James Hutton 'Theory of the Earth', 1795 [Library shelfmark: F.7.b.15].
James Hutton (1726-1797) began a career in law, but having run a successful farm and sold it, he devoted time to geology.
He read extensively on the subject, and travelled widely throughout Scotland to study rocks and observe nature at work.
The observations he made led him to establish the principle of uniformitarianism, whereby the earth's crust is formed by natural processes.
Though others had recognised that the surface of the Earth is continually eroded, Hutton was the first to recognise that the sediment that settled on the sea bed was then uplifted to form land.
This plate, dated 1795, illustrates evidence found at Jedburgh.