William Whitaker (geologist)

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William Whitaker
File:Presidential Address to the Geological Society 1900.jpeg
Born 4 May 1836
Died 15 January 1925
Nationality British
Fields Geologist
Alma mater University College, London
Known for Hydrogeology
Notable awards Murchison Medal (1886)
Prestwich Medal (1906)
Wollaston Medal (1923)
Spouse Mary Whitaker (Nee Keogh)

William Whitaker was born on 4 May 1836 in London,[1]

Early life

He was educated at St Albans School and University College, London, where he gained a degree in chemistry in 1855.


He became a geologist, specializing initially in water surveying and mapping. His thorough research, wide knowledge, and his numerous publications, especially his The Geology of London and of Part of the Thames Valley (1889) has led some to call him “the father of English hydrogeology”. He retired in 1896 but continued to work as a water engineer.


He was elected fellow of the Geological Society in 1859, and FRS in 1883. He was president of numerous societies, including both the Geologists’ Association and the Geological Society, and was a recipient of the latter’s Murchison Medal in 1886 and Wollaston Medal in 1923. He died in Croydon, Surrey on 15 January 1925,.[2]

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Bibliography


  1. "WHITAKER, William". Who's Who. Vol. 57. 1905. p. 1719.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Transactions of the Institution of Mining Engineers. Vol. LXIX.- 1924-1925, London 1925, page 200