no image

Robert FitzRoy RN (1805 - 1865)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Governor Robert FitzRoy RN
Born in Ampton, Suffolk, England, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Died in Upper Norwood, London, Englandmap
Profile manager: Sunny Clark private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 27 Apr 2017 | Last significant change: 2 Dec 2018
22:32: John Elkin edited the Biography for Robert FitzRoy RN. [Thank John for this]
This page has been accessed 292 times.

Categories: Members of Parliament, United Kingdom | Members of Parliament, Durham City | Suicides | Meteorologists | HMS Thetis (1817) | HMS Ganges (1821) | HMS Aid (1809) | HMS Beagle | Authors | Governors-General of New Zealand.

Robert FitzRoy RN is Notable.
Preceded by
1st Governor
William Hobson

Robert FitzRoy
2nd Governor of
New Zealand
Government Coat Of Arms
Dec 26 1843 - Nov 18 1845
Succeeded by
3rd Governor
George Grey


Second governor of New Zealand. MP for Durham

"English officer of the Royal Navy and a scientist. He achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, FitzRoy's second expedition to Tierra del Fuego and the Southern Cone.

FitzRoy was a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate daily weather predictions, which he called by a new name of his own invention: 'forecasts'. In 1854 he established what would later be called the Met Office, and created systems to get weather information to sailors and fishermen for their safety. He was an able surveyor and hydrographer. As Governor of New Zealand, serving from 1843 to 1845, he tried to protect the Maori from illegal land sales claimed by British settlers...

Through his father, General Lord Charles FitzRoy, Robert was a fourth great-grandson of Charles II of England... Robert's half-brother Sir Charles FitzRoy later served as Governor of New South Wales, Governor of Prince Edward Island and Governor of Antigua.

...A terrible storm in 1859, which caused the loss of the Royal Charter, inspired FitzRoy to develop charts to allow predictions to be made, which he called 'forecasting the weather', thus coining the term 'weather forecast'... In 1863 FitzRoy was promoted to Vice-Admiral due to seniority, but in the coming years internal and external troubles at the Meteorological Office, financial concerns as well as failing health, and his struggle with depression took their toll. On 30 April 1865, Vice-Admiral FitzRoy committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor. FitzRoy died having exhausted his entire fortune (£6,000, the equivalent of £400,000 today) on public expenditure.

When this came to light, in order to prevent his wife and daughter living in destitution, his friend and colleague Bartholomew Sulivan [1] began an Admiral FitzRoy Testimonial Fund, which succeeded in getting the government to pay back £3,000 of this sum. (Darwin contributed £100). Queen Victoria gave the special favour of allowing his widow and daughter the use of grace and favour apartments at Hampton Court Palace.

FitzRoy is buried in the front churchyard of All Saints' Church in Upper Norwood, south London. His memorial was restored by the Meteorological Office in 1981. FitzRoy's book Sailing Directions for South America led Chilean hydrographer Francisco Hudson to investigate the possible existence of a sailing route through internal waters from the Chiloé Archipelago to the Straits of Magellan. Hudson was the first to realise that the Isthmus of Ofqui made this route impossible." [2]


  1. [1]
  2. "Wikipedia: 'Robert FitzRoy'"

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Robert by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.


On 30 Sep 2018 at 09:02 GMT Pare (Howie) Hayward-Howie wrote:

The Best Governor New Zealand ever had, it all went down hill from there. The Maori people called him Pitiroi, they even named their children after him. Rest in Peace, Good Governor Fitzroy.

Robert is 16 degrees from George Bush, 20 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 7 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

F  >  FitzRoy  >  Robert FitzRoy RN