William Whitaker was employed by the Geological Survey from 1857 until 1896 and subsequently worked as a consultant until his death in 1925. This paper examines the background to the era in which he worked and why he merits detailed consideration. Whitaker’s personal life, career in the Geological Survey, contribution to learned societies and field clubs, work in retirement and his death are detailed. His contradictory personality, contribution to hydrogeology and his claim to the title of ‘father of English hydrogeology’ are assessed.
Figures & Tables
The collection of papers in this volume records the development of hydrogeology in Britain over the last 200 years. Following the application, by William smith, of stratigraphic principles to the sinking of wells, Victorian engineers and scientists established groundwater as a major contributor to public water supplies. In the twentieth century, the development of groundwater continued rapidly, controlled by an ever-changing regulatory regime. The 25 papers in this volume review the progrss which has been made, and the lives and work of some of those who were intimately involved.