Fullerian Professor of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy, 1855-1858, 1865-1869
Born in Ealing, he attended school there until the family moved to Coventry. In 1841 he returned to London where he studied medicine at University College and Charing Cross Hospital. In 1846 he joined the medical service of the Royal Navy and from 1846 until 1850 sailed on HMS Rattlesnake and was able, in addition to his duties, to study the fauna of the Pacific and Australia. He left the Navy in 1854 and that year was appointed Lecturer on Natural History at the Royal School of Mines and the following year Naturalist to the Geological Survey; he helped oversee the move of the Royal School of Mines to South Kensington in 1872. He served on numerous Royal Commissions and was a prominent spokesman for a naturalistic interpretation of science. A good friend of John Tyndall's, he was an important early champion of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory.