Sir Francis Beaufort 1774 –1857 was an Irish hydrographer and officer in Britain's Royal Navy. Beaufort was the creator of the Beaufort Scale for indicating wind force.
Noted as a seminal figure in the confluence of the Royal Navy, meteorologist and astrologists, scientists Beaufort was a founding member of the Royal Geographic Society and member of the Royal Society and helmed the Arctic Council. He was also the head administrator and did much to further the fields of astronomy and navigation from the famed observatories in Greenwich England and the Cape of Good Hope, Africa.
Beaufort trained Robert FitzRoy, who was put in command of the survey ship HMS Beagle. When he requested of Beaufort "that a well-educated and scientific gentleman be sought" as a companion on second voyage of the Beagle.
Beaufort's enquiries led to an invitation to Charles Darwin, who later drew on his discoveries in formulating the theory of evolution he presented in his book The Origin of Species.