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William Buckland

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Rev. William Buckland (1784-1856), D.D., F.R.S., F.G.S., Etc, Dean of Westminster,

1842 Rev. William Buckland D.D., of Oxford, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1857 Obituary [2]

REV. WILLIAM BUCKLAND, D.D., F.R.S., F.G.S., &c., Dean of Westminster, and Reader in Mineralogy and Geology in the University of Oxford, was born at Axminster, in the county of Devon, in the year 1784.

He received his early education at Tiverton School, whence he was removed to St. Mary’s College, Winchester, and thence to Oxford in 1801, where he was elected to a scholarship on the Exeter Foundation of Corpus Christi College.

He took his degree of B.A. in 1805, just before the institution of the system of classical honours. In the second, or third year of his residence at Oxford, he took his first lessons in Geology from Mr. Broderip (the late Magistrate of the Westminster Police Court), then of Oriel College, and first studied the oolite formation and the green sand in the Vale of Pewsey.....

.....He exerted himself actively in the improvement of the supply of pure water to the Metropolis, and examined the questions of obtaining it from the Thames and other rivers, and from wells sunk into the chalk.

Dr. Buckland became a Fellow of the Royal Society, in 1818, and was a member of the Council from 1827 to 1849. He was also, as has been previously stated, a Fellow of the Geological Society, and likewise of the Linnean, Zoological and Geographical Societies.

In 1842, he was elected an Honorary Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers;- and there is scarcely a Natural History, or Philosophical Society of any importance, either in Europe, or the United States, which did not similarly strive to do him honour.

In 1847, he was appointed a Trustee of the British Museum, and for two years took the greatest interest, in arranging and increasing the geological collection there. At the first foundation of the Museum of Practical Geology, he laboured diligently, in conjunction with his old friend the late Sir Henry De la Bsche.

He was much attached to agricultural pursuits, watching, with great interest, the development of the introduction of new manures, the application of chemical science, and the adaptation of mechanical contrivances to farming. He was a regular visitor at the annual meetings of the Royal Agricultural Society, and took every opportunity of enforcing his views among the farmers, with whom he was a great favourite.

From the period of his adopting Oxford as his residence, he took an active interest in promoting all measures for improving and beautifying the City.

In 1818, with the aid of the late Dr. Kidd, Dr. Bliss, Mr. Hickman, Alderman Sadler, and other influential men, he succeeded in establishing the works for lighting the University and City with gas, at that time a novelty, His friend the late Mr. A. Manby, undertook the construction of the apparatus at the Horsely Ironworks, and it was in a great degree owing to the support and scientific counsel of Dr. Buckland, who was the Chairman of the Company, a post which he retained for a long period of years, that this early attempt was so eminently successful, and that the Company has continued to flourish to the present time.

He advised numerous local improvements in the buildings of the University and in the streets of the City, and up to within a comparatively recent period took an active interest in promoting all ameliorations of the sewerage and water supply of the City....


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