Frederick McCoy K.C.M.G., M.A., D.Sc.(Cantab), F.R.S., F.G.S.

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Frederick McCoy K.C.M.G., M.A., D.Sc.(Cantab), F.R.S., F.G.S. Source: Wikipedia, Public domain


Date Details
1823 Born in Dublin, son of Dr. Simon McCoy M.D.
Educated for medical profession in Dublin and Cambridge but took up study of Natural Science.
Accepted Sir Richard Griffith’s offer to do palaeontology for Geological Map of Ireland for the Boundary Survey.
Results in volume published 1844 “Synopsis of Carboniferous Limestone Fossils of Ireland” and 1846 “Synopsis of Silurian Fossils of Ireland”.
1845 Invited by Sir Henry James and De la Beche to join Survey of Ireland. Joined May 24th.
1846-1850 Undertook with Sedgwick work on Palaeozoic rocks and fossils (Woodwardian Museum), (“British Palaeozoic Rocks and Fossils” published with Sedgwick 1852).
1850 Appointed by Sir Robert Peel’s Government to Chair of Geology and Mineralogy at Queen’s University (Northern College), Belfast.
1852 British Palaeozoic rocks & fossils. Sedgwick and McCoy.
1854 Appointed first Professor of Natural Science in Melbourne University (post held for more than 30 years).
Established National Museum of Natural History and Geology in Melbourne. Member of various Royal Commissions – on Goldfields of Victoria; on Technical Instruction; on Education; International and Intercolonial Exhibitions. Appointed Government Palaeontolo
1886 Elected F.R.S.
1886 Made C.M.G.
1891 K.C.M.G.
Received many honours and distinctions, British and Foreign (Geological Magazine (1899) p. 285).
1895 Died May 16th at Melbourne.

Biographies and obituaries[edit]

Obituary - Professor Sir Frederick McCoy, K.C.M.G., M.A., D.Sc.(Cantab), F.R.S., F.G.S. Born 1823, died 16th May 1899. Geologists Magazine. New Series. v. 6 p.283-287. 1899

Whitaker, W. Obituary - Sir Frederick McCoy, K.C.M.G., F.R.S. [In Anniversary Address.]. Proceedings of the Geological Society in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. v. 56 p.lix-lx. 1900

Royal Society Obituary 1900-01 p. 31.

Frederick McCoy — Wikipedia article

McCoy, Frederick (DNB01) — Wikisource

History of Geological Society, H.B.W. (1907)p. 188,189. "Mention should be made of the distinguished palaeontologist, Frederick McCoy (1823-99), who assisted Sir Richard Griffith in Ireland, and worked with Sedgwick in the Woodwardian Museum at Cambridge during the years 1846-50, till he became professor of Geology in Queen's College, Belfast. In 1854 he was appointed professor of Natural Science in the University of Melbourne, and in course of time was recognised as the leading naturalist in Australia. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1891."

Fendley, G.C. Biography - Sir Frederick McCoy. Australian Dictionary of Biography

McCoy, Sir Frederick (1817-1899), geologist and naturalist — Dictinary of Australian Biography (at


Additional writings: Geological magazine (1899) pp. 285-287.

Works listed in the BGS Library catalogue

McCoy, F.. Griffith, R.J.. 1862. A synopsis of the characters of the Carboniferous limestone fossils of Ireland: by Frederick McCoy; Richard John Griffith, Sir.. - London: Williams & Norgate

McCoy, F.. Griffith, R.J.. 1844. A synopsis of the characters of the Carboniferous limestone fossils of Ireland. - Dublin: Printed at the University Press by M. H. Gill

Sedgwick, A.. McCoy, F.. 1855. A synopsis of the classification of the British Palaeozoic rocks. - London: Parker

McCoy, F.. Griffith, R.J.. Salter, J.W.. 1862. A Synopsis of the Silurian fossils of Ireland. - London: Williams & Norgate

McCoy, F.. Griffith, R.J.. 1846. A synopsis of the Silurian fossils of Ireland collected from the several districts by Richard Griffith; the whole being named, and the new species drawn and described by Frederick McCoy. - Dublin: Printed at the University Press by M. H. Gill

BGS archives[edit]

Ref No Title Description
GSM/DC/A/C/3/35 F. McCoy: Letter of appointment.
GSM/DC/A/C/3/35 H. James: Letter to F. McCoy.
GSM/DC/A/C/3/250 F. McCoy: Letter on his resignation.
GSM/DC/A/C/11/187 F McCoy: Letters about his resignation.