Lincolnshire

SHA County Co-ordinator: Mike Leggett

Email: leggett189@btinternet.com

No of SHA Members resident in this County … 0

Astronomers

(Note: This includes individuals who have made contributions in related fields, e.g. mathematics, geography, exploration)

Andrews, Henry  (1743 – 1820), astronomer, was born at Frieston, near Grantham [Ketteringham, 1995; Clerke]. As a ten-year old, he began observing the stars with a telescope in Frieston Green. However, as his parents were poor, he entered domestic service while still a boy, first in Sleaford, then in Lincoln and finally with Mr Verinum, who permitted him some time each day for his studies [Clerke]. He calculated with great accuracy a solar eclipse, which was viewed by a distinguished party at Aswarby Hall on 1 April 1764. He was a teacher in Basingthorpe near Grantham, then became an usher at a school in Stilton, subsequently moved to Cambridge, then spent the remainder of his days as a bookseller and schoolmaster in Royston. He was a calculator on the Nautical Almanac for over 40 years and was employed on several other almanacs. [Ketteringham, 1995; Clerke; See also Barber; Parsons; ODNB].

Dee, John, Dr (1527 – 1608), mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, alchemist, Rector of Long Leadenham, Lincolnshire (1566 – 1608) [Parsons; Westfall; ODNB] – see County of London.

Harrison, John (1693 – 1776), clockmaker, who perfected the marine chronometer, was born in Yorkshire, but his family moved to Barrow-on-Humber when he was 7 [Ketteringham, 1995; See also Hobden and Hobden, 1988; ODNB]
Sites associated with Harrison: The Barton Initiative was part of the Barton Waterside Regeneration and, based on information found in 2004, it was intended to include a visitor centre and exhibition, which would celebrate the life and work of John Harrison and celebrate his links with Barton-upon-Humber regionally and nationally. However, it has not been possible to find more up to date information for this 2007 edition of the survey and the current status of the Barton Initiative would appear to be uncertain. However, the primary school in Barrow-upon-Humber is named after John Harrison.

Merryweather, John (?), governor of the Prison at Lincoln Castle, was a keen astronomer. Sites associated with Merryweather: The Observatory Tower at Lincoln Castle was restored in 1825 for Merryweather [Lincolnshire County Council].
See observatories above.

Issac Newton , Sir (1642-1727), natural philosopher, mathematician and astronomer, was born at Woolsthorpe Manor, near Colsterworth [Ketteringham, 1995; ODNB].

Tennyson, Alfred, first Baron Tennyson (1809-1892), poet and amateur astronomer, was born in Somersby [Ketteringham, 1995; Mullay & Mullay, 2002]. Better known as a poet, he was also greatly interested in science and was a keen amateur astronomer [Woods, 2006]
The Tennyson Statue in Lincoln is adjacent to the Chapter House and Medieval Library, northeast of Lincoln Cathedral [Parsons].

Edmund Weaver was described by Dr Stukeley as “…a very uncommon genius, who had made himself master of astronomy and was scarcely to be accounted the second in the kingdom…” [Lynn]. Very little seems to be known about Weaver, other than a short series of almanacs, including “The British Telescope” (published in 1745) and some astronomical tables, which appear not to have been published. Stukeley recorded in his diary that he “…spent many agreeable hours at Stamford and Pickworth with Mr Tycho Wing and Mr Edmund Weaver, the great Lincolnshire astronomer” [Clerke].
See Authors below for further information about Dr William Stukeley and also the survey for Rutland for further information about Tycho Wing and the “Wing Dynasty”.

Associated People

Observatories

Cleethorpes and District Astronomical Society (http://www.cleethorpesastronomy.co.uk/info.htm)
Meetings are held at the Beacon Hill Observatory

Horncastle Residential College Observatory
The observatory is marked on a map [Philips/Ordnance Survey]. British Astronomical Association astronomy weekends have been held at the Horncastle Residential College.

Lincoln Astronomical Society (http://www.lincolnastrosoc.freeserve.co.uk/)
Observatory opened in 1982 by Sir Patrick Moore, it is named after two former Presidents of the society, Walter Pennell and Peter Hammerton.

