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 Hugh Miller

Hugh Miller

Cromarty, Highland, Scotland
Death 24 Dec 1856 (aged 54)
Portobello, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Burial Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Memorial ID 6747 · View Source
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Scottish Geologist and Author. Despite his lack of formal education, he is remembered as one of Scotland's premier paleontologists. He was educated in a parish school and at age 17 he apprenticed as a stonemason, which soon led him to self-study geology. In 1829 he published a volume of poems, and soon afterwards became involved in political and religious controversies, first connected to the Scottish Reform Act of 1832, and later with the division in the Church of Scotland which led to the Disruption of 1843, a schism where a number of evangelical ministers broke away and formed the Free Church of Scotland. In 1834 he became a bank accountant and he published his "Scenes and Legends in the North of Scotland." His noted geological works include "The Old Red Sandstone" (1841), "Footprints of the Creator" (1850), "The Testimony of the Rocks" (1857), and "Sketch-book of Popular Geology" (1859). Of these books, "The Old Red Sandstone" was the best-known, and is still a term used to collectively describe sedimentary rocks deposited as a result of the Caledonian orogeny in the late Silurian, Devonian and earliest part of the Carboniferous geological period. He theorized that the earth was extremely old and was inhabited by numerous species that had evolved and become extinct, and were homologous. He disputed the Epicurean and Lamarckian theories on the origins and developments of new species and that the biblical book of "Genesis" was the beginning of the geological periods. In 1856 he began suffering from severe headaches and depression and it led to his committing suicide at the age of 54. A bust in his honor resides in the Hall of Heroes at the National Wallace Monument at Stirling, Scotland. His home in Cromarty, Scotland is now a geological museum.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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Died 24th December 1856 aged 54.




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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Oct 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6747
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Hugh Miller (10 Oct 1802–24 Dec 1856), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6747, citing Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .