Adam Sedgwick

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Sedgwick, Adam

Sedgwick, Adam, 1785–1873, English geologist. He was a professor at Cambridge from 1818. His most important work was a study, made with R. I. Murchison, of the rock formation of Devonshire, which they named the Devonian system. Sedgwick also introduced the term Cambrian.


See J. W. Clark and T. M. Hughes, The Life and Letters of the Rev. Adam Sedgwick (2 vol., 1890).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sedgwick, Adam


Born Mar. 22, 1785, in Dent, Yorkshire; died Jan. 27, 1873, in Cambridge. British geologist. Professor at Cambridge University (1818–72).

Sedgwick’s principal works dealt with the Paleozoic deposits of Great Britain, Belgium, and Germany. In 1835 Sedgwick identified the Cambrian system. In 1839, together with R. Murchison, he identified the Devonian system. In 1903 a museum in memory of Sedgwick was opened at Cambridge.


Clark, J. W., and T. M. Hughes. The Life and Letters of the Reverend Adam Sedgwick, vols. 1–2. London, 1890.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The week Darwin spent in Wales in 1831 with one of the leading geologists of the day, Adam Sedgwick, before embarking on his voyage around the world in the Beagle, provided him with important grounding in practical geology: "Darwin was no stranger to Wales," said Tom Sharpe, senior curator of geology at the National Museum Wales.