Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Andersson Burnett, Linda 2014. An Eighteenth-Century Ecology of Knowledge: Patronage and Natural History. Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, Vol. 6, Issue. 7, p. 1275.

    Lehman, Christine 2009. Mid-Eighteenth-century Chemistry in France as Seen Through Student Notes from the Courses of Gabriel-François Venel and Guillaume-François Rouelle. Ambix, Vol. 56, Issue. 2, p. 163.

    Eddy, M.D. 2008. ‘An adept in medicine’: the Reverend Dr William Laing, nervous complaints and the commodification of spa water. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 39, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Eddy, M.D. 2006. The medium of signs: nominalism, language and the philosophy of mind in the early thought of Dugald Stewart. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 37, Issue. 3, p. 373.

  • The British Journal for the History of Science, Volume 35, Issue 4
  • December 2002, pp. 411-438

Scottish chemistry, classification and the early mineralogical career of the ‘ingenious’ Rev. Dr John Walker (1746 to 1779)

  • M. D. EDDY (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 December 2002

The Rev. Dr John Walker was the Professor of Natural History at the University of Edinburgh from 1779 to 1803. Although his time in this position has been addressed by several studies, the previous thirty years that he spent ‘mineralizing’ have been virtually ignored. The situation is similar for many of the well-known mineralogists of the eighteenth century and there is a lack of studies that address how a mineralogist actually became a mineralogist. Using Walker's early career as a guide, this essay seeks to detail the making of an eighteenth-century Scottish mineralogist. The time frame under examination begins with Walker's matriculation at the University of Edinburgh in 1746 and it ends with his being appointed professor in 1779. The first section demonstrates that Walker's early mineralogical education at the Medical School and under William Cullen was closely linked to chemistry. The second section shows how he used chemical characters to classify minerals and to criticize the systems of Linnaeus, Da Costa, Wallerius and Cronstedt. Because Walker needed many ‘fossil’ samples to test the viability of his chemical mineralogy, the final section details how he used tours, patrons and correspondents to build his mineral collection.

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? *