Astronomers: Leicestershire

Bishop, George (1785-1861), born in Leicester, who made his fortune in British wine-making. At his home at South Villa, regent’s Park, he established a splendid observatory (ODNB; see County of London).

Durrad, John William (1854-1939), born in Leicester, with an Interest in astronomy from a young age, discovered several new ‘crevasses’ feature on the Moon near Gassendi. He was active with the astronomical section of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society and built a small observatory in the garden of his home. Elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1876 (‘Obit’., MNRAS100, p.238).

Dyson, Frank Watson (1868-1939), born Measham,  Derbyshire [nowLeicestershire], educated at trinity College, Cambridge, second wrangler. Astronomer Royal for Scotland, 1905-10, Astronomer Royal 1910-33. In 1928 he installed a new free pendulum clock, and introduced the transmission of more accurate Greenwich mean Time by broadcasting ‘pips’. A keen eclipse observer, in 1919 he organised observation of the solar eclipse to test and prove Einstein’s Theory of Relativity (ODNB; see County of London).

Goodacre, Walter (1856-1938), born Loughborough, as a youth a member of Liverpool Astronomical society. An amateur, second Director of BAA Lunar Section 1897-1937, published an important 77-inch hand-drawn map of the Moon in 1910. In 1931 he published a large book of 25 maps of the Moon, with description of features (Obit., MNRAS99 (1939), 310-1).

Pearson, William , Dr., Revd.(1767-1847), born at Whitbeck, a small village at the extreme south-west limit of the old county of Cumberland, a co-founder of the London Astronomical Society in 1820 (QJRAS, 35 (1994), 271-92). Author of Practical Astronomy. He established his South Kilworth ‘Rectory’ Observatory in 1829 (Obit., MNRAS8 (1848), 69-74ODNB; see Surrey & Cumberland).