Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Autograph letter signed : Folkestone, to an unnamed correspondent, 1870 Sept. 5. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Roderick Murchison collection, 1842-1860 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Vol. CCXV (ff. 361). Dec. 1852-Jan. 1853.includes:ff. 1-5b, 13,68,188,208, 229 Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne; formerly Petty: Correspondence with Lord Aberdeen: 1852-1855.ff. 6, 24, 247-257b, 267, 328 Francis Russell, 7th Duk... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCLXVII (ff. 378). 16-30 June 1844.Bank of England: Correspondence of Sir R. Peel rel. to the Bank Charter Act: 1844.includes:ff. 1, 3 Francis Robert Bonham, Principal Storekeeper of the Ordnance: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1829-1850.f.... British Library
referencedIn Louis Agassiz correspondence and other papers, 1821-1877. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Vol. CCCCX (ff. 297). 20 Feb.-21 Mar. 1886.includes:f. 1 Egypt, Pashas of. Tawfiq: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1882-1891.ff. 3, 19, 37 John Robert William Vesey, 4th Viscount de Vesci: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1881-1886.ff. ... British Library
referencedIn Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (inclusive) 1820-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Vol. CCCXII (ff.260). Aug.-Dec. 1861.includes:f. 1 James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine: Correspondence with W. E. Gladstone: 1831-1861. f. 3 Thornton Leigh Hunt, journalist: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1861-1870. ff. 5, 12, 1... British Library
referencedIn Sir James Paget correspondence, 1784-1932, 1784-1932 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Herschel Family. Papers, 1721-1951, (bulk 1810-1871). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Vol. II (ff. 204). H -O.includes:f. 1 Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax: Treasury warrant authorised by: 1698: Signed. f. 2 Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax: Letter to A. Panizzi: 1857. f. 3 Henry Hallam, historian: Letter to A. Panizzi: circ... British Library
referencedIn Scientists Collection, 1563-1973 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Papers and Correspondence of Sir Archibald Geikie (1835-1924), after 1851 Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Papers, 1808-1888. Houghton Library.
referencedIn vol. III., ff. 483, 1826-1858.includes:ff. 1, 25, 53 Adolphe Théophile Brongniart: Letters to R. Brown: 1824, 1826, 1828.: Fr. f. 6 Samuel Nicolaus Casström, KPS; Councillor of Commerce at Stockholm: Letters to R. Brown: 1821-1826. f. 7 William Elf..., 1826-1858 British Library
creatorOf HALIFAX PAPERS. Vol. I (ff. 348). Correspondence with:– 1. ff. 1-75b. Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort, mostly on their behalf, with Sir Charles Beaumont Phipps, K.C.B., Keeper of the Queen's Purse; 1855-1860. 2. ff. 76-129b. John Russel..., 1851-1860 British Library
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
referencedIn An Annotated Calendar of the Letters of Charles Darwin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society, 1799-1882 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Vol. III, A-M. 1790-1931.includes:f. 1 Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, Viscount Allenby: Letter to Sir P. C. Mitchell: 1930.f. 2 Henry Edward Armstrong, FRS; chemist: Letter to A. W. Rowe: 1905.ff. 2-165 passim Arthur Walton Rowe, MRCS: Letters to..., 1790-1931 British Library
