Quest for longitude

Latitude is measured by your position north or south of the equator but what about longitude? How is your east or west position defined? Discover all about the quest to establish longitude and why it was important, the men behind its discovery, and the establishment of the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.


The Board of Longitude contributed to many Georgian voyages of 'science' and exploration, as did individual Commissioners including Astronomers Royal like Nevil Maskelyne and Presidents of the Royal Society like Joseph Banks. The surviving archives of the Board reveal much about the scientific and technological endeavours carried out at sea and on land during these journeys and a certain degree about the general conditions and experiences encountered by the crew. However, they shed less (and more biased) light on another important expedition variable - the interactions of the voyagers with the indigenous peoples whom they encountered.


In July 2014 the NMM hosted on one-day conference, entitled Decoding Harrison, which presented the story of around forty years of collaborative research into John Harrison’s complex and surprising pendulum clock theory.