(5 Jul 1805 - 30 Apr 1865)
Science Quotes by Robert Fitzroy (1 quote)
Never, I believe, did a vessel leave England better provided, or fitted for the service she was destined to perform, and for the health and comfort of her crew, than the Beagle. If we did want any thing which could have been carried, it was our own fault; for all that was asked for, from the Dockyard, Victualling Department, Navy Board, or Admiralty, was granted.
— Robert Fitzroy
Quotes by others about Robert Fitzroy (3)
On becoming very intimate with Fitz-Roy, I heard that I had run a very narrow risk of being rejected, on account of the shape of my nose! He was an ardent disciple of Lavater, and was convinced that he could judge a man's character by the outline of his features. He doubted whether anyone with my nose could possess sufficient energy and determination for the voyage. I think he was well-satisfied that my nose had spoken falsely.
The achievements of the Beagle did not just depend on FitzRoys skill as a hydrographer, nor on Darwins skill as a natural scientist, but on the thoroughly effective fashion in which everyone on board pulled together. Of course Darwin and FitzRoy had their quarrels, but all things considered, they were remarkably infrequent. To have shared such cramped quarters for nearly five years with a man often suffering from serious depression, prostrate part of the time with sea sickness, with so little friction, Darwin must have been one of the best-natured people ever! This is, indeed, apparent in his letters. And anyone who has participated in a scientific expedition will agree that when he wrote from Valparaiso in July 1834 that The Captain keeps all smooth by rowing everyone in turn, which of course he has as much right to do as a gamekeeper to shoot partridges on the first of September, he was putting a finger on an important ingredient in the Beagles success.
I forget whether you take in the Times; for the chance of your not doing so, I send the enclosed rich letter. It is, I am sure, by Fitz-Roy. It is a pity he did not add his theory of the extinction of Mastodon, etc., from the door of the Ark being made too small.
- 5 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Fitzroy's birth.