Sir John Henry Lefroy KCMG CB FRS

John Henry Lefroy was a Royal Artillery officer and scientist who pioneered the study of terrestrial magnetism and conducted the first comprehensive magnetic and meteorological survey in British North America. To accomplish this, in 1843, he travelled 5,000 miles to North West Canada to measure magnetism in 300 locations and locate the magnetic North Pole. The painting of Lefroy in the North West was painted by Paul Kane in 1845-46 and measures 31x22 inches. It was auctioned in 2002 and bought by multi-millionaire Kenneth Thompson for 3,172,567 US dollars. He donated it to the Art Gallery of Ontario. This tells us something of the very high regard that Canadians have of Lefroy, the co-founder of the Royal Canadian Institute.

1817 Born on 28th Jan
1834 Joined Royal Artillery at the age of 17
1839 Sent to St Helena to supervise the observatory
1842 Sent to Toronto
1843 In May he led an expedition to measure magnetism in the North West
1846 Married first wife, Emily
1848 Became a member of the Royal Society
1849 Co-founded Royal Canadian Institute
1853 Returned to London
1853 Appointed Inspector-General of Army Schools
1859 First wife died
1860 Married second wife, Charlotte
1868 Appointed Director of Ordnance Office
1870 Retired from army as Major-General
1870 CB
1871 Governor of Bermuda, until 1877
1877 KCMG
1880 Governor of Tasmania, until 1881
1890 Died on 11th April

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by Stephen Luscombe