Anniversary Address of the President 1870

The Geological Society (February 1870)
Scientific Memoirs III

[510] Among the numerous Fellows and Foreign Members of the Society whose loss during the past year we have to regret I may refer particularly to the following–

Etienne Jules Adolphe Demniker de Simon, Vicomte d'Archiac, was born at Reims on the 24th of September 1802. On the completion of his education at the Military School of St. Cyr he entered the army and remained a cavalry officer until the revolution of July 1830, he quitted the service. During M. d'Arclliac's nine years of military life, his great capacity for the successful cultivation of natural science appears to have lain dormant. At least the only recorded products of his pen during that time are a historical novel in three volumes and a political pamphlet.

It is not until 1835 that the long series of writings which raised d'Archiac to the position in the front rank of European geologists which he occupied at the time of his death commenced by the publication of a 'Résumé d'un Mémoire sur le terrain tertiare du Département de l'Aisne.' This inaugural essay was followed in 1838 and 1839 by others upon the tertiary and cretaceous deposits of France, Belgium and England. Of these the 'Observations sur le groupe moyen de la formation Crétacee' requires particular notice as a piece of thorough palæontological and geological works undertaken not for the mere purpose of determining the geology of the district but with the more important object of ascertaining whether a properly chosen district might not be made to contribute to the solution of a problem in general geology. This problem is [511] thus formulated by d'Archiac,

"How are the fossils of a formation distributed in the different stages of that formation? And what modifications or changes do the species undergo, on the one hand, in time, as we pass from one stage to another, and, on the other, in space, as we examine the formation at different points of its geographical extent?"

In order to solve the problem thus stated, M. d'Archiac observes that it is necessary to select a formation which can be studied upon its circumference, and at a great number of intermediate points, which has not undergone any serious dislocation, and all the stages of which present definite marks by which they can be compared.

The Cretaceous formation, stretching from Burgundy to Dorsetshire, appearing to fulfil these conditions, was therefore subjected to a minute and exhaustive study, and it yielded the following replies to the questions proposed:–the more the different stages of a formation are developed, the more distinct are the organisms which they contain, or, in other words, the smaller is the number of species common to any two of them. Further, as the number of the members of the same formation diminishes, on the one hand, the species of the different stages tend to become mixed together; and on the other, new species, and even new genera, appear in inverse proportion to the number of the stages which persist. Thus the fossils at the margins of the Middle Cretaceous formation differ from those of its centre, and, moreover, they differ geographically. The cretaceous organisms inhabit three zones, a northern, a middle, and a southern, and these have a general direction from N.W. to S.E., which probably corresponds with that of the isothermal lines of the period.

The sixth volume of the 'Transactions' of our Society is adorned by a very elaborate memoir "On the Fossils of the older Deposits in the Rhenish Provinces," in which, in conjunction with our distinguished foreign member M. de Verneuil, M. d'Archiac subjects a great section of palæozoic life to a similar investigation, and conclusions of no less importance are there stated:–"If the development of Paleozoic organisms be considered relatively to the thickness of the beds, or the duration of the epoch, we shall see, 1st, that the total number of species always increases from below upwards; 2nd, that the progression is very different in each order and in each family, and that this progression is even frequently inverse, either in the different orders of the same class, or in the various genera of the same order. If, on the other hand, the development of the palæozoic creation be considered relatively to its horizontal extent, or geographically in relation to space, it will be seen, 1st, that the [512] species which are found in a great number of localities, and in very distant countries, are almost always those which have lived during the formation of several successive systems; 2nd, that the species which belong to a single system are rarely observed at great distances, and that they then constitute local fauna, peculiar to certain countries; whence it results that the species really characteristic of a system of beds are so much the less numerous as the system is studied upon a vaster scale." It must be remembered that these most important generalizations were communicated to this Society in the year 1841, and though the able authors of the memoir express their satisfaction at finding their conclusions in accordance with those independently arrived at by Prof. Phillips, I am not sure that either their substance or their origin, is even now quite so familiar to palæontologists as it ought to be.

