Record

Authorised form of nameClift; William (1775 - 1849); conservator
Other forms of nameWilliam Cleft
SurnameClift
ForenamesWilliam
Dates1775 - 1849
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Burcombe, near Bodmin, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, Europe (14 February 1775)
Baptism:
Bodmin Parish Church, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, Europe (12 April 1775)
Death:
Stanhope Cottage, Mornington Crescent, Hampstead Road, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe (20 June 1849)
Burial:
Highgate Cemetery, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
ActivityResearch Field:
Comparative anatomy, palaeontology, geology
Education:
Bodmin school (-1792)
Career:
Apprenticed to John Hunter FRS as an anatomical assistant (1792); engaged by Hunter's executors to care for Hunterian collection (1793); appointed official conservator of the Hunterian Museum; published articles for Philosophical Transactions, the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, and Transactions of the Geological Society; compiled the 'Catalogue of the Hunterian Collection of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of London' (1830-31)
Memberships:
FGS; Society for Animal Chemistry (1809 until its end in 1825)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
8/05/1823
Council:
Sworn in on 1 December 1832
Committee appointments include: Committee of Zoology and Animal Physiology (31 May 1838)
RelationshipsParents: Robert Clift (1720-1784) and Joanna née Coutts
Married: Caroline Amelia Pope (1775-1849)
Children: William Home Clift (1803-1832); Caroline Amelia Clift (1801-1873)
Son-in-law: Sir Richard Owen (FRS 1834)
General contextThe Hunterian collection reportedly improved in quality under Clift's curatorship and was bought by the College of Surgeons England under request from Parliament in 1799. His artistic abilities in anatomical illustrations and his thorough approach to record-keeping put him in good stead with many fellow scientists and surgeons. A substantial part of his papers are now a part of the Natural History Museum's 'Owen papers' or in the holdings of the College of Surgeons. His diaries additionally give a detailed insight into the various aspects of the Hunterian Museum, College of Surgeons, and London scientific life of the period.
Royal Society Obituary or MemoirClick to view (may be contained within a meeting notice, presidential address or list of death notices)
Related imagesDiscover a selection of related images in our picture library
Image

Clift P0024.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; ODNB
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1849 No 74 pp 876-880
References:
Sir Harold Hartley, 'Richard Owen and William Clift' in NR 1953 vol 10 pp 60-62
N G Coley, 'The Animal Chemistry Club; Assistant Society to the Royal Society' in NR 1967 vol 22 pp 173-185
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/37721856
Royal Society codeNA7491
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MC/2Volume 2 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1832-1838
EC/1823/03Clift, William: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PT/73/1/21Painting, "Frog [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/1Painting, "Turkey's gizzard", by William Clift 1807
CB/1/3/73Letter from William Clift to Charles Blagden26 October 1819
PT/73/1/8Painting, "Dormouse [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/2Painting, "Cod fish internal view", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/6Painting, "Internal view...beaver", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/3Painting, vertebrae and ribs of a boa constrictor, by William Clift1812
PT/73/8/27Painting, dugong pelvic bones, by William Clift1820
PT/73/3/9Painting, "Little auk [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/11Painting, "American ostrich [Rhea gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/12Painting, "Rhea americana [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/1/20Painting, "Viper [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/5/8Painting, Lacerta gecko, by [William Clift] 1816
PT/73/1/16Painting, "Vampyre bat [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/7Painting, "Beaver glands", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/6Drawing, cardiac cavities and gizzards of birds, by William Clift1812
PT/73/1/22Painting, stomachs of the turtle and blue shark, by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/10Painting, "Parrot [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/1/5Painting, "External view...rabbit", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/13Painting, "African ostrich [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/5/15Painting, fossilised Ichthyosaur vertebra, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/1/12Painting, "Hog. Internal view", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/19Painting, "Hawk [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/8Painting, "Larus canus" [Common gull gizzard], by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/1Painting, external view of the anatomy of hearing in Balaena mysticetus [Bowhead whale], by William Clift1811
PT/73/3/15Painting, "Struthio camelus [African ostrich gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/2/1Painting, vertebrae of Squalus maximus [Basking shark], by William Clift 1809
