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Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales


Lieutenant Dawes

Captain Flinders

Admiral Phillip Parker King

Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane

Dr. Charles Stargard Rumker

James Dunlop

P. E. De Strzelecki

Captain J. C. Wickham

Rev. W. B. Clarke, M.A.

Rev. A. Glennie

E. C. Close

Sir William Macarthur

J. Boucher

S. H. Officer

John Wyndham

William Stanley Jevons

Establishment of Meteorological Observatories

Votes and Proceedings, N.S.W., 1848.

Appendix A.

Appendix B.

Appendix C.

Appendix D.

Appendix E.

Appendix F.

Appendix G.

Appendix H.

Appendix I.

Appendix J.

Appendix K.

Appendix L.

Appendix M.

Appendix N.

Appendix O.

Appendix P.

Appendix Q.

Appendix R.

Appendix S.

Appendix T.

Appendix U.



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Sir Thomas MacDougall Brisbane (continued)

Appendices B and G give the complete list of Sir Thomas' fit-out for the Observatory; and of them I have now in the Observatory in a more or less complete state the following:—
The Transit Instrument,
Mural Circle,
Repeating Circle,
[4]Pendulum apparatus,
Hardy clock,
Brequet clock,
Magnetic dip instrument and the books,

but the magnetic variation instrument I have never seen. It is probable that it was lost while the things were in the ordnance store; the only thing connected with it is a mahogany box with tube for suspension filaments, glass window for observing magnet, etc., with a small copper tube telescope, evidently intended to carry a magnet, but the Dolland's Magnetic Transit with telescope for observing sun, and microscope for reading circle (Phil. Trans., 1829, Part III., pp. 1 and 2), I have never seen.

In the Introduction to the Parramatta Catalogue (p. 5) it is stated that "the Observatory was built and furnished with books and instruments, and conducted during Sir Thomas Brisbane's government solely at his expense. On his departure from the colony in the end of 1825, he transferred the whole to the Colonial Government, who repaid the original cost of the instruments,[5] and in 1826 appointed Mr. Rumker, Astronomer, at a salary of £300 per annum. He retired in 1829 and returned to Europe. Mr. Rumker's letter of appointment is dated 16 July, 1829, about three years after he actually began the work.

Sir G. B. Airy, (Second Report Brit. Assoc. Adv. Science, 1832, p. 130) says on Observatories:—Sir Thomas Brisbane on leaving Parramatta "presented the instruments, etc., to the British Government, on condition that the Observatory should be maintained in an efficient state. The condition was accepted and an observer (Mr. Dunlop) is now, 1832, maintained by the British Government at this distant station."

It is evident from Governor Darling's letter, (Appendix: B) that Sir George Airy was not fully informed; the Government accepted the instruments, but paid a long price for them, and from the fact that they appointed Rumker, and requested him to undertake the measurement of an are of the meridian it is evident that they meant to turn the Observatory to some good use, an intention which seems to have been abandoned when Dr. Rumker resigned.

People in Bright Sparcs - Rümker, Christian Carl Ludwig; Russell, Henry Chamberlain

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Russell, H. C. 1888 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860,' Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science vol. 1, 1888, pp. 45-94.

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