Astronomers: Middlesex

Brühl, John Maurice [Hans Moritz] [Count von Brüh] (1736–1809), diplomatist and patron of science, at Harefield House, Harefield (ODNB).

Common, Andrew Ainslie (1841-1903), established his observatory in a shed in his garden at Ealing in 1876. Pioneering astrophotographer, and pioneer in designing equatorially mounted silver-on-glass reflectors. Sold his 36-inch reflector to Crossley for £2,500. Then made a 60-inch instrument, which ended up at Harvard (ODNB).

Everett, Alice (1865-1949), born Glasgow and educated in Belfast gaining a maths tripos degree at Girton College, Cambridge.  Employed as supernumerary computer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (1890-5), Potsdam observatory on the Carte du Ciel (1895-8) and Vassar College Observatory 1899. Later she worked on Optics under her father at Queens College, Belfast (1900-4), then the National Physics laboratory, Teddington (1917-25).  A founder member of the British Astronomical Association after being barred from joining the Royal Astronomical Society (WIKIAlice EverettBruck 1994).

De la Rue, Warren (1815-89), born Guernsey. In 1852 he obtained the first good photographs of the Moon, and in 1857 of the Sun. His photographs of the total solar eclipse of 1860 finally proved that the prominences are part of the solar atmosphere, not a lunar phenomena. Established an observatory (1849-57) at Canonbury (see London page), then at Cranford (1857-73) see below .  For the definitive and handsomely illustrated account of his astronomy (ODNB; Obit., MNRAS, 50 (1890), 155-64; Le Conte 2011).

Fisher, George [Revd.] (1794-1873), born  Sunbury, Middlesex – see County of London.

Harriot, Thomas (1560-1621), born in Oxford, the first lunar cartographer of any country. At Syon House, the Duke of Newcastle’s residence in Middlesex, “He first turned his rudamentary telescope to the Moon on 1609 July 26 – some four months before Galileo’s observations – but he did not see fit to publish his chart until the summer of 1610, by which time Galileo’s drawings of the Moon had already appeared – see Oxfordshire (Leatherbarrow 2013; Chapman 2009; ODNB).

Hardcastle, Joseph A. (1868-1917),  born Harrow, great grandson of William Herschel (see Berkshire).

Irving, Ronald Nicholas (1915-2005), born Teddington, Middlesex.  The youngest son of Horace Irving the founder of the instrument & telescope making company of H. N. Irving and Son (see Nat. archives).  After serving an apprenticeship with Ottoway at the Orion Works, Ealing London he joined the family company based in Teddington – briefly relocated to Suffolk.  Later, sole proprietor, famous in amateur astronomer circles for the craftsmanship of the telescope sold (Obit. JBAA, 116 (3), 146).

Moore, Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell [CBE FRS., Hon. Vice-Pres. SHA] (1923-), was born in Pinner, Middlesex – see Sussex page.

Pigott, Nathaniel (1725-1804)– born Whitton, Middlesex, but later created an observatory, at Bootham, York (1781-85 & 1792-93) – see North Riding page.

Tupman, George Lyon [Lieut.-Col.] (1838-1922), born Boulogne, France, educated at the Royal Navy School, New Cross, London. His career was spent in the Royal Marine Artillary, retiring in 1880. During this time to followed his interest in astronomy observing Meteors and supervising various Transit of Venus expeditions, Honolulu (1874) and Christchurch NZ (1882). From his home, at Harrow, London he established his ‘Hillfoot Observatory’ that was equipped with a transit circle and a 12-inch Calver reflecting telescope on an equatorial mount that also carried a refractor.  He was active on the council of the RAS (Obit., MNRAS, 83 (1923, 247-8); Stroobant 1907, 98).

Walker, William Cameron [Dr] (1896-1978), born Bradford, he took a chemistry degree at King’s College London then an MSc at UCL and finally gained a doctorate in History of Science through part-time study. In 1923 he became Science Master Minchenden Grammar School where he stayed until 1938 when he was appointed headmaster at Kingston High School, Hull until he retired in 1961. During this time he developed his interest in astronomy, establishing observatories at both MGS and KHS (Holten 2018).

Waters, Henry Hayden (1880-1939), born in Coventry who followed a career in the timber trade in both Liverpool and London. He had a keen interest in astronomy since his childhood, inherited from his father and became a member of Liverpool Astronomical Society and in 1908.  He then joined the BAA, serving on their council and was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1919.  Waters had a well-equipped observatory at his home in Harrow with a 5-inch Zeiss clock-driven refractor on loan from the BAA. He had particular interest in photographing meteors and an active member of the Meteor and Photographic Sections of the BAA. In 1921 he published a book Astronomical Photography for Amateurs – see Warwickshire (Obit., MNRAS, 100 (1940), 264-5).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s