Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Scientists' Declaration: Reflexions on Science and Belief in the Wake of Essays and Reviews, 1864–5

  • W. H. Brock (a1) and R. M. Macleod (a2)

During the decades following the publication of Darwin's Origin of species in 1859, religious belief in England and in particular the Church of England experienced some of the most intense criticism in its history. The early 1860s saw the appearance of Lyell's Evidence of the antiquity of man (1863), Tylor's research on the early history of mankind (1863), Renan's Vie de Jésus (1863), Pius IX's encyclical, Quanta cura, and the accompanying Syllabus errarum, John Henry Newman's Apologia (1864), and Swinburne's notorious Atalanta in Calydon (1865); it was in this period also that Arthur Stanley was appointed Dean of Westminster, and that Bills were introduced in Parliament to amend or repeal the ‘Test Acts’ as they affected universities. They were the years that witnessed Lyell present the case for geology at the British Association at Bath (1864), the first meeting of the X-Club (1864), and the award of the Royal Society's Copley Medal to Charles Darwin. These were the years in which, as Owen Chadwick has put it, ‘the controversy between “science” and “religion” took fire’.

Hide All


1 Chadwick Owen, The Victorian Church (London, 1970), Part II, p. 3.

2 MacLeod R. M., ‘A Victorian Scientific Network: the X-Club’, Notes and records of the Royal Society of London, xxiv (1969), 305–22; Jensen J. V., ‘The X-Club: fraternity of Victorian scientist’, The British journal for the history of science, v (19701971), 6372; Brock W. H., ‘Prologue to heurism’, in History of Education Society, The changing curriculum (London, 1971), pp. 7185: Brock W. H. and MacLeod R. M. (eds.), The life and work of Thomas Archer Hirst, F.R.S. (1830–1892), in press.

3 Hinchcliff P. B., John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal (London, 1963), p. 39.

4 Colenso's appeal began in June 1864 and lasted until December 1864, with judgement given on 20 March 1865. The appeal swung on the legal question of the jurisdiction of the Natal Bishopric and not on Colenso's theology. He was found legally still Bishop of Natal. His return to South Africa in 1865 subsequently provoked a schism when the Canterbury Convocation resolved to appoint a new Bishop of Natal in 1867.

5 Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 84.

6 Described in Flindall R. P., The Church of England, 1815–1348. A documentary history (London, 1972), p. 179, and Cockshut A. O. J., Religious controversies of the nineteenth century (London, 1966), pp. 198201.

7 Hansard, Parliamentary debates, 3rd ser. clxxvi, col. 1546 (15 07 1864), also quoted in Meacham Standish, Lord Bishop, the life of Samuel Wilberforce (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), p. 250.

8 Monypenny W. F. and Buckle G. E., The life of Benjamin Disraeli (revised edn., 2 vols., London, 1929), ii. 108.

9 The chronicle of Convocation, being a record of the proceedings of the Convocation of Canterbury (18611864), Lower House, 21 April 1864, p. 1577. No discussion is recorded and no signatures are listed. According to Berger (see note 10, below), this memorial was prepared by Gillman and McLeod, but Wordsworth (later Bishop of Lincoln) attributed it to Stenhouse.

10 Chronicle, op. cit. (9), p. 1577. The Declaration of students of the natural and physical sciences (London, n.d. [1865]). The only description of the Declaration we know is that of Bill E. G. W., ‘The Declaration of students of the natural and physical sciences, 1865’, Bodleian Library record, v (19541956), 262–7. In 1872 the Revd A. H. Berger, a former student of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a son of Capel Berger, presented to the Cambridge University Library a bound collection of replies to the Declaration, together with his father's recollections of the episode. This volume is today kept in the University Archives, Cam. Add.5989 (hereafter ‘Berger, Documents’). We are indebted to J. D. Burchfield and D. B. Wilson for having brought this volume to our attention. Interestingly, the Declaration has recently been given fresh prominence. See Russell C. A., ‘The end of an era?’, Unit 16 of Science and belief: from Copernicus to Darwin (London: The Open University, 1973), pp. 66–7.