referencedIn Sir Charles Lyell papers, 1806-1874, 1806-1874 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Augustus Mendon Lord collection, Lord (Augustus Mendon) collection, (bulk 1876-1908), 1778-1908 John Hay Library, Special Collections
creatorOf MCCRIMMON COLLECTION. Vol. VI (ff. x+169). Letters numbered 1680-1759; 1808-1871, n.d. Decorated title page, '1910 Autographs Volume XI'. Several pages are missing. Attached is a list of the letters made by Mrs. McCrimmon. Contemporary foliation 1-77..., 1808-1871 British Library
referencedIn W. H. (William Henry) Smyth correspondence, 1820-1864, 1820-1864 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Vol. CCCLVII.(ff. 433). 11-31 Dec. 1843.includes:ff. 1, 101 George Robert Dawson, Under-Secretary of State: Correspondence with his brother-in-law Sir R. Peel: 1813-1846.f. 3 Charles Gatliff: Letter to Sir R. Peel: 1843.: Signed.f. 3 Thomas Sou... British Library
referencedIn Papers of Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), 1823-1875 Edinburgh University Library
referencedIn Vol. VIII. (fr. 595). Oct. 1860-Oct. 1862.Prosper Mérimée: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1850-1870.includes:ff. 1, 32, 61, 79, 90, 106, 134 Sir Charles Thomas Newton, KCB; archaeologist: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1854-1872. f. 3 Charles John Canning, 2nd Vis... British Library
referencedIn Vol. DCXCVIII (ff. 282). 1863-1869.includes:f. 20 Edward John Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1854-1869.f. 22 Lord George Henry Cavendish, MP: Letter to W. E. Gladstone: [1863].f.23 George Joachim Goschen, 1st Viscount ..., 1863-1869 British Library
referencedIn Vol. VIII (ff. 293). May 1849-1867.includes:ff. 1, 3, 8, 64, 77, 94 Henry Grey, Viscount Howick; 3rd Earl Grey 1845: Letters to Lord Broughton: 1833-1851. ff. 1-103b passim India: Correspondence of Lord Broughton as President of the Board of Control:... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XIII. (ff. 659). June, 1847-Dec. 1851.includes:ff. 1, 9, 16, 51, 61 William Empson, editor of the 'Edinburgh Review': Letters to C. Babbage: 1847, n.d. f. 4 Sir William Robert Grove, man of science and judge: Letters to C. Babbage: 1847-1869. ... British Library
referencedIn J.P. Lesley Papers, 1826-1898 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf LETTERS, ETC., TO SIR RICHARD OWEN, K.C.B., Superintendent of the natural history collections at the British Museum; 1856-1859, n.d. Supplements Add. MSS. 33348, 39954. Followed (ff. 27-30) by a letter of Col. Frederick Brine, R.E., 29 July 1864, enc..., 1856-1864 British Library
referencedIn Vol. LXVI (ff. 407). Jan.-Sept. 1869.George Edmund Street, RA; architect: Letters to Sir A. H. Layard: 1868, 1869.includes:ff. 1, 3, 15, 200, 299, 321 Robert Lowe, Viscount Sherbrooke: Correspondence with Sir A. H. Layard: 1869. ff. 1-382 passim Lo... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCXXXIX (ff. 367). 1-15 Apr. 1835.includes:ff. 1, 3 Edward FitzGerald: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1835. ff. 4, 5 Charles James Blomfield, Bishop of London: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1825-1848. f. 7 D-McLaren, of Edinburgh: Letter t..., 1835 British Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Correspondence, 1829-1871. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Buckland, William, 1784-1856. Letters, 1817-1848. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. IX. (ff. 578). 1837-Sept. 1838.includes:f. 1 Sir James South, astronomer: Correspondence with C. Babbage: 1821-1866, n.d. ff. 3, 23, 543, 545, 560 George Peacock, Dean of Ely: Letters to C. Babbage: 1816-1850. ff. 6, 7 A. G. Pond, wife of J Po..., 1837-1838 British Library
referencedIn Henry Adams autograph album, 1833-1939. Houghton Library.
