Item #5000518 Autograph letter of thanks signed, to W.R. Milner at Convict Prison, Wakefield. Robert FITZROY, Rear Admiral.

Autograph letter of thanks signed, to W.R Milner…
Autograph letter of thanks signed, to W.R. Milner at Convict Prison, Wakefield.

London: Board of Trade (and Admiralty) Meteorological Department, 23 February 1858.

Single sheet, small quarto, manuscript in ink on engraved letterhead; tipped into a quarter morocco binding.

Fitzroy thanks for meteorological data

Darwin's "beau ideal" of a captain from the Beagle voyage, Robert Fitzroy spent much of his later life in the study and development of meteorology. His Meteorological Department at the Board of Trade, from which this letter was written, was the direct forerunner of the modern Meteorological Office; he worked to develop strategies to make weather information more widely available for the safety of shipping and fishermen, and in fact was the inventor of the term "weather forecast".

Darwin's "beau ideal" of a captain from the Beagle voyage, Robert Fitzroy spent much of his later life in the study and development of meteorology. His Meteorological Department at the Board of Trade, from which this letter was written, was the direct forerunner of the modern Meteorological Office; he worked to develop strategies to make weather information more widely available for the safety of shipping and fishermen, and in fact was the inventor of the term "weather forecast".

At this time he was gathering evidence from all parts for the publication of his "The Weather Book: A Manual of Practical Meteorology" (1863). Here he thanks the surgeon of Wakefield Prison for meteorological data sent to him. Alongside his role as surgeon in one of England's larger prisons, W.R. Milner was an enthusiastic collector and compiler of scientific data and his name appears as a source of information in a lot of the scientific literature of the period,

This would prove to be a time of turmoil for Darwin's skipper: now in its final stages and preparing for publication the following year, Darwin's Origin would dismay Fitzroy beyond distraction with an overbearing personal sense of guilt for the part he played in Darwin's development of the theory, perhaps playing a part in his eventual suicide.

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Ref: #5000518