11 Bodleian MS. Add.C.102, which also contains the printed version, 113 ×9 inches, xx+67 leaves, prssented by Capel Berger. The original signatures occupy 64 pages of this handsome green morocco-bound volume. The printed pamphlet with its alphabetically arranged names was placed in the front and labelled by hand, ‘Key to the Volume of Original Signatures’. Inked in against each name was a number referring to the numerical order of signatures in the volume.

12 Young R. M., ‘Natural theology, Victorian periodicals and the fragmentation of the common context’ (in press). Cf. also Young R. M., ‘The impact of Darwin on conventional thought’, in Symondson A. J. (ed.) The Victorian crisis of faith (London, 1970), pp. 1315.

13 Saturday review, 24 09 1864, p. 396.

14 Although Berger's is the last printed signature (no. 716), the manuscript closes with a late-comer (no 717), Robert Oxland, professor of chemistry at Toland Medical College, San Francisco. His signature obviously arrived after publication. Berger attended Harrow, became an active colour chemist, but died of poisoning at the age of 29; see Berger T. B., A century and a half of the House of Berger (London, 1910), p. 62, and Journal of the Chemical Society, xxii (1868), p. iv.

15 Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 7, gives McLeod the honours. Berger's role was first established by Bill, op. cit. (10), and is confirmed in Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10).

16 Gillman A. W., Searches into the history of the Gillman or Gilman Family … (London, 1895), pp. 194–5, with portrait. He entered the R.C.C. at the age of 13, and from 15 to 19 he was Hofmann's private assistant; see Hofmann A. W., Theories of modern chemistry (London, 1865), p. ix.

17 Obituary (by Thomson J. M.), in Journal of the Chemical Society, cxi (1917), 342–7; Essex review, xxvi (1917), 29. Although Berger (Berger, Documents, op. cit. [10], p. i) cited Howard as a protagonist, there is no evidence that he played a major role in the proceedings.

18 Tilden W., obituary of Groves, in Journal of the Chemical Society, cxvii (1920), 464–6. Groves left £10 000 to the Royal Institution for the Groves Endowment Fund for Promotion of Scientific Research. Whatever their subsequent fame (or, in the case of Gillman and Berger, obscurity), only Stenhouse was well known in 1864; hence Hamilton's sarcasm in addressing his reply to ‘Rev. Charles Grove [sic], or C. E. Grove, Esq’, and De Morgan's rhetorical ‘fancy a person, whose very name is unknown to scientific men, and is not to be found in the London [Post Office] Directory, at the address given for it, calling upon the Herschels and Hamiltons to sign a Declaration!’; see De Morgan, Athenaeum, 31 12 1864, pp. 894–5. Of course, Groves was using Stenhouse's address as a postbox.

19 Morley H. F., obituary of McLeod, in Journal of the Chemical Society, cxxv (1924), 990–2. At the R.C.C. McLeod helped to discover the aniline dye, Magenta; he later became professor.of experimental science (afterwards chemistry) at the Royal Indian Engineering College, Cooper's Hill. He also devised the McLeod gauge for measuring gases at low pressure. See Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Seen. B, xcv (19231924), 487.

20 E.g. William Murray, M.D., lecturer in physiology at Durham, added ‘Baptist’ (no. 78); Robert D. Mordue, M.R.C.S., L.S.A., of Newcastle, added ‘Roman Catholic’ (no. 79).

21 De Morgan, in Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19, gave 38, and was so followed by Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 7.

22 De Morgan, Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19.

23 McLeod saw this as an advantage, a pledge by the younger generation of men of science. See Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10), p. 81. The substitution of the term ‘Students’ for Brewster's recommendation, ‘Cultivators’, was probably an attempt to forestall criticism.

24 Ibid., pp. 39–40, an anonymous letter to The Times, 22 07 1864, attributed by Berger to Hofmann's colleague, John Percy.

