Astronomers: Northamptonshire

Alcock, George Eric Deacon [MBE, FRAS, FRMetS, FGS] (1912-2000), born Peterborough, Northampton.  A school teacher noted for his discoveries of five comets and five novae. Awarded the RAS Jackson-Gwilt Medal (1963), the BAA Merlin Medal (1961 & 1972), the BAA Goodacre Medal (1976) – joint with W E Fox – and an MBE (1979). A memorial to him can be found in Peterborough Cathedral (Obit., BAA 111 (2001), p.64 ; Wiki).

Bernard, Edward [FRS] (1638 – 1697), mathematician and astronomer from Paulerspury, near Towcester.  Savilian Prof. of Astronomy (after Christopher Wren). Correspondence with Flamsteed on comets and other observed phenomena. Published (Royal Society 1684) uncritical collection of ancient Arabic and Greek observations and several other publications, including his observation of the solar eclipse of 2nd July 1684 (see ODNB).

Boles, Tom (1944- ), born Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland.  Supernova Discovery Expert, now living in Suffolk.

Brinkley, John [FRAS] (1767 – 1835), bishop of Cloyne and Astronomer Royal of Ireland (1790). Educated in Harlestone, Northamptonshire. Founding President (1831) of the Royal Astronomical Society (see ODNB).

Cartwright, Mary [DBE, FRS] (1900-1998), mathematician. Born Aynho, Northamptonshire (see ODNB).

Cartwright, Samuel [FRS] (1789-1864), geologist, born Northampton (see ODNB).

Cartwright ,William (?), Aynhoe, Northamptonshire.

Catton, Thomas [FRAS, FRS] (1758?-1838), three years spent as tutor in the family of Sir William Wake in Northampton. Left 10 volumes of manuscripts of his observations of eclipses, occultations, and other phenomena to Sir George Airy, Astronomer Royal. Catton was one of the earliest members of the Royal Astronomical Society (see Cambridgshire; ODNB).

Cayley, Henry (?), eclipse observer. Published report of 1905/8/30 total eclipse as seen from Mallorca (Journal of the NNHS, 13 [101] 1905, 185).

Spencer Compton, Joshua Alwyne, 2nd Marquis Northampton [FRS] (1790-1851)
Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire. President Royal Society (1838-1848). Is known to have corresponded with Sir John Herschel (1838-46) and Sir John Lubbock (1838-49), among others, held at The Royal Society.

Crick, Francis [FRS] (1916-2004), physicist, born Northampton. Nobel Laureat – co-discoverer of DNA helix  (see ODNB).

Doddridge, Philip [Rev., Dr., FRS] (1702 – 1751), principal Northampton Academy, President Northampton Philosophical Society.

Druce, George [FRS] (1850-1932), born Old Stratford, Northamptonshire. Co-founder Northamptonshire Natural History Society.

Goodwin, Francis (1562-1633), theologian. Author of books on spacefight (pub. posthumously 1638) The Man in the Moone, or a discourse of a Voyage thither – concerning the adoption of the Copernicus system & principles of gravitation (see ODNB).

Gorbold, Roland (1888-1965), born Hackney, London, dies at Brixworth, Northamptonshire.  Living at Park Avenue, Northampton, he exhibited an image of the 1912 solar eclipse taken through a small telescope at the 57th annual exhibition (1912) of the Royal Photographic Society and reported in the Northampton Independent  [April 20th 1912].

Hanbury, William [FRS] (d.1768), topographer and antiquarian.  Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire.

Ingham, Albert Edward [Dr.] (1900-1967), mathematician, born Northampton (see ODNB).

Landon, John [FRS] (1719-1790), mathematician. Born Peakirk, Northamptonshire.

Laurence, Edward (1674?-1739), called himself a ‘Teacher of Mathematics at Northampton’. Land surveyor and maker of sun dials. 1716 publication “A new and familiar way to find a most exact meridian line by the Pole star” (see ODNB).

Lynn, George (1676-1742), born Southwick House, near Oundle. Possessed a 13 foot telescope. Observations of eclipses of Jupiter’s Galilean moons made in 1724-6 and 1730-35 submitted to Royal Society. He also documented an account of the aurora borealis seen on 8th October 1726. Maintained a meteorological register 1726-1740 (see ODNB).

Palmer, John (1612-1679), rector of Ecton and Arch Deacon of Northampton. Published various astronomical observations and other works, notably editing an edition of Blagrave’s “Mathematical Jewel”. Associated with John Twysden (Frost 2008).

Panther, Roy W. (1926-2016), prolific amateur observer. Discoverer of Comet Panther 1980u. Winner of BAA Merlin medal (Obit., JBAA, 127 (2017), p.120).

Perry, Geoffrey [MBE] (1927-2000), radio Astronomer – Kettering Satellite Tracking Group.

Priestley, Joseph  (1733-1804), theologian and Natural philosopher. Educated at Doddridge’s Northampton Academy, later removed to Daventry (ODNB).

Robertson, Abram [FRS] (1751-1826), mathematician and astronomer. Presented to the vicarage of Ravensthorpe, Northamptonshire in 1789. Superintended the publication of the second volume (1798 – 1805) Bradley’s Greenwich Royal Observatory Astronomical Observations (ODNB).

Ruddy, Henry Ernst [Rev., FRAS] (1882-1966), born Bala, mid Wales, joined the BAA (Election, JBAA, 53 (1943), 139), Observer and first President of Astronomy Section, NNHS, then RAS (Election, MNRAS, 107 (1947), 2).

Swirles, Bertha, Lady Jeffreys [FRAS] (1903-1999), born Northampton, Quantum Physicist. (‘Obit.’, A&G, 41 [ 3] June 2000, 3.36-3.37; ODNB).

Twysden, John (1607-1688), Dr. of Physic and Astronomer. Made several observations from Easton Maudit, Northants, including comets, eclipses and sunspots (ODNB; Frost 2008).

Woolston, Mary Elizabeth [Miss] (1840-1917), born Wellingborough, Northants, a member of the British Astronomical Association, elected in 1900 – proposer Nevil Maskelyne, seconder John M. Bacon. She participated in the official society eclipse expeditions of 1900 and 1905, photographing the corona at the former while sketch it at the latter (Maunder 1901, 8; Levander 1906, 48).

Wright, Frank H. (c 1910), Headmaster Bugbrooke School. Prolific contributor of astronomical (and other) articles to English Mechanic.

Yeoman, Thomas [FRS] (1704? – 1781), Northampton Philosophical Society (see ODNB).