Page:Biographies of Scientific Men.djvu/140

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



AT the time when England won the great naval sea-fights of St Vincent and Camperdown, when the Spanish, French, and Dutch fleets were defeated, there was born on 14th November 1797, Charles Lyell, the future geologist of Great Britain.

He was the eldest son of Charles Lyell of Kinnordy, in Forfarshire. His father was an extensive landed proprietor, and a man of scientific and literary pursuits. Lyell père was an ardent botanist and translator of Dante's Vita Nuova and Convito; and Lyell fils had a liking for entomology, which he cultivated to his heart's content in the New Forest, his parents having removed to that neighbourhood soon after his birth.

He was educated at Midhurst and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1819—the same year that saw the birth of Queen Victoria. At the university he had the good fortune to attend the lectures of Dr William Buckland, the founder of English geology, and which