Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wetherell, Nathaniel Thomas

WETHERELL, NATHANIEL THOMAS (1800–1875), geologist, was born at the Grove, Highgate, on 6 Sept. 1800, where his father, William Roundell Wetherell, was in practice as a surgeon. His mother's maiden name was Anne Maria Gibson. He was educated first at private schools, then at the Middlesex Hospital, and, after passing the examinations of the Royal College of Surgeons, settled at Highgate.

Wetherell's attention was early turned to geology, and to this all his spare time was given. He was an active member of the London Clay Club [see Bowerbank, James Scott], and a zealous searcher after the fossils of that formation. Sundry deep excavations, like that at Highgate Archway, afforded him good opportunities for forming an unusually fine collection, which was ultimately purchased by the British Museum authorities and is now at South Kensington. He also acquired a large series of interesting specimens from the glacial drift of Muswell Hill, Finchley, &c., which is preserved in the Jermyn Street Museum; and he paid especial attention to the banded structure of flints. He was elected F.G.S. in 1863, but resigned, owing to increasing deafness, in December 1869. He died at Highgate on 22 Dec. 1875, having spent his whole life at the Grove, which had been the home of his father and grandfather, also members of the same profession. He married, on 20 March 1837, Louisa Mary Capon of Highgate. She, with four sons and three daughters, survived him.

Most of the time which Wetherell could spare from professional duties was taken up in forming and arranging his collections. He was the author of thirteen papers, some of which appeared in the publications of the Geological Society, and of a few short notes.

[Obituary notices, Quarterly Journal Geol. Soc. xxxii. (1876), Proc. p. 90, Geol. Mag. 1876, p. 48; information from Dr. H. Woodward, Professor T. R. Jones, and Mrs. Wetherell (widow).]

T. G. B.