25 De Morgan, Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19.

26 Levi L., Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1868 (London, 1869), pp. 169–73, 196–7. Levi analysed the membership figures of 120 learned societies in the United Kingdom and found an aggregate membership of 60 000, which reduced to 45 000 if an allowance was made for overlapping membership. We have further reduced this figure by excluding membership of the Royal Geographical Society, the Antiquarian Society, and various printing societies; i.e. the figure of 40 000 refers solely to membership of natural and physical science societies. For membership figures for 1860, see MacLeod R. M. and Andrews E. K., Selected science expenditure and manpower statistics, 1850–1914 (typescript, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, 1968, 1970). Our ‘realistic’ figure of 5000 is derived from Levi's data on metropolitan societies.

27 Hutchinson Horace G., Life of Sir John Lubbock (London, 1914), i. 57–8. A copy of the memorial and John Lubbock's reply can be found in Royal Society MSS., HS, 13.12.

28 Royal Society MSS., HS, 13.12. Herschel to Spottiswoode or Lubbock (c. February 1861).

29 Hooker J. D. to Lubbock J., 29 02 1861, quoted in Huxley Leonard, Life and letters of Sir J. D. Hooker (London, 1918), ii. p. 54.

31 A. P. Stanley, quoted in Cockshut, op. cit. (6), p. 198, and referring to a report in the Guardian, 27 04 1864. Cf. ‘The new test’, Saturday review, 5 03 1864, pp. 274–5.

32 The printed version has 716 signatures. See note 14.

33 The Times, 21 07 1864, p. 9, reprinted in Daubeny C. P., Miscellanies (Oxford and London, 1867), vol. ii., separately paginated section IV, p. 130.

34 As to his friend Powell, who had died in 1860, Daubeny had already delivered a defence in an anonymous pamphlet, A few words of apology for the late Professor Baden Powell's essayOn the study of the evidences of Christianitycontained in the volume entitledEssays and reviews’. By a lay graduate, (Oxford, [?1860]) reprinted in Miscellanies, op. cit. (33), ii. section IV, pp. 2540. For Powell's position, see Knight D. M., ‘Professor Baden Powell and the inductive philosophy’, Durham University journal, xxix (19671968), 81–7.

35 Daubeny, Miscellanies, op. cit. (33), ii. section IV, p. 131.

36 Ibid., p. 132.

37 Ibid., i. Preface, p. xviii.

38 Conceivably Bowerbank misunderstood the Declaration's purpose, for he also subscribed to Colenso's Defence Fund, at least, according to De Morgan, in Athenaeum, 7 01 1865, p. 22.

39 The journals of T. A. Hirst (Royal Institution), 11 09 1864. See Brock and MacLeod, Life of Hirst, op. cit. (2). Hirst's reply is not in Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10).

40 De Morgan, Athenaeum, 29 09 1864, p. 566, and 31 December 1864, p. 894. Faraday claimed his views were already public knowledge; see Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10), pp. 36, 99.

41 Athenaeum, 17 09 1864, p. 375, and The Times, 20 09 1864. De Morgan believed that the promoters tried Herschel because ‘over and above his really religious character, they thought him a timid man. They were much mistaken. Herschel is of a nervous and diffident temperament; but perfectly decided in his course of action’; see Graves Robert Percival, Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton (3 vols., Dublin, 18821889), iii 620.

42 Graves, op. cit. (41), p. 618. Cf. Spectator, 24 09 1864, p. 1088: ‘Some check must certainly be put on the declaration nuisance now growing up. It is especially hard, moreover, to force a declaration on the students of science. There might be more point in extorting the students of religious newspapers like the British Banner or Record’.

43 Saturday review, 24 09 1864, p. 387.

44 Athenaeum, 17 09 1864, p. 375.

45 See O'Brien Charles F., ‘Eozöon Canadense, The Dawn Animal of Canada’, Isis, lxi (1970), 206–23; and idem, Sir William Dawson. A life in science and religion (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1971).

46 ‘The British Association’, Saturday review, 24 09 1864, p. 383.

47 Journals of Hirst, op. cit. (39), 25 09 1864, f. 1688. Clearly too, Herschel and Bowring's efforts had been effective; Hirst copied their ‘excellent’ letters into his journal.

