The Reverend William Buckland

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Portrait of: William Buckland
By: Samuel Cousins
After: Thomas Phillips
Style: Mezzotint
Date: 1833
Dimensions: 33. 1 x 43. 2 cm

The Reverend William Buckland (1784-1856) was a geologist and Dean of Westminster, born in Devon. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford from1801 and was made a Fellow of the college by 1808. He delivered lectures in geology and mineralogy in the old Ashmolean Musuem, which for many years weresome of the most popular in the University. Buckland was most widely famed for his hypotheses on fossil cave faunas, notably in Kirkdale Cavern, Yorkshire.

This likeness alludes specifically to Buckland’s acclaimed achievements in the field of geology. He is portrayed in his academic robes surrounded byfossils and holding an animal skull. It is perhaps unsurprising that he has been depicted in this way as it is suggested in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography that he was rarely seen without his academic gown and a blue bagfull of his most recently discovered fossils and bones ready to demonstrate.

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