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William Daniel Conybeare (1787-1857)

W C Conybeare
Portrait of W D Conybeare, aged 65 years. Archive ref: GSL/POR/58/3 

Born in London in 1787, Conybeare became interested in fossils during childhood holidays in Bexley.  He went up to Oxford in 1805 where he met William Buckland at the geological lectures of John Kidd.  On Kidd’s retirement the professorship was first offered to Conybeare who turned it down.  The post was then offered to Buckland who accepted it. 

An important contributor to many geological mapping and palaeontological studies, Conybeare’s most significant work is probably his joint publication with William Phillips ‘Outlines of the Geology of England and Wales’ (1822), a stratigraphical survey of the rocks of the nation down to the Old Red Sandstone in which the ‘Carboniferous’ system was first named.

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