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Special ceremony in Lowestoft churchyard

PUBLISHED: 08:54 27 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2010

AN East Anglian scientist who founded The Linnean Society of London was honoured in a ceremony at Lowestoft last week.

Dr Vaughan Southgate, president of the society, laid a wreath on the tomb of Sir James Edward Smith at St Margaret's Churchyard.

AN East Anglian scientist who founded The Linnean Society of London was honoured in a ceremony at Lowestoft last week.

Dr Vaughan Southgate, president of the society, laid a wreath on the tomb of Sir James Edward Smith at St Margaret's Churchyard.

Sir James was born at Norwich in 1759 and became an established scientist and natural history collector.

He was a contemporary of Joseph Banks, Stamford Raffles and other major 18th Century figures and was the first president of the society, which is the world's oldest active biological society.

The wreath was laid on the anniversary of Sir James' death in 1828.

He is buried in a family tomb and the Linnean Society arranged for the tomb to be restored.

“As part of our celebrations of the 250th birthday of our founder, the society was delighted to restore the tombstone in Lowestoft and we would like to extend our thanks to the staff of St Margaret's Church for all their assistance,” said Dr Southgate.

“The wreath-laying marked, not only the restoration, but the anniversary of the death of a man whose vision and foresight led to the creation of the society, which 182 years later, continues to be committed to the science of natural history and engagement with contemporary scientific issues,” he said.

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