Huxley, Thomas Henry

BIOLOGIST (ENGLAND)
BORN 4 May 1825, Ealing, Middlesex - DIED 29 Jun 1895, Eastbourne, Sussex
GRAVE LOCATION London: East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium [Saint Marylebone Cemetery], East End Road, Finchley

Thomas Huxley was best known as 'Darwin's Bulldog' because he supported Darwin's evolution theory. He worked as an assistant surgeon on board of the HMS Rattlesnake and from 1846 to 1850 he studied marine invertebrates. He left the navy and in 1854 he became Professor of Natural History at the Royal School of Mines.

Allthough he had certain doubts he supported Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" and his 1860 debate with Samuel Wilberforce was an important moment for the evolution theory as well as for his own career. He had also debates in print with Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone. In 1870 he held a lecture for the British Association about the origin of life. He stated that he was an agnost and not an atheist, but he opposed almost all organised religion. For thirty years he supported the evolution theory and this earned him the nickname 'Darwin's bulldog'.

In 1890 he moved from London to Eastbourne and there he edited the his "Collected Essays" (nine volumes). After he contracted influenza and pneumonia he died of a heart attack in 1895.

He was buried at the cemetery of St Marylebone and allthough no invitations were sent there were 200 people present at his funeral. The author Aldous Huxley is his grandson.

Sources
• Greenwood, Peter, Who's buried where in England, Constable, London, 1982
• Daiches, David (ed.), The Penguin Companion to Literature 1, Penguin Books, 1971

Images

The grave of Thomas Henry Huxley at Saint Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley London.
Picture by Androom (27 May 2014)

 


Huysmans, Joris Karl

Published: 22 Jun 2014
Last update: 22 Jun 2014