[John Flamsteed, 1646 - 1719] Johannes Flamsteedius Derbiensis Astronomiae Professor Regius Anno Aetatis 74 Obijt Decem: 31 1719

John Flamsteed became the first Astronomer Royal when the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, was founded in 1645. In all there have been fifteen Astronomers Royal. All fulfilled the general role of producing astronomical data useful to navigators but each has interpreted the role in a different way. For Flamsteed, it meant producing a detailed star map of the Northern Hemisphere, the first ever produced with a telescope.

Late in life, Flamsteed argued with both Newton and Halley when, in 1712, Halley published a private edition of Flamsteed's observations without his permission. Of the 400 copies of Historia Coelestis published, Flamsteed recovered 300 and burnt them after removing the ninety-seven pages he considered to be his untampered work. His observations were finally published as he had intended in 1725, after his death. Following her husband's wishes, Flamsteed's wife removed and sold the entire apparatus of the Observatory, on the grounds that it was paid for by him and his patron.

Object Details

ID: PAD2713
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Vertue, George; Gibson, Thomas
Date made: 1721
Exhibition: Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin
People: Flamsteed, Reverend John
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Primary support: 340 mm x 243 mm; Mount: 560 mm x 406 mm

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