• Bacteria as seen under a microscope
  • Sun shining across a beach
  • Lowland Scottish Agricultural Scene
  • Drome image showing experiment plots
  • Test Tubes
  • Luminescent Vial
  • Copping Edge
  • Agricultural Landscpe
  • River Tay
  • Petri Dishes
  • Sprouting Roots
  • Potato Field
  • Tay Bridge at Night
  • Test Tubes in a rack
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The Timeline

  • 1726

    Born in Edinburgh

    1 of 5 children

  • 1733

    Educated at the Royal High School of Edinburgh
  • 1740

    Edinburgh University

    Studied Latin and Humanities

  • 1743

    Apprentice of Lawyer

    Apprentice to George Chalmers WS

  • 1744

    Edinburgh University

    Studied Medicine

  • 1745

    Jacobite Rebellion
  • 1747

    Fathered an illegitimate son

    James Smeaton

  • 1747

    Attended Paris University
  • 1749

    Qualified MD in Leiden
  • 1749

    Started a Medical Practice in London
  • 1750

    Returned to Edinburgh

    Having made money in London from the manufacturing chemicals (ammonium chloride from soot)

  • 1752

    Travelled to East Anglia in England

    To observe agriculture and the importance of soils

  • 1754

    Toured Holland, Flanders and N France
  • 1754

    Settled at Slighhouses Farm, Berwickshire
  • 1759

    Robert Burns was born
  • 1764

    Started studying geology more than agriculture
  • 1767

    Worked with Clerk and Hall to develop Forth/ Clyde Canal

    Member of Committee of Management Building

  • 1771

    Sir Walter Scott born
  • 1774

    Salt Mines of Cheshire to define geology of England
  • 1777

    Published ‘Considerations of the Nature, Quality, and Distinctions of Coal and Culm

    Recognition that his ideas for geology were being recognised

  • 1778

    Rented out Slighhouses Farm and moved to Edinburgh

    Farm was now earning good income

  • 1783

    Royal Society of Edinburgh founded

    Hutton thought his involvement was important for the advancement of science

  • 1788

    Papers published in ‘Transitions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’
  • 1788

    Hutton was selected as foreign member of the French Royal Society of Agriculture
  • 1794

    Started the principle of Natural Selection
  • 1795

    Published ‘Theory of the Earth’ in 2 volumes
  • 1797

    Hutton dies aged 70
  • 1802

    Playfair publishes ‘Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth’

    Hutton finally gets recognition

  • 1830

    Darwin sailed on HMS Beagle and read Lyell’s publication, leading to his development of the ‘Theory of Natural Selection’
  • 1831

    Charles Lyell republished many of James Hutton’s ideas and first used the term ‘Uniformitarianism’