Lincoln Castle, Observatory Tower
Most of the tower dates from medieval times, but the upper part was restored and buttressed in 1825 as an observatory for the Governor, John Merryweather, a keen astronomer [Lincolnshire County Council]. (suppl.note: the tower was initially built as a watch tower to guard against prisoners escaping).

South Lincolnshire Astronomical and Geophysical Society (http://mysite.freeserve.com/solags/index.html) Observatory near Cowbit

Societies and Organisations

Boston Astronomers (BoA): Founded in 1975 as the Boston Astronomical Association, (BoAA) in 1981 the name was changed to Boston Astronomers. It formerly met at the Blackfriars Arts Centre, but in June 2001 the society “had no choice but to suspend the meeting programme”.

Cleethorpes and District Astronomical Society (CleeDAS), Founded sometime before 1975 [Moore, 1974], meetings are held at the Beacon Hill Observatory. See also Observatories above.

East Lincolnshire Astronomy Club (ELAC), founded 2012.  Member hold meetings at  Scamblesby Village Hall, South Street, Scamblesby, Louth (LN11 9XF) and observe from Badger Farm, Asterby Lane, Asterby,Louth (LN11 9UE).

Grimsby Astronomical Society (GAS), society was not listed in the Yearbook of Astronomy in 1985 [Moore, 1984], but had been added to the list by 1990 [Moore, 1989]. It has subsequently appeared in issues of the Yearbook for 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2007. However, the current status of this society is uncertain. It does not appear on the website of the Lincolnshire Astronomy and Space Association nor the Lincolnshire Group of Astronomical Societies.

Hibaldstow Astronomical Society (HAS), founded 2000s (?).  Members meet at the church hall, Hibaldstow.

Lincoln Astronomical Society  (LinAS), founded June 1959, the Society meets at a purpose built lecture hall on 23 Westcliff Street, Lincoln. Work began in 1960 on the construction of the lecture hall, workshop and observatory; the lecture hall was officially opened in September 1963. By 1965, the construction of the observatory was in progress and the Society had 90 members [Moore, 1964]. See also Observatories above.

Lincolnshire Astronomy and Space Association (LASA), Founded September 2003, the association is based at Horncastle College and “aims to bring together all the Lincolnshire Astronomical Societies to further interest and cooperation between the groups.”

Lincolnshire Group of Astronomical Societies (LGAS), This group of societies has occasional joint meeting with speakers that none of the societies could afford individually. These usually take place at horncastle residential college. See your local club site for information.

Newton Astronomers (NewtonA), founded early 2001, following a meeting held at the Paragon Cinema in Grantham; the current status of this society is uncertain. From information found in August 2007 on the Lincolnshire Group of Astronomical Societies website (see above), the link for Newton Astronomers went to the most recent website for Newton’s Astronomical Society; this website seemed to have been created in 2005 with the most recent updates implemented on 2007-05-15. It is possible that this group was the predecessor of Newton’s Astronomical Society (see below).

Newton’s Astronomical Society (NewtonAS), founded June 2002, it formerly met at Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton (See Sir Isaac Newton and Woolsthorpe Manor above), but from information found on the website in August 2007, the society had been forced to suspend activity due to low numbers. The link above is for the older of the 2 websites for the Newton’s Astronomical Society, which would appear not to have been updated since August 2004 – appears defunct.

North Lincs Astro (NLAS), founded 2011 at the Far Ings Visitor Centre in the shadow of the Humber Bridge meeting every month on the first Monday.

Orion Astronomical Society (OAS), society listed in the 1975 Yearbook of Astronomy, the contact details gave an address in Louth, but regarding meeting details, it was stated “Details to be announced” [Moore, 1974]. By the time the 1980 Yearbook was published, this Society was no longer listed [Moore, 1979].

South Lincolnshire Astronomical and Geophysical Society (SoLAGS), founded 1976, the Society formerly met at the South Holland Centre in Spalding and, more recently, at the Adult Education Centre in Knight Street, Pinchbeck; the society now meets at St Mary’s Church Hall, Rose Lane, Pinchbeck. See also Observatories above.

Spalding Astro (SA), founded(?).  Members meet at The Vista, Spalding (PE11 2RA) – appear to be defunct since 2015.

Associated Groups (Mechanics Institutes, Phil. & Lit./science/Nat. History Socities)

Local History Centres/Record Office & Societies

Publishing & Manufacture

References and Bibliography

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