Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/King, William (1809-1886)

KING, WILLIAM (1809–1886), geologist, was born at Hartlepool, Durham, in April 1809, and became in 1841 curator of the Museum of Natural History at Newcastle-on-Tyne; he was also lecturer on geology in the school of medicine there. In 1849, on the foundation of Queen's College, Galway, he was appointed professor of geology, and organised the formation of the geological museum. In 1870 the Queen's University of Ireland conferred on him its first honorary degree of D.Sc. In 1882 the professorship of natural history was added to King's other duties, but he resigned in 1883. The college nominated him emeritus professor of geology, mineralogy, and natural history, and presented him with a testimonial. King died at Glenoir, Taylor's Hill, Galway, on 24 June 1886, and was buried in the Galway new cemetery. He was married, and left issue. King's chief work was his ‘Monograph of the Permian Fossils,’ published by the Palæontographical Society, London, 1850. He also contributed a large number of papers on geological subjects to various scientific journals; a catalogue will be found in the printed ‘Catalogue of the Library of Queen's College, Galway’ (1877), pp. 403–8. With J. H. Rowney he published ‘An Old Chapter of the Geological Record, with a new Interpretation,’ London, 1881, 8vo.

[Nature, 1 July 1886; private information.]

W. A. J. A.