He was the first-known English climber to make an ascent of a high mountain in the Alps . In 1787, he made an ascent (the fourth) of Mont Blanc . This mountain was an attraction to his fellow countrymen, such as J. D. Forbes (1809–1868), A. T. Malkin (1803–1888), John Ball (1818–1889) and Sir Alfred Wills (1828–1912). He describes his ascent of Mont Blanc: "At last, however, but with a sort of apathy which scarcely admitted the sense of joy, we reached the summit of the mountain; when six of my guides, and with them my servant, threw themselves on their faces and were immediately asleep. I envied them their repose; but my anxiety to obtain a good observation for the latitude, subdued my wishes for indulgence."
He devoted much of his life to naval experiments at the Greenland
Dock with James Scott and Captain John Luard of the "Society for the
Improvement in Naval Architecture". He published the results of his
work in one of the leading scientific journals of the day, The Annals
of Philosophy. In 1815 he described a recording tide meter, and in the
same article went on to describe the power of the wind on square sails
and the resistance to motion both in air and water of different
shapes. The paper moved from ship sails to considering the best angle
for windmill sails to be set. He supplied Astronomical and Magnetic
In 1816 Beaufoy published another extensive article based on his experimental work. On the Stability of Vessels was based on 23 different hull forms tested for their resistance to rolling. The article includes an illustration of his apparatus showing a hull form being subjected to a controlled heeling force with a plumb bob and scale to measure the inclination. The various tables of results show the metacentre . The dichotomy between resistance to rolling and sea keeping is discussed.
A volume Nautical and Hydraulic Experiments with Numerous Scientific
Miscellanies was published posthumously by his son Henry in 1834 (one
volume only, called Volume I). Beaufoy also made astronomical
observations and advocated other ideas like rifles in the militia and
schemes for reaching the
He married his cousin Margaretta Beaufoy (died 1800) in a 1784 "runaway" marriage, after which they had a "long sojurn" in Switzerland. They had three sons (Henry, Mark and George) and a daughter; Margaretta took the infant girl Henriette to watch Mark ascend Mont Blanc. She assisted him with mathematical and astronomical calculations.
Beaufoy was commissioned Captain of the Hackney Volunteer Company in
His grandson, Mark Hanbury Beaufoy , was an English vinegar manufacturer and politician. The family firm is now called British Vinegars Limited.
* ^ McConnell 2008 . * ^ Beaufoy 1815 . * ^ Beaufoy 1815 , p. 279. * ^ See for example Beaufoy 1815 , p. 293 * ^ Hutton 1815 . * ^ Beaufoy 1816 . * ^ Garrison 1998 , p. 188.
* Beaufoy, Mark (October 1815), Thomson, Thomas , ed., "Description of an Instrument to measure and register the Rise and Fall of the Tide throughout the whole Flow and Ebb", Annals of Philosophy , London: Robert Baldwin, VI (XXXIV), pp 273 – 281, retrieved 24 December 2014
* Beaufoy, Mark (March 1816), Thomson, Thomas , ed., "On the
Stability of Vessels",
Annals of Philosophy , London: Robert Baldwin,
VII (XXXIX), pp 184 – 204, retrieved 28 December 2014
* Beaufoy, Mark (1834), Beaufoy, Henry, ed., Nautical and Hydraulic
Experiments, with numerous Scientific Miscellanies, I, South Lambeth,
Surrey, UK: Privately published by the editor, retrieved 26 December
2014 Only the first of a planned three volumes was published
* Clerke, Agnes Mar (1885). "Beaufoy, Mark". In Stephen, Leslie .
Dictionary of National Biography
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 18003273 * LCCN : n88625282 * ISNI : 0000 0000 7357 257X * GND : 117579262 * SUDOC : 084751908 * IATH