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Madeley, United Kingdom

Torrens H.S.,Lower Mill Cottage
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2014

Dinosaurs were 'invented' in April 1842. Any history, before this, must separate periods of pre-history. The first covers the period before 1824 (when the first dinosaur genus Megalosaurus was described). Here the Isle of Wight discloses a forgotten pioneer in natural history, the stone mason/sculptor James Hay (c. 1748-1821) who may well have included, by 1818, such dino-to-be material in his remarkable Portsmouth museum. This was described on his death as 'the best private collection in the kingdom'. Sadly, his material is lost, and no accurate diagnosis is possible. The second period extends from 1824 to 1842. The significant figure here is the Russia and East Indies merchant James Vine (1774-1837), who first revealed how Iguanodon bones occurred in abundance in the Island's south-west coastal outcrops. One, between September 1841 and April 1842, revealed to Richard Owen his long-sought fossil sacrum of an Iguanodon. This was in the private London museum of the political radical W. D. Saull (1783-1855). The discovery of this single fossil enabled Owen to 'invent' dinosaurs. He later wrote of this historic specimen how 'the characters of the order Dinosauria were mainly founded on this specimen'. So, in a real sense, the Isle of Wight is the birthplace of Dinosaurs. © 2014 The Linnean Society of London. Source


Torrens H.S.,Lower Mill Cottage | Ford T.D.,University of Leicester
Mercian Geologist | Year: 2011

Elias Hall (1764-1853) was a pioneer Midlands and Lancashire geologist. Two significant influences allowed this man of humble origins to make original contributions to geology. The first was the arrival in Derbyshire in 1807 of John Farey, William Smith's most important pupil, who opened local eyes to the realities of Smith's stratigraphy. The second was the later establishment of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, with which Hall was involved from its beginning in 1831. But attitudes to the low historical importance of practical geology have since meant that Hall's work has been too long forgotten. Source


The authors of an anonymous article on Mary Anning (1799-1847), published in Chambers's journal in 1857, are identified to allow the article to be fully evaluated for the first time. Payment was made to the natural-history writer Frank Buckland (1826-1880). However, he incorporated much material from the books of his friend George Roberts (c. 1804-1860), Lyme Regis historian and schoolmaster, and from, most probably, a manuscript memoir by his father, the geologist William Buckland (1784-1856), recalling the day of the 1800 lightning strike on a group including Anning. This throws new light on their networking, William Buckland's dementia, and George Roberts's activities, including his original observation of the resting-site fidelity of limpets (Patella) and his final years. © The Society for the History of Natural History. Source


Torrens H.S.,Lower Mill Cottage | Ford T.D.,University of Leicester
Mercian Geologist | Year: 2012

The incomplete geological map of the Peak District, compiled in 1808, is recorded and reproduced in part for the first time, together with a discussion of the background to its production and re-discovery. © 2012 East Midlands Geological Society. Source

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