Talks & Meetings


Monday 13 May, 2019

Charles Waterton 'The man who rode a crocodile'

Our next public meeting and talk to be held on 13th May, will also be the last of our 2018-19 Cycle. It will  be presented by Steve Ragnall, Maritime historian and author of ‘Better Conceiv’d than Described: The Life and Times of Captain James King’. This time Steve   will be regaling us with the life and times of former Stonyhurst pupil Charles Waterton 1782 - 1865 ‘The  Man Who Rode on a Crocodiles Back’.

Yorkshire born, Charles Waterton  was educated at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire where his interest in exploration and wildlife were apparent from an early age. Other than for being ‘a man who rode on a crocodile’s back’, Waterton is chiefly remembered for his association with curare, (a drug belonging to the alkaloid family of organic compounds, derivatives of which were used in modern medicine primarily as skeletal muscle relaxants), and for his writings on natural history and conservation. David Attenborough  described him as “one of the first people anywhere to recognise, not only that the natural world was of great importance, but that it needed protection as humanity made more and more demands on it”

Steve Ragnall can be relied on to give us an insightful presentation on  one of the most interesting, influential, but little heard of,  Victorian Natural Historians - whose formative years were developed here in the Ribble Valley.



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Talk presented by John Lambert, CCS Member & Local Historian

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