History of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club


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Memoir of the late George Tate, by Mr R. Middlemas. 273
Mr Tate commenced the study of geology at an early
period, probably about the year 1832, when that science was
in its infancy. No works of any value had then appeared in
England save “ Smith’s Tabular View of British Strata,”
“ Buckland’s Yindicise Geologicae,” and “ Reliquae Diluvi-
anse.” The publication of “ Lyell’s Principles of Geology ”
seems to have induced Mr Tate to commence a series of
investigations in the neighbourhood of Alnwick, which
gradually extended over Northumberland, Durham, and a
great part of Berwickshire. His reading kept pace with the
views then rapidly propounded by scientific men, and, as he
was indefatigable in his investigations, his practical know-
ledge enabled him to grapple with problems then little
understood. He seems early to have paid special attention to
the Carboniferous and Mountain Limestone formations ; and
these formed the subjects of his earliest illustrations and
lectures.* Each journey added to his collection of fossils;
many of which were so unique as to be figured in the
monographs issued by the Palseontographical Society. Mr
Tate favoured the public with the sight of a part of his col-
lection in an exhibition held in the Corn Exchange, Alnwick,
in the year 1869, on the first distribution of prizes to the
students of the Science and Art classes in connection with
the Mechanics’ Institute. The number and variety of fossils
were so great, that few people imagined so much could be
accomplished by a single person. He also lectured upon that
Mr Tate was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society;
an Honorary Member of the Hastings and Newcastle-upon-
Tyne Literary and Philosophical Societies; and an Associate
of the Edinburgh Geological Society.
In the year 1849, Mr Tate first noticed the marks of ice
action on the rocks of Northumberland. His observations
were made upon the farm of Hawkhill, about 2| miles from
Alnwick. There, underneath a bed of red tough clay, the
surface of the limestone rock was polished, scratched, and
grooved, over an area of 20 feet by 6, from which the clay had
been removed; and the same polished and scratched surface
* .Estheria striata var Tateana, Candona Tateana, Beyrichia Tatei, fossil
Entomostraca of the Mountain Limestone were named by Professor T. E.
Jones after Mr Tate.

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