Associated People: Buckinghamshire

Authors, Lecturers, Broadcasters

Bonnycastle, John (c.1760-1821), mathematician, born Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire. As private tutor to the sons of the Earl of Pomfret he lived in Easton Neston in Northamptonshire. Much of his work was in London, and from October 1782, he was mathematics master at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. In July 1807, he became professor of mathematics. He wrote several textbooks on mathematics and was also author of An Introduction to Astronomy (1786), a popular introduction to astronomy and one of the best-selling astronomy books for many years (ODNB).

Booth, James [Rev.] (1806-1878) succeeded Rev Joseph Bancroft Reade as vicar of Stone and was presented to the living of Stone in 1859 by the Royal Astronomical Society. He was very committed to the promotion of education for all classes both within the parish of Stone and more widely. He was instrumental in the establishment of several schools in and around the parish and also started an evening school in connection with a Young Man’s Mutual Improvement Society. He served as vicar of Stone until his death in April 1878 (Sherwood*; ODNB).

Collins, Cecil James Henry (1908–1989), painter, sometime resident near Speen, Buckinghamshire, whose influences included contemporary scientific illustrations of both cell biology and astronomy (ODNB).

Grover, Henry Montague (1791-1866), writer with an interest in astronomy, he wrote Soundings of antiquity: a new method of applying the astronomical evidences to the events of history (1862). He was also Rector of Hitcham, Buckinghamshire from 1833 (ODNB).

Healy, Richard (1634-fl.1658), mathematician and astrologer, he published almanacs for Aylesbury and Buckingham for 1655 and 1658 (Capp 1979, 311).

Lambert, Richard (?), founder of the Milton Keynes Astronomical Society (MKAS), died in 1976 aged 20. The former observatory of the MKAS was dedicated to his memory (see Observatories – Richard Lambert Observatory above). Since 1990, MKAS has held the annual Richard Lambert Memorial Lecture.

Newton, John (1621–1678), mathematician and clergyman, he was probably born in Lavendon, Buckinghamshire. He advocated the use of decimal arithmetic in a series of connected books, including Astronomia Britannica (1657) – (ODNB).

Oughtred, William (1575-1660), mathematician, tutor and clergyman, was born at Eton, Buckinghamshire. Oughtred is generally considered to be the inventor of both the circular and rectilinear slide rule [Westfall], (though Delamain published a description of a circular form before Oughtred and the modern form of the slide rule was designed in 1850 by Amedee Mannheim [O’Connor and Robertson]. Publications included Circles of proportion
and the Horizontal instrument (1632), which included descriptions of slide rules and sundials. He also wrote some minor works on watch making and methods to determine the position of the Sun. As a teacher, his pupils included Christopher Wren (O’Connor and Robertson; ODNB).

Sharp, John (fl.1739-1757), described as a “Student in celestial sciences”, he lived at West Wycombe and published The British Diary for 1740 – 1746 (Capp 1979, 331). Stone, Edward (1702-1768), Church of England clergyman, discoverer of the active ingredient of aspirin and amateur astronomer, was born in Lacey Green, Princes Risborough. After the transit of Venus on 6 June 1761, Stone published The whole doctrine of parallaxes explained by an arithmetical and geometrical construction of the transit of Venus in 1763. The book included the identification of places where the next transit, that of 1769, could best be observed. A second edition of the book followed in 1768 Capp 1979, 331.

Wells, Edward (1667-1727), clergyman and educationist, was rector of Bletchley, Buckinghamshire from March 1716. He published several mathematical works, including Elementa arithmeticae (1698), Young Gentleman’s Astronomy, Chronology and Dialling (1712), Young Gentleman’s Arithmetick and Geometry (1713), Young Gentleman’s Course of Mathematicks (1714), and Young Gentleman’s Trigonometry, Mechanicks and Opticks (1714). These volumes included mathematical aspects of geography, for example use of globes and determination of latitude and longitude (ODNB).

Academics and Associated Professionals

  1. Historical

Busby, Dr Richard (1606-1695) Headmaster of Westminster School and Lord of the Manor at Willen, Bucks (now part of Milton Keynes) [Figg]. At Westminster School, his pupils included Robert Hooke and possibly Christopher Wren. However, sources differ on the latter point; Figg and Willen People [Figg; Willen People: Dr Richard Busby] both include Christopher Wren, but Downes states that Wren’s attendance at Westminster School from 1641 to 1646 is unsubstantiated (ODNB).

Academics and Associated Professionals

2. Current

NOTE: At the present time it is not possible to provide details of named individuals.
However, the following academic institutions are actively involved in education and research
in astronomy and related disciplines
Open University
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA

* Sherwood, Sylvia: emails to the Buckinghamshire county co-ordinator, received 26 July 2009, 29 July 2009 and 03 August 2009, following discussions with representatives of Records of Stone Parish at the Buckinghamshire Family History Society Open Day on 25 July 2009