Throughout his long life Edward Sabine received numerous decorations for his contributions to science. In 1849 the Royal Society awarded him one of its gold medals for his work on terrestrial magnetism. Sabine was president of the society from 1861 until his resignation ten years later. He was a member of the Royal Commission of 1868-1869 for standardizing weights and measures. Both Oxford and Cambridge bestowed honorary doctorates on him. He was a fellow of the Linnean and the Royal Astronomical Societies, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (from 1867) and president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
He was knighted in 1869, becoming a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. He retired from the army on full pay in 1877, by which time he had achieved the rank of General.
In 1879 Sabine's wife, Elizabeth Leeves, died. An accomplished woman in her own right, she had assisted her husband in his scientific endeavours for more than half a century. Her four-volume translation of Alexander von Humboldt’s monumental textbook of geophysics Kosmos, was published 1849-1858.
Sir Edward Sabine died in East Sheen, Surrey, on 26 June 1883 and was buried in the family vault at Tewin, Hertfordshire. He was 94.
The Californian Gray Pine (Pinus sabineana) is named after him, as is Sabine's Gull (Larus sabini).
Sabine has a crater on the Moon named in his honor. The 30 km-diameter Sabine Crater, in the southern Mare Tranquillitatis region, lies directly adjacent to the landing site of the first manned mission to Luna by the crew of Apollo XI in July 1969.The standard author abbreviation E.Sabine is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.
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