Robert Hunt F.R.S.


1807 Born September 6th at Devonport (“Plymouth Dock”), son of naval officer lost with H.M.S. “Moucheron” in Grecian Archipelago.
Apprenticed to surgeon in London and attended lectures on anatomy, but medical training never completed (ill-health). Druggists’ assistant for 10 years.
1840 Became Secretary to Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society at Falmouth.
Carried out researches on light and photography – discovered new processes. Numerous papers (1831054) in Philosophical Magazine or to British Association. (1844 “Researches on light – Manual of photography (6 editions)).
With R.W. Fox in Cornwall investigated electrical phenomena of mineral veins and air in Cornish mines.
1845 Succeeded T. Jordan as Keeper of Mining Records at recently established Museum in Craig’s Court.
1851 Appointed Lecturer on Mechanical Science on establishment of Royal School of Mines.
1853 Resigned Mechanical science lectureship to Professor Willis, undertook lectureship in Physics (held for a short time).
1854 Elected F.R.S.
1854 Chief work lay in collection and collation of British mining and metallurgical statistics. From 1853 till abolition of Keepership, published annual “Mineral Statistics”.
1866 Member of Royal Coal Commission – undertook statistics, published detailed information on British Coal resources.
Established local mining schools in west of England. Founded “Miners Association of Cornwall and Devon” (later amalgamated with Mining Institute).
Edited Dictionary of Arts after death of Dr. Ure, 5th.6th.7th editions (1860,67,75).
1883 “British Mining”. Retired.
1887 Died.


Literary work in addition to technical e.g. "Poetry of Science"; "Panthea, or the Spirit of Nature"; "Romances of west of England".

Biographies and Obituaries

1887 Nature (November 3rd, 1887) p.14
1890 Proceedings Royal Society XLVII (1890) p. i