48 The Bath chronicle, 19 09 1864, p. 3 (letters of Herschel and Bowring); Editorial, ‘A word about ourselves’, 29 09, p. 5.

49 Saturday review, 24 09 1864, p. 386.

50 Identified from a marked file copy in Bill, op. cit. (10), p. 265.

51 A ‘plot’ because ‘in the case of clergymen, all signs of clerical character (i.e. Revd, etc.) are erased’; see Athenaeum, 29 10 1864, p. 566. The printed list does not entirely support this slur. See below.

52 Saturday review, 24 09 1864, commented on this phrase that it was not part of Christian creed even if it was believed by many people. Quoted in Bill, op. cit. (10), pp. 264–5.

53 Athenaeum, 8 10 1864, pp. 463–4.

54 Ibid., p. 464.

55 De Morgan withdrew; see ibid., 29 October 1864, p. 566. The degree should have read ‘M.A.’ not ‘M.D.’.

56 Graves, op. cit. (41), iii. 620 (letter of 2 October 1864).

57 Athenaeum, 29 10 1864, p. 566. Although Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10), is clearly only a selection of letters, and those who signed did not necessarily enclose letters, it is of interest that 39 of the 55 replies are negative. These include Babbage, Boole, Huxley, Playfair, Sharpey, and Stokes.

58 Journals of Hirst, op. cit. (39), 6 11 1864, f. 1702.

59 Royal Society Council minutes, iii (1864), p. 219 (3 11 1864).

60 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xiii (18631864), 508 The Copley incident—what Hooker referred to as a ‘small breeze at the RS’—is alluded to in Darwin F. (ed.), The life and letters of Charles Darwin (London, 1887), iii. 27–9, and Huxley L. (ed.), Life and letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (London, 1900), i. 254–5; Darwin F. and Seward A. C. (eds.), More letters of Charles Darwin (London, 1903), ii. 255; Huxley, Life of Hooker, op. cit. (29), ii. 75–6; MrsLyell K. M. (ed.), Life, letters and journals of Sir Charles Lyell Bart. (London, 1881), ii. 383.

61 Athenaeum, 19 11 1864, p. 672. It is possible that De Morgan knew Berger through their mutual interest in the decimal and metric systems. (Bowring initiated the British decimal system with the florin in 1849.)

62 E.g. within scientific societies. It will be recalled that De Morgan was to resign from University College, London, over the College's refusal to appoint the Unitarian Revd James Martineau to the chair of mental philosophy and logic in 1866.

63 De Morgan Sophia, From matter to spirit (London, 1863). Just before his death De Morgan was also much interested in a Free Christian Union, or multi-denominational brotherhood; however, it proved too sectarian. See Morgan Sophia Elizabeth De, Memoir of Augustus De Morgan (London, 1882), p. 365.

64 Athenaeum, 31 12 1864, p. 894. Hamilton's biographer. R. P. Graves, thought the Declaration ill-judged, though not ill-meant. See Graves, op. cit. (41), iii. 191.

65 The astronomers Robert Main, F.R.S., and James Challis, F.R.S., had already signed, and mathematicians like Hirst and Boole had been asked. However, De Morgan felt that ‘mathematicians and astronomers are not looked upon as the elite of orthodoxy’; see Graves, op. cit. (41), iii. 620. Challis James had, in fact, written Creation in plan and progress (Cambridge, 1861), in answer to Essays and reviews.

66 Graves, op. cit. (41), iii. 619.

67 Athenaeum, 31 12 1864, p. 894.

68 E.g. William Sulkeld, a Royal College of Chemistry student, between nos. 52 and 53.

69 Chemical news, xi (1865), 298. But see Crookes's editorial ‘Science, politics and religion’, Quarterly journal of science, ii (1865), 187, where he estimated that a third of the signatories sincerely believed that the Declaration would help the cause of science and religion, one third signed for the sake of their names appearing, and one third for fear of being branded infidels.

70 Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, pp. 1920.

