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Robert Patterson

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Belfast, UK
Death: February 14, 1872 (69)
College Square, Belfast
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Patterson and Catharine Patterson
Husband of Mary Elizabeth Ferrar
Father of Sir Robert Lloyd Patterson; Richard Patterson; Maria Ferrar Patterson and William Hugh Patterson

Occupation: Naturalist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson, FRS (1802–1872) was an Irish businessman and naturalist born in Belfast, Ireland.

The eldest son of Robert Patterson (1750–1831), owner of a mill-furnishing business in Belfast established in 1786, Robert Patterson was born into a wealthy family. He was educated first at the Belfast Academy under the direction of a Dr. Bryce, and then at the Belfast Academical Institution. Here he won a prize for an essay on the natural history of Lough Neagh. ( Mill furnishing Business address was High Street & Bridge Street Belfast)

When his father died in 1831, Patterson took over management of the family business, eventually marrying Mary Ferrar, one of whose ancestors had come to Ireland as a captain in Schomburg's Horse regiment. The newly-weds settled at No. 3 College Square North, Belfast, where most of his 11 children were born.

At 19 Robert Patterson was one of seven young men who, on June 5, 1821, gathered at the house of Dr. James Lawson Drummond , at No. 5, Chichester Street to form the Belfast Natural History Society, which established the first museum in Ireland to be built by public subscription, at No. 7 College Square North. He served the society, later renamed, for more than fifty years, occupying every office. He was also a member of the Belfast Literary Society and the Royal Irish Academy. The Royal Society elected him a Fellow in 1859 [1], and he was an early member of the British Association, serving as secretary to the Natural History section. Established as a significant naturalist in his thirties, Patterson had close links with Charles Darwin, Thomas Bell, Edward Forbes, William Yarrell and Charles Lucien Bonaparte. Patterson, FRS, MRIA died at his house in College Square North, Belfast, in February, 1879, after a fall. He is not to be confused with his second son, Robert Lloyd Patterson (1836-1906), or with his grandson Robert Patterson (1863-1931) who were also naturalists.

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Robert Patterson's Timeline

April 18, 1802
Belfast, UK
Age 32
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Age 33
Age 36
Belfast, UK
Age 37
Belfast, UK
February 14, 1872
Age 69