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Andrews, Henry (1744–1820), astronomer and astrologer, was born on 4 February 1744 in Frieston, Lincolnshire. His background was humble, and he received little or no formal education. A passion for astronomy was evident from a very early age, and by the time he was ten he had acquired a telescope, which he used to set on a table on ...

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Askham [Ascham], Anthony (c. 1517–1559), writer on astronomy and almanac maker, was born at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton, Yorkshire, the third son of John Ascham (d. 1544) of Kirby Wiske, who was a yeoman farmer and steward to Lord Scrope of Bolton...

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Bassantin [Bassendyne], James (d. 1568), astronomer and astrologer, was the son of the laird of Bassendean in the Merse, Berwickshire, and was born in the reign of James IV (r. 1488–1513). He entered the University of Glasgow at an early age, and, after finishing his studies in the humanities, devoted himself to mathematics and its related sciences, in which he acquired remarkable proficiency. To improve further in these subjects he travelled in the ...

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Chevallier, Temple (1794–1873), Church of England clergyman and university teacher, was born on 19 October 1794 at Badingham, Suffolk, the youngest son of the Revd Temple Chevallier. He was educated at home, then at the grammar schools of Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich...

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Dúngal (fl. c. 800–827), astronomer and theologian, went to Francia c.800, taught at Pavia, and died as a monk, probably at Bobbio. His presence in Francia and his Irish origins are attested in a letter of Alcuin written probably in the early 790s to the monks of ...

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Hartgill, George (b. in or before 1555, d. in or before 1597), astronomer and astrologer, was the son of Thomas Hartgill and Anne Harvey. His family, based at Kilmington, Somerset, were minor landowners in Somerset and Dorset; his paternal grandfather, William Hartgill, steward to ...

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Lily, George (d. 1559), Roman Catholic ecclesiastic and cosmographer, was born in London, the eldest son of William Lily (1468?–1522/3) and his wife, Agnes. Probably privately educated by his father, a scholar and teacher, Lily may have become a commoner of Magdalen College, Oxford...

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Lynn, Nicholas (fl. 1386–1411), Carmelite friar and astronomer, presumably came from Bishop's Lynn in Norfolk. By his own account he was a friar and a member of the order of the Blessed Mary Mother of God of Mount Carmel, and during the late fourteenth century he became a lecturer in theology at ...

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Malvern, Walcher of (d. 1135), prior of Great Malvern and astronomer, was a monk at the Benedictine abbey of Great Malvern near Worcester (founded 1085) and became its second prior; but uncertainty surrounds the period of his priorship, because of the almost complete absence of his name in archival records. As prior he attended the consecration of a new abbot of ...

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Maudith [Mauduith], John (d. in or after 1343), ecclesiastic and astronomer, went to Oxford from the Worcester diocese and by 1309 had become a fellow of Merton College, where he remained until 1319. In that year he was admitted rector of Aston Cantlow, Warwickshire...

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Rede, William (c. 1315–1385), bishop of Chichester, theologian, and astronomer, was a native of the diocese of Exeter, although he was linked with the county of Kent through the patronage of Nicholas Sandwich. Rede's will states that Sandwich, who was lord of Bilsington...

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Sidgreaves, Walter (1837–1919), Jesuit and astronomer, was born on 4 October 1837 in Grimsargh, near Preston, Lancashire, the second son of Edward Sidgreaves and a member of a remarkable family in the history of English Jesuits. His elder brother, Henry Sidgreaves (1835–1852), a novice who died at the early age of seventeen at ...

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Somer, John (d. in or after 1409), Franciscan friar and astronomer, belonged to the Franciscan convent at Bridgwater. Although one copy of his Kalendarium suggests that at some time before 1384 he was warden of the priory at Bodmin in Cornwall, from at least 1380 to 1395 he was attached to the ...

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Streete, Thomas (1621–1689), astronomer and astrologer, was born on 5 March 1621 in Cork. As an ensign in Colonel Kingsmill's regiment under Inchiquin, he fought for the king at Tredagh and Dublin, and was twice captured. After the Restoration, Streete lived in London...

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Wallingford, Richard (c. 1292–1336), abbot of St Albans and astronomer, was born at Wallingford, near Oxford, the son of William, a blacksmith, and his wife, Isabella. On his father's death (c.1302) he was adopted by William Kirkeby, the prior of the Benedictine cell of ...

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Ward, Seth (1617–1689), astronomer and bishop of Exeter and Salisbury, was born in Buntingford, Hertfordshire, and was baptized at St Mary's Church in nearby Aspenden on 5 April 1617. He was the second son of John Ward (d. 1656), an attorney in ...

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Seth Ward (1617–1689) by John Greenhill, 1673 photograph: The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

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Vincent Wing (1619–1668) by Thomas Cross, pubd 1652 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wing, Vincent (1619–1668), astronomer, astrologer, and land surveyor, was born on 9 April 1619 at North Luffenham, Rutland, the son of Vincent Wing (1587–1660) of North Luffenham. The family, settled there for three generations but originally from Wales, was of 'rather good, than great' standing, in the words of ...