From 1842 to 1847, M. d'Archiac was occupied with the investigation of the Cretaceous and Tertiary deposits of France and Belgium, and published several valuable works, among which I may mention the 'Description Géologique du Département de l'Aisne' (1843), and the 'Description des fossiles des couches nummulitiques des environs de Bayonne' (1846 and 1850). The line of inquiry opened up by the last-mentioned works could not fail to be attractive to so philosophical a geologist and biologist; but few men are blessed with the prodigious industry which enabled d'Archiac to produce, in seven years, not only these memoirs, but the major part of the great monograph on the nummulitic formation of India, which was published in 1853; while at the same time he was occupied with such a work as the 'Histoire des progres de la Géologie de 1834 a 1845,' five volumes of which appeared between 1847 and 1853. I have had the curiosity to put together the total number of pages of these five volumes, and l find that, for this work only, d'Archiac must have written, on the average, the matter which fills 600 closely printed octavo pages every year for six years. And when we consider that this matter consists of a fair and faithful critical digest of innumerable books and memoirs, all which must needs have been read, and that it contains a great amount of original thought, one's respect for its author's power of work rises almost into awe.

The eighth volume of this extremely valuable work was published in 1860, and it is profoundly to be regretted that it remains incomplete. The author's plan is to deal with the history of each formation in successive order, from the youngest to the oldest, starting with the year 1834, and carrying his history in the [513] early volume, as far as 1845, in the later volumes to a more recent date. The last volume deals with the history of Triassic geology from 1834 to 1859.

In 1857 M. d'Archiac was selected a member of the Academy of Sciences, in the place of M. Constant Prévost; and, on the death of Alcide d'Orbigny, in 1861, he was nominated to fill the chair of palæontology in the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

The substance of four of the courses of lectures which M. d'Archiac delivered in his new capacity has been published in three volumes, under the title of 'Cours de Paléontologie Stratigraphique.' The first volume contains a precis of the history of palæontology; the second is devoted to a general view of biology, as an introduction to palæontology; while the third gives an account of the fauna of the Quaternary epoch. At this point the series of the 'Cours de Paléontologie' ceases; but, in 1866, a complete treatise, embodying M. d'Archiac's views on the totality of geological phenomena, entitled 'Geologie et Paléontologie,' appeared.

The last work from M. d'Archiac's pen is the great Report on the Palæontology of France, which was published in 1868.

All who have known M. d'Archiac personally, speak in the warmest terms of the uprightness of his character, and of his keen sense of honour and independence. And it is lamentable to know that the pressure of petty cares so destroyed the balance of his sensitive and finely-strung mind, that a few more years of patient endurance of such troubles appeared as little possible to him as any application for help to the many friends who were not only able, but would have been proud to serve him. The Vicomte d'Archiac was in his sixty-seventh year at the time of his death.

Joseph Beete Jukes, Fellow of the Royal Society, was born in Birmingham on the 18th of October, 1811, and was educated partly at the Merchant Taylors' School in Wolverhampton, and partly at King Edward's School in Birmingham. At the latter school he gained an exhibition, which took him to Cambridge, where he entered St. John's College in 1830, and took his B.A. degree in 1836, proceeding to his M.A. in 1841.

The genial enthusiasm and large knowledge of the Woodwardian Professor of Geology, then in his vigorous prime, worked upon Mr. Jukes, as they seem to have affected all men who came within the range of their influence, and determined him to make geological investigation the vocation of his life. Immediately after leaving [514] Cambridge Mr. Jukes became a Fellow of this Society, and, as we all know, he was for four and twenty years one of its most active and valued members.

In 1839 Mr. Jukes was appointed to the office of Geological Surveyor of Newfoundland. He remained for two years in this capacity, and executed the survey as well as the means at his disposal would permit. When, however, the work was done, the capricious parsimony of the Colonial Legislature refused to grant the money requisite to pay for the 'Report,' and it would have been lost to science if the Governor, Sir John Harvey, whose name ought to be gratefully recollected by geologists, had not taken the expense upon himself. The 'Report' forms a part of the 'Excursions in Newfoundland,' published in 1842. In the latter year appeared Potter's 'History of Charnwood Forest,' which contains an able and interesting essay on the geology of that district, written by Mr. Jukes after his return from Newfoundland.

