Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn

Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn

Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn, FRS, (26 July 1824 – 19 October 1902) was a British geologist.

Early life

Selwyn was the son of the Rev. Townshend Selwyn, Canon of Gloucester and his wife, Charlotte Sophia, daughter of Lord George Murray, bishop of St David's, and granddaughter of the fourth Duke of Athol. He was born at Kilmington in Somerset,Fact|date=September 2007 England.

Educated by private tutors and afterwards in Switzerland, he there became interested in geology, and in 1845 he joined the staff of the Geological Survey of Great Britain under Sir Henry De la Beche and Sir A. C. Ramsay. He was actively engaged in the survey of North Wales and bordering portions of Shropshire, and a series of splendid geological maps resulted from his joint work with Ramsay and J. B. Jukes, earning a great commendation from Ramsay.


In 1852 the Colonial Office appointed him director of the Geological Survey of Victoria of the recently founded colony of Victoria, where he built up an excellent staff including Richard Daintree, C. D. H. Aplin, Charles Smith Wilkinson, Reginald Murray, Edward John Dunn, Henry Yorke Lyell Brown and Robert Etheridge, Junior, with Sir Frederick McCoy as palaeontologist. He was a strict disciplinarian and from the beginning set up a very high standard of work in his department. During his 17 years as director over 60 geological maps were issued which were among the best of their period; they were models of accuracy which established a tradition of geological mapping in Australia. Selwyn was well qualified to analyse the Silurian strata. He was also responsible for several reports on the geology of Victoria, and added much to the knowledge of gold-bearing rocks. He discovered the Caledonian goldfield near Melbourne in 1854 and in the following year reported on coal seams in Tasmania, until in 1869 the Colonial Legislature brought the Survey to an abrupt termination on economic grounds.


At this date Sir William E. Logan had just retired from the office of director of the Geological Survey of Canada, and Selwyn was appointed his successor and took up his duties on 1 December 1869. There was an immense area to be covered, and though the staff was increased, it was necessarily inadequate.

His period of 25 years as director was full of activity and a large amount of work was done. In 1870 he made a valuable report on the goldfields of Nova Scotia, in the following year he was on the other side of Canada exploring in British Columbia, and in the next year he was working between Lake Superior and Winnipeg. All the time he was keeping in mind that however interesting problems might be from a scientific point of view, a government survey must be able to collect the facts and bring them to bear on questions of public utility. Every year he presented a "Summary" of the geological investigations made by his staff. He devoted particular attention to the Pre-Cambrian rocks of Quebec.

He retired in 1894. Meanwhile in 1874 he had been elected fellow of the Royal Society, in 1876 he was awarded the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society of London, and he was created CMG in 1886 for his distinguished work as assistant to the Canadian Commissioners at the exhibitions in Philadelphia (1876), Paris (1878) and London (1886). He was awarded the Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1884.

He retired to Vancouver in British Columbia, where he died on 19 October 1902. Selwyn's Rock at Inman Valley in South Australia, Selwyn Range in the Canadian Rockies and Selwyn Street in Hackett, a suburb of the Australian Capital Territory are named after him.


* [ Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
*Dictionary of Australian Biography|First=Alfred Richard Cecil |Last=Selwyn|Link=
*cite web
first=D. F.
coauthors=K. A. Townley
title =Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil (1824 - 1902)
publisher =Australian National University
work=Australian Dictionary of Biography
url =
accessdate = 2007-03-22


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn — (26 juillet 1824 19 octobre 1902) est un géologue britannique. En 1874, il est membre de la Royal Society. En 1876, on lui accorde le Médaille Murchison de la Geological Society of London. Il est fait compagnon de l Ordre de Saint Michel et Saint …   Wikipédia en Français

  • SELWYN, Alfred Richard Cecil (1824-1902) — geologist was the son of Rev. Townsend Selwyn, canon of Gloucester cathedral, and his wife, Charlotte Sophia, daughter of Lord George Murray, bishop of St David s, and grand daughter of the fourth Duke of Athol. He was born on 28 July 1824 and… …   Dictionary of Australian Biography

  • Selwyn, Alfred Richard Cecil — (1824 1902). In 1845 appointed assistant geologist in the Geological Survey of Great Britain; and director of the Geological Survey, Victoria, Australia, 1852 1869. Came to Canada in 1869, and filled the office of director of the Canadian… …   The makers of Canada

  • Selwyn — is originally an Anglo Saxon name, also occasionally spelt Selwin, deriving from Sel (castle/house) wyn/win (friend), roughly meaning friend in the house or friend in the castle .The name Selwyn later became an English surname as well after the… …   Wikipedia

  • Selwyn — ist der Name folgender Personen: Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn (1824–1902), britischer Geologe in Australien und von 1895 bis 1896 Präsident der Royal Society of Canada George Augustus Selwyn (1809–1878), anglikanischer Bischof von Neuseeland Percy …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Selwyn County, New South Wales — Infobox Australian cadastral name = Selwyn state = New South Wales caption = Location in New South Wales near nw = Goulburn near n = Wynyard near ne = Buccleuch near e = Wallace near se = Wallace near s = Tambo (Vic) near sw = Benambra (Vic) near …   Wikipedia

  • Selwyn — /ˈsɛlwən/ (say selwuhn) noun Alfred Richard Cecil, 1824–1902, English geologist in Australia; carried out important survey work in Victoria, SA and Tasmania …  

  • 1902 en science — Années : 1899 1900 1901  1902  1903 1904 1905 Décennies : 1870 1880 1890  1900  1910 1920 1930 Siècles : XIXe siècle  XXe siècle …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Clarke Medal — The Clarke Medal is awarded by the Royal Society of New South Wales (Australia) for distinguished work in the Natural sciences. Named in honour of the Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, one of the founders of the Society. The medal was to be… …   Wikipedia

  • Medaille Clarke — Médaille Clarke La médaille Clarke est attribuée par la Royal Society of New South Wales (Australie) pour récompenser un travail remarquable en sciences naturelles. Elle a été ainsi nommé en hommage du révérend William Branwhite Clarke (1798… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”