PT/73/3/14Drawing, "African ostrich [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/1/10Painting, a view of the Ass's stomach inverted, by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/14Painting, "Cormorant's stomach", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/13Painting, "Elephant. Internal view", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/17Painting, "English long-eared bat [stomach]...", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/2Painting, internal section of the auditory structures in Balaena mysticetus [Bowhead whale], by William Clift1811
PT/73/1/18Painting, "Lynx [stomach]", by William Clift 29 April 1807
PT/73/1/11Painting, "Internal view...Kanguroo", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/15Painting, "Human [stomach] to show the Glands...", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/3/5Painting, "gizzard of the Soland goose...", by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/16Drawing, "Eagle [solvent gland]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/17Drawing, solvent glands of birds, by William Clift1812
PT/73/3/7Painting, "Woodpecker [gizzard]", by William Clift1812
PT/73/4/19Painting, heart of Lophius piscatorius [Angler fish], by [William Clift] 1813
PT/73/6/1Painting, heart and associated organs of the Sepia officinalis [Common cuttlefish], by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/6/2Painting, heart and associated organs of the Sepia officinalis [Common cuttlefish], by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/6/6Painting, Lumbricus terrestris [Earthworm] dissected, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/8/22Painting, dugong caecum, by William Clift1820
PT/73/6/3Painting, Lumbricus marinus [Lugworm], by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/5/18Painting, fossilised Ichthyosaur paddle, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/5/17Painting, "Squalus acanthias" [Spiny dogfish, scapula and pectoral fin], by William Clift1816
PT/73/6/4Painting, Lumbricus marinus [Lugworm] dissected, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/8/21Painting, dugong tongue, by William Clift1820
PT/73/5/16Painting, fossilised Ichthyosaur paddle and scapula, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/5/9Paintings, the feet of the Lacerta gecko and the house-fly with the gripping organ of the suckerfish, by [William Clift] 1816
PT/73/6/5Painting, Lumbricus marinus [Lugworm] dissected, by [William Clift]1816
PT/73/6/23Painting, human stomach, by William Clift1817
PT/73/8/19Painting, stomach of the dugong, by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/16Painting, nasal bones of the Proteosaurus [Ichthyosaur], by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/20Painting, gastric glands of the dugong, by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/15Painting, fossil skull and jaws of the Proteosaurus [Ichthyosaur], by William Clift1820
PT/73/1/3Painting, "Deer. Second cavity of the stomach", by William Home Clift 1807
PT/73/8/23Painting, dugong heart, by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/25Painting, dugong sexual organs, by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/24Painting, dugong respiratory system, by William Clift1820
PT/73/8/26Painting, dugong sternum, by William Clift1820
PT/73/9/1Painting, rhinoceros skull, by William Clift27 August 1821
PT/73/10/2Paintings, Vibrio tritici nemotode worms, by Franz Andreas Bauer1822
PT/73/10/16Painting, fossil hyaena jaw, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/12Painting, fossil metacarpal bones of a bos, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/6Paintings, eardrums of cattle, deer and hare, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/14Painting, fossil hyaena jaw, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/1Paintings, wheat infected with Vibrio tritici, by Franz Andreas Bauer1822
PT/73/10/10Paintings, fossil wolf jawbone, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/3Paintings, human eardrums, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/24Painting, the human eye, by Charles Bell 1823
PT/73/10/22Paintings, earthworm eggs and their development, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/4Painting, Indian elephant eardrum, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/8Painting, rock face at Oreston, by William Clift[12 August 1822?]
PT/73/10/7Painting, the caverns at Oreston, by William Clift12 August 1822
PT/73/10/20Paintings, earthworm, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/19Paintings, earthworm, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/5Painting, Indian elephant eardrum and mastoid cells, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/15Painting, fossil hyaena skull, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/11Painting, fossil horn core of a bos, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/9Painting, fossil metatarsal bone of a bos, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/17Painting, fossil wolf jaw, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/23Paintings, barnacles, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/18Paintings, ovaries and testes of the lamprey and conger eel, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/21Paintings, earthworm, by Franz Andreas Bauer1823
PT/73/10/13Painting, fossil horse foot, by William Clift1822
PT/73/10/25Painting, the human eye, by Charles Bell 1823
P/0024Portrait of Clift, William
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1831
RR/1/31Referee's report by William Clift, on a paper 'On the anatomical and optical structure of the crystalline lenses of animals, particularly that of the cod' by David Brewster18 June 1833