In the preface to the 'Excursions in Newfoundland' the author excuses the imperfection of the work on the ground that he is again leaving England. In fact, in June 1842, H.M.S. 'Fly' was despatched, under the command of the late Capt. Blackwood, to survey the Barrier reef upon the east coast of Australia, and Mr. Jukes was appointed naturalist to the ship, which did not return to England till 1846. In 1847 Mr. Jukes published his 'Narrative of the Surveying Voyage of H.M.S. "Fly,"' in two volumes.

The 'Narrative' is well written, and gives a very vivid and accurate account of the places and people visited, if I may judge from what is said of those parts of the ground over which it was my fortune to travel a few years later. The naturalist, the geologist and the ethnologist will find much valuable information in these volumes; and, to the student of geographical distribution, especial interest attaches to Mr. Jukes's suggestion that the different character of the molluscan fauna of the north and south shores of Torres Straits is the result of the formation of these straits by the depression which gave rise to the formation of the Barrier reef; while the similar elements in the land faunæ of Australia and New Guinea arise from the direct connexion of these two masses of land in the time which preceded the formation of Torres Straits.

Shortly after his return to England, in 1846, Mr. Dukes received an appointment to the Geological Survey of Great Britain, then under the direction of the late Sir Henry de la Beche. He was despatched to North Wales (where Prof. Ramsay was directing the operations of the Survey), and did excellent work in mapping the [515] district about Bala and Conway during the summers of several years, while the winters were employed in surveying the Coal-measures of his native county.

The results of the latter work appeared among the publications of the Survey in 1853, as a 'Memoir on the Geology of the South Staffordshire Coal-fields,' which is of very great importance, alike in its scientific and in its practical bearings. So strongly was its value in the latter direction felt by the public, that the first edition of the memoir was exhausted in a few years, and of a second revised and enlarged edition, which was published in 1858, not a copy now remains.

In 1850 Mr. Jukes was appointed Local Director of the Irish branch of the Survey, in room of Prof. Oldham, who had undertaken the direction of the Geological Survey of India. In this capacity Mr. Jukes laboured for nineteen years, with unremitting energy, and the most conscientious desire to do his duty, in a position which was full of difficulties and involved much wear and tear of both mind and body. During this period, he edited and largely contributed to no fewer than forty-two memoirs explanatory of the geological maps of the southern, eastern, and western parts of Ireland, executed by the Survey.

In addition to these labours Mr. Jukes for many years discharged the functions of a Professor of Geology, first in connexion with the Royal Dublin Society and Museum of Irish Industry, and afterwards in the Royal College of Science in Dublin. He wrote a very good elementary manual of geology, and some school-books upon geology and physical geography; and he read a large number of papers and notices before this Society and the Geological Society of Dublin, of which last body he was President during the years 1853 and 1854. Several of these papers, such as that "On the mode of formation of some of the river-valleys of the South of Ireland," show how completely Mr. Jukes shared with his colleagues, Prof. Ramsay and others, that tendency to return to Huttonian methods of accounting for the form of terrestrial surfaces which is so marked a feature of a rising and active school of geologists.

The Fellows of this Society have, doubtless, a clear recollection of the discussions to which two of Mr. Jukes's papers, that "On the mode of formation of river-valleys of the South of Ireland," to which I have just referred, and that "Upon the Carboniferous slates and Devonian rocks and the Old Red Sandstone of the South of Ireland," gave rise. They will have a vivid remembrance of the heartiness and vigour with which our colleague threw himself into the defence of [516] his favourite views; and I am sure they will no less distinctly bear in mind the inexhaustible fund of good humour with which he bore the onslaughts of his opponents.

It was my privilege to count Mr. Jukes among my oldest and most familiar friends. He had an eminently transparent character, and I can honestly say that, after nearly twenty years' intercourse, my mental picture of him remains as it at first impressed itself, that of an upright, generous man, of considerable scientific powers, of great energy, of good administrative capacity, and of the most entire honesty of purpose. If his openness and generosity occasionally led him into what, in his official position, was imprudence in his dealings with men, and if his energy sometimes took what his friends thought a wrong direction, no one could better bear being told of his faults, or be less resentful of good counsel.

Mr. Jukes had a remarkably fine and robust-looking bodily frame, but his health broke down in 1866, and though he rallied and became almost himself again, his disease made progress, and after being disabled for nine months, he died on the 1st of August, 1869.

