Famous British Geologists

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 1 
Charles Darwin
(Naturalist known for His Contributions to Evolutionary Biology)
Charles Darwin
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Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 2 
Charles Lyell
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Birthdate: November 14, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Angus
Died: February 22, 1875

Charles Lyell was a Scottish geologist best remembered for his work Principles of Geology, which explains the origin of the earth. He is also remembered for his pioneering explanation of climate change. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell is also credited with influencing many of Darwin's works pertaining to the theories of evolution.  

 3 
James Hutton
(Geologist)
James Hutton
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Birthdate: June 3, 1726
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 26, 1797

The pioneer of modern geology, James Hutton laid down the principle of uniformitarianism in geology. While he was initially interested in chemistry, he had later also studied law and had then moved on to medicine. His iconic Theory of the Earth explained the science behind rock formations.

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 4 
William Buckland
(Geologist)
William Buckland
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Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856
 5 
John Needham
(Biologist)
John Needham
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Birthdate: September 10, 1713
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1781
 6 
Arthur Holmes
(Geophysicist, Geologist)
Arthur Holmes
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Birthdate: January 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gateshead
Died: September 20, 1965
 7 
William Smith
(paleontologist, civil engineer, geologist)
William Smith
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Birthdate: March 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Churchill
Died: August 28, 1839
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 8 
Gideon Mantell
(Obstetrician)
Gideon Mantell
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Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, England
Died: November 10, 1852
 9 
Vivian Fuchs
(Explorer)
Vivian Fuchs
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Birthdate: February 11, 1908
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Isle of Wight, England
Died: November 11, 1999
 10 
Adam Sedgwick
(Geologist)
Adam Sedgwick
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Birthdate: March 22, 1785
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dent
Died: January 27, 1873

Adam Sedgwick was a British Anglican priest and geologist. He is credited with guiding and mentoring Charles Darwin during his early years. However, Sedgwick went on to oppose Darwin's theory of evolution. The world's oldest student-run geological society, The Sedgwick Club, was established in his honor in 1880.

 11 
Hermann Bondi
(Mathematician)
Hermann Bondi
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Birthdate: November 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 10, 2005
Austrian-British mathematician and cosmologist Hermann Bondi is best remembered for his steady-state model, co-developed with Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold. Born to a physician, Bondi showed an early interest in math and was encouraged to follow it by mathematician Abraham Fraenkel, a relative. Bondi also taught at his alma, Cambridge.
 12 
William Withering
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Birthdate: March 17, 1741
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wellington, Telford, England
Died: October 6, 1799

Born to a surgeon, William Withering followed in his father’s footsteps to become a physician, though he also had immense knowledge of botany, geology, and chemistry. He not only treated edema, or dropsy, with the help of the foxglove plant but also studied scarlet fever and suggested rum as a medical substitute.

 13 
William Hopkins
(Mathematician, Geologist)
William Hopkins
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Birthdate: February 2, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston on Soar
Died: October 13, 1866

William Hopkins was an English geologist and mathematician. He is remembered for serving as a private tutor of prospective undergraduate Cambridge mathematicians, which earned him the nickname senior-wrangler maker. Hopkins also played first-class cricket and was associated with Cambridge University Cricket Club. He had an unfortunate end to his life as he spent his final years in a lunatic asylum.

 14 
Edward Bullard
(Geophysicist)
Edward Bullard
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Birthdate: September 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: April 3, 1980

A pioneer of marine geophysics, geophysicist Edward Bullard was best known for his work on geodynamo and seismology and was a professor at the University of Cambridge. Initially a nuclear physicist, he switched to geophysics to find a lucrative job during the Great Depression. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.

 15 
John Stevens Henslow
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Birthdate: February 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rochester, England
Died: May 16, 1861

John Stevens Henslow was not just a priest but also revolutionized the teaching methods of botany at Cambridge University. One of his students was legendary naturalist Charles Darwin. He also co-founded the Cambridge Philosophical Society and explored various regions, such as the Isle of Man, as a geologist.

