Authorised form of nameLyell; Sir; Charles (1797 - 1875)
Dates1797 - 1875
Place of birthFamily residence at Kinnordy, near Kirriemuir, Forfarshire, Scotland
Date of birth14 November 1797
Place of deathHis house at 53 Harley Street, London
Date of death22 February 1875
Dates and placesBurial:
Nave of Westminster Abbey, London
Research fieldGeology; evolutionary biology
Oxford; Lincoln's Inn
Called to the Bar (1825); first Professor of Geology, King's College London (1831- resignation in 1833)
Kt 1848; Bt 1864
FGS; FLS; Athenaeum
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election02/02/1826
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Royal Medal 1834; Copley Medal 1858
Bakerian 1835
RelationshipsMarried (12 July 1832) Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Leonard Horner (FRS 1813)
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Proc Roy Soc 1876-1877 vol 25 pp xi-xiv signed by A G
Sir Edward Bailey, 'Charles Lyell, FRS (1797-1875)' in NR 1959 vol 14 pp 121-138, plate
Roy M MacLeod, 'Of Medals and Men: A Reward System in Victorian Science 1826-1914' in NR 1971 vol 26 pp 81-105
Martin Rudwick, 'Charles Lyell, FRS (1797-1875) and His London Lectures on Geology, 1832-33' in NR 1974-5 vol 29 pp 231-263
M J Bartholomew, 'The Award of the Copley Medal to Charles Darwin' in NR 1975-6 vol 30 pp 209-218
David A Cumming, 'John MacCulloch, FRS, at Addiscombe: The Lectureships in Chemistry and Geology' in NR 1979-80 vol 34 pp 155-183
William Mills, 'Darwin and the Iceberg Theory' in NR 1983-84 vol 38 pp 109-127
Gillian Beer, 'Translation or Transformation? The Relations of Literature and Science' in NR 1990 vol 44 pp 81-99
Susan Sheets-Pyenson, '"Pearls Before Swine": Sir William Dawson's Bakerian Lecture of 1870' in NR 1991 vol 45 pp 177-191
G Y Craig, 'The Essence of Lyell', review of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (1830-33), ed. J Secord, in NR 1998 vol 52 p 375
R W Home, 'The Royal Society and the Empire: the colonial and Commonwealth Fellowship. Part 2. After 1847' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 47-84
G Ferrari and A McConnell, 'Robert Mallet and the 'Great Neapolitan earthquake' of 1857 in NR 2005 vol 59 pp 45-64
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8255
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/002831Lyell, Sir Charlesnd
MM/9/1Letter from Charles Lyell to Susan19th century
MC/10Volume 10 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal SocietyJuly 1873-1876
MM/15/70Fragment of a copy of a letter from Charles Lyell to a person unknown on evolution19th century
MM/16/135Letter from Charles Lyell, Royal Society, to Sir John Herschel9 March 1848
IM/Maull/002832Lyell, Sir Charlesnd
MM/19/48Letter from Edward Sabine, President, Royal Society, to William Sharpey, Secretary, Royal Society23 February 1869
MS/710/69Letter from Charles Lyell, 53 Harley Street, London, to Robert Were Fox24 October 1864
MC/7Volume 7 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1864-1866
IM/Maull/002833Lyell, Sir Charlesnd
MS/769/53Letter from Sir Charles Lyell, 53 Harley Street, to [Walter White?]28 February 1862
S/0017Sculpture bust of Lyell, Sir Charles
MC/5Volume 5 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1851-1858
RSL/3/10Letter from James Calder, Maryland, to Sir Joseph Banks 10 January 1794
NLB/11/923Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Professor John Wesley Judd, Fellow of the Royal Society5 November 1895
RR/4/7Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'Observations on the discovery in various localities of the remains of human art mixed with the bones of extinct races of animals' by Charles Babbage3 June 1859
RR/3/253Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'Astronomical experiment on the peak of Teneriffe, carried out under the sanction of the lords commissioners of the admiralty' by Charles Piazzi Smyth20 February 1858
RR/5/208Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'Theoretical considerations on the conditions under which the (drift) deposits containing the remains of extinct mammalia and flint implements were accumulated, and on their geological age. - On the Loess of the valleys of the South of England, and of the Somme and the Seine' by Joseph Prestwich8 June 1863
RR/6/145Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'Contributions to the fossil flora of North Greenland, being a description of the plants collected by Mr. Edward Whymper during the summer of 1867' by Oswald Heer30 March 1869
RR/3/184Referee's report by George Julius Poulett Scrope, on a paper 'On the formation of continuous tabular masses of stony lava on steep slopes; with remarks on the mode of origin of Mount Etna, and the theory of craters of elevation' by Charles Lyell29 July 1858
RR/3/185Referee's report by John Tyndall, on a paper 'On the formation of continuous tabular masses of stony lava on steep slopes; with remarks on the mode of origin of Mount Etna, and the theory of craters of elevation' by Charles Lyell9 October 1858
RR/1/161Referee's report by Charles Lyell and Edward Forbes, on a paper 'Observations on some belemnites and other fossil remains of Cephalopoda, discovered by Mr. Reginald Neville Mantell, C. E. in the Oxford clay near Trowbridge, in Wiltshire' by Gideon Algernon MantellJuly 1848
PT/67/8Paper, 'The fossil flora of Bovey Tracey' by Oswald Heer[1861]
PT/67/7Paper, 'The lignites and clays of Bovey Tracey Devonshire' by William Pengelly[1861]
MM/9/2Letter from Charles Lyell, Kinnordy, to Susan Horner5 September 1849
