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Adams, John Couch (1819–1892), astronomer, was born on 5 June 1819 at Lidcot, a farm near Launceston, Cornwall, the eldest of the seven children of Thomas Adams (1788–1859), a poor tenant farmer, and his wife, Tabitha Knill Grylls (1796–1866), a farmer's daughter who had received some education from her uncle ...

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Airy, Sir George Biddell (1801–1892), astronomer, was born at Alnwick, Northumberland, on 27 July 1801, the eldest of the four children of William Airy (1749–1827), of Luddington in Lincolnshire. His mother, Ann Biddell (d. 1841), a woman of strong character and natural abilities, was the daughter of a well-to-do farmer from near ...

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Baily, Francis (1774–1844), stockbroker and astronomer, was born at Newbury, Berkshire, on 28 April 1774, the third son of Richard Baily (1744–1814), a banker, and his wife, Sarah Head (1745–1823). At the age of fourteen, following his education at the old grammar school in ...

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Bradley, James (bap. 1692, d. 1762), astronomer, was born in Sherborne, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on 3 October 1692, the third son of William Bradley, a descendant of a family from Bradley Castle, co. Durham, and Jane Pound, of Bishop's Canning, Wiltshire, whom ...

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Brown, Elizabeth (1830–1899), astronomer and meteorologist, was born on 6 August 1830 at Further Barton, Hampton Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, the elder of the two daughters of Thomas Crowther Brown (1792–1883), a wine merchant and amateur meteorologist, and his wife, Jemimah. The family was comfortably off and ...

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Christie, Sir William Henry Mahoney (1845–1922), astronomer, was born on 1 October 1845 at Woolwich, the eldest child of Samuel Hunter Christie (1784–1865), professor of mathematics at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and his second wife, Margaret Ellen Malcolm (b. c.1822)...

Article

H. P. Hollis

revised by M. T. Brück

Clerke, Agnes Mary (1842–1907), writer on astronomy, born at Skibbereen, co. Cork, on 10 February 1842, was the younger daughter of John William Clerke (1814–1890), and his wife, Catherine (1818–1897), daughter of Rickard Deasy of Clonakilty, co. Cork, and sister of Rickard Deasy...

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Cowling, Thomas George (1906–1990), mathematician and astrophysicist, was born on 17 June 1906 at 3 Harrogate Road, South Hackney, London, the second of the four sons of George Cowling, Post Office engineer, and Edith Eliza Cowling, née Nicholls. Cowling was educated at Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow...

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Dawes, William Rutter (1799–1868), astronomer, was born on 19 March 1799 at Christ's Hospital, London. His father, William Dawes (1762–1836), was an officer of marines, the official astronomer with the first fleet to New South Wales in 1787, and governor of Sierra Leone...

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Demainbray, Stephen Charles Triboudet (1710–1782), natural philosopher and astronomer, was born on 20 February 1710 in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London, the son of Stephen Triboudet Demainbray of that parish and his wife, Marie Rigaud, daughter of Alexandre de Schivac, minister of the French church in ...

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Dreyer, John Louis Emil (1852–1926), astronomer and historian of astronomy, was born at Copenhagen on 13 February 1852, the third son of John Christopher Dreyer, lieutenant-general in the Danish army, and his wife, Ida Nicoline Margarethe Rangrup. At the age of fourteen he read a book about ...

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Dyson, Sir Frank Watson (1868–1939), astronomer, was born at the Baptist manse in Measham, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Derbyshire, on 8 January 1868, the eldest child in a family of four sons and three daughters of Watson Dyson (1837–1904), a Baptist minister, and his wife, ...

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Eddington, Sir Arthur Stanley (1882–1944), theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, was born on 28 December 1882 in Kendal, Westmorland, the second child of Arthur Henry Eddington (d. 1884) and his wife, Sarah Ann Shout of Darlington, whose family was of Dutch origin. Both came from traditional Quaker families. His father, a ...

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Flamsteed, John (1646–1719), astronomer, the eldest child and only son of Stephen Flamsteed (c.1615–1688) of Derby and his first wife, Mary (d. 1649), the daughter of John Spateman, was born at Denby, near Derby, on 19 August 1646. His father came from a gentry family but derived his main income from business occupations such as brewing and malting, interests in the lead-mining industry, and perhaps trading in ores or metals. ...

Article

F. W. Dyson

revised by Hermann A. Brück

Gill, Sir David (1843–1914), astronomer, was born at 48 Skene Terrace, Aberdeen, on 12 June 1843, the eldest son of David Gill (1789–1878), a watchmaker with a well-established business in Aberdeen, and his wife, Margaret Mitchell (1809–1870). He was educated at Dollar Academy...

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Glaisher, James (1809–1903), astronomer and meteorologist, was born on 7 April 1809 in Rotherhithe, London, the son of James Glaisher, watchmaker, and his wife, Mary. The family moved to Greenwich shortly afterwards. Glaisher visited the Royal Observatory in 1829, where he expressed interest in the scientific instruments, and his brother ...

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Gold, Thomas [Tommy] (1920–2004), astrophysicist, was born on 22 May 1920 in Vienna, Austria, the son of Max Gold, a wealthy industrialist and a director of Austria's largest mining company, and his wife, Josefine, née Martin, a former child actress. His early childhood was spent in a privileged environment, and it seemed natural that he would follow his father into business. However, the steep economic downturn in ...

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Goodricke, John (1764–1786), astronomer, was born on 17 September 1764 in Groningen, Netherlands, the eldest child of Henry Goodricke (d. 1784), of the British consular service, and his wife, Levina Benjamina, the daughter of Peter Sessler of Namur. He became deaf and mute in infancy, and at the age of eight was sent to ...

Article

A. M. Clerke

revised by David Gavine

Grant, Robert (1814–1892), astronomer, was born on 17 June 1814 at Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, the son of Robert Grant, a tradesman, and his wife, Marjory. He attended a local school endowed by the earl of Seafield and showed promise in the classics, but was struck by a severe illness between his thirteenth and nineteenth years; after recovering he worked diligently to master Latin, Greek, modern languages, mathematics, and astronomy. He observed ...

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Greaves, John (1602–1652), astronomer and orientalist, was probably born at Alresford, Hampshire, the eldest of the four sons of John Greaves (1579–1616), rector of Colmer, a noted schoolmaster, and his wife, Sara (d. 1640). His three brothers also achieved distinction: Nicholas became a fellow of ...