Buckland, William Dd
Buckland, William D.D., an eminent English geologist. Dr. Buckland was born at Axminster, in Devon, in the year 1784. He received his early education at Winchester, and in 1801 obtained a scholarship in Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He took his degree of B.A. in 1803, and was elected a fellow of his college in 1808. At this time Oxford was the most unpromising school in the world for natural science. The tastes of young Buckland led him to the study of mineralogy, and in 1813 we find him appointed to the readership of mineralogy, and in 1818 to the readership of geology. In these positions he succeeded in attracting attention to the departments of physical science which he thought. But as he excited interest he also excited opposition, and every onward step that he made toward giving the science of geology a position in the University, raised an opponent to its claims. Through his long life he had to fight for his science in his Alma Mater. But he gained the victory, and Strickland and Phillips, his successors, have obtained a universal recognition of the value and importance of their teachings. In 1820 Dr. Buckland delivered a lecture before the University of Oxford, which was afterward published under the title of Vindiciae Geologicae; or, the Connection of Religion with Geology explained (Lond. 1823). In this work he showed that there could be no opposition between the works and the word of God. In 1823 he published Reliquiae Diluvianae; or, Observations on the Organic Remains attesting the Action of a universal
Deluge. His contributions to the Proceedings of the Geological Society were very numerous, and in the first volume of the "Bibliographia Geologiae et Zoologiae," published by the Ray Society in 1848, we find references to sixty-one distinct works and memoirs. In 1825 Dr. Buckland accepted from his college the living of Stoke Charity, near Whitchurch, Hants; in the same year he was promoted to a canonry in the cathedral of Christ Church, and married Miss Mary Morland, of Abingdon. In 1818 he had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society; and in 1829 he was chosen a member of the council of that body, and was re-elected on each successive occasion till his illness in 1849. In 1813 he became a fellow of the Geological Society, and was twice elected president of that body. He took an active interest in the foundation of the British Association for the advancement of science, and was one of those who took the bold step of inviting this body to hold its second meeting in the University of Oxford. On this occasion he was president of the association. From that time to 1848 he was constantly present at the meetings of the body, and read many of his papers before them. In 1847 Dr. Buckland was appointed a trustee of the British Museum, and took an active part in the development of that department more especially devoted to geology and paleontology. His only contribution to any branch of theology is his Bridgewater treatise on Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference to Natural Theology (Lond. 1837, 2d ed. 2 vols. 8vo; Philadel. 1 vol. 12mo; also in Bohn's Library, 12mo). His brain gave way from excessive labor in 1850, but he lingered till Aug. 14, 1856, when he died at Clapham. — London Athenaeum, No. 1504.