Astronomers: Norfolk

Bower, James Garton (1854-1935) [FRAS], born Norwich and educated at King Edward VI school in the same city.  An industrailist who was known for his association with the development and manufacture of mesh stock fencing.  With a keen interest in astronomy he was a founder member of the British Astronomical Association. He acquired James Nasmyth’s famous 20-inch speculum reflecting telescope (Inv. No. 1933-21) along with Isaac Robert’s twin reflector/refractor (20-inch/7-inch) equatorial telescopes (Inv. No. 1936-231).  Both these were later given to the Science Museum, London (Obit., MNRAS, 96 (1936), 289-90).

Francis Wollaston (1731-1815), born London, educated privately and graduating fromSidney Sussex College, Cambridge in 1754.  He then joined Lincoln’s Inn but never practised at the bar, instead entering the church taking the position of rector at Dengie, Essex (1758), East Dereham, Norfolk (1761-9) and finally at Chislehurst, Kent (1769-1815).  In addition to being a clergman he was an author  and astronomer.  He published three practical guides for the amateur astronomer and navigator whilst at Chislehurst and numerous papers in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society (ODNB).

Newbegin, George James [FRAS] (1845-1919), born Norwich, he succeeded his father in the family business of tobacco manufacture. At an early age he developed an interest in astronomy, his first telescope a 5-inch equatorial refractor was located in the quadrangle of the factory premises. Later he moved out of Norwich Thorpe-St-Andrew (now in Norwich) where he established a domed observatory for a 8-inch refractor. Here he made solar and planetary observations. In retirement he moved to Sutton,  Surrey in 1904, where he re-established his observatory and continued his observations (Obit., MNRAS, 80 (1920), 349-50; Obit., Obs, 19 (June 1919), 254-5; Obit., JBAA, 29 (1919), 173- ).

Wollaston ,William Hyde (1766-1828), born East Derham, Norfolk (see County of LondonObit., MNRAS, 1 (1829), p.102ODNB).