by Roger F.Vaughan B.A., B.Sc.
Charles Upton ( -1926) became the Curator of Gloucester Museum in 1920, he was an expert on fossil brachiopods and modern mollusc shells. He was originally a solicitor, who practised in Stroud and lived at the Tower House, Stroud , moving in 1910 in North Devon for a short time, before moving to Rooksmore, Tuffley Avenue, Gloucester, about 1913. He Joined the Club in 1889 and was a Vice-President in 1915, on the Publication Committee (1915-1927) and a Trustee (1924-1927). His first paper in the Proceedings was "Some Cotteswold Brachiopoda" in Volume XII, (1899). He wrote up his one month's voyage to Norway in Volume XII partII where he gives an account of the geology of that country, though mostly as seen from the deck of a steamer! But it seems that he didn't go on the trip primarily for geology. He did get a chance to directly examine the country and it's raised beaches.
A Gloucester he became a member of the Gloucester Museums' Committee for many years. After his death in 1926, his collections were purchased from his widow for £45 by Gloucester Museum. They include a world wide collection of marine shells, a local collection of land and fresh water molluscs and approximately 5,000 fossil brachiopods, mostly from the Cotswolds but also from Jurassic localities in France. The collection is of some importance and has benefited by having been given modern classification in 1974 by Wendy Sayer a student at Keele University. Similar work was carried out on Richardson's collection at Cheltenham Museum.
Upton named several new species of brachiopods including Terebratula richardsoni, Terebratula mutabilis, Terebratula degenerata and Terebratula subsphaeroidalis. The type specimens are now in the Natural History Museum, London. The catalogue of his collection reads like a list of all the famous Gloucestershire geologists, as their names have been incorporated in the names of the brachiopods in one way or another: either named after them "etheridgi" or "buckmani" or as authors of the species, Terebratula painswickensis Richardson and Upton. The genus of ammonite Uptonia was named in his honour by Buckman as was a species of brachiopod, Terebratula uptoni from the Inferior Oolite of the Cotswolds. His last paper in 1912 was written with his life-long friend Linsdall Richardson. His type specimen of sponge spicules is in Cheltenham Museum. He kept a motorboat on the Severn and would spend long hours dragging the river for molluscs, sometimes S.S.Buckman would go with him.
Updated and corrected 20.6.1999
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