Joshua Trimmer

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Date Details
1846 Joined Survey.
Initiated detailed study of distribution of superficial deposits.
1850 Issued “Proposals for a Geological Survey, specially directed to agricultural objects”.
1854 Resigned from Survey.
1857 Died September 16th.

Biographies and obituaries[edit]

Portlock (Major-General) Obituary - Joshua Trimmer. [In Anniversary Address.]. Proceedings of the Geological Society in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. v. 14 p.xxxii-xxxvi. 1858

Joshua Trimmer — Wikipedia article

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Trimmer, Joshua. Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Bonney, Thomas George (1899). Trimmer, Joshua. In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Trimmer, Joshua (1795–1857). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press.


Works listed in the BGS Library catalogue

Topley, W. ; Buckland, G. ; Tomson, J. ; Heathorn, R. ; Whitehead, C. ; Way, J.T. ; Paine, J. M. ; Farncombe, J. ; Evershed, H. ; Evershed, S. ; Trimmer, J. ; Topley, W. (1845-1877). Agriculture, south east England. (Survey pamphlet; 18e).

Trimmer, J. ([1852]). The Keythorpe system of land drainage, its principles, efficiency, economy, and opponents : IN: Pamphlets: Agriculture II 1840-54. London : W.P. Metchim.

Trimmer, J. (1853). Notes on the geology of the Keythorpe estate and its relatios to the Keythorpe system of drainage : BOUND IN: Murchison Pamphlets 37 1831-53 English Science. ND IN: Murchison Pamphlets 37 1831-53 English Science (1853).

Trimmer, J. (1845-1877). On the agricultural relations of the western portion of the Hampshire Tertiary district, and on the agricultural importance of the marls of the New Forest. Agriculture, south east England ; Agriculture, south east England / by W. Topley et al.. 1845-1877. p. 125-141 (ca 1855) ; p. 125-141.

Trimmer, J. On the geology of Norfolk as illustrating the laws of the distribution of soils : Reprint from: Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society vii, 1846 p444-482, sections.

Trimmer, J. (1841). Practical geology and mineralogy : with instructions for the qualitative analysis of minerals. London : Parker.

BGS archives[edit]

Ref No Title Description
GSM/DC/A/C/3/288 A.C. Ramsay: Letters about J. Trimmer.
GSM/DC/A/C/3/288 J. Trimmer: Letters to A.C. Ramsay.
GSM/DC/A/C/4/161, 163, 174, 177, 191 A C Ramsay: Letters about J. Trimmer.
GSM/DC/A/C/4/161, 174, 177 J Trimmer: Letters to A C Ramsay.
GSM/DC/A/C/4/163, 191 Mentioned in letters of H T De la Beche.
GSM/DC/A/C/6/97 J Trimmer: Letter to J.F. Kennedy.
GSM/DC/A/C/6/133 A C Ramsay: Letters about J. Trimmer.
GSM/DC/A/C/6/133 J Trimmer: Letters to A C Ramsay.
GSM/GL/Tr J.Trimmer Trimmer was one of the first staff of the Survey, joining in 1846.
GSM/GL/Tr/3 Proposals by Trimmer for a geological survey specially directed to agricultural objectives.

Joshua Trimmer[edit]

From Bonney, Thomas George (1899). Trimmer, Joshua. In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 57.

TRIMMER, JOSHUA (1795-1857), geologist, the eldest son of Joshua Kirkby Trimmer, was born at North Cray in Kent on 11 July 1795. When he was about four years old his parents removed to Brentford, Middlesex, to be near his grandmother, Mrs. Sarah Trimmer [q. v.], the authoress. The child spent much time in her company, and she had great influence in forming his character. From 1806 he was instructed by William Davison, curate of New Brentford, and at the age of nineteen was sent to North Wales to manage a copper-mine for his father. Afterwards he was in charge of a farm in Middlesex, but returned in 1825 to oversee some slate-quarries near Bangor and Carnarvon. As he had been always fond of natural history, these occupations turned his thoughts especially to geology, and during his stay in North Wales he made the important discovery that sands containing marine -fossils of existing species lie under a boulder clay almost on the summit of Moel Tryfaen, fully 1,350 feet above sea level. Quitting Wales about 1840 he was for some time employed upon the geological survey of England, but after that spent the remainder of his life in Kent, residing, at any rate for part of the time, at Faversham.

Trimmer was elected a fellow of the Geological Society in 1832, and in 1841 published a book entitled 'Practical Geo- logy and Mineralogy ; ' he was also, accord- ing to the Royal Society's catalogue, the author of twenty-four papers. These, as might be expected from his interest in agriculture, related chiefly to the more super- ficial deposits of the earth's crust, in the classification of which he made important advances, distinguishing them into northern drift and warp drift ; dividing the former and older into a lower or boulder clay, and an upper sand and gravel ; and showing that the more widely distributed warp drift rests on an eroded surface of one of these deposits or of some older rock, and is in immediate connection with the surface soil. Owing to his intimate knowledge of these subjects his advice on questions of drainage, planting, and the more scientific aspects of agriculture was much valued. While engaged in writing a book on the geology of agriculture he died, unmarried, in London on 16 Sept. 1857.

Obituary notice Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc. 1858, vol. xiv. p. ii.] T. G. B.