Somerset House

Somerset House is located in Central London, on the north bank of the river Thames. It is named for the Duke of Somerset, who had begun to construct a residence on the site in the sixteenth century when he was executed, and the building passed into the hands of the Crown. The current building dates from the eighteenth century but was expanded in the nineteenth century. The building housed the Royal Academy from 1779–1837, when it moved to the National Gallery and then to its present location in Burlington House. Since its construction, it has also accommodated the Royal Society (1780–1781), the Society of Antiquaries (1780–1874), the Geological Society (1828–1874) and the Royal Astronomical Society (1834–1874). It also housed a range of government offices: the Navy Office, the Inland Revenue, the Registry of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, the Somerset House Laboratory, which tested substances intended for consumption, and others. Among other purposes, the building now houses the Courtauld Institute of Art.



Latitude: 51.511059000000
Longitude: -0.117148000000

Timeline of Events Associated with Somerset House

Date Event Manage
19 Feb 1869

"Geological Reform"

Photo of T. H. HuxleyOn 19 February 1869, T.H. Huxley delivers “Geological Reform,” his Presidential Address to the Geological Society of London. Image: Photograph of Thomas Henry Huxley (c. 1880). Print by Lock & Whitfield. This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

The address is a direct, forensic response to William Thomson’s attack on Geology’s temporal vistas and the evolutionary science that depended on its time scale. Thomson replied on April 5 with “On Geological Dynamics,” again addressing the Geological Society of Glasgow.


Martin Meisel, "On the Age of the Universe"