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Mccoy, Sir Frederick

McCOY, SIR FREDERICK (1823-1899), British palaeontologist, the son of Dr Simon McCoy, was born in Dublin in 1823, and was educated in that city for the medical profession. His interests, however, became early centred in natural history, and especially in geology, and at the age of eighteen he published a Catalogue of Organic Remains compiled from specimens exhibited in the Rotunda at Dublin (1841). He assisted Sir R. J. Griffith (q.v.) by studying the fossils of the carboniferous and silurian rocks of Ireland, and they prepared a joint Synopsis of the Silurian Fossils of Ireland (1846). In 1846 Sedgwick secured his services, and for at least four years he devoted himself to the determination and arrangement of the fossils in the Woodwardian Museum at Cambridge. Sedgwick wrote of him as " an excellent naturalist, an incomparable and most philosophical palaeontologist, and one of the steadiest and quickest workmen that ever undertook the arrangement of a museum" (Life and Letters of Sedgwick, ii. 194). Together they prepared the important and now classic work entitled A Synopsis of the Classification of the British Palaeozoic Rocks, with a Systematic Description of the British Palaeozoic Fossils in the Geological Museum of the University of Cambridge (1855). Meanwhile McCoy in 1850 had been appointed professor of geology in Queen's College, Belfast, and in 1854 he accepted the newly founded professorship of natural science in the university of Melbourne. There he lectured for upwards of thirty years; he established the National Museum of Natural History and Geology in Melbourne, of which he was director; and becoming associated with the geological survey of Victoria as palaeontologist, he issued a series of decades entitled Prodromus of the Palaeontology of Victoria. He also issued the Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria. To local societies he contributed many papers, and he continued his active scientific work for fifty-eight years his last contribution, " Note on a new Australian Pterygotus," being printedin the Geological Magazine for May 1899. He was elected F.R.S. in 1880, and was one of the first to receive the Hon. D.Sc. from the university of Cambridge. In 1886 he was made C.M.G., and in 1891 K.C.M.G. He died in Melbourne on the 16th of May 1899.

Obituary (with bibliography) in Geol. Mag. 1899, p. 283.

M'CRIE, THOMAS (1772-1835), Scottish historian and divine, was born at Duns in Berwickshire in November 1772. He studied in Edinburgh University, and in 1796 he was ordained minister of the Second Associate Congregation, Edinburgh In 1806, however, with some others M'Crie seceded from the " general associate synod," and formed the " constitutional associate presbytery," afterwards merged in the " original seceders." He was consequently deposed by the associate synod, and his congregation withdrew with him and built another place of worship in which he officiated until his death. M'Crie devoted himself to investigations into the history, constitution and polity of the churches of the Reformation; and the first-fruits of his study were given to the public in November 181 1 as The Life of John Knox, containing Illustrations of the History of the Reformation in Scotland, which procured :or the author the degree of D.D. from Edinburgh University, an honour conferred then for the first time upon a Scottish dissenting minister. This work, of great learning and value, exercised an important influence on public opinion at the time.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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