Edward William Binney

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Edward William Binney FRS, FGS (1812–1882) was an English geologist.


Edward William Binney was born at Morton, in Nottinghamshire in 1812, and educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Gainsborough. He was articled to a solicitor in Chesterfield, and in 1836 settled in Manchester. He retired soon afterwards from legal practice and gave his chief attention to geological pursuits.[1]

He assisted in 1838 in founding the Manchester Geological Society, of which he was then chosen one of the honorary secretaries; he was elected president in 1857, and again in 1865. He was also successively secretary and president of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. Working especially at the Carboniferous and Permian rocks of the north of England, he studied also the Drift deposits of Lancashire, which resulted in him and Joseph Dalton Hooker finding the first coal balls, and made himself familiar with the geology of the area around Manchester. On the Coal Measures in particular he became an acknowledged authority, and his Observations on the Structure of Fossil Plants found in the Carboniferous Strata (1868–1875) formed one of the monographs of the Palaeontographical Society. His large collection of fossils was placed in Owens College.[1]

Binney was part of a close Manchester social circle that included James Prescott Joule, William Sturgeon, John Davies and John Leigh.[2]

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1856 and died at Manchester in 1882.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chisholm, 1911
  2. ^ Kargon (1977) pp 39-40

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