Thomas Stewart Traill(29 October 1781 – 30 July 1862) was a British physician, chemist, meteorologist, zoologist and scholar of medical jurisprudence. He was the grandfather of the physicist, meteorologist and geologist Robert Traill Omond FRSE (1858-1914).
Traill was born at Kirkwall in Orkney, the son of the Rev Thomas Traill (died 1782), the minister in Kirkwall, and his wife Lucia.His father died the year after he was born.
He studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, gaining his doctorate (MD) in 1802.He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1819. His proposers were Robert Jameson, John Murray, Lord Murray, and Thomas Charles Hope. He was Curator of the Society's museum from 1834 to 1856.
He practised medicine for 30 years in Liverpool, and was a founder of the Royal Institution of Liverpool, the Liverpool Mechanics' Institution and the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool. He became acquainted with the Arctic explorer William Scoresby, contributing a list of animals observed in eastern Greenland to Scoresby's Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery (1823). Scoresby named Traill Island in Greenland for him. Mount Traill in Nigeria was named after him by William Balfour Baikie.
In 1812 he first suggested creation of a Royal Society of Liverpool which eventually came to fruition in 1821.
When John James Audubon arrived in Liverpool in July 1826 Traill helped him to find a publisher for his The Birds of America. Audubon named the Traill's flycatcher after him, which at one time referred to a species which included both the willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii) and the alder flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum).
Always interested in railways, in October 1829 he and his family attended the famous Rainhill trials and saw first hand Stephenson's "Rocket" win the competition. During this trial he, his wife and two daughters were invited as passengers in a rival engine, the "Novelty" built by Braithwaite and Ericsson, one of the runners-up in the trials. This makes them possibly the first passengers on a steam train.
Traill returned to the University of Edinburgh in 1832 as a professor of medical jurisprudence, and served in this role until death, also serving as President of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh 1852 to 1854.
In 1847 he replaced Macvey Napier as main Editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1852–61) and was creator of its 8th edition: works concluding a year before his death.
He was a keen (but unsuccessful) supporter of women attending the university.
He was President of the Royal Scottish Society of the Arts 1843-44.
In 1840 he was living at 10 Albyn Place in Edinburgh's Moray Estate close to Charlotte Square.
He died at his final home, 29 Rutland Squarein Edinburgh's West End on 30 July 1862, and was interred at St Cuthbert's cemetery. The grave contains members of both the Omond family and Traill family and stands against an outer eastern wall of the southern section, under the shadows of Edinburgh Castle.
In July 1811 he was married to Christian Robertson (1788-1842), daughter of Rev Harry Robertson of Kincardine, Fifeand the widow of James Watson of Crantit, an Orkney factor for Lord Dundas. She had married James Watson aged around 12 and had five children by him by age 23 when he died. She had a further five children with Traill.
Their daughter Mary Eliza Traill married Robert Omond. Their children included Robert Traill Omond.
Thomas appears to have been cousin or second cousin to Rev Robert Traill (and shows a strong family resemblance).
His portrait by Alexander Mosses is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh but rarely displayed.
The Dean Cemetery is a historically important Victorian cemetery north of the Dean Village, west of Edinburgh city centre, in Scotland. It lies between Queensferry Road and the Water of Leith, bounded on its east side by Dean Path and on its west by the Dean Gallery. A 20th-century extension lies detached from the main cemetery to the north of Ravelston Terrace. The main cemetery is accessible through the main gate on its east side, through a "grace and favour" access door from the grounds of Dean Gallery and from Ravelston Terrace. The modern extension is only accessible at the junction of Dean Path and Queensferry Road.
William Scoresby, was an English Arctic explorer, scientist and clergyman.
The Bishop's Palace, Kirkwall is a 12th-century palace built at the same time as the adjacent St Magnus Cathedral in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland. It housed the cathedral's first bishop, William the Old of the Norwegian Catholic church who took his authority from the Archbishop of Nidaros (Trondheim). The ruined structure now looks like a small castle.
The Grange is a suburb of Edinburgh, about one and a half miles south of the city centre, with Morningside and Greenhill to the west, Newington to the east, and Marchmont to the north. It is a conservation area characterised by large late Victorian stone-built villas, often with very large gardens. Many have now been sub-divided into flats, with further flats often being built on the grounds.
The name Traill (Tra-yill-e) is a French family of Lairds or land Barons and clergy from Paris, France. They originated in pre and post revolutionary France and spread to Orkney, Northern Ireland and beyond. References to Trails as Barons are recorded from the year 1066 and references to the family extend as early as the 10th century.
John James Stevenson FRSE FSA FRIBA, usually referred to as J. J. Stevenson, was a British architect of the late-Victorian era. Born in Glasgow, he worked in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London. He is particularly associated with the British Queen Anne revival style.
Orcadians are the indigenous inhabitants of the Orkney islands of Scotland. Historically, they are descended from the Picts, Norse and Scots.
Prof George Wilson PRSSA FRSE(21 February 1818 – 22 November 1859) was a 19th-century Scottish chemist and author. He was Regius Professor of Technology at the University of Edinburgh, and the first Director of the Industrial Museum of Scotland.
The Wernerian Natural History Society, commonly abbreviated as the Wernerian Society, was a learned society interested in the broad field of natural history, and saw papers presented on various topics such as mineralogy, plants, insects, and scholarly expeditions. The Society was an offshoot of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and from its beginnings it was a rather elite organization.
Traill's flycatcher was a supposed species of tyrant flycatcher in the genus Empidonax, called Empidonax traillii. It was named by John James Audubon after his good British friend Thomas Stewart Traill.
Thomas Balfour of Elwick FRSE ) was a Scottish politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1835 to 1837. His brother was David Balfour (1811-1887) of Balfour FRSE.
Alexander BrysonFRSE FGS FRSSA FSAScot FRPSE was a Scottish biologist, geologist and horologist who served as president of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts (1860–61) and as president of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh (1863).
Hugh Murray FRSE FRGS (1779–1846) was a Scottish geographer and author. He is often referred to as Hew Murray.
William Roberts Flett FRSE FGS (1900-1979) was a Scottish geologist and author. He served in both world wars.
Robert Traill Omond FRSE LLD SMS (1858–1914) was a Scottish physicist, geologist and meteorologist who set up the Ben Nevis Observatory.
Dr Robert Edmund Scoresby-Jackson FRSE FRCPE FRCSE (1833–1867) was a short-lived but influential British physician and historian. He specialised in the effects of climate upon health.
Robert Cockburn Mossman FRSE (1870-1940) was a Scottish meteorologist and polar explorer who served on the Scottish Antarctic Expedition of 1906/7.he lived at 10 blackett place edinburgh. See 1881 census.
Robert Omond, MD FRCSEd (1806–1881) was a 19th-century Scottish surgeon who served as president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 1857 to 1859.
Alexander Durie Russell FRSE FRAS (1872–1955) was a 20th-century Scottish mathematician, schoolmaster and amateur astronomer. He was President of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society 1915/16.
Andrew Watt FRSE (1869–1929) was a 19th/20th-century Scottish meteorologist.