referencedIn PANIZZI PAPERS. Letters, collected as autographs, mostly addressed to Sir Anthony Panizzi, K.C.B., Principal Librarian of the British Museum; 1828-1878, n.d. English, French and Italian. Other general correspondence of Panizzi is Add. MSS. 36714-3672..., 1828-1878 British Library
referencedIn Vol. III. (ff. 480). Apr. 1827-Dec. 1829.includes:ff. 1, 20, 23, 130 George Peacock, Dean of Ely: Letters to C. Babbage: 1816-1850. f. 3 Thomas Wright Hill, schoolmaster: Letters to C. Babbage: 1827 -1836. ff. 5, 102, 178 John Elliot Drinkwater, ... British Library
referencedIn Osborn, James Marshall,. James Marshall Osborn collection of Lady Sydney Morgan, 1805-1833. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. Letters, 1837-1882. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf LETTERS TO WILLIAM RICHARD HAMILTON (b. 1777, d. 1859), diplomat and antiquary; 1853-1859. Partly French and Italian. Partly (ff. 142-182b) printed. Alphabetically arranged. Followed (ff. 131-141) by notes by, or relating to, Hamilton and his family...., 1853-1859 British Library
creatorOf Sir Roderick Impey Murchison correspondence, 1829-1871, 1829-1871 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn MISCELLANE0US AUTOGRAPH LETTERS, signatures, etc.; 1830-1878, n.d. The letters are taken mainly from correspondence of Thomas Sansom (d. 1872), of the Custom House, Liverpool (and later of Newcastle), Fellow of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and ..., 1830-1878 British Library
creatorOf CHARNWOOD AUTOGRAPHS. Vol. IV. Artistic, dramatic and scientific autogaphs, etc.; circa 16th-20th cent. Included are Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Godfrey Kneller, William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Wright of Derby, William Blake, David Cox, Si..., approximately 16th century-20th century British Library
referencedIn Vol. VII. (ff. 567). July, 1859-Sept. 1860.Kingdom of Naples and Sicily: Correspondence relating to fund for Neapolitan exiles: 1859.includes:ff. 1, 14, 30, 59, 97, 197, 200, 201, 214, 222, 251, 267 Vincenzo Salvagnoli: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1858-1... British Library
referencedIn Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1668-1983, Bulk, 1750-1850, 1668-1983 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Great Britain). Papers, 1829-1943. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Kenyon, John, 1784-1856. John Kenyon Autograph Album 1806-1903. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865. Correspondence, 1820-1864. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Correspondence, 1830-1867. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. CCXV (ff. 324). 13 April-12 Aug. 1854.includes:ff. 1-4 Rear-Admiral Alexander Dundas Young Arbuthnot, Admiral 1863; Knight 1859: Correspondence with Lord Aberdeen: 1853-1854.: Partly printed.ff. 5-8b, 23 Henry Home Drummond, politician: Corr... British Library
creatorOf Perigal, Henry. Miscellaneous tracts. National Library of New Zealand
referencedIn Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875. Papers, 1806-1874. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. CLXXX (ff. 309). May, June, 1864,includes:ff. 1, 223, 266 William Perry, Consul-General Venice; Knight 1872: Letters to Sir A. H. Layard: 1861-1866. f. 3 George John Robert Gordon, Minister at Stuttgart: Correspondence with Sir A. H. Layard: 18... British Library
referencedIn Roderick Murchison collection, 1842-1860 Scott Polar Research Institute
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Vol. XLVI (ff. 246). April-Dec. 1846.includes:f. 1 Lieutenant Edward Lechmere Russell, Bombay Army: Letter to Sir C. J. Napier: 1846. ff. 3, 145 Captain Henry Needham Scrope Shrapnel, formerly 3rd Dragoon Guards: Letters to Sir C.J. Napier: 1846. f... British Library
referencedIn Vol. VII, ff. 306, L-Q.includes:f. 1 Sir Edwin Ray Lankester, KCB; FRS: Letter to T. R. Jones: 1875.f. 3 Sir Edwin Ray Lankester, KCB; FRS: Letter to C. W. Andrews: n.d.f. 5 Charles Lapworth, FRS; geologist: Letter to -: 1882.ff. 7, 9 Édouard... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXXVII (ff. 312) Sept.-Oct. 1869.includes:ff. 1 (copy), 7 John Candlish, MP: Correspondence with G. A. Hamilton: 1869.ff. 1 (copy), 7 George Alexander Hamilton, PC; Treasury Permanent Secretary: Correspondence with J. Candlish: 1869.f. 3 ... British Library
referencedIn Hutton, William, 1797-1860. Letters, 1821-1852. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Vol. CLXXVI (ff. 437). May-July, 1863.Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley: Correspondence with Sir A. H. Layard: 1846-1881.includes:ff. 1, 147, 157, 166 John Hanning Speke, African explorer: Letters, etc., rel. to: 1863, 1864. ff. 1, 1... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XVI. (ff. 507). May, 1856-Mar. 1860.includes:f. 1 Comte Jean Gilbert Victor Fialin de Persigny,; French Ambassador in London: Letter to C. Babbage: 1856. f. 2 Michel Chasles, mathematician: Letters to C. Babbage: 1855, 1856.: Fr. f. 3 André M... British Library
referencedIn Autograph File, M, 1648-1985. Houghton Library.
