Sir Richard John Griffith was a geologist and civil engineer. He studied in London and Edinburgh, returning to Ireland to begin his professional career in 1808. He worked for the Royal Dublin Society surveying the coal fields of Leinster and the bogs of Ireland. His geological map of Ireland was first published in 1815 and published in its final form in 1855, establishing Griffith as 'the father of Irish geology'. He became a highly important and respected public figure in Ireland supervising many high-profile public works such as the erection of the National Gallery and the Museum of Natural History, Dublin. In 1858, in reward for his public services, Lord Palmerston created him a baronet. He died on 22 September 1878 in his home in Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin.