News | Published:

Professor Charles Friedel

Nature volume 60, pages 5758 | Download Citation



FRANCE has lost one of her most distinguished chemists in the person of Prof. Charles Friedel, member of the Institute, who died at Montauban on April 20. He was born in Strassburg on March 12, 1832. His father was a banker; his mother was the daughter of Dr. Duvernoy, well known in his day as a scientific man. He distinguished himself so greatly in his studies that he took his degree of Bachelor of Science with special honours. Desiring to follow science as his profession he went to Paris, and gained the special esteem of M. de Sénarmont, who caused him to be appointed conservator of the mineralogical collections at the École des Mines. He worked in the laboratory of the distinguished chemist M. Adolph Wurtz, also a native of Alsace, at the École de Médecine. In 1856 he married Miss Kœchlin, by whom he had five children, one of whom, George Friedel, is known as a professor at the mining school of St. Etienne. Mrs. Friedel died in 1871, at Vernex, where she had retired during the Franco-German war; and her husband, who was shut up in Paris, knew nothing of the sad event until after the city capitulated. He was married again, in 1873, to Mlle-Louise Combes, whose father was a member of the Institute of France, and who, with their son and a large circle of relations, now mourn his recent decease. To return to his professional distinctions: in 1869 he became Doctor of Science; two years after he received a high appointment at the École Normale Supérieure. In 1876 he became Professor of Mineralogy at the Faculté des Sciences, at the Sorbonne; and in 1878 he received the distinguished honour of membership of the Institute (Academie des Sciences). In 1884 he took the position of his late master, Prof. Wurtz, in the chair of Organic Chemistry at the Sorbonne. His merits were fully recognised in this country. In 1876 he became a foreign member of the Chemical Society, and four years later he received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society. In 1894 he made one of his rare visits to England to receive the degree of D.C.L. of Oxford University, an honour which he acknowledged as a great encouragement.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for J. H. GLADSTONE in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing