Sir Charles Lyell papers, 1806-1874

Mss.B.L981

Date: 1806-1874 | Size: 0.75 Linear feet, Ca. 450 items

Abstract

There is correspondence concerning geology, botany, natural history, natural selection, evolution, British science and scientists, and other scientific topics. Most of the letters are written by Lyell, with a very few items by others.

Background note

Sir Charles Lyell, first baronet, (1797-1875, APS, 1842) was a geologist and lawyer, whose Principles of Geology explained "former changes of the earth's surface" by means of "modern causes". Critical of the "catastrophist" views of many contemporary geologists, Lyell considered the earth "a system of balanced antagonistic processes," a theory later described as uniformitarian. Although he rejected Jean Baptiste Lamarck's theory of species mutability early in his career, later he favorably reviewed the arguments of Charles Darwin for natural selection as the evolutionary mechanism behind the emergence of new species.

The eldest son of Charles Lyell and Frances Smith, Lyell developed a passion for natural history as a boy in New Forest, Forfarshire in Scotland. He was educated in private schools in Midhurst, Sussex county England and entered Exeter College, Oxford in 1816, where he attended William Buckland's lectures on mineralogy and geology for three years. Lyell graduated B.A. in 1819 with a second class in classical honors. He received an M.A. in 1821, before entering Lincoln's Inn to prepare for a legal career. Nevertheless, Lyell aimed to become a man of science, and to this end Buckland recommended him for membership in the Geological Society, which he joined together with the Linnean society.

Lyell began Geological research in 1821, after meeting Gideon Mantel, an English obstetrician, geologist and paleontologist, working on "Secondary" formations of rocks in Sussex. Lyell also studied younger "Tertiary" formations of the Chalk area of Dorset and Hampshire developed during the Cretaceous period. So, by the age of 24 Lyell was doing the kind of geological research (later called stratigraphy) then practiced by other members of the Geological Society.

In 1822 Lyell was called to the bar; nevertheless, geology quickly became more important to him than the Law. In 1823 he was elected secretary of the Geological Society of London and spent the summer in Paris, making the rounds of French scientific circles, and improving his French, then the language of science. He met established figures of the French scientific community, including Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847, APS 1819). Brongniart's former student Constant Prévost took time to show him the formations of the Paris basin.

Lyell's meeting with Prèvost proved a critical juncture for his career, since Prèvost convinced the young Scot that the formations outside of Paris could have been deposited under the similar conditions as those existing in present day lakes and seas, the result of so-called "modern causes," processes observable in the present world. Later that year, Lyell studied the sediments he found in a small, recently drained lake in Kinnordy, and, in his first scientific paper presented to the Geological Society Lyell asserted the lake deposits were very similar to some of the Parisian rocks he had examined. He found no sharp contrast between the "former world" and the present one. Consequently, he maintained that "modern causes" are adequate to explain traces of the remote past. This paper presented the basic idea for all of his future work in geology.

By 1825 Lyell's father was displeased that his son had not established himself in a successful Law practice. Consequently, Lyell felt compelled to spend more time on legal work in 1826. However, the same year Lyell was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and was also appointed foreign secretary of the Geological Society. He was also becoming known in British intellectual circles, beyond geology. In addition to these memberships, in 1825 Scottish publisher John Murray invited Lyell to write for the Tory Quarterly Review. The position afforded Lyell a much needed source of income, but also provided him a venue for promoting the causes of moderate political reform, state sponsorship of the sciences and the reform of the ancient universities.

In an 1826 essay in the Quarterly Review on the publications of the Geological Society Lyell extolled the group for pursuing a science of careful observation, rather than speculative theorizing. While sticking to the accepted view that complex organisms had appeared over time, as the earth slowly cooled, he distinguished himself from other members of the Geological Society by suggesting that "modern causes" might be responsible for much more geological development than most contemporary geologists admitted. Lyell's essays for the Quarterly Review concluded with a review of a new book on French geology by his friend George Scrope in which he agreed with the author that what was necessary to explain geological development was simply "Time! Time! Time!" Also, at this time Lyell began to plan a book to introduce his view that geology would only become truly scientific, if it was based on "modern causes," since only these could be directly observed.

In 1828 Lyell joined Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison (1792-1871, APS 1860) in a fieldwork tour of the European continent. Heading first for Auvergne in central France, they moved on to Italy, where Lyell developed a rough timeline for the most recent era of the earth's geologic development represented in Tertiary rock formations. Back in England after the continental tour, he presented his findings to the Geological Society, incorporating the evidence of a broad fossil survey in Tertiary formations by French conchologist Gerard Deshayes.

