John Strachey (geologist)

John Strachey
Born 10 May 1671
Chew Magna
Died 11 June 1743
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Geology
Known for stratified rock formations

John Strachey (10 May 1671 – 11 June 1743) was a British geologist.

He was born in Chew Magna, England. He inherited estates including Sutton Court from his father at three years of age. He matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford and was admitted at Middle Temple, London, in 1688. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1719.[1]

He introduced a theory of rock formations known as Stratum, based on a pictorial cross-section of the geology under his estate at Bishop Sutton and Stowey in the Chew Valley and coal seams in nearby coal works of the Somerset coalfield, projecting them according to their measured thicknesses and attitudes into unknown areas between the coal workings.[2] The purpose was to enhance the value of his grant of a coal-lease on parts of his estate. This work was later developed by William Smith.[3]

In addition to his map making and geological interests he had several other publications including An Alphabetical List of the Religious Houses in Somersetshire (1731).[4]

He died in Greenwich, London. He had married twice; firstly Elizabeth Elletson, with whom he had 18 children and secondly Christina Staveley, with whom he had a further one child.

Strachey Stump, a flat-topped mountain in Antarctica, is named after him.


  1. "John Strachey, William Smith and the strata of England 1719-1801". Geoscientist 17.7 July 2007. The Geological Society. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  2. "History of Geology". Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  3. "Smith's other debt". Geoscientist 17.7 July 2007. The Geological Society. Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  4. "Strachey, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2008-08-13.

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