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Prof. Matthew Forster Heddle


1828 - 1897

Mineralogist and chemist. Born on the Island of Hoy (Orkney) and educated at the Edinburgh Academy, Heddle completed a medical training at the University of Edinburgh and practised briefly in the city. However, he was more interested in botany, chemistry and mineralogy and went on to hold the Chair in Chemistry at St. Andrews University between 1862 and 1885. Heddle was an enthusiastic collector of minerals and his extensive collection is now held by the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. He also directed an excavation of Dura Den by the Literary and Philosophical Society of St. Andrews, which uncovered numerous fossil fish. Heddle wrote the seminal work on the Mineralogy of Scotland, published posthumously in 1901. The minerals heddleite and Mattheddleite, together with the fossil fish Heddleichthys and Gyroptychius heddlei are named in his honour.


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