(Born: 1763; Died: 1827) English traveler, naturalist & geologist.
Townsend traveled in Hungary and Austria, writing an account. In 1807 he settled in Australia where he became involved in colonial politics.
Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 1091, 388-390. DNB. Rózsa, P., ed. Robert Townson's travels in Hungary. Proceedings of the 'Townson Symposium' held in Debrecen, 26th September 1997. Kossuth University Press, Debrecen, 1999. 219 p.
[ISBN 9634724051. A collection of 18 essays - both in English and Hungarian - on the life and science of Robert Townson.]. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, 2281-2. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.
1. English, 1798.
Philosophy | of Mineralogy. | [tapered rule] | By Robert Townson, L.L.D. | F.R.S. Edinb. etc.-Author of Travels of Hungary | [vingette: hand colored cross-section depiction of mineralized veins, labeled plate III] | London: | Printed for the Author. | Sold by John White, Fleet-Street. | 1798.
8°: π2 a4 b1 B-O8 P4 Q4; 119l.;
[i]-xiv, -219, , ,  blank p., colored title vignette, 2 plates (one colored & folding), 2 tables.
Page size: 212 x 128 mm.
Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Philosophy | of | Mineralogy," verso blank.; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-viii, Dedication to the Duchess of Devonshire.; [ix]-xii, "Preface."; [xiii]-xiv, "Contents."; -219, Text.; , "Works preparing for the Press by the | Author."; [1 pg], "Explanation of Plate I."; [1 pg], "Explanation of Plate II."; [1 pg], "Explanation of Plate III."; [1 pg], Blank.
Plates: All the plates are signed "Barlow, sc." The subjects are:
I. Undulating Strata of Stratified Hill in Mansfield Germany (colored, folding).
II. Title vingette showing "Several Veins and One Bed of Ore in Primitive Rock." (hand-colored).
III. 30 figures of crystal forms.
Very scarce. The book describes the elements that enter into the composition of minerals, followed by a descriptive mineralogy based on William Babington's [q.v.] System of Mineralogy (London, 1795). Also included is information concerning stratification of rocks, "irregularities" of the earth's surface, veins and fossils. Other sections concern the use of external characters to determine minerals and a mineralogical glossary in English, German and Latin. The work ends with instructions for collecting specimens and a list of other books on mineralogy.
The plates show: I. Undulating Strata of Stratified Hill in Mansfield Germany (colored, folding); II. Title vingette showing "Several Veins and One Bed of Ore in Primitive Rock." (colored); III. 30 figures of crystal forms.
Bibliographical references: BL [953.g.7.]. LKG: XII 199. Philosophical Magazine, 3rd Series: 2 (1799), 195. Porter, Making of Geology, 1980: p. 171-3.
2. English, 1799.
Tracts and observations in natural history and physiology. London, Printed for the author and sold by J. White, 1799.
ix, 232 p., plates.
Very scarce. Natural history. Amphibians. Mineralogy.