Fitzroy, Robert
b. 1805
d. 1865
Robert Fitzroy was a meteorologist and hydrographer who provided the Colonial Office with instructions and forms for meteorological observation.1
Born in 1805, Fitzroy was a student at Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, and recipient of the school's first mathematical prize.2 Fitzroy was a legendary surveyor and pioneer in the field of meteorology. He was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's gold medal for his work in the field.3 Charles Darwin, an acquaintance of Fitzroy, said of his temperament, I once loved him sincerely; but so bad a temper and so given to take offence, that I gradually quite lost my love and wished only to keep out of contact with him.4
Despite his success, Fitzroy fell into a deep depression due to increasing deafness and professional opposition to his meteorological work.5 He committed suicide in 1865.6
Fitzroy is credited with popularizing the use of the term “forecast” in relation to meteorology.7
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