James Hutton

James Hutton (1726 - 1797)

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James Hutton
Born in Edinburgh, Scotlandmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Edinburgh, Scotlandmap
Profile last modified | Created 6 Dec 2014
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Categories: British Notables | Geologists | Unconnected Notables of Scotland.

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James Hutton FRSE (3 June 1726 OS (14 June 1726 NS) – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, physician, chemical manufacturer, naturalist, and experimental agriculturalist. He originated the theory of uniformitarianism—a fundamental principle of geology.

Hutton was born in Edinburgh on 3 June 1726 OS as one of five children of William Hutton, a merchant who was Edinburgh City Treasurer, but who died in 1729 when James was still young. Hutton's mother was Sarah Balfour. Around 1747 he had a son by a Miss Edington, and named his child James Smeaton Hutton.

From 1791 Hutton suffered extreme pain from stones in the bladder. He died in Edinburgh and was buried in the vault of Andrew Balfour, opposite the vault of his friend Joseph Black, in the now sealed south-west section of Greyfriars Kirkyard commonly known as the Covenanter's Prison.


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James Hutton, 1726 - 1797, Geologist - by Sir Henry Raeburn
James Hutton, 1726 - 1797, Geologist - by Sir Henry Raeburn


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