creatorOf SIR ROBERT SMIRKE (d.1867) AND HIS BROTHER SYDNEY SMIRKE (d.1877): letters to them, supplementing Add. 59847, 60745; 1815-1872, n.d. The letters are arranged in alphabetical order. Purchased of Winifred A. Myers, 15 Jan. 1980. Paper; ff. 185. 227 x 1..., 1815-1872 British Library
creatorOf Vol. V (ff. 187). 1867-1868.includes:ff. 1, 125 William Longman, publisher: Letters, partly on his behalf, to Sir J. Lubbock: 1866-1871. f. 4 Walter Bagehot, economist: Letters to Sir J. Lubbock: 1867-1875. f. 5 Sir William Bowman, 1st Baronet; FRS: ..., 1867-1868 British Library
referencedIn Edinburgh Geological Society, 1834-1990 Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Vol. XXX (ff. 185). March -Oct. 1858.includes:f. 2 Hon Robert Daly, 5th son of James, 1st Baron Dunsandle: Letter to 4th Lord Carnarvon from Hon. Robert Daly: 1858.f. 4 Hon Robert Daly, 5th son of James, 1st Baron Dunsandle: John S. Kirwan, of B... British Library
referencedIn Papers relating to Sir Roderick Impey Murchison and his Family, 1771-1935 Edinburgh University Library
creatorOf Bollaert, William, 1807-1876. Letter : London, to Sir R.I. Murchison, 1860 Oct. 3. Newberry Library
referencedIn Vol. VI. (ff. 449). 1831-1833.Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Correspondence and papers of Dr. Butler, when Head-master of the school: 1798-1836.Education: Correspondence of Dr. Butler, when Head-master of Shrewsbury School: 1798-1836.Archdeaconry of Derby: ..., 1831-1833 British Library
referencedIn Vol. CCCXIV (ff. 437). 4-15 Nov. 1841.includes:f. 1 Sir Frederick James Lamb, 3rd Viscount Melbourne; Baron Beauvale: Letter to Lord Canning: 1841.: Copy. f. 3 Count Moritz Joseph Johann von Dietrichstein,; Prefect of the Imperial Public Library, Vie... British Library
referencedIn Vol. CLXXXV (ff. 502). May, June, 1865.includes:ff. 1, 107 Philip Griffith, Consul General at New Granada: Letters to Sir A. H. Layard:: 1861-1866. ff. 3, 98, 290, 409 George Thorne Ricketts, of the Consular service: Correspondence with Sir A. H. La... British Library
creatorOf SIR HENRY ELLIS: private and official letters to Sir Henry Ellis K.H., (b.1779, d.1869), Principal Librarian of the British Museum, mostly on antiquarian matters and frequently relating to his duties at the British Museum; 1812-1866, n.d. A few lette..., 1812-1866 British Library
referencedIn Vol. VI (ff. 241). (1) Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, Duchess of Argyll; 1862 -1906, n.d. ff. 1-93. (2) Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodora, wife of Prince Henry of Battenberg; 1892 -1903. ff. 94 -135. (3) Francis, Duke of Teck, his wife Mary..., 1862-1906 British Library
referencedIn William Hutton letters, 1821-1852, 1821-1852 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Vol. III. 1860.includes:f. 2 Jane Ferraro, wife of the Marquis de La Marmora: Letter to Griffin and Co.: 1860. f. 3 Alfonso Ferraro, Marquis de La Marmora: Biographical notice of: 1860. ff. 5, 8 M-E-Lamaartine, wife of Alphonse de Lamartine: Lett..., 1860 British Library
referencedIn Papers of James David Forbes, 1785-1968 University of St Andrews
creatorOf MORGAN-GRENVILLE PAPERS. SERIES I. Vol. VI (ff.). Papers of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham as Lord President ofthe Council; 1866-1867. 1. Letters to the Duke from Sir Arthur Helps, Clerk of the Privy Council; BRO Ref. D55/13; 1866-1867. 2. Letters to the..., 1866-1867 British Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to an unidentified recipient, 1847 July 8. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf SYDNEY SMIRKE: 286 letters from architects, artists and public figures, mostly to Sydney Smirke (b.1798, d.1877), architect of the British Museum Reading Room; 1793-1872. See also Add. 59847, 60756. Owned by F. R. Jemmett (see inside front cover). Pu..., 1793-1872 British Library
referencedIn William Hobson collection, 1859 Scott Polar Research Institute