In July 1830 Lyell published the first volume of Principles of Geology, recalling the title of Newton's revolutionary Principia Mathematica. In it he attempted "to explain the former changes of the earth's surface, by reference to causes now in operation." He provided a systematic description of these so-called "modern causes" such as volcanoes, earthquakes, sedimentation and erosion, taken from a range of sources, including accounts of expeditions and voyages. However, Lyell's main source was a major compilation of the physical and topographical changes recorded in human history published by Karl von Hoff in 1822-1824. He learned German specifically to read the work, and employed Hoff's data to demonstrate his view that the earth is "a system of balanced antagonistic processes," erosion balanced by sedimentation and crustal elevation offset by crustal subsidence.

Lyell began his book with strong criticism of contemporary geologists. He described the history of science as a protracted struggle between scientists with views similar to his own and those, who invoked catastrophes at every turn. Lyell described his own outlook, which stressed the "uniformity" of nature, as the genuinely scientific view, while equating his opponents with writers who claimed biblical authority to limit the earth's history to a few thousand years. He lumped geologists, like his mentor Buckland with these literalist writers because he identified the "geological deluge" with the biblical flood. Nevertheless, Buckland had rejected biblical literalism by assuming an unlimited period of time for the earth's development. Lyell's goals were to make geology truly scientific, but also "to free the science from Moses." The book received mixed reviews. Reviewers found his thesis about the power of modern causes significant and persuasive, but thought his criticisms of other geologists grossly unfair. Likewise, they considered Lyell's skepticism about organic progression utterly unconvincing.

In 1831, Lyell was appointed professor of geology at the new King's College in London. He lectured there during 1832 and 1833, offering similar lectures at the Royal Institution. But he resigned from King's College in 1833 and gave no further lectures at the Royal Institution, since the salary provided too small an income to justify the distraction from his research and writing.

While doing field work in Germany, during the summer of 1831, Lyell met the 23-year old Mary Horner, daughter of the Whig reformer and geologist Leonard Horner. They married on July 12, 1832, after a geological honeymoon, settling in Hart Street, Bloomsbury in London near the British Museum and the Geological Society's headquarters in Somerset House. Mary was well educated and fluent in French and German, and soon began helping her husband with translation, compensating for his poor eyesight. The marriage would remain childless.

Lyell produced the second volume of the Principles in 1832, dealing with "modern causes" in the organic realm, particularly the relationship between organisms and their enviornment. He rejected Jean Baptiste Lamarck's theory of the incessant mutability of species, maintaining that species are "stable entities" that appear and become extinct piecemeal in time and space. He attributed extinctions not to catastrophes, but to the gradual changes in the environment explained in his first volume. It was in his review of Lyell's second volume that William Whewell coined the terms "uniformitarian" and "catastrophist" for the two opposing schools of geologists.

In the third and final volume of the Principles Lyell laid out his time scale for the Tertiary era, which formed its core theme. He used the lengthy lists of fossilized species from Deshayes's Paris survey of Tertiary formations to infer a chronological order for the era. Based upon the incidence of the fossilized remains of "recent" species in the various Tertiary strata, Whewell proposed to Lyell Greek-based names for successive periods of Tertiary time. The "Eocene" or early recent strata, the "Miocene" or middle recent strata, and the "Pliocene" or "almost" recent strata. Lyell maintained that the entire Tertiary era exemplified the essential "uniformity" of the earth throughout geologic time. Lyell laid to rest the alleged evidence of radically different conditions in earlier eras with his concept of "metamorphism". He pointed out that deep burial within the earth's crust of its oldest rocks had destroyed their fossils and altered them beyond recognition. Likewise, sedimentary strata were transformed by heat, being converted to crystalline rocks, when submerged below the earth's surface. Lyell called these rocks "metamorphic" rocks.

In 1834, Lyell presented the Bakerian lecture at the Royal Society and afterward received the Society's royal medal. However, it was awarded specifically for his work on modern causes, and not for his more controversial claims. In particular, even Lyell's strongest supporters were critical of his rejection of a directional history of the world, while other critics took exception with his rejection the mutability of species. In 1835-37 Lyell served as president of the Geological Society, and used his anniversary addresses to examine current geological research in light of his own approach to science. Although his notions of modern causes continued to gain headway among geologists, other aspects of his work did not. The uneven evaluation of his ideas influenced Lyell to divide his research into two parts. Subsequent editions of the Principles, beginning with the sixth edition (1840) focused purely on the interactions "modern causes". Lyell planned a separate book on the use of fossil mollusks in Tertiary geology, but this never appeared.

In 1838 Lyell produced a book entitled Elements of Geology that examined the whole stratigraphical record from the most recent to most ancient formations. The work interpreted terrestrial processes in terms of geological uniformity for a wide audience of educated lay readers. Written in a clear and persuasive style, the book also appeared in American editions and French and German translations, giving Lyell's ideas international currency.

