Offaly (Kings)

800px-Birr_Castle_by_Henrietta_Crompton

Painting by Henrietta Compton

Astronomers

Parsons, William, third earl of Rosse (1800–1867), born York, England, educated at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford.  As Lord Oxmantown he inherited the  title of third earl on the death of his father in 1841. Established at Birr Castle  in Parsonstown (Birr) he pursued his interest in astronomy building a series of large reflecting telescopes – 36 & 72-inch aperture. The latter known as the ‘Leviathan of Parsonstown’ remained the largest from 1845 to 1917, though inactive after the 1870s (see Yorkshire: North RidingWIKI; ODNB; Howse 1986).

Rosse Telescope

Copperplate engraving, c.1860

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