See also:English geologist, was
See also:born on the 22nd of
See also:March 1785 at Dent in
See also:Yorkshire, the second son of
See also:Richard Sedgwick,
See also:vicar of the
See also:parish . He was educated at the Grammar
See also:Schools of Dent and
See also:Sedbergh, and at Trinity
See also:College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. as fifth wrangler in 18o8, and two years later was elected a
See also:Fellow of his college . For several years he was occupied as private tutor and afterwards as assistant mathematical tutor at Trinity College . In 1818 he was admitted to priests' orders . He had at this
See also:time paid no serious
See also:attention to geology . As a lad he had collected fossils from the
See also:Limestone near Dent, and in 1813 he had visited the mines near Furness and Coniston . Nevertheless, when the Rev .
See also:John Hailstone retired in 1818 from the
See also:post of Woodwardian
See also:professor of geology, Sedgwick applied for the vacancy, and was so strongly supported by his college as a man of
See also:talent that he was elected by a large majority .. He now took up the study of geology with intense zeal, traversed large areas in the south of England, and, becoming acquainted with W . D . Conybeare, regarded him as his
See also:master in geology . It is astonishing with what rapidity he grasped the principles of stratigraphical geology and the relationships of rocks in the
See also:field .
In papers read before the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 182o-1821, on the structure of parts ofDevonshire and
See also:Cornwall, he made observations of exceptional
See also:interest and value . Of this society in 1819 he had been one of the founders with J . S .
See also:Henslow . Every
See also:year for a long
See also:period now brought its
See also:season of field-
See also:work . Sedgwick dealt with the geology of the Isle of
See also:Wight, and with the strata of the Yorkshire
See also:coast (in papers published in the
See also:Annals of Philosophy, 1822, 1826); and he examined the rocks of the
See also:north of Scotland with Murchison in 1827 . He contributed an important
See also:essay On the
See also:Geological Relations and
See also:Internal Structure of the .nlagnesian Limestone to the Geological Society of
See also:London (1828) . As early as 1822 he had begun to make a detailed geological map of the older rocks of the Lake
See also:District; he continued these researches whereby the
See also:main structure of this mountain region was first unravelled, in succeeding years; and the
See also:principal results were brought before the Geological Society (1831-1836) . Meanwhile he was elected
See also:president of the Geological Society in 1829-183o, and in 1831 he commenced field-work in North
See also:Wales . His chief attention was now concentrated on the older rocks of England and Wales . Murchison began the task of unravelling the structure of the older rocks on the Welsh
See also:borders in the same year . They had intended to start together, but the arrangement: fell through, and thus they began their labours independently 1I and from opposite sides of the principality .
Eventually Sedgwick founded the
See also:system for the
See also:group of fossiliferous strata, and Murchison the
See also:Silurian system for the
See also:great group immediately below the Old Red
See also:Sandstone . Their systems were found to overlap—Sedgwick's Upper Cambrian and Murchison's
See also:Lower Silurian being practically
See also:equivalent . Hence arose a painful controversy that has only of
See also:late years been terminated by the adoption of Professor C .
See also:term Ordovician in place of the Upper Cambrian of Sedgwick and the Lower Silurian of Murchison . Sedgwick was ever actively interested in the work of his university . His famous Discourse on the Studies of the University of Cambridge, delivered in 1832,was published in
See also:form in 1833; it reached a fifth edition in 1850 . The studies were reviewed under the headings of (I) The
See also:laws of nature, (2)
See also:Ancient literature and language, and (3) Ethics and
See also:metaphysics; and the
See also:volume had so grown that it ultimately consisted of 442 pages of preface, or preliminary dissertation on the
See also:history of creation, with arguments against the transmutation of
See also:species, and an essay on the evidences of
See also:Christianity; the discourse occupied 94 pages; and there was an appendix of notes, &c., that filled 228 pages . In 1833 Sedgwick was president of the
See also:British Association at the first Cambridge
See also:meeting, and in 1834 he was appointed a
See also:canon of Norwich . In 1836 with Murchison he made a
See also:special study of the
See also:measures of Devonshire, which until that time had been grouped with the greywacke, and together they demonstrated that the main mass of the strata belonged to the age of the true
See also:Coal Measures . Continuing their researches into the bordering strata they were able to show in 1839, from the determinations of
See also:William Lonsdale, that the fossils of the South
See also:Devon limestones and those of
See also:Ilfracombe and other parts of North Devon were of an intermediate type between those of the Silurian and Carboniferous systems . They therefore introduced the term Devonian for the great group of slates, grits and lime-stones, now known under that name in West
See also:Somerset, Devon and Cornwall . These results were published in the great memoir by Sedgwick and Murchison, " On the
See also:Physical Structure of Devon-
See also:shire " (Trans .
See also:Soc., 1839) . Of later published
See also:works it will be sufficient to mention A Synopsis of the
See also:Classification of the British Palaeozoic Rocks (1855), which contained a systematic description of the fossils by F . McCoy . Also the preface by Sedgwick to A
See also:Catalogue of the collection of Cambrian and Silurian Fossils contained in the Geological Museum of the University of Cambridge, by J . W .
See also:Salter (1873) . The Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society was awarded to Sedgwick in 1851, and the
See also:Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1863 . He continued to lecture until 1872, when
See also:health rendered necessary the
See also:appointment of a
See also:deputy (Professor J .
See also:Morris) . He died at Cambridge on the 27th of
See also:January 1873 . In 1865 the
See also:senate of the university received from A .
See also:Van Sittart the sum of 500 " for the purpose of encouraging the study of geology among the
See also:resident members of the university, and in
See also:honour of the Rev .
See also:Adam Sedgwick." Thus was founded the Sedgwick prize to be given every third year for the best essay on some geological subject . The first Sedgwick prize was awarded in 1873 . On the
See also:death of Sedgwick it was decided that his memorial should take the form of a new and larger museum . Hitherto the geological collections had been placed in the Woodwardian Museum In Cockerell's
See also:Building . Through the energy of Professor T . McK .
See also:Hughes (successor to Sedgwick) the new building termed the Sedgwick Museum was completed and opened in 1903 . See the
See also:Life and Letters,by John Willis
See also:Clark and
See also:Thomas McKenny Hughes (189o) .
JOHN SEDGWICK (1813–1864)
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