In 1841-42 Lyell was invited to the United States to give the Lowell lectures in Boston, after which he and his wife traveled widely, publishing a two volume record of Travels in North America, containing his geological, political and social observations. In an encore appearance they returned to America in 1845-46, when he was invited to give the Lowell lectures once again. He also made two subsequent visits to the United States in 1852 and 1853.

By this point in his career Lyell had become a prominent man of science. He was elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society in 1842, knighted by the Queen in 1848 and served on the Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. During a second term as president of the Geological Society in 1848-51, Lyell once again criticized the alleged fossil evidence for species change. Some puzzling field observations from Madeira the Canary Islands came to his attention in 1857, forcing him consider once more the possibility of an evolutionary mechanism behind the development of species. Shortly before this in 1856, Charles Darwin informed Lyell of his own theory of natural selection as the mechanism behind evolution. Despite the implications of Darwin's ideas for his geology and his view of human life, Lyell encouraged him to publish without delay.

Lyell's last major work entitled the Antiquity of man, published in 1863 was informed by Darwin's Origin of Species (1859), as well as new geological evidence that established the existence of early human beings alongside mammoths and other extinct mammals. Lyell now reviewed the evidence for evolution quite favorably, although he only clearly embraced the idea four years later in the tenth edition of the Principles (1867-68).

Lyell was active in the British Association for the Advancement of Science in its early years, serving as president for the Bath meeting in 1864. Also, that year he was created a baronet, and in 1866 received the Wollaston medal, the Geological Society's highest award. Lyell's Elements went through eight editions, and the twelfth edition of the Principles was published posthumously in 1875. Lyell died on February 22, 1875 at his London home, preceded two years earlier by his wife Mary. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Scope and content

The Charles Lyell Papers consist of the correspondence of Sir Charles Lyell concerning geology, botany, natural history, natural selection, evolution, British science and scientists, and other scientific topics. The letters are all written by Lyell. The original collection contained about 450 items, but many of these letters have been incorporated into the Charles Darwin Papers ("An Annotated Calendar of the Letters of Charles Darwin in the Library of the American Philosophical Society", B D25, which follows the Carroll calendar of Darwin correspondence). (Correspondence "to" Lyell by Darwin and by others will be found in the separate section of the Darwin Papers, "Non-Carroll Darwin Materials" [which has a shelf call number of B D25.L but which is incorporated into the Darwin papers' finding aid].)

The selection of letters in this collection spans the years 1830-1874, beginning in July of 1830 around the time Lyell published the first volume of his famous Principles of Geology. Appropriately, the first letter dated July 5, 1830 is addressed to Lyell's publisher John Murray, notifying him that Monsieur Constant Prèvost the distinguished French geologist, has made arrangements to translate Lyell's work into French and to add his own commentary. Lyell is supportive of the project and says he has written to Prèvost to give his consent. He also asks that two copies of the book be mailed to Prèvost in Paris. A number of letters from the decades of the 1830s and 1840s are addressed to Professor Benjamin Silliman of Yale University related to publishing matters and (later) Lyell's American lectures in Boston, where he twice presented the Lowell lectures (1841/1842 and 1845/1846). After thanking Silliman for a notice about the 4th edition of the Principles in the American Journal of Science and Arts, Lyell voiced his dismay in a June 14, 1836 letter about the marketing of cheaper 3rd edition reprints of the book in America. His concerns, both to preserve the profits and promote the improvements of the most recent edition , are typical of the tone and substance of this correspondence. To be sure, Lyell's later correspondence with Silliman warms considerably, but the concerns continue be largely financial. Such concerns even color the February 1842 letters sent from Philadelphia during Lyell's first American tour. In a long letter of February 6, after discussions of his lectures in Boston and New York and how best to maintain the originality of his material, Lyell shifts to a personal note, "We are quite sorry to hear of your little grandchild's illness & hope she will soon be quite recovered." Lyell's other prominent British and American correspondents include Darwin's teacher, the botanist John Stevens Henslow and Alexander Dallas Bache, an American physicist and Superintendent of the U.S. Coastal Survey. Lyell's most frequent correspondents in this collection were fellow British geologists Samuel P. Woodword and Charles Moore, and the naturalist Henry W. Bates. Two short letters to Woodward from early 1843 concern American geology and paleontology. A January 5 letter refers to some New Jersey fossils "which I have got Mr. Owen to name." Another dated February 3 requests illustrations of Pennsylvania's Stigmaria clays. A much longer letter written nearly fourteen years later on March 16, 1857 announces that Lyell is preparing his Madeira paper , a paper in which he reconsidered the evidence for species change and the evolutionary mechanism for species development. This is, no doubt, a critical piece of correspondence, since it is evident from Lyell's comments that he is beginning to rethink his position. Written against the backdrop of his last major research project on the theory of volcanic "craters of elevation," he declares that "the age of the Madeira bed [;] that is a more difficult question." One thing that was evident to Lyell was the connection of the "fossil [plant] species" with the living plants he encountered on the island. Later he notes what he considers "the most satisfactory proof of a change in the comparison of prevailing genera . . . arrived at in reference to the Grand Canary shells."

