Mossman, Robert Cockburn

Alternative names

Biographical notes:

Robert Cockburn Mossman was born on 7 November 1870 into an Edinburgh family. He became an enthusiastic amateur meteorologist and was named as observer at the Glen Coe Station, at the foot of Ben Nevis, between 1895-1896. He joined the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-1904 (leader William Speirs Bruce), as meteorologist and magnetic observer on board the Scotia . Mossman was placed in charge of the meteorological station, Omond House, which was established 1 April 1903 on Laurie Island. Perceiving the value of the meteorological station, William Speirs Bruce offered it first to the British government, which declined to support it, and then to the Argentine government, which accepted it. Three Argentine observers then sailed south on board the Scotia, which had travelled to Buenos Aires for a refit. On arrival at Laurie Island, they took over the station under Mossman's guidance, 22 February 1904. Mossman remained in charge of the station until February 1905.

On his return from the expedition, Mossman wrote numerous books and reports on meteorology and climate in the Antarctic, and in 1906 co-wrote The voyage of the Scotia along with fellow expedition members James Hunter Harvey Pirie and Robert Neal Rudmose Brown. Mossman died in Argentina on 19 July 1940.

Published work, The voyage of the Scotia, being a record of a voyage of exploration in the Antarctic Seas by Robert Cockburn Mossman, James Hunter Harvey Pirie, and Robert Neal Rudmose Brown, C. Hurst London (1906) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1902-1904 Bruce] and 'Meteorology' by Robert Cockburn Mossman in, Scottish National Antarctic Expedition. Report on the scientific results of the voyage of S.Y. Scotia during the years 1902, 1903 and 1904, under the leadership of William S. Bruce, volume II, Physics, edited by William Speirs Bruce, Scottish Oceanographical Laboratory Edinburgh (1907) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1902-1904 Bruce]

From the guide to the Robert Mossman collection, 1902 -1939, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)


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  • Antarctica Discovery and exploration (as recorded)