Thomas Bell

Thomas Bell

Birth
Poole, Poole Unitary Authority, Dorset, England
Death 13 Mar 1880 (aged 87)
Selborne, East Hampshire District, Hampshire, England
Burial Selborne, East Hampshire District, Hampshire, England
Plot Memorial in the nave.
Memorial ID 42344784 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Zoologist, Author. In 1813 he began training as a dental surgeon, but, having inherited an interest in natural history from his mother, he pursued a career in both these fields. He was appointed Professor of Zoology at King's College, London in 1836 and was also lecturer on anatomy at Guy's Hospital. He continued to combine his two careers, being made a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1844 and President of the Linnaean Society in 1858. In 1836 he was given the task of describing the specimens of reptiles and crustaceans collected by Charles Darwin on the Beagle expedition and the following year was able to prove that the giant tortoise was native to the Galapagos Islands, not imported by buccaneers for food; this was instrumental in the formulation of Darwin's theory of evolution. He contributed chapters to "Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle" and published two important books of his own, "British Stalk-eyed Crustacea" (1844 to 1853) and "A Monograph of the Testudinata" (1832 to 1836), both of which are regarded as the definitive works on their subjects. In 1858 his position as President of the Linnaean Society led to him chairing the meeting at which Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace put forward their theories on natural selection in their joint submissions of papers, "On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection" but he did not regard their findings as significant. At age seventy he retired to Selborne, where he studied the famous Selborne naturalist Gilbert White and published a new edition of his book "The Natural History of Selborn".

Bio by: js


Family Members

Spouse

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Thomas Bell?

Current rating:

20 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: js
  • Added: 24 Sep 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 42344784
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Thomas Bell (11 Oct 1792–13 Mar 1880), Find A Grave Memorial no. 42344784, citing St Mary Churchyard, Selborne, East Hampshire District, Hampshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .