Punch,  50 (1866), 129.

A National Debt of Honour





Scientific Practitioners, Heroism, Patronage, Exploration, Mapping, Physical Geography, Discovery, Meteorology, Government, Politics

    Begins by suggesting that the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt should consider the £6,100 debt which the 'nation owes to the surviving relatives' of Robert Fitzroy. Draws attention to Roderick I Murchison's anniversary address to the Royal Geographical Society (a version of which was later published as Murchison 1865) in which the geologist noted that Fitzroy had used his own money to complete his survey of South America and to fit out HMS Beagle. Stressing Fitzroy's discovery of 'the Otway Water in the Straits of Magellan', and his invaluable work as chief of the Meteorological Office, believes that he 'died morally worth millions'. Urges the government to ask the House of Commons to liquidate Fitzroy's debt and, noting the 'poor' state of the nation, suggests that people should still contribute to a new fund established by Fitzroy's family and the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and provides details of where to send donations.

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