Frederick Wollaston Hutton

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Frederick Wollaston Hutton

Captain Frederick Wollaston Hutton, FRS, (16 November 1836 – 27 October 1905) was an English scientist who applied the theory of natural selection to explain the origins and nature of the natural history of New Zealand.

Biography[edit]

Plaque to Hutton in Christchurch Cathedral

Hutton was born in Gate Burton, Lincolnshire, England and passed through Southwell Grammar School and the Naval Academy at Gosport, Hampshire. He studied applied science at King's College London before being commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and fighting in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny.

Hutton returned to England in 1860, and continued to study geology at the Sandhurst, being elected to the Geological Society of London in the same year. In 1861, he reviewed Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species for The Geologist. Throughout his life, Hutton remained a staunch exponent of Darwin's theories of natural selection, and Darwin himself expressed his appreciation in a letter to Hutton.

Hutton married Annie Gouger Montgomerie in 1863, and resigned his commission in 1866 in order to travel with his wife and two children to New Zealand, where four more children would follow. They lived initially in Waikato, where Hutton tried his hand at flax milling, but he soon changed back to geology, joining the Geological Survey of New Zealand in 1866 and becoming Provincial Geologist of Otago in 1874. At the same time, he was made lecturer in geology at the University of Otago and curator of the museum there. Hutton became professor of biology at Canterbury College in 1880, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1892. The following year, he also took on the curatorship of the Canterbury Museum. Towards the end of his life, Hutton was made president of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union and the New Zealand Institute. He was awarded the Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1891.

Hutton died on the return voyage from England on the 27 October 1905, and was buried at sea off Cape Town, South Africa. He is commemorated in the Hutton Memorial Medal and Research Fund, awarded for scientific works bearing on the zoology, botany or geology of New Zealand. Hutton's Shearwater (Puffinus huttoni), a sea bird, was named after him.

Taxa[edit]

Taxa described and named by Hutton include:

Hutton's publications[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
George Bennett
Clarke Medal
1891
Succeeded by
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer