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GIDEON ALGERNON MANTELL (1790-1852)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 604 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GIDEON ALGERNON MANTELL (1790-1852), English geologist and palaeontologist, was born in 1790 at Lewes, Sussex. Educated for the medical profession, he first practised in his native town. afterwards in 1835 in Brighton, and finally at CIapham, near London. He found time to prosecute he wounded in a duel. He served as lieutenant-general (to researches on the palaeontology of the Secondary rocks, particularly in Sussex—a region which he made classical in the history of discovery; While he was still a country doctor at Lewes his eminence as a geological investigator was fully recognized on the publication of his work on The Fossils of the South Downs (1822). His most remarkable discoveries were made in the Wealden formations. He demonstrated the fresh-water origin of the strata, and from them he brought to light and described the remarkable Dinosaurian reptiles known as Iguanodon, Hylaeosaurus, Pelorosaurus and Regnosaurus. For these researches he was awarded the Wollaston medal by the Geological Society and a Royal medal by the Royal Society. He was elected F.R.S. in 1825. Among his other contributions to the literature of palaeontology was his description of the Triassic reptile Telerpeton elginense. Towards the end of his life Dr Mantell retired to London, where he died on the loth of November 1852. His eldest son, WALTER BALDOCK DURRANT MANTELL (1820-1895), settled in New Zealand, and there attained high public positions, eventually being secretary for Crown-lands. He obtained remains of the Notornis, a recently extinct bird, and also brought forward evidence to show that the moas were contemporaries of man. In addition to the works above mentioned Dr Mantell was author of Illustrations of the Geology of Sussex (4to, 1827); Geology of the South-east of England (1833) ; The Wonders of Geology, 2 vols. (1838.; ed. 7, 1857); Geological Excursions round the Isle of Wight, and along the Adjacent Coast of Dorsetshire (1847 ; ed. 3, 1854) ; Petrif action and their Teachings (1851); The Medals of Creation (2 vols., 1854). MANTES-SUR-SEINE, a town of northern France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Seine-et-Oise on the left bank of the Seine, 34 M. W.N.W. of Paris by.rail. Pop. (1906), 8113. The chief building in Mantes is the celebrated church of Notre-Dame which dates in the main from the end of the 12th century. A previous edifice was burnt down by William the Conqueror together with the rest of the town, at the capture of which he lost his life in 1087; he is said to have bequeathed a large sum for the rebuilding of the church. The plan, which bears a marked resemblance to that of Notre-Dame at Paris, includes a nave, aisles and choir, but no transepts. Three portals open into the church on the west, the two northernmost, which date from the 12th century, being decorated with fine carving; that to the south is of the 14th century and still more ornate. A fine rose-window and an open gallery, above which rise the summits of the western towers, occupy the upper part of the facade. In the interior, chapels dating from the 13th and 14th centuries are of interest. The tower of St Maclou (14th century), relic of an old church and the hotel de ville (15th to 17th centuries), are among the older buildings of the town, and there is a fountain of the Renaissance period. Modern bridges and a medieval bridge unite Mantes with the opposite bank of the Seine on which the town of Limay is built. The town has a sub-prefecture and a tribunal of first instance. Mantes was occupied by the English from 1346 to 1364, and from 1416 to 1449.
End of Article: GIDEON ALGERNON MANTELL (1790-1852)
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