Howchin, Walter
1845-1937 em.1864

Primitive Methodist itinerant and geologist, one of the eleven children of the Rev. Richard Howchin (1803-1874, em 1828) was born at Norwich on 12 January 1845 and educated at the Academy, Kings Lynn. He left school to become a clerk and then was a printer's apprentice at Great Yarmouth. He seems to have trained for the ministry at Elmfield College, York. From an early age he developed an interest in geology and this was strengthened by his itinerating in the north east, including the coal measures of the Carboniferous age, glacial sediment and the flint implements of Northumberland which would lead In turn to studying those of the Australian Aborigines. He was elected a fellow of the Geology Society of London in 1878.

Contracting what is thought to have been tuberculosis, in 1881 he moved to Australia, serving as a minister in South Australia until 1903. For a time, he was the editor of The Christian Colonist and served for sixteen years as the secretary of the Adelaide Children's Hospital. From 1899 to 1904 he held the post of lecturer in mineralogy at the Adelaide School of Mines, and then from 1902 to 1918 in geology and palaeontology at the University of Adelaide. Retiring in 1920. he held the post of Honorary Professor, continuing his researches. He died at Adelaide on 27 November 1937.

  • Joseph Ritson, 'Professor Howchin, F.G.S.' in Aldersgate Primitive Methodist Magazine (1922), pp.830ff


Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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