Ref NoLDGSL/776
TitleBONNEY, Thomas George (1833-1923)
DescriptionPapers of the Reverend Thomas George Bonney, 1858-1919, comprising:

Scientific and general correspondence addressed to Thomas George Bonney, written between 1858 and 1919, from notable scientific figures such as Charles Lyell, Lord Kelvin, Joseph Lister, Adam Sedgwick and William Sollas;

Letters between Bonney and the Earl of Shaftesbury, January 1878, concerning Shaftesbury's objections to Bonney's geological publications issued through the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge;

Three pamphlets of papers and sermons given by Bonney in 1896, 1898 & 1909.
Administrative HistoryThomas George Bonney was born on 27 July 1833 in Rugely, Staffordshire, the eldest of ten children of the Revd Thomas Bonney, headmaster of Rugely grammar school. He attended St John's College, Cambridge, and subsequently studied for holy orders.

Though never studying geology formally, he taught the subject at his old college from 1868 onwards, inspiring and encouraging many students who went on to become leading geologists. From 1877 he also took on the role of geology academic at University College London (UCL). Moving to London in 1881 to concentrate on his work as assistant general secretary of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he stayed there for a number of years until, retiring from his post at UCL, he returned to Cambridge in 1905 and resumed teaching at St John's. Bonney wrote and published prolifically, in the form of academic works, popular books, and newspaper articles, as well as theological lectures and sermons. Valuing fieldwork, his geological interests included mineralogy, petrology (especially ultrabasic rocks and metamorphism), and glaciation studies.

He was also a skilled artist and a keen alpine mountaineer. He was a leader in many societies, being president of the Mineralogical Society (1884-6), the Alpine Club (1883), and the British Association (1910), and vice-president of the Royal Society (1898-9). He became a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1860, serving as secretary (1878-84) and president (1884-6), and remained so until his death on 9 December 1923.
ProvenanceThe majority of the letters were presented by Major Weatherall through W W Watts, 1940. See CM 3 April 1940. The correspondence and cuttings relating to Lord Shaftesbury, the pamphlets and letters from Tuckett and Faraday were given by Nina Morgan, December 2019, who had received the items over a period of years from Eric Robinson.
Access ConditionsAccess is by appointment only. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
ArchNoteDescription by John Thackray, revised by Victoria Woodcock, revised by Caroline Lam.
CreatorNameBONNEY | Thomas George | 1833-1923 | Reverend | geologist
DS/UK/6BONNEY; Thomas George (1833-1923); Reverend; geologist1833-1923
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