Astronomers: Cheshire

 

Ball, Leslie (1911-1992) FRAS of ‘Auriga’, 27 Parkbrook Road, Northenden, Cheshire. A civil servant, he started with a 16cm Calver reflector, and later had a 25cm reflector which he built to mount a Slater mirror in 1935. His superb lunar drawings were much appreciated, and he did a lot of book illustrations. He continued observing until 1990. A member of “Mr Barker’s Circle”, an observing group of eight men active from April 1934 to December 1938 and May 1946 to May 1948 (see Hertfordshire, McKim 2013).

Burbidge, Margaret (1919- ), born Davenport, part of Stockport, astrophysicist who served at the University of London Observatory, Yerkes Observatoryof the University of Chicago, Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, the California Institute of Technology, and, from 1979 to 1988, was first director of the Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), where she has worked since 1962.

Espin, Revd. Thomas H.E.C. (1858-1934), born Birmingham; after graduating from Oxford University he was appointed curate in West Kirby on the Wirral. Involved with the establishment of the Liverpool Astronomical Society.  Later he moved to County Durham and in 1888 he became vicar of Tow Law, a few miles south of Conset, County Durham, where he built his observatory there (ODNB) see Durham.

Hartnup, John Chapman (1806-85), astronomer  and first director of the Bidston Observatory (ODNB) see below.)

Longbottom, FrederickWilliam (1850-1933), hop merchant by trade, He operated several telescopes from his garden in Chester, including an 18½-inch Calver reflector. Longbottom was a keen astronomical photographer and went on to serve as Director of the BAA Photographic Section 1906-1926. He founded the Chester Astronomical Society in 1892 (see ‘Obit. Notices’, MNRAS, 94 (1934), 281).

Molyneux, Samuel (1689-1728), born Chester, politican and an amateur astronomer whose worked with James Bradley attempting to measure stellar parallax led to the discovery of the aberration of light. (see ODNB; Surrey).

Plummer, William (1849-1928), born near Greenwich. Trained at the ROG as a computer, and qualifying as an observer on the transit, in 1868 he joined Bishop’s Regent’s Park Observatory. Plummer later asserted that whatever skills he had acquired he owed to Bishop’s observer, John Hind. In 1874 Plummer was appointed First Assistant at the new University of Oxford Observatory. Professor Charles Pritchard never observed at Oxford, and the principal work fell to Plummer, as Pritchard always generously acknowledged. In 1892 Plummer was appointed director of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board’s Bidston Observatory, and remained there until his death (‘Obituary Notices…’, MNRAS, 89 [4] (Feb. 1929), 320-23). William’s son Henry Crozier Plummer became the first graduate assistant at the University of Oxford’s Observatory, and by appointment to Dublin in 1912 the only Oxford graduate between 1842 and 1939 to direct a British observatory.

Whichello, Dr. Harold  (1870-1945) BAA General Practitioner in Tattenhall where he resided at The Mount, owning a 6-inch Wray refractor (full history).

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