Sir Richard Griffith, 1st Baronet

Sir Richard Griffith, 1st Baronet

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Sir Richard Griffith, 1st Baronet

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Sir Richard John Griffith (20 September 1784 – 22 September 1878), was an Irish geologist, mining engineer and chairman of the Board of Works of Ireland, who completed the first complete geological map of Ireland and was author of the valuation of Ireland - known ever since as Griffith's Valuation.


Griffith was born in Hume Street, Dublin, Ireland. In 1799 he obtained a commission in the Royal Irish Artillery, but a year later, when the corps was incorporated with that of England, he retired, and devoted his attention to civil engineering and mining. He studied chemistry, mineralogy and mining for two years in London under William Nicholson, and afterwards examined the mining districts in various parts of England, Wales and Scotland.

While in Cornwall he discovered ores of nickel and cobalt in material that had been rejected as worthless. He completed his studies under Robert Jameson and others at Edinburgh, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1807, a member of the newly established Geological Society of London in 1808, and in the same year he returned to Ireland.

In 1809 he was appointed by the commissioners to inquire into the nature and extent of the bogs in Ireland, and the means of improving them. In 1812 he was elected Professor of Geology and Mining Engineer to the Royal Dublin Society. Shortly afterwards he expressed his intention of preparing a geological map of Ireland. During subsequent years he made many surveys and...
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