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A Memoir of William Pengelly, of Torquay, FRS, Geologist, with a Selection from his Correspondence

Nature volume 57, pages 46 | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE story of William Pengelly is one of the pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, and of the achievement by the hero of an honoured place amongst those who have rendered distinguished service to science. Many of his paternal ancestors were sailors, and his father was captain of a small coasting vessel, in which his son William accompanied him, after receiving an elementary education at East Looe in Cornwall. For four years the lad was engaged in a seafaring life, but in 1828, at the age of sixteen, and at the earnest desire of his mother, he returned to his native village, and was occupied for a few years in active manual labour. He had, however, developed a passion for learning, and every hour that could be spared, was devoted to the acquisition of knowledge, and more especially of mathematics. Having so far prepared himself, after severe study and under great privations, for more congenial labours, he removed to Torquay and opened a small day-school. Here he met with good success, which rapidly increased as the years passed by.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/057004a0

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