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HandWiki. Frederick Wollaston Hutton. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 17 June 2024).
HandWiki. Frederick Wollaston Hutton. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 17, 2024.
HandWiki. "Frederick Wollaston Hutton" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 17, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, November 11). Frederick Wollaston Hutton. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Frederick Wollaston Hutton." Encyclopedia. Web. 11 November, 2022.
Frederick Wollaston Hutton
natural history natural selection geology

1. Introduction

Captain Frederick Wollaston Hutton, FRS, (16 November 1836 – 27 October 1905) was an English-New Zealand scientist who applied the theory of natural selection to explain the origins and nature of the natural history of New Zealand. An army officer in early life, he then had an academic career in geology and biology. He became one of the most able and prolific nineteenth century naturalists of New Zealand.

2. Biography

Plaque to Hutton in ChristChurch Cathedral.

Hutton was born in Gate Burton, Lincolnshire, England and passed through Southwell Grammar school and the Naval Academy at Gosport, Hampshire. He studied applied science at King's College London before being commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and fighting in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny.[1]

Hutton returned to England in 1860, and continued to study geology at Sandhurst, being elected to the Geological Society of London in the same year. Hutton married Annie Gouger Montgomerie in 1863, and resigned his commission in 1866 to travel with his wife and two children to New Zealand, where four more children would follow. They lived initially in Waikato, where Hutton tried his hand at flax milling, but he soon changed back to geology, joining the Geological Survey of New Zealand in 1866 and becoming Provincial Geologist of Otago in 1874. At the same time, he was made lecturer in geology at the University of Otago and curator of the museum there along with Emile Campbell-Browne (1830–1925). Hutton became professor of biology at Canterbury College in 1880, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1892.[2] The following year, he also took on the curatorship of the Canterbury Museum. Towards the end of his life, Hutton was made president of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. He was awarded the Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1891. He was the first President of the New Zealand Institute (which later became the Royal Society of New Zealand), from 1904 to his death in 1905; he was followed by Sir James Hector.[3] He was one of the inaugural vice-chairmen of the New Zealand Alpine Club, which was founded in July 1891.[4]

He worked successively at the Colonial Museum, Wellington (1871–1873); Otago Museum, Dunedin (1874–1879);[5] and the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch (1887–1905).

Hutton died on the return voyage from England on 27 October 1905, and was buried at sea off Cape Town, South Africa. He is commemorated in the Hutton Memorial Medal and Research Fund, awarded for scientific works bearing on the zoology, botany or geology of New Zealand. Hutton's shearwater (Puffinus huttoni), a sea bird, was named after him.

3. Evolution

In 1860, he wrote a supportive review of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species for the journal, The Geologist.[6] In 1861, he wrote an article defending Darwinism in the same journal.[7] Hutton defended Darwin from the criticisms of creationist Adam Sedgwick, which he described as "gross ironical misrepresentations". He wrote that creationism was a "mere assertion, an evasion of the question, a cloak for ignorance."[6]

Throughout his life, Hutton remained a staunch exponent of Darwin's theories of natural selection, and Darwin himself expressed his appreciation in a letter to Hutton.[6]

4. Taxa

Taxa described and named by Hutton include:

  • Cabalus modestus (Hutton, 1872) – the Chatham rail
  • Callochiton empleurus (Hutton, 1872) – a chiton
  • Ericentrus rubrus (Hutton, 1872) – the orange clinid
  • Phosichthys argenteus Hutton, 1872 – a lightfish
  • Stegnaster inflatus (Hutton, 1872) – a sea star
  • Bittium exile (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Colistium guntheri (Hutton, 1873) – the New Zealand brill
  • Comitas trailli (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Dentalium nanum Hutton, 1873
  • Herpetopoma bella (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Margarella antipoda rosea (Hutton, 1873) – a subspecies of marine snail
  • Margarella fulminata (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Novastoa lamellosa (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Pterotyphis eos (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Pterotyphis zealandicus (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Pupa kirki (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Rhombosolea retiaria Hutton, 1873 – the black flounder
  • Scorpis violacea (Hutton, 1873) – the blue maomao
  • Thoristella chathamensis (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Trichosirius inornatus (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Uberella vitrea (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Xymene plebeius (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Xymene traversi (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Zeacolpus symmetricus (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Zeacolpus vittatus (Hutton, 1873) – a marine snail
  • Jasus edwardsii (Hutton, 1875) – a spiny lobster
  • Paratrachichthys trailli (Hutton, 1875) – the sandpaper fish or common roughy
  • Bidenichthys consobrinus (Hutton, 1876) – the grey brotula or orange cuskeel
  • Anomia trigonopsis Hutton, 1877 – a marine bivalve
  • Notolabrus cinctus (Hutton, 1877) – the girdled wrasse
  • Eudyptes filholi Hutton, 1878 – the eastern rockhopper penguin
  • Leuconopsis obsoleta (Hutton, 1878) – a land snail
  • Proxiuber australe (Hutton, 1878) – a marine snail
  • Proxiuber hulmei (Hutton, 1878) – a marine snail
  • Thoristella oppressa (Hutton, 1878) – a land snail
  • Gallirallus philippensis macquariensis (Hutton, 1879) – the Macquarie Island rail
  • Pseudaneitea papillata (Hutton, 1879) – a slug
  • Patelloida corticata (Hutton, 1880) – a limpet
  • Latiidae Hutton, 1882 – a family of freshwater molluscs
  • Cytora calva (Hutton, 1883) – a land snail
  • Cytora pallida (Hutton, 1883) – a land snail
  • Cytora pannosa (Hutton, 1883) – a land snail
  • Homalopoma fluctuata (Hutton, 1883) – a marine snail
  • Lamellaria cerebroides Hutton, 1883 – a marine snail
  • Rhytida australis Hutton, 1883 – a land snail
  • Rhytida citrina Hutton, 1883 – a land snail
  • Rhytida patula Hutton, 1883 – a land snail
  • Fossarina rimata (Hutton, 1884) – a marine snail
  • Micrelenchus caelatus (Hutton, 1884) – a marine snail
  • Otoconcha Hutton, 1884 – a land snail genus
  • Leuconopsis Hutton, 1884 – a land snail genus
  • Microvoluta marginata (Hutton, 1885) – a marine snail
  • Powelliphanta lignaria (Hutton, 1888) – a land snail
  • Argosarchus Hutton, 1898 – a stick insect genus
  • Hemideina ricta (Hutton, 1896) – a tree weta
  • Paprides armillaus (Hutton, 1897) – an alpine grasshopper
  • Paprides australis (Hutton, 1897) – an alpine grasshopper
  • Paprides torquatus (Hutton, 1897) – an alpine grasshopper

