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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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Establishment of Meteorological Observatories

Sydney, 10th March 1840

Sir,—I am directed by His Excellency the Governor to transmit to you the copy of a circular despatch, dated 29th November, 1838, from Lord Glenelg, relating to the "Collection of Facts respecting Storms," and to acquaint you that persons who have been under the instruction of the Astronomer at Parramatta have been appointed to register observations at 1s. 6d. per day each, in lieu of clothes and rations.

I am further directed to inform you that these men are convicts taken from the class of specials who not being assignable are always maintained at the expense of the Government, the charge above mentioned will properly be defrayed out of convict funds.

I have, Sir, &c.,

The Deputy Commissary-General

Meteorological Observatories were accordingly established at South Head, Sydney, Port Macquarie, and Port Phillip (i.e., Melbourne), and observations began in April, 1840.

In each case educated men amongst the convicts were selected as observers, and it appears from a despatch from the Secretary of State that the Home Government refused to find salaries for these Observers or to maintain them in any way after their term of service was over, hence the observations ceased at all these places with the exception of Sydney, where the observer was kept on until 1855, when for some reason not stated he suddenly left the colony. It seems probable that he had grown lax in his duty and that the advent of an energetic Governor, Sir William Denison, made it, in his opinion, undesirable that he should remain at his post any longer, particularly as the Governor was known to take a deep interest in astronomy and meteorology.

People in Bright Sparcs - Denison, William Thomas; 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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