The life of Hermann Christian Erich von Meyer, who was born at Frankfort on the Maine on the 3rd September 1801, is that of a retired student, and as such devoid of incident, though few men will leave a deeper mark upon the records of palæontology. He himself, in the preface to his 'Essay on fossil teeth and bones of Georgensgmund,' written in 1834, tells us how he was led to the study of fossils:–

"When many years ago I began this investigation, I little thought of the difficulties which awaited me. Love of the work has helped me to overcome them, though they made themselves severely felt as I went on. I was familiar only with chemistry and mineralogy, and to a certain extent with geology. Comparative anatomy and osteology were an altogether unknown region; but I found myself drawn into it by the remains of a long-extinct fauna. And the first impulse was given by the discovery of a perfect fossil skull of an ox, with a wound in the frontal bone; this led to my busying myself with other fossil bones, and even to the discovery of some. The attempts to determine their nature are contained in my 'Beitrage zur Petrefaktenkunde,' which extend through several volumes of the 'Acta' of the Leopoldino Caroline Academy."

The first portion of the 'Beitrage,' to which Von Meyer here alludes, is published in the 'Nova Acta' for 1829, in that fiftieth volume which contains Goethe's famous essay on the intermaxillary [517] bone; and it includes four essays which offer a good example of the extent and variety of Von Meyer's knowledge, even at that time. The first is upon an Orthoceratite, the second upon Mastodon arvernensis, the third on Aptychus, the fourth on two new fossil reptiles, Rhacheosaurus and Pleurosaurus. For thirty years Von Meyer poured fourth a continuous torrent of excellent and richly illustrated memoirs, sometimes upon Mollusca, sometimes on Crustacea, sometimes upon Fishes, but most commonly upon Reptiles and Mammalia.

The most complete monograph extant on the Amphibia of the Carboniferous epoch is by Von Meyer; the only monograph upon the Permian Reptilia is also from his pen. The great work upon the Fauna of the Muschelkalk, which was published in 1847-1852, is a wonderful monument of patient and skilful labour, and when it appeared, effected a revolution in the minds of geologists as to the character of the Triassic fauna, which instead of being poverty-stricken, as some supposed, revealed about eighty species of Labyrinthodonts and Reptiles in Germany alone. This fine monograph was supplemented by several excellent memoirs on the Triassic Fauna in the 'Palæntographica.' No less valuable is the work upon the Fauna of the Lithographic slates, which affords a complete conspectus of the Reptiles of that rich deposit.

In the preface to the memoir on the fossils of Georgensgmünd, to which I have already referred, Von Meyer makes some excellent remarks on the value of drawing as a help to the palæontologist, and on the frequent imperfections of drawings of fossils, and especially of osteological subjects, which are not made by persons conversant with anatomy. "I knew all this well enough," says he, "but I had no practice with the pencil, nor any experience in managing light and shade." This was a difficulty which would have appalled most men, but not Von Meyer, who set to work to teach himself drawing; with what admirable success all who are familiar with his works know. For it was Von Meyer's practice to draw all the illustrations of his numerous memoirs on the stone; and, at a rough estimate, some hundreds of quarto and folio plates must have proceeded from his swift and accurate pencil. There are seventy folio plates in the 'Saurier des Muschelkalkes' alone.

Though he must have devoted an immense amount of time and labour to the mere details of palæontological work, it would be a great mistake to count Von Meyer among the mere men of detail. On the contrary, his 'Palæologica,' published in 1832, is full of instructive and original thought, especially the second essay of the [518] three comprised in the work. Von Meyer strongly insists upon the importance of the fact that fossil forms so often fill up the gaps in the series of existing forms, and exhibit in combination characteristics found at present only in distinct groups. Hence, he justly remarks, it results that "conclusions drawn from one part of the skeleton to the structure of the entire animal have turned out to be erroneous, and that even anatomists like Camper have been deceived" (/. c. p. 197): and in his later works this eminent palæontologist constantly repeats this much needed warning against the current exaggerations of Cuvier's unguarded phrases.

Von Meyer died on the 2nd of April, 1869.

