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Letters to Francis Baily, 1828 - 1843

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 15/29

Scope and Contents

Correspondence comprised predominantly of letters from T. Maclear or F. Fallows to F. Baily:

A letter from Maclear to Baily concerning methods of calculating longitudes, 1828, including mention of C. Babbage and T. Young.

A letter from Maclear to Baily, 1835, concerning the publication of Cape observations by Fallows and Maclear; the accuracy of the transit clock; the expansion of the Cape Observatory; observations of Halley's Comet, 1-24 September 1835; C. Piazzi Smyth's suitability as an assistant; and the published observations of the Brisbane Observatory. The people mentioned include G.B. Airy, R. Sheepshanks, Capt. Beaufort, W.G. Grey, F. Fallows, Sir John Herschel and C. Piazzi Smyth.

A letter from Maclear to Baily, 1836, concerning Baily's 'Life of Flamsteed'; the arrangement of constellations in the southern hemisphere; the measurement of stellar magnitudes; the calculation of right ascension and declination without errors; and observations of Halley's Comet from 24 January 1836 onwards. The people mentioned include Sir John Herschel, T. Henderson and Capt. Beaufort.

A letter from Maclear to Baily, 1836, concerning astronomical observations and calculations; Sir John Herschel's pendulum; clocks; triangulation; the exact position of the Cape Observatory; the payment of workmen; Dolland's calculations; the whereabouts of a quadrant sent to England by Mr Lloyd; the usefulness of a general table of constants; Mrs Fallows's remarriage; and the subscription to put up an iron railing to commemorate F. Fallows. People mentioned include Sir John Herschel, Sir John Franklin, G. Dollond, the Prince of Orange, H. Lloyd, Capt. Beaufort, Capt. Grey and T. Henderson.

A letter from Maclear to Baily, 1837, concerning the non-publication of Maclear's results in a recent paper of the Royal Astronomical Society; his intended paper on Lacailles' arc and observatory in Cape Town; Baily's work on Flamsteed; and the triangulation of Klip Fonteyn and Capel Berg. People mentioned include J. Flamsteed, Capt. Beaufort, Mr de Morgan, Mr Shellford and R. Sheepshanks.

A letter from Maclear to Baily, 1840, concerning a proposed visit of the Revd Adamson to Sir John Herschel; Maclear's continuing work on the Abbe de Lacaille; stellar observations; and the erection of an obelisk in honour of Sir John Herschel. People mentioned include the Revd Adamson, Sir John Herschel, the Abbe de Lacaille, J.D. Forbes and T. Henderson.

A letter from F. Fallows to [F. Baily], 1822, eulogising Sir William Herschel. It also mentions Fallows's ill health, the progress of the Cape Observatory and the merits of various instruments. People mentioned include J.R. Young, Sir William Herschel, Mr Colebroke, the Abbe de Lacaille, F.W. Bessel, C. Piazzi Smyth, Oriano, J. Pond, Arazo, Baron de Lack, W. Pearson and Capt. Colby.

A letter from F. Fallows to F. Baily, 1830, concerning problems encountered in establishing the Cape Observatory with regard to instruments and people, and a request for a list of right ascensions as published in the 'Nautical Almanac'. People mentioned include [J. or E. Troughton], G. Dolland, Capt. Ronald and Capt. Beaufort.

A letter from W. Jacob to T. Maclear, 1843, concerning observations of Halley's Comet and W. Jacob's visit to the Cape Observatory. People mentioned include Capt. Smyth, Dr Lee, Lieut. Waugh and Mrs Smyth.

An undated table of French weights and measures.


  • 1828 - 1843

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1 folder(s) (1 folder)

Language of Materials


The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.