Lyell also wrote a number of letters to the talented amateur geologist from Bath Charles Moore in the late 1860s. Despite a lack of formal geological training, Moore had a knowledge of geology that was said to equal or exceed that of professional geologists. Evidently, Lyell considered him knowledgeable, since in a January 24, 1866 he sent Moore some manuscript pages from the third edition of his Elements of Geology. Explaining that these proof pages deal with the thickness of Arctic and Antarctic ice throughout the year, he says "I shall be glad of a reference to Humboldt about the thickness of Alpine snow."

More numerous is Lyell's correspondence with the naturalist Henry W. Bates, who was famous for his exploration of the Amazon and the discovery of animal mimicry. In an August 31, 1866 letter Lyell writes to ask him whether "you read the papers by Agassiz on the 'Valley of the Amazons' and what he says of the glacier which once filled it and of the absence of a delta and of the supposed marine shells near Abydos [in Egypt?]." The following year on November 15, 1867 he wrote Bates to inquire about another Agassiz article published in Boston's Christian Examiner. In the article, that touched upon "the geographical distribution of the most distinct races of man and the leading zoological provinces . . . . In that article [Lyell points out] he admitted the truth of what Dr. Morton had always maintained, that the same Red Indian race spread from Canada to Friegia." All of the voluminous correspondence between Charles Darwin to Lyell was incorporated into the Charles Darwin Papers (B D25) and the Darwin-Lyell Papers (B D25L) Although the researcher might expect to find a number of letters in this collection between Lyell and other early supporters of Darwin's theory of natural selection, this collection contains only one brief note to the botanist Hooker dated December 29, 1865. The note appears to have accompanied a specimen from the Scottish geologist Sir Roderick Murchinson, which Lyell was asked to forward.

Table of Contents available

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information

Physical description

0.75 linear feet. Ca. 450 items.

Provenance

Purchased from Driscoll and accessioned, 1955 (1955 392ms). See in-house shelf list for additional sources, accession numbers and dates.

Separated material

Many of these letters have been incorporated into the Charles Darwin Papers (B D25).

Early American History Note

This manuscript collection falls outside the geographic scope of the Early American guide (British North America and the United States before 1840). It may be of interest to scholars interested in global history, international relations, imperialism, or the U.S. in the world.

Indexing Terms


Family Name(s)

  • Grey-Egerton, Philip de Malpas, --

Personal Name(s)

  • Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873
  • Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871
  • Ball, John, 1818-1889
  • Bates, Henry Walter, 1825-1892
  • Beccari, Odoardo, 1843-1920
  • Bentham, George, 1800-1884
  • Bunbury, Charles James Fox, Sir, 1809-1886
  • Busk, George, 1807-1886
  • Carpenter, William Benjamin, 1813-1885
  • Conybeare, William Daniel, 1787-1857
  • Curtis, John, 1791-1862
  • De La Beche, Henry T. (Henry Thomas), 1796-1855
  • Don, George, 1798-1856
  • Fitton, William Henry, 1780-1861
  • Fleming, John, 1785-1857
  • Flower , William Henry, 1831-1899
  • Forbes, Edward, 1815-1854
  • Galton, Francis, Sir, 1822-1911
  • Haeckel, Ernst, 1834-1919
  • Henslow, J. S. (John Stevens), 1796-1861
  • Herschel, John F. W., Sir (John Frederick William), 1792-1871
  • Hooker, Joseph Dalton, Sir, 1817-1911
  • Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859
  • Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895
  • Judd, John W. (John Wesley), 1840-1916
  • Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875
  • Mackenzie, George Steuart, Sir, 1780-1848
  • Mantell, Gideon Algernon, 1790-1852
  • Milne-Home, David, 1817-1911
  • Murchison, Roderick Impey, Sir, 1792-1871
  • Newton, Alfred, 1829-1907
  • Nuttall, Thomas, 1786-1859
  • Owen, Richard, 1804-1892
  • Sabine, Edward, Sir, 1788-1883
  • Sclater, Philip Lutley, 1829-1913
  • Sedgwick, Adam, 1785-1873
  • Smith, James Edward, Sir, 1759-1828
  • Sowerby, James, 1757-1822
  • Torchhammer, Georg
  • Turner, Dawson (1775-1858)
  • Wallace, Alfred Russel, 1823-1913
  • Whewell, William, 1794-1866
  • Wood, Searles Valentine, 1798-1880

Subject(s)

  • Beyond Early America
  • Botany.
  • Evolution.
  • Geology.
  • Natural history.
  • Natural selection.
  • Paleontology.
  • Science -- Great Britain.
  • Scientists -- Great Britain.