John William Salter, A.L.S., F.G.S., born December 15th, 1820, died December 2nd, 1869. This eminent palæontologist, after an education at a private boarding-school, was, in April I835, by his own wish, bound apprentice to the well-known James De Carle Sowerby, with whom he hoped to pursue the study of Natural History (especially Entomology), for which he had, from childhood, an ardent love. He has been known to pull his companions (Wm. and J. Sowerby) out of bed on a cold winter's morning to wade through the snow after some insect tie habitat of which he had just heard of; or, at other times, knee-deep in the long hay-grass to a favourite pond after water-insects. About this time (1836-37) he wrote his first paper "On the Habits of Insects," read at the Camden Literary Society) .

With Mr. Sowerby he was engaged in drawing and engraving the plates of 'Sowerby's Mineral Conchology,' then in progress towards completion, of the 'Supplement to Sowerby's English Botany,' of 'Loudon's Encyclopædia of Plants,' and 'Murchison's Silurian System.' The figures for these and many other scientific works, engraved by Mr. Salter at this time, being all drawn from the actual specimens, he was, naturally, training his eye to that perfect knowledge of fossil forms which in later years rendered him so distinguished and keen a palæontologist.

In 1842 he visited Cambridge, where he remained for a short time to assist Professor Sedgwick in arranging the fossils of the Woodwardian Museum. It is not uninteresting here to note that the first and the last independent work of his life was at the Cambridge Museum in connexion with Sedgwick, who continued to be to Salter, up to the last, what, indeed, he has been to so many others, a staunch and generous friend.

In that and the three following years he made several short trips [519] into Wales, and did his first field-geology under Sedgwick's teaching, whom he always referred to as "the Master."

In 1846 he married Sally, second daughter of Mr. J. De Carle Sowerby, with whom he had learnt that art of which, in the illustrations to so many scientific works, he has left testimony showing not only the ability of the master but the aptitude of the pupil.

In the same year, at the age of 26, he entered upon the Geological Survey, and for eight years served as chief assistant to the palæontologist, Prof. Edward Forbes. Writing to his friend Dr. Grindrod, of Malvern, Salter says,1 "From 1846 to the time of Forbes's removal to Edinburgh in 1854, I shared with him the arrangement, description, and cataloguing of the public fossil collections of the Survey, took part in the field-work, and in all other duties shared the work with him and had his full approval."

On the retirement of Edward Forbes it was found expedient to separate the Lectureship on Natural History from the Office of Palæontologist. Prof. Huxley was accordingly appointed to the former post, that of Naturalist to the Geological Survey, while Mr. Salter was installed in the latter office.

In consequence of the increasing extent of the labours of the Geological Surveyors, the examination of the Irish fossils was, in 1856, handed over to Mr. W. Hellier Baily, and in the following year Mr. Robert Etheridge, having been appointed Assistant Naturalist to the Geological Survey, took charge of the fossils of the Secondary and Tertiary formations of Britain, thus leaving Mr. Salter free to devote his whole energies to his favourite works–the fossils of the palæozoic formations.

During his period of office Mr. Salter prepared three Decades, with l0 plates each (8vo size), on the Trilobites in the collection at Jermyn Street, and, in conjunction with Prof. Huxley, a Monograph on the genus Pterygotus, illustrated with sixteen folio plates. He also completed a Decade on the Echini, commenced by Prof. Forbes, and supplied a part of the palæontology to Prof. Phillips's 'Memoir on Malvern.'

The palæontological portion of Prof. Ramsay's 'Memoirs on North Wales' was also written by Mr. Salter.

The officer holding the position of Palæontologist to the Geological Survey of Great Britain has a large amount of routine work in [520] examining and naming specimens and preparing lists of fossils of most prodigious length for the purposes of the Survey, and for exhibition in the Museum; and, added to all this, a series of demonstrations have to be given annually to the Students of the School of Mines, on fossils characteristic of the various strata, with their range and distribution in time and space.

More than thirty papers by Mr. Salter, on various geological topics, are to be found in the Journal of the Geological Society; he also wrote in the 'Annals and Magazine of Natural History,' the 'Geological Magazine,' &c.

Four parts of a Memoir on British Trilobites, illustrated by thirty 4to plates, and 216 pages of text, have been published by the Palæontographical Society.

