Sir Henry Thomas De la Beche


Geological Museum Founder

London - 1837 - ????

Established in 1837 in Craigs Court, Whitehall, at the instigation of Henry Thomas de la Beche (q.v.). Moved to Jermyn Street c. 1850 then to Exhibition Road. Now part of the Natural History Museum.


P. McCartney, Henry de la Beche: Observations on an observer (1977). We are grateful to Gillian Allen for compiling this entry.


The Geological Museum developed out of Henry de la Beche's library and collection of rocks. To begin with, in 1835, his collection was housed on two floors of a house in Craigs Court, Whitehall, but he eventually persuaded the government to finance the grand building of the Museum of Economic Geology on Jermyn Street in 1851. The Museum was moved to Exhibition Road in 1935 and formally linked with the neighbouring Natural History Museum in 1988, where it is now known as the Red Zone. He further persuaded the government to institute the Mining Records Office, housed in the Museum from 1840 and then, from 1851, the Government School of Mines.