Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873)

Adam Sedgwick was Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge from 1818 until his death in 1873. Darwin first attended Sedgwick’s popular geology lectures in the months after his graduation and joined him on a geological field trip to Wales. What he learned from Sedgwick stood Darwin in good stead when he came to collect rocks and minerals on the voyage. It was Sedgwick who worked on most of Darwin’s geological specimens from the Beagle voyage, and whose reading of Darwin’s letters at meetings of the Geological Society of London helped establish Darwin’s reputation as a geologist even before his return. The two men remained friends to the end of Sedgwick’s life despite Sedgwick’s later disapproval of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.