Detailed Inventory

Sir Charles Lyell Papers
  
B L981 Table of Contents
undated 
B L981.33 Table of Contents
1969 
Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [John] Murray
July 5, 1830 

Regarding a French translation of Lyell's first book.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [John Stevens] Henslow
Feb. 15, 1832 

References Babbage.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:281161/

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Mrs. [Charlotte Hugonin] Murchison, Bryanston Square
May 4, 18327-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p. and add. Mutilated. Concerning the admission of ladies to his lectures on geology at Kings College. Cf.Life, Letters and Journals...v.I, 381 ff. for story of admissin for women. Originally B L981.15

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Gabriele] Rossetti
Mar. 22, 1834 

Regarding translation of lyrics.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to W. T. Brande
Jan. 5, 1836 
Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H. E. Lloyd
May 12, 1836 

References enclosure (not included) discussing Lyell's opinions on Prof. Parrot's observations and the Chilean earthquake of 1822. Gratitude for communicating Prof. Lenzo's observations on the levels of the Caspian Sea, citation of Dr. meyer regarding marine plants and animals; regrets that he did not have the data in time to have "greatly strengthened the case" against William Cuming.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J. F. Royle
June 9, 18367 1/2" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 2p. and add. Asks him to distribute some copies of his anniversary address. Originally B L981.1

General physical description: 7 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Benjamin] Silliman
June 14, 1836 

Regarding Silliman's favorable impression of the 4th edition of Lyell's book.

Access digital object:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:140063

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Dr. [J.F.] Royle
Feb. 4, 18377 1/4" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 3p. and add. Originally B L981.2

General physical description: 7 1/4" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J[ames de Carle] Sowerby, Kentish Town
May 22, 18377-1/2x4-1/2x

A.L.S. 1p. and add. Sends cardita and asks that it be sketched. Originally B L981.30

General physical description: 7-1/2x4-1/2x

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Benjamin] Silliman
December 25, 1838 

Regarding American copyrights and trans-Atlantic reprints of Lyell's work; English booksellers' practice of repackaging and marking up articles; the controversy of Harlan's Basilosaurus.

Access digital object:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:140046

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [] B. Wigham
Apr. 14, 1841 

Returning a mastadon tooth and packet of fishes.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Benjamin] Silliman
Feb. 6, 1842 

Regarding lectures.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Benjamin] Silliman
Feb. 22, 1842 

Regarding existing stock of Lyell's book and his search for his next publisher.

Access digital object:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:140054

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to L[ewis] J[acob] Cist
May 28, 1842 

Schedule prevents Lyell from lecturing in Cincinnati.

Access digital object:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:140061

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S. Woodward
Jan. 5, 1843 

Request for the return of his illustrations (including Niagara Falls) and New Jersey fossils.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Mr. Putnam
Jan. 13, 18437-1/2x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. He is to send, and bill, Sir William Symonds the Michaux Sylva. Unlocated 2 March 2011.

General physical description: 7-1/2x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Mr. Putnam
Jan. 19, 1843 

Requesting a delivery to Capt. Sir. William Symonds, currently out of town.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S. Woodward
Feb. 3, 1843 

Request for illustrations (Stigmaria clays of Pennsylvania) sent in a letter read to the Geological Society.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to C. Manley
May 8, 18437 1/4" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 1p. Previous engagement prevents his attendance at a meeting. Originally B L981.6

General physical description: 7 1/4" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S. Woodward
June 12, 1845 

Sorry to have missed Woodward at the previous evening's meeting of the Geological Society.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Benjamin] Silliman
Apr. 26, 1846 

Regarding New Hampshire mountains.

Access digital object:
http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:140051

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to B[enjamin] Silliman
May 8, 1846 

Regarding publication.

Access digital object:
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Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to John Kempe (?)
Dec. 6, 18467-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p. and end. On the co-existence of man and the megatherium. Originally B L981.32

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [?]
Dec. 8, 1846 

Fragment.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Lady [Marion Shaw] Bell
Feb. 11, 18477x4-1/4

A.L.S. 2p. Says that Matheson will vote for her candidate. Originally B L981.23

General physical description: 7x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J[oshua] T[oulmin] Smith
July 6, 1847 

Appreciates Smith's paper on the formation of chalk flints.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [?]
Jan. 11, 1848 

Regarding Dr. Hooker's mountain climbing in the Himalayas and fatalities in the party.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "My dear Sir"
Dec. 5, 18487-1/4x4-1/4

A.L.S. 4p. Concerning the division of estates upon the death of the father, in the U.S. as contrasted with Great Britain and France. Refers to John Jacob Astor's will. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Lieut. Davis, Cambridge
Jan. 11, 18497-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p.and end. Concerning his work on geology and tidal activity. Has submitted his theories to the Geological Society. Originally B L981.28

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Joseph Green] Cogswell
March 6, 18497-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 4p. Will bring letters and hopes to see him. His MS on the U.S. (not geological) is going to the printers., and wishes that Cogswell read it and forward it to the publisher. Originally B L981.20

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Samuel George] Morton
November 3, 18492 p.

