1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Foster, Sir Clement le Neve
FOSTER, SIR CLEMENT LE NEVE (1841–1904), English geologist and mineralogist, the second son of Peter Le Neve Foster (for many years secretary of the Society of Arts), was born at Camberwell on the 23rd of March 1841. After receiving his early education at Boulogne and Amiens, he studied successively at the Royal School of Mines in London and at the mining college of Freiburg in Saxony. In 1860 he joined the Geological Survey in England, working in the Wealden area and afterwards in Derbyshire. Conjointly with William Topley (1841–1894) he communicated to the Geological Society of London in 1865 the now classic paper “On the superficial deposits of the Valley of the Medway, with remarks on the Denudation of the Weald.” In this paper the sculpturing of the Wealden area by rain and rivers was ably advocated. Retiring from the Geological Survey in 1865, Foster devoted his attention to mineralogy and mining in Cornwall, Egypt and Venezuela. In 1872 he was appointed an inspector of mines under the home office for the S.W. of England, and in 1880 he was transferred to the N. Wales district. In 1890 he was appointed professor of mining at the Royal College of Science and he held this post until the close of his life. His later work is embodied largely in the reports of mines and quarries issued annually by the home office. He was distinguished for his extensive scientific and practical knowledge of metalliferous mining and stone quarrying. He was elected F.R.S. in 1892 and was knighted in 1903. While investigating the cause of a mining disaster in the Isle of Man in 1897 his constitution suffered much injury from carbonic-oxide gas, and he never fully recovered from the effects. He died in London on the 19th of April 1904. He published Ore and Stone Mining, 1894 (ed. 5, 1904); and The Elements of Mining and Quarrying, 1903.