RR/1/135Referee's report by William Clift, on a paper 'The anatomy and physiology of the liver' by Francis Kiernan [1833]
RR/1/53Referee's report by William Clift, on a paper 'On the male organs of some of the cartilaginous fishes' by John Davy12 June 1839
RR/1/182Referee's report by William Clift, on a paper 'On the secretion and uses of the bile' by Benjamin Phillips26 January 1833
PT/16/10Paper, 'A description of the fossil bones found by Mr Whidbey in the caverns of Oreston, referred to in the foregoing paper' by William Clift1823
PT/9/7Paper, 'Experiments to ascertain the influence of the spinal marrow on the action of the heart in fishes' by William Clift1815
MS/426/621Copy letter from W [William] Sharpey, Secretary of the Royal Society; to Mrs [Prain?], Richmond5 March 1858
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
PT/73/7/13Painting, fossil skull of the Proteo-saurus [Ichthyosaur], by William Clift1819
IM/000887Clift, Williamnd
IM/000888Clift, Williamnd
PT/73/8/18Painting, Sumatra dugong, by William Clift1820
PT/73/9/2Painting, fossil rhinoceros horn, by William Clift1821
CMP/1/1Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society1 December 1832
PT/73/1/9Painting, "Water-rat [stomach]", by William Clift 1807
PT/73/1/4Painting, "*Internal view...hare", by William Clift 1807
PT/1/5/2Plate, 'First cavity of the stomach of the bottle-nose porpoise laid open to shew its internal structure' by [William Clift]1807
PT/1/5/3Plate, 'Internal surface of the second, third, and fourth cavities of the stomach' by [William Clift]1807
PT/2/19/2Plate, 'The stomach of the male wombat inverted immediately after death and distended with air' by [William Clift]1808
PT/3/19/2Plate, illustration of calculus by W [William] CliftSeptember 1808
PT/3/19/3Plate, illustration of cavity within calculus by W [William] CliftSeptember 1808
PT/4/8/2Plate, 'The gizzard of a turkey laid open on its anterior part' by W [William] Clift1810
PT/4/8/3Plate, 'The gizzard of a swan [laid open on its anterior part]' by W [William] Clift1810
MC/1/108Letter from William Clift, Lincoln's Inn Fields, to James Lee7 April 1824
PT/7/27iPlates, from 'Observations intended to show that the progressive motion of snakes is partly performed by means of the ribs' by Everard Home1812
PT/7/27i/1Plate, 'Lateral view of the muscles of the boa constrictor' by William Clift1812
PT/7/27i/2Plate, 'Internal view of the abdominal muscles of the boa constrictor' by William Clift1812
PT/7/27i/3Plate, draft of 'Internal view of the abdominal muscles of the boa constrictor' by William Clift1812
MC/1/132Letter from William Clift, Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, to the Royal Society 7 June 1825
MC/1/134Letter from William Clift, Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, to Stephen Lee, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society5 August 1825
PT/8/29/2Plate, 'Side view of the skull and the two jaws' by W [William] Clift1814
PT/8/29/3Plate, 'Continuation of the chain of vertebrae' by W [William] Clift1814
PT/8/29/4Plate, 'Portions of ribs imbedded in blue lias' by W [William] Clift1814
PT/8/29/5Plate, 'Three vertebrae sawn through in a longitudinal direction to shew the intervertebral cavities which are filled with blue lias' by W [William] Clift1814
PT/9/16/2Plate, 'A view of a portion of the lamprey of the natural size, the organs of respiration exposed' by William Clift1815
PT/9/16/3Plate, '[Respiratory] organs exposed in the animal from the South Seas and one of the bags or organs laid open' by William Clift1815
PT/9/16/4Plate, 'The same parts in the myxine' by William Clift1815
PT/9/16/5Plate, 'Back view of the aphrodita aculeata' by William Clift1815
PT/9/16/6Plate, 'The respiratory organs [of the aphrodita aculeata] laid bare by removing the skin and muscles of the back' by William Clift1815
PT/9/16/7Plate, 'The hirudo medicinalis laid open from behind, the stomach removed, exposing the respiratory organs' by William Clift1815
PT/9/17/2Plate, 'A lamprey of the natural size laid open, to show the ovarium at the time the eggs begin to be shed; a portion of the ovarium and testicle of the natural size' by William Clift1815
PT/12/3/2Plate, 'The different parts that compose the sternum, in the fossil animal' and 'The corresponding bones in the ornithorhynchus paradoxus' by W [William] Clift1818
PT/12/3/3Plate, 'The representation of a fossil bone of the natural size, which appears to belong to the same animal' by W [William] Clift1818
PT/12/24/2Plate, various specimens and cross-sections of fangs by [William Clift]1818
PT/15/18/2Plate, 'Skeleton of a female dugong' by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/18/3Plate, 'Stomach of a rhinoceros from Sumatra inverted' by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/18/5Plate, 'The skull of the tapir from Sumatra' by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/18/6Plate, 'The skull of the tapir from America' by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/28/2Paper, watercolour of manatee to scale by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/28/3Paper, manatee skeleton by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/28/4Paper, 'Stomach. Manati.' by Wm [William] Clift1821
PT/15/28/5Paper, 'Caecum, Manati.' by Wm [William] Clift1821
MC/2/221Letter from William Clift, Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, to John David Roberton, [Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society] 30 August 1836
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