referencedIn Elisha Kent Kane Papers, Bulk, 1843-1857, 1810-1953 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Vol. CCCXXVII (ff. 334). Jan.-May 1867.includes:f. I Monsignor Francesco Nardi, Auditor of the Rota, Rome: Letters to W. E. Gladstone: 1866-[1874].: Engl. and Ital.ff. 3, 7, 11 Baron Bettino Ricasoli,; Italian statesman: Correspondence with W. E... British Library
creatorOf Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871,. Autograph letter signed from Roderick Impey Murchison, British Museum, to unidentified recipient [manuscript], 1861 June 22. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Vol. X. (IV. ff. 337). 1. "I Captain Sherard Osborn, C.B. Private Letters." The first six letters (ff. 4-39) form a sort of journal of the expedition under Sir E. Belcher (see above, Add. 35,307, art. 1); the remainder are dated 21 Jan. 1859-19 Apr. ..., 1859-1877 British Library
referencedIn Vol. IV. (ff. 664). 1854-1856.includes:ff. 1, 24, 59, 118, 224, 237, 239, 241, 269, 271, 472, 510, 529, 562, 625, 640, 642 Right Hon William Ewart Gladstone: Letters to A. Panizzi: 1843-1875. ff. 2, 50, 65, 91, 127, 129, 159, 182, 203, 250 Luigi Set..., 1854-1856 British Library
creatorOf Tyndall, John, 1820-1893. Papers. Smithsonian Institution. Libraries
creatorOf Vol. XLVII (ff. 197). Jan.-Sept. 1847.includes:f. 1 Mrs Harriet Willoughby, of Bath: Letter to Sir C.J. Napier: 1847.f. 3 Miss Eliza Jones: Letter to Sir C.J. Napier: 1847.f. 4 Major-General Sir Henry Gee Roberts, Bombay Army; KCB: Letter to Si... British Library
referencedIn Vol. I, 1837-1870.British Museum: Applications, etc., for Reading Room tickets: 1824-1881.: Partly printed.includes:f. 1 British Museum: Reading Room ticket: 1824.: Printed.f. 2 Charles Frederick Barnwell, FRS; FSA: Letter to Sir H. Ellis: 1837.f..., 1837-1870 British Library
referencedIn Owen, Richard, 1804-1892. Papers, 1827-1889. American Philosophical Society Library
creatorOf SUPPLEMENTARY LAYARD PAPERS Vol. II (ff. 174). , 1833-1896 British Library
referencedIn Jones, Bassett, collector. Bassett Jones records, 1818-1938. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf PANIZZI PAPERS. Letters to Sir Anthony Panizzi, K.C.B., Principal Librarian of the British Museum (d. 1879); 1845-1877, n.d. Followed (ff. 53-55) by two letters of Panizzi; [1860?], 1860-1869. Supplements Add. MSS. 36714-36727, 59778 and Eg. MS. 3677..., 1845-1877 British Library
referencedIn William Harvey collection, 1853-1859 Scott Polar Research Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Henry, 1838-1918 person
associatedWith Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873. person
associatedWith American Academy of Arts and Sciences person
associatedWith Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871. person
associatedWith Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626 person
associatedWith Banks, Joseph, Sir, 1743-1820 person
associatedWith Bates, Henry Walter, 1825-1892. person
associatedWith Bollaert, William, 1807-1876. person
associatedWith British Franklin Search Expedition Canada Arctic Archipelago 1857-1859 corporateBody
associatedWith British Museum (Natural History) corporateBody
associatedWith British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition Canada Arctic Archipelago 1845-1848 corporateBody
associatedWith Buckland, William, 1784-1856. person
associatedWith Burton, Edward, 1794-1836 person
associatedWith Campbell, P. person
associatedWith Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839 person
associatedWith Cooper, William White person
associatedWith Coues, Elliott, 1842-1899 person
associatedWith Cremin, Robert, person
associatedWith Cremin, Robert, Mrs, person
associatedWith Cuvier, Georges, Baron, 1769-1832 person
associatedWith Dana, James Dwight, 1813-1895. person
associatedWith Darlington, William, 1782-1863 person
associatedWith Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882. person
correspondedWith Denison, William, Sir, 1804-1871 person
