Sir Richard Owen: Draft of Rede Lecture

Scope and Content

Manuscript notes for the first Rede lecture, on the classification of the mammalia, including inserted printed items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), naturalist, was born in Lancaster on 20 July 1804, where he attended the local grammar school. He became an apprentice to the first of three surgeons in 1820, and matriculated at Edinburgh University in 1824. He left Edinburgh before taking his degree, and joined St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he became prosector to John Abernethy in 1825. He passed the membership examination for the Royal College of Surgeons in 1826, and proceeded to set up his own private practice. Owen became a lecturer on anatomy at St Bartholomew's in 1829, and was first Hunterian Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, 1836-1856. He was conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1827-1856, and superintendent of the natural history collections at the British Museum, 1856-1883. He died at Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, on 18 December 1892.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Geology Library, Cambridge, 1975.

Other Finding Aids


Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Sir Richard Owen in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, vol. XIV (London, 1909), pp. 1329-1338.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers relating to Sir Richard Owen, MS.Add.5354.