Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/870

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OWEN.

85.1

Hunteiian Museum, led him to de- vote his attention exclusively to the study of comparative anatomy. In 1834 he was appointed to the Chair of Comparative Anatomy at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and soon afterwards he married the only daughter of his colleague, Mr. William Clift, Curator of the Hun- terian Museum. In 1836 he suc- ceeded Sir Charles Bell as Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the College of Surgeons, being ap- pointed by the College in the same year as the first Hunterian Profes- sor. He was an active member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Health of Towns, as well as of the Metropolis, which resulted in the appointment of a Sanitary Commis- sion, and of the Commission of In- quiry inte Smithfield Market ; and it is te his persevering endeavours in making known the evils of the latter that the public are mainly indebted for the abolition of the nuisance. Professor Owen also took part in the organisation of the Great Exhibition of 1851, served as president of one of the juries, at the request of the Government went to Paris, and was president of the jury of the same class of objects in the "Universal Exhibition" of 1855, and received the Cross of the Legion of Honour. Professor Owen's connection with the College of Surgeons ceased in 1856, on his being appointed Superintendent of the Natural History Departmente (Zoology, Geology, Mineralogy) in the British Museum. He has ad- vocated the provision of adequate galleries for the exposition of these collections in his " Discourse on the Extent and Aims of a National Museum of Natural Histery." For some years he was Lecturer on Palseontelogy in the Government School of Mines, Jermyn Street, and Fullerian Professor of Physio- logy in the Boyal Institution of Great Britain, but was compelled, on account of failing health, te re- sign these offices. He has been

honoured, by command of Her Majesty, te deliver courses of lec- tures to the Eoyal Family at Buck- ingham Palace and Windsor Castle, atid a residence in Bichmond iPark has been assigned to him. Among the first great works which he un- dertook were the Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Speci- mens of Physiology and Compara- tive Anatomy ;" the " Catalogue of the Natural History," that of the Osteology," and that of the " Fossil Organic Eemains," pre- served in the Museum of the Eoyal College of Surgeons. Discerning in a fragment of fossil bone from New Zealand, submitted te him in 1839, evidence of a bird more gigan- tic than the ostrich. Professor Owen published an account of it ; trans- mitted copies te New Zealand, and obtained evidence in confirmation and extension of his idea, which occupies many successive parte of the "Transactions" of the Zoologi- cal Society. In that for 1855 he propounds his theory of the extinc- tion of species on the principle of the " contest of existence " through the operation of extraneous influ- ences. The genera of birds thus lost by "natural rejection" are Dinomts, Aptomis, Notomis, Chemi- omw, &c. Concluding in the work " On the Nature of Limbs " his re- searches on the luiity of plan of animal organisation, the author is led to regard species as due to secondary cause or law, continu- ously operating and producing them successively, but in a way unknown te him. Professor Owen has written amongst other works, " Memoir on the Pearly Nautilus," 1832 J " Odontography," 1840 ; "Memoir on a Gigantic Extinct Sloth," 1842; "Lectures on the Comparative Anatemy of the In- vertebrate Animals," 1843; "Lec- tures on the Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrate Animals," 1846 ; "Histery of British Fossils, Mam- mals, and Birds," 1846 ; " On the Archetype and Homologies of