Henry Hicks (geologist)

Henry Hicks

A greyscale portrait photograph of a white man with a large beard in a coat; he is facing and looking to the camera's left.
Born(1837-05-26)26 May 1837
Died18 November 1899(1899-11-18) (aged 62)
Hendon, London, England
UK of Great Britain and Ireland
EducationDr of Medicine, St And (1862)
Mary Richardson
(m. 1864)
Children3 daughters
AwardsBigsby Medal (1883)

Henry Hicks (1837–1899) was a Welsh physician and geologist during the 19th century.

Personal life

Henry Hicks was born on 26 May 1837 in the city of St Davids, Wales. His parents were Anne (née Griffiths) and surgeon Thomas Hicks. Hicks married Mary Richardson in February 1864, with whom he had three daughters. He died on 18 November 1899 in Hendon, London.

Medical career

Hicks studied medicine at Guy's Hospital in London; in 1862, he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and was licensed by Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. Hicks returned to St Davids to practise medicine, and in 1871, he moved his practise to Hendon, London. Focusing on mental health, Hicks received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of St Andrews in 1878, ultimately becoming the head of an asylum in Hendon Grove, solely treating women for mental disorders.

Geology career

In St Davids, Hicks met palæontologist John William Salter, and became enamored with the burgeoning field of study. Hicks discovered a new Lingulella in the red, Cambrian-era rocks near his hometown, and wrote of it to the Geological Society of London. This earned him recognition and a grant from the British Science Association, leading him to find up to thirty more Cambrian species in 1868. Post-1868, Hicks included the higher Paleozoic-era strata in his searches. When he began his psychiatric work in Hendon Grove, this allowed Hicks much more time to devote to the geologic deposits in Middlesex.

Hicks coined the terms Pebidian and Dimetian to describe the Precambrian rocks around St Davids; both descriptors were still used by scientists as of the 2010s. Across the Geological Magazine, the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, and the Reports of the British Association, Hicks published 63 papers. He was also the first to discover fossils (of the Silurian) in the Morte Slates Formation.

Hicks was active in the British Science Association, Fellow and president of the Geologists' Association from 1883–1885, and made a Fellow of the Royal Society on 4 June 1885. He was awarded the Bigsby Medal from the Geological Society in 1883, became secretary from 1890–1893, 46th president from 1896–1898, and vice-president in 1899 at the time of his death.

Fossils described


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