In Murchison's 'Siluria,' and Lyell's 'Manual,' Mr. Salter's services, with both pen or pencil, are apparent and acknowledged. Mr. Salter has also contributed to Sedgwick's Memoirs, 1844-47, Sharpe's Memoirs (Geol. Proceedings), and the Reports of the British Association, 1844-68 (Sections).

In the published account of the Arctic voyages of Beechey, Ommaney, and Penny, the description and correlation of the fossils was made by him. Mr. Salter has described fossils from the Himalayas, Australia, China, South Africa, Canada, Oregon, &c., &c.

A list of sixty separate papers by Mr. Salter is given in Bigsby's 'Thesaurus Siluricus,' in the preparation of which he was also engaged.

He projected and, conjointly with Mr. Henry Woodward, prepared a Tabular view of British fossil Crustacea, showing their range in time, which was engraved and published by Mr. J. W. Lowry, in 1865, and, but for the great expense attending the engraving, several other groups were also intended to be tabulated.

In 1865, Mr. Salter received the "Wollaston Donation-fund" from the Geological Society, in recognition of his valuable services to palæontology, and especially for his Monograph on Trilobites, then in course of publication by the Palæontographical Society.

After his retirement from the office of Palæontologist to the Geological Survey in 1863, he was engaged at various times in arranging and naming the Palæozoic Invertebrata of the Manchester, Leicester, Leeds, Worcester, Malvern, Taunton, and Cambridge Museum collections; he also executed numerous plates and woodcuts. A catalogue (illustrated by himself) of the Cambrian and Silurian fossils in the Woodwardian Museum was one of the last [521] tasks which he undertook; it remains uncompleted, as does his Monograph on the Trilobites.

It is difficult to say what combination of official conditions could have been found better suited to him than those in which he was placed. He often pictured the happiness of a post in the British Museum; but it is doubtful, had he realized his hope, whether his health would have improved. Those who knew him well will remember how cheerful and light-hearted he was at times; he was, in many ways, remarkably like a child, fond of boyish athletic sports, a lover of Nature, fond of wild flowers and domestic pet animals, which he encouraged his children to keep. Anon he would be fretful and irritable, often without any reasonable cause, proving that the chronic ill-health of which he complained was certainly mental.

His staunch friends, Murchison and Sedgwick, helped him right manfully throughout, and he had many friends in the West of England and of Scotland, who gladly welcomed him to their homes and cordially sympathized with him. But though he spoke cheerfully and hopefully after resigning his post at Jermyn Street, there is no doubt that he regretted the step he had taken.

No one, however, who will fairly weigh the amount of valuable work done by Mr. Salter, and the large contributions he has made to our knowledge of the palæozoic rocks and the early life-forms which they contain, will deny that a man of such ability deserved some recognition in the way of pension from Government; and it is sincerely to be hoped that Mrs. Salter with her seven children, may at least be granted some small share of the Royal bounty, as some acknowledgment of the services rendered to science by her husband.

Mr. Salter is buried in Highgate Cemetery, the resting-place of several of his fellow-workers in science.

Richard Nathaniel Rubidge, M.B. Lond., who was well known as an enthusiastic labourer in the geology of South Africa, died suddenly, at Port Elizabeth, on the 8th of August, 1869. Beginning his medical studies under Dr. John Atherstone, of Port Elizabeth, his habit of accurate observation was acquired and fostered in company with his fellow pupil and friend, Dr. W. G. Atherstone, of that town, also known as an ardent and successful geological explorer of South Africa, some time in company with the late Mr. A. G. Bain, who first worked out and mapped the geology of that region.

[522] In 1854 Dr. Rubidge was requested by the merchants of Port Elizabeth to visit and report upon the newly-discovered gold-diggings near Smithfield, in the Orange River Sovereignty. In company with Mr. Paterson he made a careful examination of the spot, and found that gold in small quantities was associated with quartz in the meridional set of trap-dykes there intersecting the Dicynodon or Karoo beds. In his clear and concise communication of these results to the Geological Society of London (Quart. Journ. vol. xi. p. 1, &c.), Dr. Rubidge mentions a fact that may be of interest in connection with the possible origin of the diamonds that have of late been so profusely found in Orange River territories, namely, that in the eastern ranges of the Stormberg, beyond Aliwal, the anthracitic coal of the Karoo beds has been converted into plumbago by the volcanic dykes. Hence it is possible that, by further change, purer carbon has been elicited from the carbonaceous matter by volcanic or metamorphic agency in the Natal ranges, and has been brought down in the form of diamond by the rivers, together with their common agate gravel, derived from the same igneous and often amygdaloidal rocks (see also his letter in the Journ. Geol. Soc. vol. xii. p. 237).

In the same year (1854), at the instance of a Mining Company, Dr. Rubidge went to Namaqualand, to report upon its metal-producing capabilities. The results are given by him in the Geological Society's Journ. vol. xiii., a short notice only appearing in the previous volume. The gneissic and schistose rocks of this part of Western Africa being quite new to him, and full of interesting mineralogical characters, afforded a rich field of observation; and he was particularly struck with the probable metamorphic origin of some granite, and with the apparent silicification of some bands of schist, covered unconformably by sandstone, through which water had carried silica to replace the original felspar and mica of the gneissic bands below. This view of the metamorphic condition of some quartzites Dr. Rubidge regarded as a key to the elucidation of certain sections seen in different parts of South Africa, and considered by him to be of a very difficult nature, if left to be explained according to the usual view of geologists. Thus, in 1858 (Geol. Soc. Journ. vol. xv. p. 196), he explained the section of Mitchell's Pass, at the village of Cores, otherwise than Mr. Bails had interpreted it; and regarded the great sandstone formation of Table Mountain as occurring again and again, in great patches of horizontal and unconformable beds, over the highly inclined schists and gneiss, both of the Cape and of Namaqualand, instead of dipping at Ceres down below the Devonian rocks of the Bokkeveld; and thus he made the [523] schistose rocks of Cape Town, of the Bokkeveld, George, and southern Uitenhage (whence he got Devonian fossils) to be all of the same date. Certainly a great advance was made in proving the continuation of the Bokkeveld schists into the last-named district; but whether the schists and slates of the Cape come into the same category still requires careful inquiry.

Examining the neighbourhood of the Zuerberg, in occasional journeys, Dr. Rubidge endeavoured to throw light on the stratification and structure of that country, showing that the Lower Ecca beds are probably of Devonian age. For the illustration of his views on this matter he sent several series of rocks and fossils to the Geological Society of London, and he communicated papers on the subject to that Society, to the 'Geologist,' to the British Association, and to the periodicals of Port Elizabeth. In 1864 he visited England, and travelled to the north with the special view of studying schistose and quartzose rocks like those of the Zuerberg. He brought with him many new fossils, of Secondary age, from the Uitenhage district, and went to considerable expense in getting them properly examined and determined, intending ultimately to produce a general work on the geology of the colony. The fossils constituted a valuable addition to the South African collection in the Geological Society's Museum, and were fully described, with illustrations, in the Society's Journal, by Mr. R. Tate, in 1867.

So long ago as 1854, Dr. Rubidge wrote to his geological correspondents in London on the subject of aerial denudation, which had not then received so much attention from European geologists as it deserved. In 1866 he reproduced the chief points of his letters in the 'Geological Magazine,' No. 20, bringing forward evidence of the enormously extensive and long-continued denudation of the interior of South Africa, subsequent to its leaving the sea and since the lacustrine deposits of the Karoo formations were drained dry.

As an observer and as a generalizer, then, Dr. Rubidge was energetic and bold, adding much to the store of geological facts and thought, though working hard throughout in his professional practice, and often suffering from ill-health. Heart disease has taken him off suddenly (at the age of about forty-eight) from amongst his friends, before his well-loved work was finished as he wished; but he had always given his best attention to the advancement of science in general, and of geology in particular, among the community around him; and having always identified himself with the Literary and Scientific Institutions of Port Elizabeth, and [524] showed the greatest personal interest in its public Library, Museum, and public Hospital, his townsmen, who, in large numbers of all grades of society attended his funeral, regret [regard ?] him as a kind warm-hearted friend,–a loss which will not be readily replaced.–(T. R. J.)