associatedWith Dibner, Bern, person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A., (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865. person
associatedWith Falconer, Hugh, 1808-1865. person
associatedWith Faraday, Michael, 1791-1867 person
associatedWith Faraday, Michael, 1791-1867. person
associatedWith Featherstonhaugh, George William, 1780-1866. person
associatedWith Fitch, John person
associatedWith Franklin Jane 1792-1875 person
associatedWith Franklin John 1786-1847 person
associatedWith Genth, F. A., (Frederick Augustus), 1820-1893 person
associatedWith Geological Society of London. corporateBody
associatedWith Gibson, John, 1778-1840 person
associatedWith Gray, Asa, 1810-1888 person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872 person
associatedWith Hall, James person
associatedWith Hall, James. person
associatedWith Hall, James, 1811-1898 person
associatedWith Harcourt, William Venables Vernon, 1789-1871 person
associatedWith Harding, Warren G. person
associatedWith Harlan, Richard, 1769-1843. person
associatedWith Harlan, Richard, 1796-1843 person
associatedWith Harvey, William person
associatedWith Haydon, Benjamin Robert, 1786-1846 person
associatedWith Herschel Family. family
associatedWith Herschel, John F. W. (John Frederick William), Sir, 1792-1871. person
associatedWith Hunt, Robert, 1807-1887. person
associatedWith Hutton, William, 1797-1860. person
correspondedWith Irminger, Carl, 1802–1888 person
associatedWith James David Forbes person
associatedWith Jones, Bassett, collector. person
associatedWith Kane, Elisha Kent, 1820-1857 person
associatedWith Kenyon, John, 1784-1856 person
associatedWith Kirk, John, family
associatedWith Kirk, John, Sir, 1824?-1904. person
associatedWith König, Charles Dietrich Eberhard, 1774-1851 person
correspondedWith Landseer, Edwin Henry, Sir, 1802-1873 person
associatedWith Lardner, Dionysius, 1793-1859. person
associatedWith La Rive, Auguste Arthur de, 1801-1873. person
associatedWith Lea, Isaac, 1792-1886. person
associatedWith Lesley, Allen person
associatedWith Lesley, J. P. (J. Peter), 1819-1903. person
associatedWith Livingstone, David, 1813-1873. person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Lord, Augustus Mendon, 1861-1941 person
associatedWith Lubbock, J. W., (John William), 1803-1865 person
associatedWith Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875. person
correspondedWith Major, Richard Henry, 1818-1891 person
associatedWith Mantell, Gideon Algernon, 1790-1852. person
associatedWith Milne-Edwards, H. (Henri), 1800-1885. person
associatedWith Milne-Home, David, 1805-1890. person
associatedWith Murchison, Charlotte, 1788-1869, geologist person
associatedWith Murchison Roderick Impey 1792-1871 Sir 1st Baronet Geologist person
associatedWith Newcomb, Simon person
associatedWith Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 person
associatedWith Osborn, James Marshall, person
associatedWith Osborn, James Marshall, collector. person
associatedWith Owen, Richard, 1804-1892. person
associatedWith Paget, James, Sir, 1814-1899. person
correspondedWith Palgrave, William Gifford, 1826-1888 person
associatedWith Palmerston, Henry John Temple, Viscount, 1784-1865. person
associatedWith Penny William b 1809 person
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library. Cremin Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851 person
associatedWith Professor Adam Sedgwick, 1785-1873 person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796 person
associatedWith Robert Dawes Aldrich person
associatedWith Rogers, Henry Darwin, 1808-1866. person
associatedWith Ross, P. Campbell person
associatedWith Ross, P. Campbell person
associatedWith Ross, P. Campbell. person
associatedWith Royal Geographical Society (Great Britain) corporateBody
associatedWith Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813 person
associatedWith Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864 person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Adam person