London. Lyell tells that [Sir Richard] Owen requested letters of introduction for the anatomist Mr. Goadby, and asks Morton to do likewise. Mentions Morton's paper on the hippopotamus.

Provenance: 1988 - 839ms. Purchased from Graham Arader in March 1988 with Hays funds.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Madame Van der Weyer
Sept. 20, 18507-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. Asks that scientific publications be forwarded. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "My dear Sir"
Feb. 18, 1851 

Suffering from a cold; rules for signing certificates, voting procedures; rough sketches of flints discovered in Belgium.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to R. Dunn
Apr. 27, 1851 

Apologies for missing invitation, as he was in Dosetshire at the time.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [John Thomas] Quekett
Nov. 2, 18517x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p. and end. Friendly letter. Concerning Richard Owen. Concerning bats.

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J[ohn] Chapman
March 27, 18527-1/4x4-1/4

Harley St., A.L.S. 1p. Sends ticket for lecture, but asks that it be returned, if unused. Originally B L981.22

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ----
June 15, 18527" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 3p. Originally B L981.3

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Dr. Dunn
Mar. 14, 1853 

Sorry to have missed Dunn's paper on craniology, offers tickets for Lyell's own lecture.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Dr. Carpenter
Mar. 21, 1853 

Cannot attend party due to a prior engagement at Murchison's; wishes to share a drawing of a shell and fish's tooth.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J. [R.] Ingersoll
Mar. 26, 1853 

Regarding the disposition of three copies of Owens's geological report (Geological Society, Museum of Economic Geology, and the Library of the Royal Society); Lyell and Murchison have each received a copy.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to C[harles] W[entworth] Dilke
Oct. 31, 1853 

Regarding the distribution of a draft report.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to A[lexander] D. Bache
Nov. 9, 18537-1/4x4-1/2

London, A.L.S. 4p. Concerning a geological exhibition. Geology and an expedition for study of geology of the Canary Islands. Refers to Hilgard, Hall and Walker. Originally B L981.24

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J. Smith
Oct. 8, 18557" x 4 1/4"

London, A.L.S. 3p. Sends copy of a lecture. Originally B L981.11

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/4"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to the Editors of the Athenaeum
March 10, 18567x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. and add. Concerning publication of his talk before the Royal Institution. Originally B L981.31

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Rev. I. Barlow.
Jan. 22, 1857 

Regretfully declines invitation.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S[amuel Pickworth] Woodward, British Museum
March 16, 18577x4-1/4

A.L.S. 13p. and add. Concerning rocks and fossil shells of Madiera and Canary Islands and age of the islands. Sends list of shells. Refers to Wollaston. Originally B L981.19

General physical description: 7x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Major Becker
Oct. 31, 1858 

Thanks for the geological maps.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "My dear Sir"
May 11, 18597x4-1/4

A.L.S. 1p. Concerning the publication of his Etna paper by the Berlin Geological Society. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Sir Benjamin [Brody]
May 30, 1859 

In support of Dr. Charles Murchison for the post of Superintendant of the Millbank Penitentiary.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [?]
June 3, 1859 

Name of recipient sliced out. Regarding fossils in Lower vs. Upper Green Sand, which may have implications for Lyell's work.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H[enry] J[ohn] S[tephen] Smith
June 13, 1859 

Regarding travel and meeting logistics.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ----
Nov. 19, 18597" x 4 1/4"

London, A.L.S. 2p. Cave animals. Originally B L981.10

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/4"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [?]
Jan. 24, 1860 

Has received flint implements.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to G[eorge Musgrave] Musgrave
June 8, 18607x4-1/4

A.L.S. 2p. Concerning a fossil oyster. Originally B L981.17

General physical description: 7x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ----
July 24, 18607x4-1/2

London, A.L.S. 1p. Has received flint implements and thinks more will be found. Originally B L981.27 Unlocated 2 March 2011.

