Bartholomew Sulivan


Bartholomew Sulivan

Bartholomew James Sulivan (1810 – 1890) was a British sailor and hydrographer.

He was a leading advocate of the value of nautical surveying in relation to naval operations. His early career included service under Robert FitzRoy on the HMS Beagle during Charles Darwin's voyage of 1836, and the island of Bartolomé in the Galapagos Islands was named after him. From 1842 to 1846 he commanded HMS "Philomel" on the South American Station and surveyed the Falkland Islands. During the Crimean War he was sent by Sir Francis Beaufort, Hydrographer of the Navy, to the Baltic to assist the fleet commanded by Sir Charles Napier. Sulivan, commanding the paddle steamer HMS Lightning, made many invaluable surveys and charts of the shallow waters in which the fleet had to operate, and led the bombardment ships into position during the capture of Bomarsund. From 1856 to 1865 he was the naval professional member of the Board of Trade. He was eventually promoted to Vice-Admiral. After Robert FitzRoy committed suicide in 1865, leaving his wife and daughter destitute, Sulivan convinced the British government to provide them 3000 pounds, to which Charles Darwin contributed another 100 pounds of his own money.


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