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HUGH MILLER
(1802 - 1856)

Hugh Miller began his career as a stone-mason, working first in Edinburgh from 1824 to rebuild areas of the city destroyed by The Great Fire of that year.

He had to return to Cromarty, his place of birth and childhood home, owing to ill health caused by breathing dust in the course of this work. Only when he recovered did he return to Edinburgh to work as a bank-clerk, an occupation that allowed him to devote his spare time to geology and fossil research.

He befriended the great geologist Sir Roderick Murchison (1792 – 1871) when living in the Marchmont district of Edinburgh and became an established writer of geological articles and essays. Miller was also leader of the Disruption of The Church of Scotland in 1843, and took a stance which fervently opposed emerging theories of evolution.

It is believed that his difficulties in reconciling science and nature with religious belief, combined with the strain of his work led to depression and his suicide (by gunshot), which took place in his Portobello home on Christmas Eve, 1856.

 


 
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