71 Cf. Westfall R. S., Science and religion in seventeenth century England (New Haven, 1958); McGuire J. E. and Rattansi P. M., ‘Newton and the “Pipes of Pan”’, Notes and records of the Royal Society of London, xxi (1966), 108–43; Rattansi P. M., ‘The social interpretation of science in the seventeenth century’, in Mathias P. (ed.), Science and Society 1600–1900 (Cambridge, 1972.) pp. 132.

72 Tabrum Arthur H., Religious beliefs of scientists, including one hundred hitherto unpublished letters on science and religion from eminent men of science (London: North London Christian Evidence League, 1910). A second, enlarged edition appeared in 1913. Both editions, which were designed to answer the propaganda of the Rationalist Press Association, carried an Introduction by Revd Drawbridge C. L. who later published, on behalf of the Christian Evidence Society, The religion of scientists, being recent opinions expressed by two hundred fellows of the Royal Society on the subject of religion and theology (London, 1932). See also Kneller K. A., S. J., Christianity and the leaders of modern science (London, St Louis, Freiburg, 1911). This first appeared in German in Stimmer aus Marie-Loach, Katholische Monatsschrift, Heft 84 u. 85 (Freiburg, 1903). We should like to thank Father J. L. Russell for informing us of these inquiries. A recent example of this genre is Trinklein Frederick E., The Cod of science: personal interviews with thirty-eight leading American and European scientists on the nature of truth, the existence of God and the role of the church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1971).

73 Babbage C., Reflections on the decline of science in England and on some of its causes (London, 1830); [Granville A. B.], Science without a head, or the Royal Society dissected (London, 1830). By 1860 the percentage of peers to ordinary fellows was 4.6 per cent, and the ratio of scientific to non-scientific fellows was 52.6 per cent to 47.4 per cent; see SirLyons Henry , The Royal Society, 1660–1940 (Cambridge, 1944), p. 341.

74 De Morgan gives 62 of 600 Fellows; see the Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19. Our figure of 605 British Fellows is taken from the 1864 Anniversary Report, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xiii (18631864), 520 where the total Fellowship is given as 655, of whom 50 were foreign members.

75 Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19.

76 This assumption is unsubstantiated and would repay close scrutiny. Inspection of the Royal Society catalogue of scientific papers suggests that the assumption was unwarranted; e.g. John Hogg published nearly 50 papers in the Philosophical magazine and many minor natural history journals.

77 De Morgan, op. cit. (75), has 19, but misread the name of Sir John Maxwell (created 1820) for the youthful James Clerk Maxwell: Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 8, follows this erroneous reading. Those publishing in the Philosophical transactions were Bell, Bowerbank, Brewster, Brooke, Challis, Calvert, Gilbert. Glaisher, Gosse, Harley, Higginbottom, Hoskins, Hunt (who was missed by De Morgan), T. W. Jones, Joule, Macdonald, Moseley, Stenhouse, and Col. Sykes. De Morgan's figure is correct if Hunt is substituted for Maxwell.

78 The overall median age of the signatory Fellows in 1865 was 62; on average they were within fifteen years of their deaths.

79 MrsGordon Margaret , The home life of Sir David Brewster (London, 1869), pp. 323–4, quoted in Bill, op. cit. (10), p. 266. Brewster was nearly chosen to write a Bridgewater Treatise; see Brock W. H., in Notes and records of the Royal Society of London, xxi (1966), 168–9.

80 Barrister and geologist who found the oldest mammalian remains from rocks of Purbeck group. See Boase F., Modern English biography [hereafter cited as Boase] (6 vols., London, 1892; reprinted, 1965).

81 Officer in Bengal Engineers; wrote miscellaneous scientific papers in India (Boase).

82 William Willoughby Cole, third Earl, politician, and fossil collector. His large collection of ichthyic palaeontology was given to the British Museum (Natural History). See Boase, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xli (1866), pp. ixxi.

83 Anglican naval officer and port officer at George Town, Tasmania. Returned to England in 1852. Invented the ‘Peolrus’ for measuring local magnetism in iron ships; see Australian dictionary of biography, vol. i.

