1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lapworth, Charles

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LAPWORTH, CHARLES (1842-    ), English geologist, was born at Faringdon in Berkshire on the 30th of September 1842. He was educated partly in the village of Buckland in the same county, and afterwards in the training college at Culham, near Oxford (1862-1864). He was then appointed master in a school connected with the Episcopal church at Galashiels, where he remained eleven years. Geology came to absorb all his leisure time, and he commenced to investigate the Silurian rocks of the Southern Uplands, and to study the graptolites and other fossils which mark horizons in the greater series of Lower Palaeozoic rocks. His first paper on the Lower Silurian rocks of Galashiels was published in 1870, and from that date onwards he continued to enrich our knowledge of the southern uplands of Scotland until the publication by the Geological Society of his masterly papers on the Moffat Series (1878) and The Girvan Succession (1882). Meanwhile in 1875 he became an assistant master in the Madras College, St Andrews, and in 1881 professor of geology and mineralogy (afterwards geology and physiography) in the Mason College, now University of Birmingham. In 1882 he started work in the Durness-Eriboll district of the Scottish Highlands, and made out the true succession of the rocks, and interpreted the complicated structure which had baffled most of the previous observers. His results were published in "The Secret of the Highlands" (Geol. Mag., 1883). His subsequent work includes papers on the Cambrian rocks of Nuneaton and the Ordovician rocks of Shropshire. The term Ordovician was introduced by him in 1879 for the strata between the base of the Lower Llandovery formation and that of the lower Arenig; and it was intended to settle the confusion arising from the use by some writers of Lower Silurian and by others of Upper Cambrian for the same set of rocks. The term Ordovician is now generally adopted. Professor Lapworth was elected F.R.S. in 1888, he received a royal medal in 1891, and was awarded the Wollaston medal by the Geological Society in 1899. He was president of the Geological Society, 1902-1904. His Intermediate Textbook of Geology was published in 1899.

See article, with portrait and bibliography, in Geol. Mag. (July 1901).