Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Owen Richard

Owen, Richard, Sir (1804-92), noted English naturalist and comparative anatomist, was born and educated at Lancaster, where he formed a friendship with Whewell, afterwards Master of Trinity, Cambridge. He then proceeded to Edinburgh, and later to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he obtained his diploma, and was the pupil of Abernethy, who was so struck by Owen's anatomical tastes as to cause his employment in cataloguing the Hunterian collection at the Royal College of Surgeons. Here Owen laboured till 1855, having married the daughter of his colleague in the work in 1835. From 1834-55 he lectured in comparative anatomy at St. Bartholomew's and the College of Surgeons. He had much to do with developing the Zoological Society, and sat on various Health Commissions, and had the duty of arranging the models of extinct animals for the Exhibition of 1851. In 1856 he was appointed head of the natural history department at the British Museum, and did not rest till he had brought about the removal of the department to South Kensington, resigning his post in 1883, when the task of arrangement had been well-nigh completed. The Queen gave him Sheen House, where he passed many years of his later life. He was made K.C.B. in 1883, and many other distinctions, foreign and English, were bestowed upon him. His earliest paper, on Calculus, in 1826, was the prelude to a vast mass of literary work, mostly bearing upon the different branches of comparative anatomy. It may be sufficient to mention here his History of British Fossil Reptiles, Parthenogenesis, and his works upon extinct animals of New Zealand, Australia, and America. Though the Darwinian theory was opposed to some of his fundamental ideas, he always kept an open mind with regard to it.