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to A[lbert] Way
Aug. 9, 18605-1/2x4-1/4

Rudolstadt, Germany, A.L.S. 3p. Antiquity of man, in Liege caves, and other locations. Concerning an argument at "your archaeological meeting." Originally B L981.18

General physical description: 5-1/2x4-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to W. White
Dec. 2, 18617" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 2p. Desires to borrow certain works from the library. Originally B L981.9

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henry] Bence Jones
July 25, 18627x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. Refuses invitation since he is trying to finish a book. Expects to hear Huxley. Originally B L981.21

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to E. Belfour
Jan. 27, 18636" x 3 3/4"

A.L.S. 1p. Asks him to call a meeting of the Hunterian trustees. Originally B L981.12

General physical description: 6" x 3 3/4"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to J. Timbe
Feb. 23, 1863 

Timbe portraits are "very truthful" and Lyell wishes to buy a copy of the bok.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Dr. [William ?] Sharpey
Feb. 26, 18635 3/4" x 4 1/2"

A.L.S. 3p. Correction of one of his works. Originally B L981.8

General physical description: 5 3/4" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to G[eorge] P[oulett Thomson] Scrope
April 29, 18637x4-1/2

A.L.S. 6p. Concerning disputes with Falconer and Prestwick. Concerning a publication of his. Originally B L981.16

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H. Dixon
May 30, 1863 

Sending Col. Byrne's memoir of the Irish Rebellion.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S. W. Symonds
July 7, 18637" x 4 1/2"

London, A.L.S. 5p. Coexistence of man with elephants. Itinery for a geological trip. Originally B L981.14

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H[enry] W. Bates
Mar. 4, 1864 

Regarding Bates's book.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to W[alter] White
Mar. 5, 1864 

Wishes to borrow Heer's Flora Tertiaria Helvetica from the Royal Society.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Extract from the Proceedings of the Geological Quarterly (vol. 13, 1857, pp. 212ff.)
March 16, 18645-1/2x6-3/4

A.D.S. 1p. Fragment. Originallly B L981.33

General physical description: 5-1/2x6-3/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Mr. Murch (?)
May 7, 18647x4

London, A.L.S. 4p. Concerning the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Originally B L981.29

General physical description: 7x4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [?]
July 13, 1864 

Regarding Dr. Roger's travel to Bath.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "My dear Sir"
Aug. 9, 1864 

Hoping to get the U.S. Minister to attend an upcoming meeting.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Sir John?] Evans
May 20, 18657x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. Concerning Nilsson's comments on Crawford's paper on Stonehenge, to be read at the Ethnological Society of London. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Francis] Galton
Aug. 8, 1865 

Regarding travel.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Dr. [William ?] Sharpey
Nov. 25, 18657" x 4 1/2"

London, A.L.S. 3p. Mentions Darwin's Origin of species. Originally B L981.7

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Joseph Dalton] Hooker
Dec. 29, 1865 

Note included with a forwarded enclosure from Sir Roderick Murchison.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Charles] Moore
Jan. 4, 18667" x 4 1/2"

[London] (?) A(?) L.S. 5p. Measurement of geological time. Comments on Croll's work. Originally B L981.m

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:170055

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Charles] Moore
Jan. 24, 18667" x 4 1/2"

[London] A(?) L.S. 4p. Encloses proof of his last edition of the Elements. Geological comments. Originally B L981.m

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Charles] Moore
May 1, 18667" x 4 1/2"

[London] A (?)L.S. 6p. Appreciates aid given by Moore. Geological comments. Croll. Originally B L981.m

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letters to [Charles] Moore
Jan. 4, Jan. 24, May 1, Nov. 3, 1866, 18737" x 4 1/2"

[London] A.L.S. and L.S. 4 pieces ca. Originally B L981.m 2 November 1873 letter may be unlocated or may be the "My Dear Sir" letter - 2 March 2011

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H[enry] W. Bates
Aug. 31, 1866 

Asks Bates's opinion on Agassiz's "Valley of the Amazons" papers and conclusions at odds with what Lyell knows of the Mississippi valley and delta.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henry W. Bates]
Sept. 2, 1866 

Regarding Agassiz and South American glaciers.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henry W. Bates]
Sept. 16, 1866 

Regarding letters, shells, Stevens, and Agassiz.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ----
March 11, 18678 1/4" x 5 1/2"

London, L.S. 2p. A new edition and translations of his works. Originally B L981.4

General physical description: 8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [E. T. Stevan]
May 4, [1867?]7x4-1/2

London, A.L.S. 3p. His travel to Salisbury and hope to visit with him. Flint implements. Originally B L981.26

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henry Walter Bates]
Nov. 15, 1867 

Regarding theories of racial distribution (particularly of "Red Indians").

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Autograph
July 16, 1868 

On a square of paper embossed with: 73, Harley St., London. W.

Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Te.
Letter to [John] Murray
August 4, 1869 

Letter of introduction to Dr. [Tincoffs?], pasted to the same sheet as a May 10 letter from Lyell.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [C. O. Groom Napier]
Jan. 20, 1870 

Praise for the recipient's book. The Book of Nature and the Book of Man, preface by Lord Brougham.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [S.V.Wood ?]
June 20, 18727" x 4 1/2"

London, A.L.S. 5p. Requests him to read certain passages in the new edition of his Antiquity of man. Came with Lyell's Geological evidences of the antiquity of man,London, 1873.

