Scouler, John (DNB00)

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SCOULER, JOHN (1804–1871), naturalist, the son of a calico-printer, was born in Glasgow on 31 Dec. 1804. He received the rudiments of his education at Kilbarchan, but was sent very early to the university of Glasgow. When his medical course there was completed, he went to Paris and studied at the Jardin des Plantes. On his return Dr. (afterwards Sir William Jackson) Hooker [q. v.] secured for him an appointment as surgeon and naturalist on board the Hudson's Bay Company's ship William and Mary. The vessel sailed from London on 25 July 1824 for the Columbia river, touching at Madeira, Rio, and the Galapagos. His companion on the voyage out and in many excursions at the several ports was the botanist, David Douglas [q. v.] His stay at the Columbia river appears to have lasted from April to September 1825 (Edinb. Journ. Sci. vols. v. vi.) Soon after his return to England Scouler shipped as surgeon on the Clyde, a merchant vessel that went to Calcutta, touching by the way at the Cape and Madras. On his return to Glasgow he settled down to practice (graduating M.D. in 1827), till he was appointed, 18 June 1829, ‘professor of geology and natural history and mineralogy’ in the Andersonian University (now part of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College). In 1834 he was appointed professor of mineralogy, and subsequently of geology, zoology, and botany, to the royal Dublin Society, a post he held till his retirement on a pension in 1854, when he returned to Glasgow.

The state of his health in 1853 and 1854 induced him to visit Portugal; he also made a tour in Holland, and in later years visited Scandinavia. After his retirement he occasionally lectured, and he superintended the Andersonian Museum. He had been elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1829, and made LL.D. of Glasgow in 1850. He died at Glasgow on 13 Nov. 1871. He was buried at Kilbarchan.

Scouler was author of upwards of twenty papers on various natural history subjects and meteorology published between 1826 and 1852. He established, with two medical colleagues, the ‘Glasgow Medical Journal,’ and in 1831 was one of the editors of Cheek's ‘Edinburgh Journal of Natural and Geographical Science.’ He contributed notes and an appendix to the fourth edition of Dr. King's ‘Principles of Geology explained,’ 8vo, Edinburgh, 1853. Scouleria, a genus of plants, and Scoulerite, a mineral, were named in his honour.

He bequeathed his books, which included many of great rarity, to Stirling's Library, Glasgow.

[Trans. Geol. Soc. Glasgow, iv. 194; information kindly supplied by Mr. J. Young, secretary Glasgow and West Scotland Technical College, by W. I. Addison of the Glasgow University, by A. H. Foord, assistant secretary Royal Dublin Society, and by the librarian, Stirling's Library; Roy. Soc. Cat.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

B. B. W.