1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bowerbank, James Scott

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BOWERBANK, JAMES SCOTT (1797-1877), English naturalist and palaeontologist, was born in Bishopsgate, London, on the 14th of July 1797, and succeeded in conjunction with his brother to his father's distillery, in which he was actively engaged until 1847. In early years astronomy and natural history, especially botany, engaged much of his attention; he became an enthusiastic worker at the microscope, studying the structure of shells, corals, moss-agates, flints, &c., and he also formed an extensive collection of fossils. The organic remains of the London Clay attracted particular attention, and about the year 1836 he and six other workers founded "The London Clay Club"—the members comprising Dr Bowerbank, Frederick E. Edwards (1799-1875), author of The Eocene Mollusca (Palaeontograph. Soc.), Searles V. Wood, John Morris, Alfred White (zoologist), N. T. Wetherell, surgeon of Highgate (1800-1875), and James de Carle Sowerby. In 1840 Bowerbank published A History of the Fossil Fruits and Seeds of the London Clay, and two years later he was elected F.R.S. In 1847 he suggested the establishment of a society for the publication of undescribed British Fossils, and thus originated the Palaeontographical Society. From 1844 until 1864 he did much to encourage a love of natural science by being "at home" every Monday evening at his residence in Park Street, Islington, and afterwards in Highbury Grove, where the treasures of his museum, his microscopes, and his personal assistance were at the service of every earnest student. In the study of sponges he became especially interested, and he was author of A Monograph of the British Spongiadae in 4 vols., published by the Ray Society, 1864-1882. He retired in 1864 to St Leonards, where he died on the 8th of March 1877.