5. Hutton's Publications

  • 1871: Catalogue of the Birds of New Zealand, with Diagnoses of the Species
  • 1872: Fishes of New Zealand, Catalogue with Diagnoses of the Species (by Hutton) and also includes Notes on the Edible Fishes of New Zealand (by James Hector)
  • 1873: Catalogue of the Marine Mollusca of New Zealand, with Diagnoses of the Species
  • 1873: Catalogue of the Tertiary Mollusca and Echinodermata of New Zealand in the Collection of the Colonial Museum
  • 1880: Manual of the New Zealand Mollususca. A systematic and descriptive catalogue of the marine and land shells, and of the soft mollusks and Polyzoa of New Zealand and the adjacent islands.
  • 1881: Catalogues of the New Zealand Diptera, Orthoptera, Hymenoptera; with descriptions of the species
  • 1887: Darwinism
  • 1896: Theoretical Explanations of the Distribution of Southern Faunas
  • 1899: Darwinism and Lamarckism: Old and New
  • 1902: The Lesson of Evolution 1st Edition
  • 1902: Nature in New Zealand (a popular work co-written with James Drummond)
  • 1904: Index Faunae Nova-Zealandiae (a complete list of all animals recorded in New Zealand)
  • 1904: The Animals of New Zealand, 1st Edition (a popular work co-written with James Drummond)
  • 1905: Revision of the Tertiary Brachiopoda of New Zealand. John Mackay, Government Printer.
  • 1905: The Animals of New Zealand: An Account of the Colony's Air-breathing Vertebrates. 2nd Edition. Hutton, Frederick Wollaston, and James Drummond, Whitcombe and Tombs.
  • 1905: The formation of the Canterbury Plains. John Mackay, Government Printer.
  • 1905: Ancient Antarctica. Nature 72 (1905): 244-245.
  • 1907: The Lesson of Evolution. 2nd Edition, Printed for private circulation.
  • 1909: The Animals of New Zealand 3rd Edition (a popular work co-written with James Drummond)
Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions. Edit


  1. Parton, H. N.. "Hutton, Frederick Wollaston". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 
  2. "The Royal Society - Fellow details". 
  3. "Royal Society Te Aparangi - Presidents". Royal Society of New Zealand. 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  4. "Alpine Club". Lyttelton Times LXXVI (9478): p. 3. 29 July 1891. Retrieved 28 December 2019. 
  5. Hutton, F.W. (1874). "Otago Museum". Appendix to Votes & Proceedings of the Otago Provincial Council. Session XXXIII 1874: 79. 
  6. Stenhouse, John. (1990). Darwin's Captain: F. W. Hutton and the Nineteenth-Century Darwinian Debates. Journal of the History of Biology 23 (3): 411-442.
  7. Hutton, Frederick Wollaston (1861). "Some remarks on Mr. Darwin's theory.". The Geologist 4 (4): 132–136. doi:10.1017/S1359465600004597. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
Name: Frederick Wollaston Hutton
Born: Nov 1836
Gate Burton, Lincolnshire, England
Title: English-New Zealand scientist
Affiliations: Colonial Museum, Wellington (1871–1873) Otago Museum, Dunedin (1874–1879) The Canterbury Museum, Christchurch (1887–1905)
Honors: Fellow of the Royal Society (1892) Clarke Medal (1891)
Subjects: Others
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View Times: 472
Entry Collection: HandWiki
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Update Date: 11 Nov 2022
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