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Thomas George BONNEY
Thomas George Bonney was born in Rugeley, Staffordshire on the 27th July 1833
He was the eldest son of the Reverend Thomas Bonney. His father had been at Clare College, Cambridge and was Master of Rugeley Grammar School.
He was also a perpetual curate of Pipe Ridware
From 1884 Thomas spent four years of his education at Uppingham School
In 1852 from Uppingham School, he went to Saint John’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated as 12th wrangler in 1856, and he was ordained the following year
From 1856 to 1861 Thomas was mathematical master at Westminster School, and he pursued geology only as a recreational activity, mainly in Alpine regions
In 1868 he was appointed tutor at St John's College, Cambridge and lecturer in geology.
He mainly studied igneous and metamorphic rocks in Alpine regions and various parts of the Great Britain.
For 20 years held office, firstly as Dean and later as Tutor at Saint John’s College
Between 1876 and 1878 he was a preacher in the Chapel Royal at Whitehall. He was also Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Birmingham and Honorary Canon of the Cathedral
Between 1877 and 1901 he was professor of geology in University College, London
On the 6th June 1878 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Between 1878 and 1884 he was secretary of the Geological Society
Between 1881 and 1883 he was president of the Alpine Club
Between 1881 and 1885 he was a fellow; secretary of the British Association and president of the Mineralogical Society
In 1884 he was Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge
Between 1884 and 1886 he was president of Cambridge
For 24 years he was professor of geology at University Cambridge
Between 1884 and 1886 he was secretary and later president of the Geological Society
In 1887 he was appointed Honorary Canon of Manchester
Bonney Coat of Arms
He was awarded by the Geological Society of London, to "geologists who have had a significant influence by means of a substantial body of excellent research in either or both pure and applied aspects of the science", funded with a bequest by William Hyde Wollaston
In 1889 he was awarded the Wollaston Medal
In 1890 and 1891 he delivered two series of Boyle Lectures
Between 1897 and 1905 he wrote regularly for the “Standard”, when he resigned and returned to college
Through his career, he wrote many scientific works, including;
Cambridgeshire Geology (1875); The Story of our Planet (1893); Charles Lyell and Modern Geology (1895); Ice Work, Past and Present (1896) and Volcanoes (1899)
He had many papers published in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society and Geological Magazine
And he wrote several popular works on Alpine Regions, on English and Welsh scenery, as well as on theological subjects
In 1910 he was president of the British Association
Between 1910 and 1913 the Scott expedition visited Antarctica. A lake they found was named after Thomas, (Lake Bonney) The lake is 7 kilometres long and up to 900 meters wide. A narrow channel only 50 meters wide separates the lake into East Lake Bonney and West Lake Bonney
Taylor Glacier flowing into Lake Bonney © 2007 Bernard Gunn
In 1913 at the age of 80, Thomas said his roots had always laid in Rugeley. He had lived through 80 Christmases and 79 of them had been at Rugeley
The Reverend Professor Thomas George Bonney Sc.D., LL.D., FRS., died on the 9th December 1923 at Cambridge, aged 90 years 4 months and 13 days
The first part of his funeral was held in the chapel of Saint John's College, Cambridge. The service was conducted by the Dean, the Reverend J. M. Creed. His sister Mrs. Wetherall and his nephew Mr, W. H. N. Wetherall attended the funeral. His body was conducted to the chapel by the choir, chanting Croft's sentences.
His body was afterwards removed to the Leicester crematorium. Following cremation, his ashes were interred at Rugeley
If you have any information to add on Thomas George BONNEY, please send details to us at enquiries@bfhg.org.uk
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