Encyclopaedia Britannica Forced by New Facts Discovered with Google to Re-Write Page on Patrick Matthew and Charles Darwin

By Mike Sutton.

I was  quite heartened to learn by private correspondence today that, following correspondence from Jim Dempster‘s

daughter – Soula Dempster – the Encyclopaedia Britannica has entirely re-written its Patrick Matthew page to reflect many of the “real facts” as opposed to the old Darwinist “false facts” that Matthew’s original publication of the full hypothesis of macroevolution by natural slection was read by others before Darwin and Wallace replicated it without citing Matthew.  Nevertheless, at the time of writing they do, unfortunately for veracity, continue with the old “Appendix Myth” and they fail to mention that Darwin’s and Wallace’s friend Professor John Lindley cheated Matthew – for 13 years – from his right to be proclaimed as the first to introduce and propagate much admired giant redwood trees into Britain.

Click to view the page in question. 

Historically, this is an interesting development because in my book Nullius I originally revealed that Matthew’s (1831) book was advertised on 3/4 of a prominent page of  Part 5, Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia Britannica 1842.

An advert for Matthew’s (1831) book in the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1842

Significantly, the above advert had in fact been in the published literature since 1832 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Because, as Dr Mike Weale usefully points out on his Patrick Matthew Project website:
‘Note that although the official publication date for the 7th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was 1842, in reality it was published in instalments starting in 1827.  Volume 4 was available in bound form in 1832, which explains why all the books in the publishers’ advertising insert (“lately published by Adam Black, Edinburgh, and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, London“) are from 1831-2 (for example, Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society, Vol 6).  Coincidentally, Volume 21 (the last volume, which really was published in 1842) contains a citation of Matthew’s book in its article on “Timber”.  The advert is very similar to the Edinburgh Literary Journal (1831) advert, except the quotes from reviews have been updated. Even the aggressively negative review from the Edinburgh Literary Journal is quoted as a “Sample of Venom”, perhaps to pique the reader’s interest!”

In 2015 Dr Mike Weale discovered an additional individual  – who read Matthew’s book and cited it in the literature before Darwin and Wallace replicated the original ideas in it without citing Matthew – bringing the known total to 26.  Weale writes on his Patrick Matthew Project website: 

Selected citation #4. Augustin Francis Bullock Creuze. Article on “Timber” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 7th Edition (1842), Vol. 21, p.291

This brief citation is noteworthy for confirming that Matthew’s book was regarded as “valuable” by the author of the 1842 Encyclopaedia Britannica article on “Timber”. Note that Volume 21 really was published in 1842, unlike the other volumes which although they stated “1842” on their title pages were in reality published in earlier years. The article is signed “(B.Z.)”, identifiable as Augustin F. B. Creuze (1800-1852) via the Table of Signatures in Volume 1. Creuze also authored other articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, including a lengthy one on “Ship-building” that was published as a separate treatise, but Matthew is not cited in it. The article reproduces a table from Matthew’s book on the “number of concentric layers of sap-wood”. The citation is also noteworthy for making a reference to the “many things irrelevant to its subject” in the book. A similar opinion was expressed in the 1860 review of the book, likely by James Brown.
The following table of the number of concentric layers of sap-wood observed in various species of timber trees is extracted from a valuable work on Naval Timber by Patrick Matthew; a work which abounds in much sound practical information, though mixed up with many things irrelevant to its subject.’

More on the significance of what was written in the Encyclopedia Britannica advert for Matthew’s (1831) book  can be read here.


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