 16 
Ralph Alger Bagnold
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Birthdate: April 3, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: May 28, 1990
 17 
Joseph Thomson
(Geologist)
Joseph Thomson
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Birthdate: February 14, 1858
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Penpont, Scotland,England
Died: August 2, 1895
 18 
John Milne
(Geologist)
John Milne
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Birthdate: December 30, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: July 31, 1913

John Milne was a British mining engineer and geologist. He is credited with co-founding the Seismological Society of Japan which raised money for the invention of seismographs. John Milne and his team went on to invent the horizontal pendulum seismograph which allowed him to detect various kinds of earthquake waves.

 19 
Robert Bruce Foote
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Birthdate: September 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheltenham,England
Died: December 29, 1912
 20 
Henry De la Beche
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Birthdate: February 10, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 13, 1855
 21 
John Evans
(Archaeologist)
John Evans
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Birthdate: November 17, 1823
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Burnham, England
Died: May 31, 1908
 22 
Henry Nicholas Ridley
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Birthdate: December 10, 1855
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harling, England
Died: October 24, 1956

English botanist Henry Nicholas Ridley is best remembered for his contribution to the cultivation of rubber in the Malay peninsula. His passion to achieve his goal earned him the nickname Mad Ridley. Of his written works, one of the most significant was the 5-volume Flora of the Malay Peninsula.

Sir Nicholas John Shackleton
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Birthdate: June 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 24, 2006
 24 
Keith Runcorn
(Physicist)
Keith Runcorn
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Birthdate: November 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Southport, England
Died: December 5, 1995
 25 
Richard Dixon Oldham
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Birthdate: July 31, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 15, 1936

British geologist Richard Dixon Oldham made ground-breaking discoveries in the field of seismology and was also the first to discover the proof of the existence of the Earth’s core. His pioneering studies include his work on the 1897 Assam earthquake in India. He was named a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 26 
William Conybeare
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Birthdate: June 7, 1787
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 12, 1857
 27 
Charles Lapworth
(Geologist)
Charles Lapworth
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Birthdate: September 20, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Faringdon, England
Died: March 13, 1920
 28 
Drummond Matthews
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Birthdate: February 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Porlock, England
Died: July 20, 1997
 29 
Henry Clifton Sorby
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Birthdate: May 10, 1826
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: March 9, 1908
 30 
Alexander Ross Clarke
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Birthdate: December 16, 1828
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reading, England
Died: February 11, 1914
 31 
George Bellas Greenough
(Geologist, Politician)
George Bellas Greenough
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Birthdate: January 18, 1778
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 2, 1855
George Julius Poulett Scrope
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Birthdate: March 10, 1797
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 19, 1876
 33 
Mary Horner Lyell
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Birthdate: October 9, 1808
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Pancras, London, England
Died: April 24, 1873
 34 
William Pengelly
(Geologist)
William Pengelly
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Birthdate: January 12, 1812
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Looe, England
Died: March 16, 1894
 35 
Charles William Peach
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Birthdate: September 30, 1800
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wansford, England
Died: February 28, 1886
 36 
Robert Legget
(Civil engineer)
Robert Legget
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Birthdate: September 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: April 17, 1994

A prominent force behind the Canadian National Building Code, Robert Legget was not just a civil engineer but also a talented author. He also initially taught soil mechanics and engineering, and penned books such as Ottawa Waterway. He was also made the Companion of the Order of Canada.

 37 
Herbert Harold Read
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Birthdate: December 17, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Whitstable, England
Died: March 29, 1970
 38 
William Joscelyn Arkell
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Birthdate: June 9, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Highworth, England
Died: April 18, 1958
 39 
Cecil Edgar Tilley
(Petrologist)
Cecil Edgar Tilley
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Birthdate: May 14, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Unley, Australia
Died: January 24, 1973
 40 
John Jeremiah Bigsby
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Birthdate: August 14, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nottingham, England
Died: February 10, 1881
 41 
William Lonsdale
(Geologist)
William Lonsdale
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Birthdate: September 9, 1794
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bath, England
Died: November 11, 1871