George Busk

George Busk

Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
Death 10 Aug 1886 (aged 78)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Plot Celtic Cross and grey Rubislaw Granite ledger with pink granite curbing. The monument is located on the north side of Centre Avenue.
Memorial ID 36892722 · View Source
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Naval Surgeon, Scientist. He published scientific dissertations and is noted for his work on the Ice Age fauna of caves. He became a surgeon in the Royal Navy and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1845, going on to become president of that body in 1871. Besides being a surgeon, he managed the pharmacy on the first British hospital ship, HMS “Grampus.” The second hospital ship he was assigned was the HMS “Dreadnough.” During this cruise, in conjunction with noted surgeon Dr. George Budd, he documented extensive research on ten cases of cholera and scurvy, and after autopsies, they accumulated a great amount of pathological facts regarding disease of the liver and stomach. In his late 40s and after a 25-year career in the Navy, he retired to London. He became the Treasurer of the Royal Institution, Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, and trustee of the Hunterian Museum. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1850, Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1846 and Fellow of the Zoological Society in 1856. He was a Member of the Senate of the University of London, and was for a long period an Examiner for the Naval, Indian, and Army Medical Services. He did lend his services to the court system, the mid-wives in London and supported laws against cruelty to animals. On July 1, 1858 at the meeting of the Linnean Society, he was responsible for the first public reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace's papers on natural selection and evolution. Some sources said he was the actual person who read the paper to the membership. In his later years, he was chronically ill and had to refuse the appointment of being president of Linnean Sociey. After examining the skeleton remains, he was the first to present to the English-speaking world, his papers on the discovery in Germany of a strange cranium in the Neander Valley in 1856, which became to be known as the “Neanderthal Man.” The Royal College of Surgeons archived his notes He was also President of the Anthropological Institute. He was one of the nine members of Thomas H. Huxley's X-Club, a group of scientists that met monthly to share ideas for decades in Victorian England. He was the chairman of the first meeting and the oldest of the group for twenty years. Although he was born in the Russian Empire, he was educated in England; his father was a customs officer in Russia; and his grandfather was Sir Wordsworth Busk, Attorney-General to the Isle of Man, an island between Ireland and England. Starting in the fall of 1828, he studied medicine at St. Thomas's and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals in London; six years with Dr. George Beaman, and on December 11, 1843 was elected to be one of the 300 original fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons. He married his first cousin, Ellen Busk. Neurological complications from a bout with Herpes worn on his health for the last decade of his life. His published works include “On the Morphology of Coniferare” in 1846; “Catalog of Marine Polyzoa in the Collection at the British Museum” in 1852; and published in the “Quarterly Journal of Geological Society of London” two articles,“The Animal-remains form High-terrace Gravel” volume 28 in 1872, and “On Some Bone-caves in Creswell Crags” appendix, Volume 31 in 1875. He was the editor of professional publications: “Microscopical Journal,” “The Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science from 1853 to 1868, and “Natural History Review” from 1861 to 1865. He was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 1871 “for his researches in Zoology, Physiology, and Comparative Anatomy.” He was award the Lyel Medal in 1878 and the Geological Society's Wollaston Medal in 1885. The Challenger Medal was awarded to Dr. Busk posthumously on December 23, 1895. During his lifetime, he donated Bryozoan material to the Natural History Museum in London, and after his death his daughters bequeathed the rest of his collection to the Museum, which included several thousand specimens as well as some books and drawings.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: s.canning
  • Added: 9 May 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 36892722
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Busk (12 Aug 1807–10 Aug 1886), Find a Grave Memorial no. 36892722, citing Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .