Authorised form of nameBeaufort; Sir; Francis (1774 - 1857); hydrographer
Dates1774 - 1857
Dates and placesBirth:
Flower Hill, Navan, County Meath, Ireland, Europe (27 May 1774)
Hove, Sussex, England, United Kingdom, Europe (17 December 1857)
Church of St John-at-Hackney, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Naval Officer
Bates's Military and Marine Academy, Dublin (1784)
Entered the Navy (1787); studied astronomy and meteorology for five months under Dr Henry Ussher, professor of astronomy at Trinity College Dublin (1788); Commander (1800); worked on establishing a semaphore system capable of transmitting messages from Dublin to Galway in eight minutes with his brother-in-law Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1803); carried out multiple surveys (Rio de la Plata; coast of Karamania); Hydrographer to the Admiralty (1829-1855); awarded DCL Oxford (1839); retired as Rear Admiral (1855)
Served on the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for the 1832 Reform Act
Member of a commission on emloyment of pilots (1835), and on UK harbours, shores, and rivers (1845)
KCB 1848
FRAS 1829; MRIA 1832; FRGS; Member of the American Philosophical Society 1840
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
S. Davis; Thomas Hardewicke; J. Fleming; John Barrow; John Pond; Jas Horsburgh; William Marsden; Edward Troughton
Sworn into Council 1 December 1832
Committee appointments include: Telescope Committee (1831); Meteorological Committee (1831); Medal Committee (1830); Report of the Hydrometer Committee (1832)
RelationshipsWife: 1) Alicia Magdalena Wilson (1812-1834); 2) Honora Edgeworth (1838-1858)
Children: Francis Lestock (later Attorney General of Bengal)
Parents: Rev. Daniel Augustus Beaufort, rector at Navan and Irish topographer, and Mary Waller of Allenstown
Siblings: Frances (later fourth wife of Richard Lovell Edgeworth)
Published works'Karamania, or, A brief description of the south coast of Asia minor, and of the remains of antiquity' (1817)
General contextFrom an early stage in his life, Beaufort was keen to travel and one of his first journeys was on the East Indiaman Vansittart. He worked on a variety of ships, saw much active service, and was wounded during the capture of the Spanish ship San Josef. As a commander on the Woolwich (1805), he assisted in the evacuation of British troops from Buenos Aires in 1807. He was initially rejected for the post of Hydrographer of the Navy in 1823, but was appointed to this role six years later. He is most remembered for his Beaufort wind force scale, and some geographical points named after him, e.g. the Beaufort Sea.
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; Irish Innovators; ODNB
Proc Roy Soc 1857-1859 vol 9 pp 524-527
R W Home, 'The Royal Society and the Empire: the colonial and Commonwealth Fellowship. Part 1. 1731-1847' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 307-332
D Carr Agnew, 'Robert Fitzroy and the myth of 'Marsden Square': Transatlantic rivalries in early marine meteorology' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 21-46
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA5914
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1814/13Beaufort, Sir Francis: certificate of election to the Royal Society
AP/20/3On the Application of Glass as a Substitute for Metal Balance Springs in Chronometers 1836
DM/1/15Letter from Francis Beaufort, Admiralty, to P M Roget7 March 1831
MM/1/53Letter from IC Lees, Nassau, to Sir Francis Beaufort5 June 1839
DM/4/128Letter from Beaufort, Admiralty, to Edward Sabine14 December 1829
DM/4/93Letter from Charles Rumker to Davies Gilbert, President, Royal Society24 May 1830
DM/4/96Letter from Charles Rumker to Davies Gilbert, President, Royal Society25 June 1830
DM/1/24Draft of a letter from P M Roget to Francis Beaufort14 March 1831
AP/19/18Meteorological Register of H M S Thunder between 1 and 30 June 18341834
AP/21/4On Low Fogs and Stationery Clouds 1837
AP/21/15Experiments on the Vibration of the Pendulum1838
AP/27/19On the connection between the winds of the St Lawrence and the movements of the barometer1845
AP/18/13Meteorological Journal kept at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, from the 1st February to the 31st May 1834 November 1834
AP/19/5Observations on Halley's Comet1835
AP/18/8Observations with the Horizontal and Dipping Needles, made during a voyage from England to New South Wales5 July 1833
DM/1/25Letter from Francis Beaufort, Manchester Square, to P M Roget15 March 1831
AP/30/3On the protection of Iron from oxidation and from turning foul when it is exposed to the action of the sea and other watersMarch 1848
IM/000310Beaufort, Sir Francisnd
AP/19/1Hygrometrical Observation made on board His Majesty's Surveying Vessel Etna 1835
AP/19/2Meteorological Observations on board His Majesty's Ship Jackdaw1834
EC/1814/14Beaufort, Sir Francis: certificate of election to the Royal Society
IM/005531Beaufort, Sir Francis2000
MS/123/5Letter from the Duke of Sussex to unknown recipient12 November 1832
MS/426/457Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Admiral Sir F [Francis] Beaufort 23 January 1852
MS/426/400Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Foreign Secretary fo the Royal Society; to Sir F [Francis] Beaufort7 January [1850]
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
AP/21/20Account of a Line of Levels carried across Northern Syria, from the Mediterranean, to the River Euphrates 1838
AP/21/5Meteorological Deductions made from Observations made at the Observatory, Port Louis, Mauritius1837
MM/13/84Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee11 December 1832
MM/13/85Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 20 December 1832
MS/426/401Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society; to Sir F [Francis] Beaufort7 January 1850
CMP/1/1Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society1 December 1832
MS/426/402Copy letter from Edward Sabine, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society; to Sir F [Francis] Beaufort7 January 1850
MM/13/88Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 29 January 1833
MM/13/87Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 22 January 1833
MM/13/86Minutes of meeting of the Excise Committee 15 January 1833
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