1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mivart, St George Jackson

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MIVART, ST GEORGE JACKSON (1827–1900), English biologist, was born in London on the 30th of November 1827, and educated at Clapham grammar-school, Harrow, and King’s College, London, and afterwards at St Mary’s, Oscott, since his conversion to Roman Catholicism prevented him from going to Oxford. In 1851 he was called to the bar, but he devoted himself to medical and biological studies. In 1862 he was appointed lecturer at St Mary’s Hospital medical school, in 1869 he became a fellow of the Zoological Society, and from 1874 to 1877 he was professor at the short-lived Roman Catholic University College, London. In 1873 he published Lessons in Elementary Anatomy, and an essay on Man and Apes. In 1881 appeared The Cat: an Introduction to the Study of Back-boned Animals. The careful and detailed work he bestowed on Insectivora and Carnivora largely increased our knowledge of the anatomy of these groups. In 1871 his Genesis of Species brought him into the controversy then raging. Though admitting evolution generally, Mivart denied its applicability to the human intellect.

His views as to the relationship existing between human nature and intellect and animal nature in general were given in Nature and Thought (1882); and in the Origin of Human Reason (1889) he stated what he considered the fundamental difference between men and animals. In 1884, at the invitation of the Belgian episcopate, he became professor of the philosophy of natural history at the university of Louvain, which had conferred on him the degree of M.D. in 1884. Some articles published in the Nineteenth Century in 1892 and 1893, in which Mivart advocated the claim of science even where they seemed to conflict with religion, were placed on the Index expurgatorius, and other articles in January 1900 led to his excommunication by Cardinal Vaughan, with whom he had a curious correspondence vindicating his claim to hold liberal opinions while remaining in the Roman Catholic Church. Shortly afterwards he died, in London, on the 1st of April 1900. Mivart was also the author of many scientific papers and occasional articles, and of Castle and Manor: a Tale of our Time (1900), which originally appeared in 1894 as Henry Standon, by “D’Arcy Drew.”