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Biographical entry McCoy, Frederick (1817 - 1899)

Born
1817
Dublin, Ireland
Died
13 May 1899
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Museum administrator, Palaeontologist and Naturalist

Summary

Frederick McCoy was Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Melbourne from 1854 to 1899, one of the first four professors at the University. He also held the positions of Palaeontologist to the Geological Survey of Victoria and Director of the National Museum of Victoria. McCoy made substantial contributions to the study of Victoria's zoology and geology. Among his significant publications are Prodromus of the zoology of Victoria (20 decades, 1878 - 1890) and Prodromus of the palaeontology of Victoria (7 decades, 1874 - 1882). Among the controversies in which he was embroiled were the transfer of the Government's museum collections to the University and the age of the Australian coal measures. He was fervent in his rejection of the theory of natural selection. McCoy was President of the Royal Society of Victoria in 1864 and the first President of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria from 1880 to 1883.

Details

Events

1845 - 1850
Career position - Chair of Geology and Mineralogy, Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland
1850 - 1853
Career position - Chair of Geology and Mineralogy, Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland
1852 - 1899
Award - Fellow, Geological Society, London
1854 - 1855
Career position - Member, Philosophical Society of Victoria
1854 - 1895
Career position - Professor of Natural Science, University of Melbourne
1855 - 1859
Career position - Member, Philosophical Institute of Victoria
1856 - 1857
Career position - Member of Council, Philosophical Institute of Victoria
1856 - 1869
Career position - Palaeontologist, Geological Survey of Victoria
1858 - 1860
Career position - Member, Board of Science, Colony of Victoria
1858 - 1899
Career position - Director, National Museum of Victoria
1859 - 1899
Career position - Member, Royal Society of Victoria
1862 - 1871
Career position - Member of Council, Acclimatisation Society of Victoria
1864
Career position - President, Royal Society of Victoria
1875 - 1899
Award - Honorary Member, Royal Society of New South Wales
1879
Award - Murchison Medal, Geological Society, London
1880 - 1883
Career position - Inaugural President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1880 - 1899
Award - Fellow, Royal Society, London
1881
Award - Clarke Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales
1883 - 1899
Career position - Honorary Member, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1886
Award - Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
1886
Award - DSc (honoris causa), University of Cambridge
1891
Award - Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCGM)

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Related Events

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Adolph Basser Library Pictorial Collection, MS 056; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details
  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Frederick McCoy - Records, 1841 - 1892, A675; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Frederick McCoy - Records, 1865, A100; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Frederick McCoy - Records, A126; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • George Ernest Morrison - Records, 1850 - 1932, ML MSS 312; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Museum Victoria

  • Frederick McCoy - Records, 1858 - 1899; Museum Victoria. Details

National Herbarium, Melbourne

  • Frederick McCoy - Records, 1857 - 1889, MSS M35; National Herbarium, Melbourne. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Frederick McCoy - Records, 1857 - 1869; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • Gillbank, Linden, From System Garden to Scientific Research: The University of Melbourne's School of Botany under its First Two Professors (1906-1973) (Parkville, Vic.: School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 2010), 38 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Fendley, G. C., 'McCoy, Sir Frederick (1817-1899),' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 5 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), pp. 134-135. http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A050156b.htm. Details
  • Knapman, Gareth, 'Curiosities or Science in the National Museum of Victoria: Procurement Networks and the Purpose of a Museum' in Curating Empire: Museums and the British Imperial Experience, Longair, Sarah and McAleer, John, eds (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012), pp. 83-103. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., 'The Fuss About Coal: Troubled Relations between Palaeonbotany an Geology' in Plants and Man in Australia, D. J. Carr and S. G. M. Carr, eds (Sydney: Academic Press, 1981), pp. 136-76. Details

