Hugh Robert Mill

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Hugh Robert Mill (28 May 1861 – 5 April 1950) was a Scottish geographer and meteorologist who was influential in the reform of geography teaching, and in the development of meteorology as a science.[1]


Born in Thurso,[2] he was educated in Scotland, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1883. In 1884 he was appointed chemist and physicist to the Scottish marine station, and in 1887 became a lecturer for the university extension movement, being at the same time (1893-9) recorder of the geographical section of the British Association. He became president of the geographical section in 1901. In 1892 he was appointed librarian to the Royal Geographical Society in London. From 1902 to 1906, he was honorary secretary of the Royal Meteorological Society, and became its president in 1907.[2]

Mill served on many committees connected with meteorology and allied subjects, including the International Council for the study of the sea (1901-8), and the Board of Trade committee on the water power of the British Isles (1918). In 1901, he became director of the British Rainfall Organization, and editor of British Rainfall and Symons's Meteorological Magazine. When the British Rainfall Organization was converted into a trust in 1910, he became chairman of trustees, a position from which he retired in 1919. From 1906 to 1919 he was rainfall expert to the Metropolitan Water Board.[2]

He held the post of secretary to the Royal Geographical Society during the Society's involvement with the leading British Antarctic expeditions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a friend and confidant to Scott, Shackleton, and especially to William Speirs Bruce, who led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902–04. He initiated Bruce's move from medicine to polar research by recommending him to the Dundee Whaling Expedition to the Antarctic, 1892–93, and to other Arctic expeditions.[3] In 1923 he produced the first full-length biography of Shackleton.

Mill received the Victoria Medal of the Royal Geographical Society (1915), the Symons Medal of the Royal Meteorological Society (1918),[2] the Gold Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (1924)[4] and the Cullum Geographical Medal (1929) of the American Geographical Society. In 1885, he was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,[5] and in 1936, he was elected member of the Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.[6] He is commemorated by the Mill Glacier, a tributary of the Beardmore Glacier at 85°10′S 168°30′E / 85.167°S 168.500°E / -85.167; 168.500.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Today in Science History". Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Mill, Hugh Robert". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York. 
  3. ^ Speak, P. 17
  4. ^ "Scottish Geographical Medal". Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783 – 2002, Biographical Index Part Two
  6. ^ List of Members | Hugh Robert Mill


  • "Today in Science History". Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  • Speak, Peter: William Speirs Bruce, Polar Explorer and Scottish Nationalist National Museums of Scotland Publishing, Edinburgh 2003 ISBN 1-901663-71-X

External links[edit]