Ref NoLDGSL/741
TitleWilliam SMITH, table of strata in the vicinity of Bath
Extent1 item
DescriptionWilliam SMITH, table of strata in the vicinity of Bath, written to his dictation by the Reverend Benjamin Richardson, 1799.
Administrative HistoryIn a letter to Adam Sedgwick, President of the Society in 1831 in connection with William Smith's award of the Wollaston Medal, Richardson wrote of the circumstances of the creation on the table:

"I am requested to present you the particulars of my acquaintance with Mr William Smith, well known by the appropriate appellation of Strata Smith. At the Annual Meeting of the Bath Agricultural Society in 1799, Mr. Smith was introduced to my residence in Bath, when, on viewing my collection of fossils, he told me the beds to which they exclusively belonged, and pointed out some peculiar to each. This, by attending him in the fields, I soon found to be the fact, and also, that they had a general inclination to the south-east, following each other in regular succession.

With the open liberality peculiar to Mr. Smith, he wished me to communicate this to the Rev J Townsend of Pewsey (then in Bath), who was not less surprised at the discovery, but we were soon much more astonished by proofs of his own collecting, that whatever stratum was found in any part of England, the same remains would be found in it and no other. Mr. Townsend, who had pursued the subject 40 or 50 years, and had travelled over the greater part of civilized Europe, declared it perfectly unknown to all his acquaintance and he believed to all the rest of the world." ['Proceedings of the Geological Society', vol 1 (1831), pp275-276]
CustodialHistoryThe item hung in the library until c.1980s. Light has faded the text and the iron gall ink has bled, further exacerbated by its frequent varnishing over the years.
ProvenancePresented to the Society by Smith, February 1831.
Access ConditionsAccess is by appointment only. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
Publication NoteJudd, J W. "William Smith's manuscript maps", 'Geological Magazine', vol 4 (1897), pp439-447; Sheppard, T. "William Smith, his maps and memoirs", 'Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society', vol 19, (1920) p108; Phillips, J. 'Memoirs of W Smith', Murray (1844), p29..
ArchNoteDescription by John Thackray
CreatorNameSMITH | William | 1769-1839 | civil engineer and geologist
RICHARDSON | Reverend | Benjamin | 1758-1832 | rector of Farleigh Hungerford
DS/UK/22SMITH; William (1769-1839); civil engineer and geologist1769-1839
DS/UK/1305RICHARDSON; Benjamin (1758-1832); Reverend; rector of Farleigh Hungerford1758-1832
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