The earliest British record of fossil dinoflagellate cysts is shown to have been published in 1838, in an appendix to Mantell’s The Wonders of Geology. A biography of its author, the Reverend Joseph Bancroft Reade (1801–1870), is presented; it is shown that his discoveries resulted from an awareness of earlier work in Germany and France. Reade is shown, not only to have stimulated Mantell’s interest in these microfossils, but also to have perceived their potential value as biostratigraphical indices. The present taxonomic placement of the forms illustrated by Reade in the 1838 note, and in his better-known paper published later in the same year, is summarized.
- © 1982 The Micropalaeontological Society