Captain L. L. Boscawen Ibbetson died on the 8th of September, 1869, at Biebrich, in Prussia, where he had resided for several years. Whilst a resident in this country, Capt. Ibbetson was on terms of intimate friendship with the late Prof. Edward Forbes, in conjunction with whom he communicated to this Society a description of the section between Blackgang Chine and Atherfield Point, in the Isle of Wight, which was published in the first volume of our Quarterly Journal. He also communicated to the Dresden Natural History Society, Isis, a notice of the Cretaceous formation of the Isle of Wight, and presented several papers on geological subjects to the British Association. For many years Capt. Ibbetson devoted much of his attention to the preparation of models of various interesting sections of country, and to the application of the electrotype process to the coating of perishable natural-history specimens with metal, in order to preserve accurate representations of them.

Capt. Ibbetson presented his valuable collection of fossils to the Museum of Practical Geology many years before his death.

E. W. Brayley, F.R.S., F.L.S., for many years Librarian to the London Institution, was a pupil of Prof. Brande at the Royal Institution, and as early as the year 1824 published, in the 'Philosophical Magazine,' a paper on luminous meteors, a subject which occupied his attention nearly to the close of his life. His principal contribution to our science is his paper on the formation of rock-basins, published in the 'Philosophical Magazine' in 1830. Mr. Brayley possessed a wide range of knowledge, and his printed memoirs, although not numerous, include papers on Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Zoology, and Meteorology. He died rather suddenly on the Ist of February, 1870.

John Nash Sanders was one of a small body of enlightened citizens who, as long ago as during the first decade of the present century, established a Bristol Philosophical Society; and the foundation of the noble Institution which in 1820 sprang out of that combination, and which now boasts a museum that is rich in many and unique in some objects, may be ascribed mainly to efforts which [525] he used in combination with one who in his lifetime was honoured as a ripe scholar and a man of cultivated taste, Mr. John Scandret Harford, of Blaize Castle. Mr. Sanders gave some 200 as a first subscription towards the building-fund, and beyond that we have reasons to know that he supplied a deficiency which would have resulted from the breach of his promise by one who had undertaken to subscribe 100. Somewhat early in the history of the Institution he was elected to a distinguished honorary position in connexion with it, and for many years, and till the day of his death, he was one of its vice-presidents. His attachment to the undertaking, and to the important educational objects sought by it, never ceased. He was always a willing subscriber to its funds; and about nine years ago, when it became questionable whether the Museum could be kept up, he gave the princely sum of 1000 towards an Endowment Fund, to be applied to its future maintenance. To the force of his public-spirited example on that occasion the citizens of Bristol are mainly indebted for the preservation and rearrangement of a host of treasures which, thanks also to the untiring zeal of his nephew, Mr. William Sanders, F.G.S., Honorary Curator, are known to and prized by men of science throughout the empire. At the time of his death Mr. Sanders was in the 4th year of his age; but, with the exception of partial deafness, he retained his faculties almost to the last, and within a couple of months of his death he could read small type without the aid of spectacles.

1 The letter we refer to is dated "Leicester House, Malvern, Nov. 14, 1858," and is addressed to Dr Grindrod and W. Mathews, Esq. M A, E G S., and appears to have been intended for publication, with a view to soliciting a pension from Government, which owing to his retiring at the end of 17 years' service (in 1853), he was not entitled to claim.

[The remainder of this address was revised and published as The Progress of Paleontology.]



1.   THH Publications
2.   Victorian Commentary
3.   20th Century Commentary

1.   Letter Index
2.   Illustration Index

Gratitude and Permissions

C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University

§ 1. THH: His Mark
§ 2. Voyage of the Rattlesnake
§ 3. A Sort of Firm
§ 4. Darwin's Bulldog
§ 5. Hidden Bond: Evolution
§ 6. Frankensteinosaurus
§ 7. Bobbing Angels: Human Evolution
§ 8. Matter of Life: Protoplasm
§ 9. Medusa
§ 10. Liberal Education
§ 11. Scientific Education
§ 12. Unity in Diversity
§ 13. Agnosticism
§ 14. New Reformation
§ 15. Verbal Delusions: The Bible
§ 16. Miltonic Hypothesis: Genesis
§ 17. Extremely Wonderful Events: Resurrection and Demons
§ 18. Emancipation: Gender and Race
§ 19. Aryans et al.: Ethnology
§ 20. The Good of Mankind
§ 21.  Jungle Versus Garden