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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)

During his life after leaving Sydney, Sir Thomas Brisbane founded two other observatories, one at Makerstown and the other at Brisbane, in Scotland. Sir Thomas died in February, (Royal Astronomical Society's Notices, Vol. XX., p. 118.)

He contributed some papers about Parramatta work to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1821 to 1824, but I have not a complete file of the Transactions[7] for reference; he also contributed to the Royal Astronomical Society thirteen papers.

Sir Thomas Brisbane's first knowledge of Astronomy had been gained at sea. Struck with the importance of knowing how to navigate a ship, he went to work with the energy that marked all his actions, and soon mastered the situation and become a first-class observer with the sextant, but I cannot find that he had any experience in fixed observatories until he got to Parramatta, and therefore, very little, if any, knowledge of large and fixed instruments, hence I think the whole difficulty with the observations at Parramatta; he bought large but essentially faulty instruments[8] without knowing it, and found this out when it was too late to remedy the evil.

The published work of the Parramatta Observatory under Sir T. Brisbane, is represented by the Parramatta Catalogue of Stars, and some papers upon latitude, longitude, comets, &c., published in the Royal Astronomical Society Notices, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and some meteorological observations for one whole year and part of a second.

The Catalogues of Nebulæ and Double Stars by Dunlop were his private work and not made at the Observatory, but at the house in Parramatta, and the work published by Rumker in the Philosophical Transactions 1829, part III, was done at the Parramatta Observatory after Sir Thomas Brisbane left the colony. All the books in which this work was recorded have disappeared, but in the Royal Astronomical Society library at Burlington House is preserved the MS. of the Parramatta Catalogue.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dunlop, James; 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.

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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