RR/4/162Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'Report to the Royal Society of the expedition into the Kingdom of Naples to investigate the circumstances of the earthquake of the 16th December 1857' by Robert Mallet5 June 1860
RR/4/207Referee's report by Charles Lyell, on a paper 'On the occurrence of flint-implements, associated with the remains of animals of extinct species in beds of a late geological period, in France at Amiens and Abbeville, and in England at Hoxne' by Joseph Prestwich3 June 1859
IM/002834Lyell, Sir Charlesnd
IM/002835Lyell, Sir Charlesnd
EC/1825/20Lyell, Sir Charles: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PT/67/7/1Manuscript, 'The lignites and clays of Bovey Tracey Devonshire' by William Pengelly[1861]
PT/67/7/2Plate, portion of tunnel in pit near fault by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/7/3Plate, section of the Bovey formation in plane of dip of the beds by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/7/4Plate, sections of the Bovey formation in plane of strike of the beds by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/8/1Manuscript, 'The fossil flora of Bovey Tracey' by Oswald Heer[1861]
PT/67/8/2Plate, fossilised leaves and spines from Spaeria lignitum, Pecopteris lignitum, Cinnamomum scheuchzeri, and Palmacites daemonorops by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/8/3Plate, fossilised leaves and seeds from Pecopteris lignitum, Sequoia couttsiae, and Lastroea stiriaca by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/4Plate, magnified fossils from Pecopteris lignitum and Lastroea stiriaca by Ch Th [Charles Thomas?] Gaudin and W [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/5Plate, fossilised rhizome and roots from Pecopteris lignitum and Pecopteris hookeri by W H [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/6Plate, fossilised cones, seeds, roots, and branches from Sequoia couttsiae by W H [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/7Plate, fossilised cones, leaves, shoots, and branches from Sequoia couttsiae, Amentum masculinum, Sequoia sempervirens, Glyptostrobus europeaus, Palmacites daemonorops, and Cyperites deperditus by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/8Plate, 'Sequoia couttsiae' by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/9Plate, fossilised spines of Palmacites daemonorops by W H [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/10Plate, fossilised leaves of Lastraea bunburii, Ficus falconeri, and Quercus lyelli by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/11Plate, fossilised specimens of Quercus lyelli, Phragmites oeningensis, Echitonium cuspidatum, and Ficus falconeri by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/12Plate, fossilised specimens of Daphnogene ungari, Ficus eucalyptoides, Laurus primigenia, Ficus pengellii, Dryandroides laevigata, Dryandroides hakeaefolia, Quercus lyelli, Echitonium cuspidatum, Phragmites oeningensis, and Sphaeria socialis by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/13Plate, reformed specimens of Quercus lyelli, Ficus pengellii, and Ficus falconeri by [P] Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/14Plate, fossilised branches and flowers of Cinnamomum lanceolatum, Cinnamomum scheuchzeri, and Cinnamomum rossmässleri by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/15Plate, fossilised bark, leaves, and flowers of Palmacites daemonorops, Phragmites oeningensis, Poacites, Quercus lyelli, Dryandroides banksiaefolia, Vaccinium acheronticum, Andromeda vacciniifolia, Andromeda reticulata, Cinnamomum scheuchzeri, Cinnamomum lanceolatum, Eugenia haeringiana, Celastrus pseudo-ilex, and Buprestites falconeri by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/16Plate, fossilised seeds and fruit of Gardenia wetzleri, Eucalyptus oceanica, Nyssa europaea, Nyssa laevigata, Nyssa striolata, Nyssa microsperma, Vitis britannica, Vitis hookeri, and Carpolithes scutellatus by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/17Plate, fossilised fruit and beetles of Anona devonica, Anona cyclosperma, Pterocarya denticulata, Carpolithes websteri, Carpolithes boveyanus, Carpolithes nitens, Carpolithes exaratus, Carpolithes vinaceus, Carpolithes lividus, and Nymphaea doris by P Brugier[1861]
PT/67/8/18Plate, fossilised leaves and wood of Salix cinerea, Salix repens, and Betula nana by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/8/19Plate, fossilised groupings of leaves by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/8/20Plate, fossilised leaves, seeds, and stems of Palmacites daemonorops, Pecopteris lignitum, and Lastraea stiriaca by W H [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/21Plate, fossilised leaf of Pecopteris lignitum by W H [Walter Hood] Fitch[1861]
PT/67/8/22Plate, fossilised leaf of [Pecopteris lignitum?] by [Walter Hood Fitch][1861]
PT/67/8/23Plate, fossilised leaf of [Pecopteris lignitum?] by [Walter Hood Fitch][1861]
PT/67/8/24Plate, fossilised leaf of [Pecopteris lignitum?] embedded in rock by [Walter Hood Fitch][1861]
PT/67/8/25Plate, fossilised leaf of [Pecopteris lignitum?] by [Walter Hood Fitch][1861]
PT/67/8/26Plate, fossilised stems by [Walter Hood Fitch?][1861]
PT/67/8/27Plate, fossilised wood by unknown artist[1861]
PT/67/8/28Plate, fossilised branches by unknown artist[1861]
MC/5/9Letter from Cha [Charles] Lyell, Winchester, to Col [Lieutenant-Colonel Edward] Sabine, Treasurer of the Royal Society3 March 1851
MC/7/170Letter from Cha [Charles] Lyell, 53 Harley Street, to the Royal Society4 February 1865
MC/10/106Letter from Ch [Charles] Lyell, 73 Harley Street, London, to the Royal Society8 May 1874
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