84 Politician and Privy Councillor. His original surname was altered to Christopher in 1828, and to Christopher Nisbet-Hamilton in 1855; see Boase, under ‘Nisbet-Hamilton’, and Burke's Landed gentry (6th edn., London, 1882), p. 1170. His name is strangely absent from the Record of the Royal Society (London, 1940).

85 Physician and Vice-President, British Medical Association (Boase).

86 Nottingham surgeon and temperance advocate, who wrote on tritons, tadpoles, and frogs (Boase).

87 Chemist and ironmaster (Boase).

88 Zoologist and Vice-President of Zoological Society (Boase).

89 Platinum chemist of famous firm of Johnson and Matthey. See Boase; MacDonald D., History of platinum (London, 1960); Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xvi (18671868), pp. xxiiiv.

90 Ophthalmic surgeon and writer on natural theology; e.g. The wisdom of the Almighty displayed in the sense of vision (London, 1851), and Evolution of the human race from apes, a doctrine unsanctioned by science (London, 1876). He contributed many papers to the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Boase).

91 Coal gas engineer (Boase).

92 Surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital, London (Boase).

93 Eighth baronet, politician and economist (Boase).

94 Lieutenant of the Yeoman of the Guard, 1836–42 (Boose).

95 American geologist, professor of natural history at University of Glasgow, 1857–66; see Boose, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xvi (1868), p. xxxv.

96 Lawyer. See Venn J. A., Alumni Cantabrigiensis (Cambridge, 1953), Part II, vol. v.

97 Topographer and antiquarian who married the daughter of the agriculturalist, Thomas Coke; published Topography illustrative of the battle of Plateae (London, 1817; revised as Olympia[London, 1824]). See Pickering S., F.R.S., Memoirs of Anna Maria Wilhelmina Pickering, together with extracts from the Journals of … J. S. Stanhope (2 vols., London, 19021903).

98 Physician to St Luke's Hospital, London, interested in insanity (Boose)

99 Halifax astronomer. See Boose, and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, xxix (1879), pp. xxviixxviii.

100 Politician, Captain in the West Kent militia 1838–54 (Boose).

101 Berger, Documents, op. cit. (10), p. 86 (Sedgwick to Groves, 13 02 1865). Both Brewster and Sedgwick were invited to write to The Times in support of the Declarationists' ‘findings’, but declined to do so on the grounds of age, infirmity and fear of controversy. The Declaration issue is not discussed in Clarke J. W. and Hughes T. M., Life and letters of Adam Sedgwick (2 vols., Cambridge, 1890).

102 Tyndall papers (Royal Institution, London), typescript, f.2398 (n.d. but c. 16 September 864).

103 Lyons, in The Royal Society, op. cit. (73), calculated that of the 630 Fellows in 1860, 330 could be considered scientific; and that of that number approximately 8 per cent were chemists, 10 per cent geologists, and 36 per cent in medicine. Of the 48 Fellows who could be described as ‘scientific’ 15 per cent were interested in chemistry, 9 per cent in geology, and 32 per cent in medicine.

104 Botanist and agriculturalist, edited Annals of natural history; devout Presbyterian. See Nature, cix (1922), 787–8, and Who was who, 1916–1928.

106 Chemist, career spent partly in Japan. See Journal of the Chemical Society, ciii (1913), 746.

106 See text and note 18.

107 Irish geologist and sometime Secretary of the Victoria Institute. See his Reminiscences of a strenuous life (London, 1910).

108 See text and note 19.

109 Philosophically minded physical chemist; professor of technical chemistry at Anderson College, Glasgow. See Journal of the Chemical Society (1921), 2130–1.

110 Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 19. The signatory concerned was J. T. Banks, professor of physics at Dublin University who was an Hon. Fellow of King's and Queen's College of Physicians.

111 S. P. Barchett.

112 Alexander Beattie.

113 E.g. J. F. Mariller and Gustav Masson. For Berger's Harrow connexions, see Bill, op. cit. (10), pp. 262, 266.

114 Saturday review, 24 09 1864, quoted in Bill, op. cit. (10), p. 266.

115 Work extending Kuhn T. S., The structure of scientific revolutions (New York, 1962), is currently underway in the study of factors affecting the emergence of new disciplines. See Lemaine G. et al. , Perspectives in the study of Scientific Disciplines (The Hague: Mouton, in press).

