Roderick Murchison

Roderick Murchison

Roderick Murchison

Birth : (1792-02-22)22 February 1792 Tarradale House,Muir of Ord,Ross-shire, UK

Death : 22 October 1871(1871-10-22)(aged 79) London, UK

Personal Information

Name Roderick Murchison
Birth (1792-02-22)22 February 1792 Tarradale House,Muir of Ord,Ross-shire, UK
Birth Place Tarradale House,Muir of Ord,Ross-shire, UK
Death (1871-10-22)(aged 79) London, UK
Died At London, UK
Nationality Scottish
Fields Geology
Famous Research Siluriansystem Devoniansystem Permiansystem

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet, (22 February 1792 – 22 October 1871) was a Scottish geologist who first described and investigated the Silurian system.


His wealthy father died in 1796, when Roderick was four years old, and he was sent to Durham School three years later, and then the Royal Military College, Great Marlow to be trained for the army.


In 1808 he landed with Wellesley in Portugal, and was present at the actions of Roliça and Vimeiro in the Peninsular War as an ensign in the 36th Regt of Foot.


They then settled in Barnard Castle, County Durham, England in 1818 where Murchison made the acquaintance of Sir Humphry Davy.


Exploring with his wife, Murchison studied the geology of the south of England, devoting special attention to the rocks of the north-west of Sussex and the adjoining parts of Hampshire and Surrey, on which, aided by Fitton, he wrote his first scientific paper, read to the Geological Society of London in 1825.


In 1831 he went to the England–Wales border, to attempt to discover whether the greywacke rocks underlying the Old Red Sandstone could be grouped into a definite order of succession.


English naturalist, geologist, and palaeontologist, John William Salter assisted Murchison in his work on Siluria (1854 and later editions).


The publication of this monograph in 1845 completes the first and most active half of Murchison's scientific career.


He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1840.In 1846 he was knighted, and in the same year he presided over the meeting of the British Association at Southampton.


During the later years of his life a large part of his time was devoted to the affairs of the Royal Geographical Society, of which he was in 1830 one of the founders, and he was president 1843–1845, 1851–1853, 1856–1859 and 1862–1871.


He served on the Royal Commission on the British Museum (1847–49).Murchison also announced the Permian system to geology in 1841, based on explorations in Perm Krai undertaken with Édouard de Verneuil.


James Nicol recognised the fallacy in the Murchison's extant theory and propounded his own ideas, in the 1880s these were superseded by the correct theory of Charles Lapworth, which was corroborated by Benjamin Peach and John Horne.


In 1855 Murchison was appointed director-general of the British Geological Survey and director of the Royal School of Mines and the Museum of Practical Geology in Jermyn Street, London, in succession to Sir Henry De la Beche, who had been the first to hold these offices.


Official routine now occupied much of his time, but he found opportunity for the Highland researches just alluded to, and also for preparing successive editions of his work Siluria (1854, ed. 5, 1872), which was meant to present the main features of the original Silurian System together with a digest of subsequent discoveries, particularly of those that showed the extension of the Silurian classification into other countries.


In 1845, whilst visiting Carclew in Cornwall, he met several Cornish miners who were going to Australia.


In 1857, Murchison was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.


In 1863, he was made a KCB, and three years later was created a baronet.


In 1855, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and in 1871 awarded the Founder's Gold Medal of the Royal Geological Society.


Murchison died in 1871, and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London, near the north end of the arcade on the west side of the central path.


When he returned to the area in 1849 he was greeted by 15,000 locals who declared him the'King of Siluria'.


A memorial tablet of Murchison was installed on 3 November 2005, in front of School #9 in Perm in Russia.


In 2009, the Ural-Scottish Society erected a memorial to Murchison on the banks of the Chusovaya River.