Abstracts of the Proceedings of the Geological Society of London.
The Secretary read the Reports of the Council, and of the Library and Museum Committee. The general position of the Society was described as satisfactory, although, owing to extraordinary expenses during the year, the excess of income over expenditure was but small in comparison with former years. The Society was said to be prosperous, and the number of Fellows to be rapidly increasing.
In presenting the Wollaston Gold Medal to Professor de Koninck, of Liege, F.M.G.S., the President addressed him as follows:—
Monsieur le Docteur de Koninck,—It is my pleasing duty to place in your hands the Wollaston Medal, which has been awarded to you by the Council of this Society in recognition of your extensive and valuable researches and numerous geological publications, especially in Carboniferous Palaeontology. These researches are so well known, and have gained you so world-wide a reputation, that I need say no more than that your Palæontological works must of necessity be almost daily consulted by all who are interested in the fauna of the Carboniferous period. Already in 1853 the numerous and able Palæontological works which you had published in the preceding twenty years had attracted the grateful notice of the Council of this Society, who in that year begged you to accept the balance of the proceeds of the Wollaston Fund, in aid of the publication of your work on Encrinites, then in progress. It was in the same year that the Society had the satisfaction of electing you a Foreign Member of their body; and now, after a second period of rather more than twenty years devoted to the study not only of Geology and Palaeontology but also of chemical analysis, I have the pleasure of conferring upon you the highest additional honour it lies in the power of this Society to bestow, by presenting you with the Medal founded by the illustrious Wollaston, who was himself also a Chemist as well as a Geologist. If anything could add to the satisfaction we feel in thus bestowing the Medal, it is your presence among us this day, which will enable you more fully to appreciate our unanimous sense of the high value of your labonrs in the cause, which we all have at heart.page 2
Prof. de Koninck, in reply, said :—
Monsieur le Président, Messieurs,
La langue Anglaise m'étant trop peu familière pour me permettre de m'en servir, afin de vous exprimer toute ma reconnaissance pour le grand honneur que vous venez de me faire, en me décernant la Médaille de Wollaston, j'espère que vous voudrez bien me permettre dans la circonstance solennelle dans laquelle je me trouve, de faire usage de l'idiome dont on se sert habituellement dans mon pays.
Laissez moi vous dire d'abord, Messieurs, qu'il m'a semblé que ma présence au milieu do vous, était le plus sur moyen de vous donner la preuve de mes sentiments de gratitude et du prix que j'attache à la distinction dont je vous suis redevable.
Cette distinction sera pour moi un nouvel encouragement et un stimulant pour continuer et pour achever, si possible, mes travaux concernant la faune carbonifère do mon pays. L'étude de cette faune, qui doit comprendre plus de 1200 espèces, m'a conduit à des résultats très remarquables. J'espère que je pourrai bientôt vous en fournir la preuve et vous démontrer qu'elle se compose de trois grands groupes parfaitement distincts entre eux, quoique possédant un certain nombre d'espèces identiques et dont le premier est presque exclusivement formé des espèces recueillies dans le calcaire do Tournai, le deuxième des espèces des environs de Dinant, et le troisième de celles du calcaire de Visé et de quelques lambeaux de ce même calcaire des environs de Namur.
Ces faunes sont principalement représentées chez vous, la première in Irlande, à Hook Point et ses environs, la deuxième aux environs de Dublin, et la troisième en Ecosse et au centre de Yorkshire, où elle a été l'objet des remarquables recherches de notre savant et regretté confrère le Professeur J. Phillips.
C'est par ces travaux, Messieurs, que je compte terminer ma carrière scientifique, si les forces nécessaires et la santé ne me font pas défaut, et continuer ainsi à mériter votre haute et impartiale approbation.
The President then presented the Balance of the proceeds of the Wollaston Donation Fund to Mr. L. C. Miall, of Leeds, and addressed him in the following terms :—
Mr. Miall, I have much pleasure in presenting you with the Balance of the Proceeds of the Wollaston Fund, which has been awarded you by the Council of this Society to assist you in your researches on Fossil Reptilia.
Those who had the good fortune to be present at the meeting of the British Association at Bradford in 1873, and to hear the masterly Report of the Committee on the Labyrinthodonts of the Coal-measures, drawn up by yourself, and those also who have studied the Papers which you have communicated to this Society on the Remains of Labyrinthodonta from the Keuper Sandstone of Warwick, must be well aware of the thorough and careful nature of page 3 your researches, carried on, I believe, in a somewhat isolated position, and remote from those aids which are so readily accessible in the metropolis and some of our larger towns. I trust that the proceeds of this fund which I have now placed in your hands will be regarded as a testimony of the interest which this Society takes in your labours, and may also prove of some assistance to you in still further prosecuting them.
Mr. Miall, in reply, said that he felt that his sincere thanks were due to the Geological Society for awarding him the balance of the proceeds of the Wollaston Donation Fund as a token of appreciation of the little work that he had been able to do, and also to the President for the terms in which he had been kind enough to speak of him. He should regard this donation, not only as an honour received by him, but also as a trust to be expended to the best of his power in accordance with the intentions with which it had been conferred upon him by the Society.
The President next handed the Murchison Medal to Mr. David Forbes for transmission to Mr. W. J. Henwood, F.R.S., F.G.S., and spoke as follows :—
Mr. David Forbes,—In placing the Murchison Medal and the accompanying cheque in your hands, to be conveyed to our distinguished Fellow, Mr. William Jory Henwood, I must request you to express to him our great regret that he is unable to attend personal to receive it. His researches on the metalliferous deposits, not only of Cornwall and Devonshire, but of Ireland, Wales, North-western India, North America, Chili, and Brazil, extending as they do to questions of subterranean temperature, electric currents, and the quantities of water present in mines, are recorded in memoirs which form text-books for mining students. They have for the most part been contributed to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, which has taken a pride in publishing them; but I trust that it will be a source of satisfaction to Mr. Henwood, after fifty years of laborious research, and amidst the physical suffering caused by a protracted illness, to receive this token of appreciation at the hands of another Society which takes no less interest in the subjects of his investations.
Mr. David Forbes said that in receiving the Murchison Medalon behalf of Mr. W. J. Henwood, he was commissioned by that gene-man to express his great regret that the bad state of his health nd his advanced age prevented his appearing in person to thank he Council for the high honour they had conferred upon him, and he extreme gratification he felt in finding that the results of his labors in the investigation of the phenomena of mineral veins, which ad extended over more than fifty years, had thus been recognized by he Geological Society of London.