Everyone knows about its dinosaurs, but London’s Natural History Museum also houses a magnificent collection of some 417,000 mineral specimens, donated by a variety of collectors almost as diverse as the minerals themselves.
Clayton M. Cracherode1 donated a load
Of specimens in a bequest.
Nikolai2, Charles3 and John4 and the well-known Anon
All sent in their brightest and best.
Charles Hatchett, Sir Hans5, R.P. Gregg, Dr. Kranz,
Two Barons6, a King7 and a Prince8,
A Dowager Countess (Of Aylesford, no less)
And others, before them and since,
Collected with care many minerals rare;
And then, so that others could see ’em,
Donated them all to be shown in the hall
Of the Natural History Museum.
1. Rev. Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode, FRS, FSA
2. Major-general Nikolai Ivanovich Koksharov of St Petersburg
3. Rt Hon Charles Francis Greville, PC, FRS
4. John Ruskin
5. Sir Hans Sloane, FRS
6. Baron Ignaz von Born and Baron Franz Coelestin von Beroldingen
7. King George IV
8. Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria