Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, FRS (14 November 1797 – 22 February 1875) was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the Earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today. Principles of Geology also challenged theories popularized by George Cuvier, which were the most accepted and circulated ideas about geology in England at the time. Lyell was also one of the first to believe that the world is older than 300 million years, on the basis of its geological anomalies. Lyell was a close and influential friend of Charles Darwin.
Lyell was born in Scotland about 15 miles north of Dundee in Kinnordy, near Kirriemuir in Forfarshire (now in Angus). He was the eldest of ten children. Lyell's father, also named Charles, was a lawyer and botanist of minor repute: it was he who first exposed his son to the study of nature.
The house/place of his birth is located in the north-west of the Central Lowlands in the valley of the Highland Boundary Fault. Round the house, in the rift valley, is farmland, but within a short distance to the north-west, on the other side of the fault, are the Grampian Mountains in the Highlands. His family's second home was in a completely different geological and ecological area: he spent much of his childhood at Bartley Lodge in the New Forest, England...
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