|The Light of Science (Mrs Murchison) dispelling the darkness which covered the world|
But it took her almost ten years to curb her husband's idle ways and interest him in more intellectual pursuits. While travelling through Europe they became acquainted with Mary Somerville, the eminent science writer who remained a life-long friend. Together with another friend, chemist and inventor Humphry Davy (of Davy Lamp fame), Charlotte eventually persuaded her husband to take up studies in chemistry and geology. After that, there was no stopping him and together they became involved in fossil hunting and paleontology all around Britain and throughout Europe, in company with many of the other scientists and enthusiasts of the day. Charlotte drew the sketches to accompany her husband's written discoveries such as The Silurian System.
|Corals from Geology Matters|
|From the Blue Plaque trail|
“It was she who introduced him [Sir Roderick] into the geological world, and it was her money and social position which helped him achieve such extraordinary prominence within it (he was knighted in 1846 and made baronet in 1866). She took an active part in the scientific pursuits which she had initiated, and her views are intimately connected with Roderick Murchison's work. Charlotte Murchison also played a role in making higher education accessible to women: in 1831 it was her wish to attend Lyell's [Charles Lyell] geological lectures at King's College that caused them to be opened to both sexes,”And here is an extract from her obituary in the Manchester Courier, 20 February, 1869
“Lady Murchison was no ordinary woman, and the world of science owes her a deep debt of gratitude; for if her ladyship (then Mrs Murchison) had not - nearly half a century ago - weaned her husband’s powerful mind from the ordinary occupation of a retired Peninsular captain, and attracted his attention to the engaging purist of science, England might never have had occasion to be proud of the illustrious baronet, who has fought such a good for fight for geology and whose labours have caused English geological knowledge to be respected wherever civilisation and human industry have utilised the products of the quarry, the coal, or the gold field.”
From Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution publication