associatedWith Seybert, Adam, 1773-1825 person
associatedWith Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864. person
associatedWith Sir Francis Leopold McClintock person
associatedWith Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865. person
associatedWith Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Great Britain). corporateBody
correspondedWith Sopwith, Thomas, 1803-1879 person
correspondedWith Sowerby, James de Carle, 1787-1871 person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stafford, Robert A. person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry person
associatedWith Sully, Thomas, 1783-1872 person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
associatedWith Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824 person
associatedWith Tyndall, John, 1820-1893. person
associatedWith Vanuxem, Lardner. person
associatedWith Vanuxem, Lardner. family
associatedWith Vanuxem, Lardner. family
associatedWith Waterton, Charles, 1782-1865 person
associatedWith Watson, Hewett Cottrell, 1804-1881. person
associatedWith Wayne, Anthony person
associatedWith Webster, Thomas, 1773-1844. person
associatedWith Wheatstone, Charles, Sir, 1802-1875 person
associatedWith Whewell, William, 1794-1866. person
correspondedWith Whymper, Edward, 1840-1911 person
associatedWith William Robert Hobson person
associatedWith Woodward, Samuel Pickworth, 1821-1865. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Waterford, Ireland
Glasgow, Scotland
Tunis, Tunisia
Serbia, Europe
Bristol, Gloucestershire
India, Asia
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Londonderry, Ireland
United States of America
Naples and Sicily, Kingdom of, Italy
United States of America
London, England
Glamorgan, Wales
Central America, America
Bulgaria, Europe
Coventry, Warwickshire
Mesopotamia, Asia Minor
Italy, Europe
North and Central America, America
Persia, Asia Minor
Northwest Passage
United States of America
Antrim, county of, Antrim
Birmingham, Warwickshire
United States of America
India, Asia
New Caledonia, Pacific Ocean
Liverpool, Lancashire
Japan, Asia
Naples and Sicily, Kingdom of, Italy
Australia, Australia
Soviet Union
United States of America
Suez Canal, Egypt
Brussels, Belgium
Liverpool, Lancashire
South America, Americas
Liverpool, Lancashire
Ireland, Europe
Germany, Europe
Manchester, Lancashire
Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire
Tamworth, Staffordshire
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire
India, Asia
Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Eyam, Derbyshire
Armagh, county of, Ireland
Durham, England
Liverpool, England
Killamarsh, Derbyshire
Staffordshire, England
Sinope Bay, the Black Sea
Doncaster, West Riding of Yorkshire
Lough Corrib, Ireland
Mexico, Central America
Bokhara, Central Asia
Down, county of, Ireland
Oudewater, the Netherlands
Edinburgh, Scotland
China, Asia
Switzerland, Europe
Roumania, Europe
Ionian Islands, Greece
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Ionian Islands, Greece
Cuba, Central America
Sarawak, South East Asia
Dundee, Forfarshire
Hakodate, Japan
Nicaragua, Central America
Yezo al. Hokkaido, Japan
Smyrna, Turkey
Sunderland, Durham
Aidin, Turkey in Asia
Long Sutton, Lincolnshire
Australia, Australia
Bilbao, Spain
Haddington, E. Lothian
Dewsbury, West Riding of Yorkshire
Abyssinia, Africa
Liverpool, Lancashire
Nottinghamshire, England
Tahiti, Pacific Ocean
Leith, Edinburgh
Portugal, Europe
Donegal, county of, Ireland
Subject
Glaciers--Scotland
Seismology--Research
Geology
Fossils--Collection and preservation
Glaciers
Geology--Soviet Union--Surveys
Seismology--Instruments
Beyond Early America
Entomology
Natural history
Zoology
Mineralogy
Geology--Survey
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1792-02-22

Death 1871-10-22

Male

Britons

French,

English

Information

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