Robert F. Blake was born at York in March, 1867, the eldest son of the Rev. J.F. Blake, MA, formerly Professor of Natural Science, University College, Nottingham. He was educated at University College School, Gower Street, London, and subsequently at University College, Nottingham, where he made a special study of analytical chemistry. In 1887, he came to Belfast as demonstrator of chemistry at Queen's College, and was also for some years chemistry master at the Belfast Royal Academy and then at Methodist College. He was an elected Fellow of both the Institute of Chemistry and the Chemical Society. He carried out original research in conjunction with Professor E.A.Letts of Queen's University which resulted in the publication of several important papers on organic and analytical chemistry. In 1905 he married Josephine Sloss and they had two sons, Philip and Frederick. In 1910 he was appointed Public Analyst and Agriculturalist Analyst to Co. Tyrone, and was medicine analyst to 15 Poor Law Unions (in all counties except Fermanagh). He died in 1944.