Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Anne Phillips: John Phillips’s geological companion

N. Morgan
N. Morgan
Rose Cottage, East End, Chadlington, OXON OX73LX, UK (e-mail:
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 2007


In the late summer of 1842, Anne Phillips, working under her brother's instructions, found the crucial piece of evidence – known thereafter as Miss Phillips' conglomerate – that disproved Murchison's theories about the intrusive origin of the Malvern Hills. Later she travelled with her brother to examine the volcanics of the Auvergne. But these were not her first, or her only, geological achievements. From 1829 until her death in 1862, Anne served as housekeeper to her bachelor older brother. Orphaned at an early age, both John and Anne were taken in by their uncle, William Smith. Smith arranged for John's schooling and introduced John to the science of geology as a teenager. However, little evidence exists about Anne's upbringing and education. A series of 234 letters written by John to Anne between 1829 and 1841, and preserved in the Phillips archive at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, reveals that Anne was clearly well educated and provided her brother with valuable scientific back-up as well as essential domestic and emotional support during their 33 years together.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The Role of Women in the History of Geology

C. V. Burek
C. V. Burek
University of Chester, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
B. Higgs
B. Higgs
University College Cork, Ireland
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2007




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now