HUXLEY, Thomas Henry, English biolo gist : b. Ealing, Middlesex, England, 4 May 1825; d. Eastbourne, Sussex, 29 June 1895. When he was 12 or 13, he wished to become a mechanical engineer; but a medical brother-in law (Dr. Salt) took him in hand, and he com menced at this early age the study of medicine. Eventually he went to Charing Cross Hospital, and passed the first M.B. examination of the University of London. Stern necessity com pelled him, as soon as his medical course was over, to seek at once, even before he was of age, some post or employment. At the suggestion of a fellow-student, Huxley in 1846 applied for admission to the medical service of the navy, was admitted and was in attendance at the naval hospital at Haslar. The next year he was appointed assistant-surgeon of the Rattlesnake, which was sent on an exploring and surveying cruise in the seas on the east and northeast of Australia. The voyage lasted four years and gave Huxley an opportunity of gaining an almost unrivaled knowledge of marine zoology. Various papers on this subject were contributed by him to the Linnman and the Royal Society (one of them gaining a medal from the latter body, of which he was elected a member in 1851), and a further result of his investigations was the important work published in 1859, en titled 'The Oceanic Hydrozoa.) He suggested the homology between the germinal layers of a vertebrate embryo and the two layers of a medusa.
The Rattlesnake returned to England at the end of the year 18S0 and Huxley found that the scientific papers he had sent home had already made him famous. By the aid of those who valued the promise given by his published work, he was allowed by the Admiralty for three years to draw pay as a navy surgeon while devoting himself to the working up of the results of his observations when at sea. In 1854 he was appointed lecturer or professor of natural history in the Royal School of Mines, a post long combined with that of naturalist to the Geological Survey. In 1855 he was appointed Fullerian professor of physiology to the Royal Institution, and delivered four courses of lec tures in as many years; while he was also an examiner for seven years to the University of London. The posts of Croonian lecturer to the
Royal Society and Hunterian professor in the College of Surgeons were likewise filled by him.
There is no doubt that Huxley was fortunate to obtain at 28 a post, worth nearly a thousand a year, in London, and unburdened with any excessive duties. He had to give during winter (October to end of February) a course of lec tures on five days of the week, and attend in his study at the Museum in Jermyn street, but had not the cares of a laboratory. He carried out his researches alone, and consequently was able to arrange the employment of his day in his own way. He wrote largely for the press upon such topics as belonged to his branch of science; lectured frequently in other places be sides Jermyn street ; and took an active and im portant part in various government commis sions, to which his official position rendered it proper that he should' be appointed. His lectures to workingmen, in 1860, on the 'Rela tion of Man to the Lower Animals,' gave rise to much discussion, and led him to treat the subject in his 'Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature' (1863). By this time the Darwinian theory had given rise to much excited contro versy, and Motley's thorough-going Darwinism brought many a bitter attack upon him. In 1862 he was appointed by government to assist in inquiring into the effects of the acts regard ing trawling for herring; and his labors and advice had much influence in determining the course of fishery legislation and administration. In 1870 his name became more prominent than ever on thepublication of his collection of papers entitled 'Lay Sermons, Essays and Re views,' which met with fierce denunciation in many quarters. In this year he presided over the Liverpool meeting of the British Associa tion, and was also elected a member of the first London school board. In 1872 he was elected lord rector of Aberdeen University; in 1875-76 lectured on natural history in Edin burgh University.