Astronomers: Gloucestershire

Bazley, Thomas Sebastian. [2nd Bt.] (1829-1919), later of Hatherop Castle, Fairford, Gloucestershire. He seems to have had a substantial observatory, donating a 10-inch Cooke refractor to Manchester Physics Institute, and lending a 6-inch Cooke refractor, transit and chronograph, to Joseph Baxendell, Snr., defraying the cost of their removal and re-housing in Southport. Baxendell put the instrument to very good use for a decade (see: ODNB; Joseph Baxendell Lancashire).

Bliss, Nathaniel (1700-64), born in Bisley in the Cotswolds. Educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, and was trained by Bradley. In 1762 he became the fourth Astronomer Royal but had too little time in office to make an impact (see ODNB; County of London).

Bradley, James (1693-1762) born at Sherborne, was educated at Northleach and at Balliol College, Oxford. Appointed vicar of Bridstow, Monmouthshire in 1719. He became Professor of Astronomy at Oxford in 1721 and Astronomer Royal of England in 1742. Best remembered for his work between 1750 – 1762 … the accurate determination of the position of 60,000 stars, the basis of modern statistical astronomy. He died July 13, 1862 (see ODNBCounty of London; Surrey; Essex).

Brown, Elizabeth (1830-1899), born Further Barton, Hampton Road, Cirencester. Astronomer and meteorologist. Member of Liverpool A.S. (1883) which unlike the RAS accepted women members, and she became director of its solar section. Initially she had an aged 3-inch refractor. Later she had an observatory at her home, with 3½-inch clock driven equatorial, and a 6½-inch reflector.  She became a founder of the BAA, and director of its solar section (ODNB; Creese, Mary, ‘Elizabeth Brown etc.’, JBAA, 108 [4] (1998), 193-7).

Davies, Charles Douglas Percy [Rev., FRAS] (1856-1931), born Tewkesbury (see WorcestershireObit. MNRAS, 92 (1932), 246-8).

Player, John (1842-1930), industrialist of John Player and Sons of Clydach Tinplate Works.  Also a keen amateur astronomer who erected an observatory on a tower attached to his home at Thirlestaine Hall, Cheltenham in Gloucestershire (see Grace’s Guide).

Redman, Roderick Oliver (1905-1975), born at Rodborough, near Stroud. Educated there, then at St john’s College, Cambridge. Trained by Eddington at the Cambridge Observatory, he used a travelling fellowship to work at the Dominion Observatory for three years using the 72-inch reflector to gather data on radial velocities. He completed his PhD in 1930, and in 1931 became Assistant Director of the Solar Physics Observatory at Cambridge. In 1938 he moved to become Chief Assistant at the Radcliffe Observatory which was being established in South Africa with a 74-inch reflector (see ODNB; Obit, QJRAS, 17 (1976), 80-86).

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