S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Prior, Mr George Thurland (mineralogy)

Born: 16 December 1862, Oxford, England.
Died: 8 March 1936, Place not known.

George T. Prior was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he passed with first class honours in chemistry in 1885, and first class honours in physics in 1886. Subsequently he was awarded the degrees Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Science (DSc) by the University of Oxford. He joined the staff of the British Museum (Natural History) in 1887 and remained there until his retirement in 1927. From 1909 to 1927 he held the position of keeper of the Department of Minerals. During that same period he was secretary of the Mineralogical Society, serving as its president from 1927 to 1930. He was a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1912.

Prior wrote many papers on mineralogy and petrography, including several on meteorites. He also compiled a Catalogue of meteorites (1923) and A guide to the collection of meteorites... (1926, published by the British Museum. A number of his papers dealt with mineral specimens from southern Africa. The first of these was a note on Connelite from Namaqualand (1888). A later one, "Petrographical notes on the dolerites and rhyolites of Natal and Zululand", was published in the Annals of the Natal Museum (1910, Vol. 2(2), pp. 141-158). Another dealt with "Minerals from Swaziland. Niobates and titanites of the rare earths, chemically allied to euxenite and fergusonite..." (Mineralogical Magazine, 1898-1900). One of these minerals, rich in Yttrium oxide, was first found near Mbabane, Swaziland, and was named priorite in his honour. The rest of his papers on material from southern africa all dealt with meteorites from the subcontinent and were published in the Mineralogical Magazine (1913, 1916, 1921, 1923, 1926).

List of sources:
Annals of the Natal Museum, 1910, Vol. 2, paper by Prior.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoirs No. 18 (1922), 25 (1927), 27 (1931), and 30 (1937).

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Royal Society of London. Catalogue of scientific papers [1800-1900]. London: Royal Society, 1867-1925.

Who was who, Vol. 3, 2nd ed. London: Adam & Black, 1967.

Compiled by: C. Plug