James Scott Bowerbank

James Scott Bowerbank FRS (14 July 1797 – 8 March 1877) was a British naturalist and palaeontologist.

James Scott Bowerbank

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James Scott Bowerbank
Born(1797-07-14)14 July 1797
Died8 March 1877(1877-03-08) (aged 79)
Scientific career
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Bowerbank was born in Bishopsgate, London, and succeeded in conjunction with his brother to his father's distillery, in which he was actively engaged until 1847.[1]

In early years astronomy and natural history, especially botany, engaged much of his attention; he became an enthusiastic worker at the microscope, studying the structure of shells, corals, moss agates, and flints. He also formed an extensive collection of fossils. The organic remains of the London Clay attracted particular attention, and about the year 1836 he and six other workers founded The London Clay Club – the members comprising Dr Bowerbank, Frederick E. Edwards (1799–1875), author of The Eocene Mollusca (Palaeontograph. Soc.), Searles Valentine Wood, John Morris, Alfred White (zoologist), N. T. Wetherell, surgeon of Highgate (1800–1875), and James De Carle Sowerby. In 1840, Bowerbank published A History of the Fossil Fruits and Seeds of the London Clay, and two years later he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society.[1][2]

In 1847 he suggested the establishment of a society for the publication of undescribed British Fossils, and thus originated the Palaeontographical Society. From 1844 until 1864 he did much to encourage a love of natural science by being at home every Monday evening at his residence in Park Street, Islington, and afterwards in Highbury Grove, where the treasures of his museum, his 4 microscopes, and his personal assistance were at the service of every earnest student. He became specially interested in the study of sponges,[2][3] and he was author of A Monograph of the British Spongiadae in 4 vols., published by the Ray Society, 1864–1882.[1] He retired in 1864 to St Leonards-on-Sea,[4] where he died on 8 March 1877.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 343.
  2. ^ a b J. S. Bowerbank (1873). "Contributions to a General History of the Spongiadae. Part IV". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1873: 3–25. ISSN 0370-2774. Wikidata Q100998914.
  3. ^ J. S. Bowerbank (1873). "Report on a Collection of Sponges found at Ceylon by E. W. H. Holdsworth, Esq". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 25. ISSN 0370-2774. Wikidata Q101001025.
  4. ^ Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867 Archived 2006-12-11 at the Wayback Machine accessed 14 April 2007