116 Thus, the vigorous debate concerning the ethics of, and need for, vivisection may have hindered biological research. On this subject, see French R. D., Antivivisection and medical science in Victorian Society (Princeton, 1974). On the other hand, interest in psychic phenomena may have promoted research in physics during the same period. For one example, see Brock W. H., ‘A scientist among the spirits: William Crookes and the radiometer’, in Brock W. H., Chapple M., and Hewson M. A., Studies in physics (London, 1972), pp. 4360.

117 Benton E., ‘Vitalism in nineteenth-century scientific thought: a typology and reassessment’, Studies in the history and philosophy of science, v (1974), 1748.

118 We should like to thank Dr Gerrylynn K. Roberts for raising these speculations concerning Hofmann and the Royal College of Chemistry. There is no evidence, however, to suggest the existence of an ‘established’ religion in the College. Any ‘uncertainty’ concerning the College's future was resolved by the appointment of Frankland (an agnostic) to succeed Hofmann, and by the move to South Kensington in 1872.

119 Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 8.

120 Geikie J. C., Michael Faraday and Sir David Brewster, philosophers and Christians (London, 1868), p. 13.

121 Transactions of the Victoria Institute or Philosophical Society of Great Britain, i (1867), Preface. Eleven signatories of the Declaration were among the founder members of the Victoria Institute.

122 Wertheimer D., ‘The Victoria Institute of Great Britain’ (University of Toronto M.A. thesis, 1972).

123 Berger. Documents, op. cit. (10), p. 52 (Berger to Belper Lord, 6 09 1864).

124 Wilson J. M., ‘On teaching natural science in schools’, in Farrar F. W. (ed.), Essays on a liberal education (London, 1867), p. 290.

125 Meadows A. J. and Brock W. H., ‘Topics fit for gentlemen. Science teaching in Victorian Public Schools’, in Simon B. (ed.), The Victorian public school (Dublin, 1975).

126 Quoted in Chadwick, op. cit. (1), p. 12; Huxley T. H., ‘The Origin of Species’, West-minster review, 04 1860, p. 596 (reprinted in Darwinian essays [London, 1899], p. 52). Nor were they interested in doubting the efficacy of prayer; see Galton F., English men of science (London, 1874), and Galton, ‘On the causes which operate to create scientific men’, Fortnightly review, old ser. xii (1872), 345–51.

127 Gladstone John Hall, ‘Points of supposed collision between the scriptures and natural science’, Christian evidence lectures (London, 1880), p. 164. For interesting letters on reconciliation, see Tabrum, op. cit. (72).

128 Balfour A. J., A defence of philosophic doubt (London, 1879), pp. 302–3. Cf. W. E. Gladstone's remark: ‘Let the scientific men stick to their science, and leave philosophy and religion to poets, philosophers and theologians’; quoted in Brown Alan W., The Metaphysical Society: Victorian minds in crisis, 1869–1880 (New York, 1947), p. 106. See also Cotterill Henry, On the relation between science and religion through the principles of unity and causation (London, 1880).

129 Butler Samuel, Erewhon (London, 1872), and Cobbe Frances Power, ‘The scientific spirit of the age’, Contemporary review, liv (1888), 126–39. For the obstacles and reactions to science at the end of the nineteenth century, see MacLeod R. M., ‘The support of Victorian science: the endowment of research movement in Great Britain, 1868–1900’, Minerva, iv (1971), 219–26.

130 Chadwick, op. cit (1), pp. 123.

131 Athenaeum, 1 07 1865, p. 20.

132 For the Encyclical, the Syllabus, and their aftermath, see Hales E. E. Y., Pio Nono (London, 1954), pp. 255–90. Cf. Draper J. W., History of the conflict between religion and science (London, 1875), chapter 12.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal for the History of Science
  • ISSN: 0007-0874
  • EISSN: 1474-001X
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-for-the-history-of-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 130 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.