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Searles Wood
June 22, 18727" x 4 1/2"

London, A.L.S. 4p. Relative to the Antiquity of man. Came with Lyell's Geological evidences of the antiquity of man, London, 1873.

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Searles Wood ?]
Sept. 23, 18726" x 4"

London, A.L.S. 4p. Relative to the Antiquity of man. Came with Lyell's Geological evidences of the antiquity of man, London, 1873.

General physical description: 6" x 4"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Milne Home
Oct. 19, 18727x4-1/2

London, A.L.S. 4p. Concerning Roman ruins and rise of land in Great Britain. Refers to Evans. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [David] Milne-Home
Dec. 9, 1872 

Regarding Scottish boulders in Dr. Christison's address, treatment of post-Roman upheavals by Milne-Home and Geikie.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [David] Milne-Home
Dec. 16, 1872 

Regarding Ramsay's 3rd edition of Physical Geology of Great Britain, which adopts Geikie's theories of laud despite conflicting evidence Lyell believes he brought to Ramsay's attention.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [David] Forbes
June 25, 18737x4-1/2

London, A.L.S. 2p. Forwards an eloge. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ----
Nov. 3, 18737" x 4 1/2"

London, L.S. 2p. Encloses passage in re the Rhoetic Labyrinthodonts. (This letter may be addressed to Charles Moore.) Originally B L981.m

General physical description: 7" x 4 1/2"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [David] Forbes
Dec. 18, 18734 1/2" x 7"

London, L.S. 2p. Sends additional chapters of a certain work for correction.

General physical description: 4 1/2" x 7"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Charles] Darwin
April 24, 1874Enclosed in mylar sleeve.

Lyell's £25 pledge toward a Zoological Station.

Access digital object:
https://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/object/text:161706

Ticket to the Zoological Society's gardens
June 20, 1874 

Removed from B:AL1.2, 24 July 1975.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [A. W. Callcott]
April 26, undated9x7-1/4

Athenaeum, A.L.S. 1p., end. Has asked for a paper by Mrs.Calcott and hopes it has not miscarried. Originally B L981.25

General physical description: 9x7-1/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H[enry] W. Bates
March 26, undated 

Invitation to dinner.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to H[enry] W. Bates
March 31, undated 

Regarding antipodean flora and fauna.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [John Murray?]
May 10, undated 

May 10 letter regarding books. Pasted to the same sheet as an August 4, 1869 introductory letter from Lord Dufferin.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "Dear [John Forbes] Royle"
May 10, undated 

Regarding Himalayan and European species of plants.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "My dear Sir"
July 22, undated7-1/4x4-1/2

Monday, A.L.S. 1p. Hopes they can visit in town soon. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Sir John F. Herschel
December 29, undated 

Invitation to attend a party.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Biographical note
undated 

Written some time after October 31, 1874.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Concerning neolithic instruments
undated9x5-3/4

A.D. 2p. Fragment. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 9x5-3/4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henry] Bence Jones
undated 

Regarding a conversation with Farraday and Barnard about modifying a passage.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [William Benjamin] Carpenter
undated 

Regarding a paper.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Henri] Lecoq
undated 

In French. Letter of introduction for Prof. Turner of London University, traveling to Auvergne to study French geology.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Milne Home
undated6x4

London. A.L.S. 4p. Sends manuscript of his projected work and hopes it meet with approval. Wishes Homes would get his article in print before he (Lyell) publishes. Originally B L981.33

General physical description: 6x4

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to [Sir Richard] Owen
undated 

Fossil sample (small rodent jaw) discovered with the Mastadon.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to Gen. Sabine
undated6 1/4" x 4"

A.L.S. 2p. Asks thet an invitation to the General's evenings be sent to the Rev. S.W. King. Originally B L981.13

General physical description: 6 1/4" x 4"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to M. Violet (?)
undated8" x 5"

Wednesday morning. A.L.S.(?) 1p. and add. In French. Invitation to dinner. Originally B L981.5

General physical description: 8" x 5"

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to S. Woodward
undated 

Requests to borrow specimens for his lectures. Silurian fossils, including trilobite, chain coral, graptolite, lingula, lituite, pentamerus, porites, tentaculite, orthis, and "anything which occurs to you as useful."

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "Dear Sir"
Tuesday, undated 

Request for a quarter-sized copy of a trilobite diagram in Owens's Geological Survey of Wisconsin.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to "Dear Sir"
undated 

Accompanying a section of Martha's Vineyard, illustration for an upcoming paper.

Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875.
Letter to ?
undated 

Regarding Norfolk cliffs.

Portrait of Lyell
undated 

Cut from a magazine.

Separated material: Inadvertently separated from a file, circa 1865-73.