Jameson | Robert | 1774-1854 | geologist and professor of natural history, University of Edinburgh

Biographical Information

Occupation, Sphere of Activity

Robert Jameson showed a lifelong interest in natural history. Originally assigned an apprenticeship in medicine under John Cheyne (1777-1836) he attended classes at the University of Edinburgh becoming most interested in natural history. He assisted the then professor of natural history, John Walker, (1731-1803) and was given charge of the university museum. Jameson studied at the mining academy, Freiberg Saxony in 1800. He returned in 1802 and took up the chair of natural history at Edinburgh University in 1804, after the death of Walker . He held the post for fifty years until his death. He is most well known for his work in mineralogy, in particularly the mapping of a mineralogy of Scotland. He was an ardent defender of the geological theory of Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750-1817) in direct opposition to James Hutton (1726-1797). He founded the Wernerian Natural History Society in 1808. In 1819 Jameson and David Brewster (1781-1868) founded the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal and from 1824-1854 Jameson was the sole editor. Jameson was a prolific teacher and fieldworker, and might even have pioneered the use of the field for pedagogical purposes in British universities.


no information available

Other Significant Information

Notable publications:

The Mineralogy of the Shetland Islands and of Arran, (1798)

Mineralogy of the Scottish Isles, (1800)

System of Mineralogy, (1804)

Mineralogical Description of Scotland, vol. i, part I, (1805)

Elements of Geognosy, (1809)

Mineralogical Travels through the Hebrides, Orkeny and shetland Islands, (1813)

Manual of Mineralogy, (1821)

Honours, Qualifications and Appointments

1802: Graduate of the Bergakademie, Freiberg


List of sources for the biographical information:

Dictionary of Scientific Biography, volume II , ( New York, Scribner's, 1981)

Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 12, ( London, William Benton, 1964)