Associated People: Rutland

Barker, Thomas (1722-1809), author (see Rutland Astronomers).

Boys, Sir Charles Vernon  (1855-1944), physicist and inventor, was born in Wing, Rutland (Mullay & Mullay 2002). He designed an improved torsion balance in 1895, which he used to determine Newton’s constant of gravitation and the mean density of the Earth. His micro-radiometer enabled him to measure the heat radiation from the Moon and the planets (Millar 1996; ODNB).

Grosseteste, Robert (c.1170-1253), Bishop of Lincoln (1235-1253), may have used his small manor house at Liddington in Rutland for study and probably also for housing his translators of ancient Greek texts (ODNB; see Lincolnshire).

Robert of Ketton (fl. 1141- 1157), astronomer and translator, was based in Spain and translated several astronomical, astrological and Islamic texts from Arabic. The identification of Ketton is based on the form Rodbertus Ketenensis and the toponym is usually identified with Ketton in Rutland. He is thought to be identical to Robert, archdeacon of Pamplona [Burnett]. According to his co-worker, Hermann of Carinthia, Robert made available the tables and other materials of Albeteni (al-Battani, the C10th astronomer from Baghdad). It was with some reluctance that Robert performed the translation of astrological and other non-astronomical texts, as astronomy and geometry were his main interests and Robert makes this clear in the preface to his translation of al-Kindi’s Judicia [‘Astrological judgements’] (ODNB).

Vincent Wing (1619-1668), see Rutland Astronomers.

Wing, John (bap. 1662-d.1726), surveyor and almanac maker, was the nephew of Vincent Wing (1619 -1668); John Wing’s father was Moses Wing, Vincent Wing’s brother. John Wing was a surveyor at North Luffenham and in 1683 he moved to Pickworth, Rutland, where he practised and taught surveying, all branches of mathematics and music, and was also a farmer. He published Heptarchia mathematica (1693), a textbook of pure and applied mathematics, which was aimed at a broad audience including masons, carpenters, glaziers, astronomers and others. He also compiled a series of almanacs, which he also used as a means to popularize astronomy; he explained and defended Copernicanism and wrote brief essays on tides, gravity, periodicity of comets and plurality of worlds – the possibility of other planetary systems as well as inhabited planets within the universe (see Vincent Wing [1619-68] ODNB).

Wing, Tycho (1696-1750) was an astronomer, philosopher, teacher of mathematics and music, as well as serving as coroner of Rutland (1727 – 1742) [Twickenham Museum]. He practised as a surveyor and boarded pupils to whom he taught mathematics, surveying and navigation. He continued his father’s almanac, initially under the name John Wing until 1739, though Tycho signed the prefaces; certainly by 1741 they appeared under Tycho Wing’s own name [Library Company of Philadelphia]. He was a friend of the antiquary Rev Dr William Stukeley. In his later years, Tycho worked with his elder son, John Wing (1723-1780) in partnership (see Vincent Wing [1619-68] ODNB).