Robert FitzRoy (5 July 1805 – 30 April 1865) achieved lasting fame as the captain of HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's famous voyage, and as a pioneering meteorologist who made accurate weather forecasting a reality. He was an able surveyor and hydrographer and served as Governor of New Zealand from 1843 to 1845.
In February 1818, 12 years old, he entered the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, and in the following year he entered the Royal Navy. He completed his course with distinction and was promoted lieutenant on 7 September 1824, having passed the examination with 'full numbers' (100%), a result not achieved previously. After serving on HMS Thetis, in 1828 he was appointed flag lieutenant to Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Waller Otway, commander-in-chief of the South American station, aboard HMS Ganges.
At that time HMS Beagle under Captain Pringle Stokes was carrying out a hydrographic survey of Tierra del Fuego, under the overall command of captain Phillip Parker King in HMS Adventure. Pringle Stokes became depressed and shot himself, and the ship under Lieutenant Skyring sailed to Rio de Janeiro, where Otway made FitzRoy (temporary) Captain of the Beagle on 15 December 1828. By the ship's return on 14 October 1830 FitzRoy had established his reputation as a surveyor and commander.
This website is dedicated to promote Admiral FitzRoy, a truly great man of British History
A distinguished naval officer wrote ‘I knew poor dear FitzRoy from his boyhood; a more high-principled officer, a more amiable man, or a person of more useful general attainments never walked a quarter-deck.’
Follow the voyage of Darwin along with modern sail ship the Stad of Amsterdam
, left Plymouth Tuesday 1st September 2009 it will be a 12 month voyage and you can see it live on this link as well as more information about the journey.