Charles Lyell

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Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation today. Lyell was a close and influential friend of Charles Darwin.



Lyell was born in Scotland about 15 miles north of Dundee in Kinnordy, near Kirriemuir in Forfarshire (now in Angus). He was the eldest of ten children. Lyell's father, also named Charles, was a lawyer and botanist of minor repute: it was he who first exposed his son to the study of nature.

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