Conference Proceedings

  • The History of Geology in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century: the Story in Australia, and in Victoria, from Selwyn and McCoy to Gregory 1853 to 1903 edited by Pierson, Roger (Melbourne: Earth Sciences History Group, Geological Society of Australia, 2007), 69 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Birch, W. D. and Henry, D., 'The geological collections of Museum of Victoria, Melbourne', Australian Journal of Mineralogy, 6 (2) (2000), 83-91. Details
  • Carkeek, Malcolm, 'No Stone Unturned: in Search of Professor Sir Frederick McCoy, FRS', Victorian Historical Journal, 69 (1) (1998), 24-39. Details
  • Darragh, Thomas A., 'Frederick McCoy', The Fossil Collector Bulletin, 36 (1992), 15-22. Details
  • Fleming, Althea, 'Birds, books and money: McCoy's correspondence with John Gould (1857-1876)', Victorian Naturalist, 118 (2001), 210-8. Details
  • Gillbank, Linden, 'Animal acclimatisation: McCoy and the menagerie the became Melbourne's zoo', Victorian Naturalist, 118 (2001), 297-304. Details
  • Gillbank, Linden, 'The University of Melbourne Herbarium, from McCoy to MELU: a broken paper-trail', University of Melbourne Collections, 1 (2007), 20-8. Details
  • Gillbank, Linden, 'University Botany in Colonial Victoria: Frederick McCoy's Botanical Classes and Collections at the University of Melbourne', Historical Records of Australian Science, 19 (1) (2008), 53-82. Details
  • Grey, Merilyn and Morton, Anne (editors), 'McCoy Special issues, parts 1 and 2', Victorian Naturalist, 118 (5/6) (2001), 145-332. Details
  • Houghton, Sheila, 'Frederick McCoy and the FNCV', Victorian Naturalist, 118 (2001), 314-8. Details
  • Jackson, Patrick N. Wyse and Monaghan, Nigel T., 'Frederick McCoy: an Eminent Victorian Paleontologist and His Synopses of Irish Palaeontology of 1844 and 1846', Geology Today (1994), 231-234. Details
  • Kean, John and Carland, Rebecca, 'Natural Observations: the Artists of Frederick McCoy's Zoology of Victoria', Victorian Naturalist, 122 (2005), 366-75. Details
  • McCann, Doug and Archbold, N. W., 'Frederick McCoy and the Silurian System', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 117 (2005), 151-173. Details
  • Minard, Peter, 'Assembling Acclimatization: Frederick McCoy, European Ideas, Australian Circumstances', Historical Records of Australian Science, 24 (2013), 1-14. Details
  • Pierson, Roger, 'McCoy and Clarke: their dispute over the age of Australia's black coal', Victorian Naturalist, 118 (2001), 219-25. Details
  • Rasmussen, Carolyn, 'Professor Frederick McCoy and the National Museum of Victoria, 1856-1899', Victorian Naturalist, 117 (5) (2001), 230-239. Details
  • 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, 56 (1900), lix-lx. Details
  • Wilkinson, Ian, 'Frederick McCoy and the University of Melbourne', Victorian naturalist, 118 (2001), 186-92. Details
  • Wilkinson, Ian R, 'The Battle for the Museum: Frederick McCoy and the Establishment of the National Museum of Victoria at the University of Melbourne', Historical Records of Australian Science, 11 (1) (1996), 1-11. http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/HR9961110001.htm. Details
  • Wilkinson, Ian R., 'Frederick McCoy: First Science Professor at the University of Melbourne', History of Education Review, 25 (1) (1996), 54-70. Details
  • Woodward, H., 'Professor Sir Frederick McCoy, K.C.M.G., M.A., D.Sc. (Cantab.), F.R.S., F.G.S.', Geological magazine, new series, 6 (1899), 283-7. Details
  • Woodward, Henry, 'Sir Frederick McCoy, 1823 - 1899', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 75 (1905), 43-5. Details

Resources

Reviews

See also

  • Science and the making of Victoria, with Royal Society of Victoria, 2001, http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/smv/index_m.html. Details
  • Brown, I. A., 'An outline of the history of palaeontology in Australia', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 71 (1946), v-xviii. Details
  • Cohn, Helen M., 'Some Foundations of Science in Victoria in the Decade After Separation', MA thesis, University of Melbourne, 1990. Details
  • Enever, Jim, 'A story of human endeavour: the Cape Paterson coal field, Victoria', Journal of Australasian Mining History, 15 (2017), 21-46. Details
  • Moyal, Ann, with Robert E. Marks, 'The scientists and Darwin's The origin of species in nineteenth century Australia: a re-evaluation', Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, 152 (1) (2019), 5-26. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., 'Origins of Australian Geology', Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 100 (1975), 13-43. Details
  • Vallance, T. G., 'Pioneers and leaders - a record of Australian palaeontology in the nineteenth century', Alcheringa, 2 (1978), 243-50. Details

Digital resources

Title
McCoy, Frederick Portrait
Type
Image

Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn