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Commonplace book, 1679 - 1703

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 1/41

Scope and Contents

An untitled compilation of notes and other papers on a range of subjects, 192 folios. The earlier part of the book is in Flamsteed's hand, but the hands of assistants and unidentified pupils appear with increasing frequency thereafter. There is a two-part contents page by Flamsteed.

The volume includes various observations: of solar altitude, made in New England [by Thomas Brattle] (21rv); of an occultation and lunar eclipse by Johann Hevelius, 1681-1682 (22r, 28v-30v); of comets, 1680-1681, seen by Brattle in New England, and by Henry Greenhill in South Africa (22v-23r, 26v-28r); of comets, 1682-1683, seen at Nuremberg by G.J. Eimmart, and in South Africa (49r-50v, 62rv); and of Jupiter's satellites, including those obtained by Edmond Halley from J.D. Cassini (25rv, 42r).

There are also extracts from the journals of voyages: Captain William Alleys, 1665-1681, Francis Nelly, and Captain Wood, 1670 (32v-41v); Captain William Minors, 1641-1644 (55v-61r); Captain Charles Swan, 1683-1684 (103v-104r); Lieutenant [Edward] Harrison, including his voyage with Halley, 1698-1699 and 1688 (125v-127v); and Deliverance Cotterell, 1684-1686 (126v-127r).

The remaining material comprises 'Acta Astronomica Grenovisano 1679' (3r-7r); work on ballistics (7r-10r, 12v-14v, 24rv, 89r, 105v-106r), with a paper by Sigismond Albergetty, c. 1700 (113v-117v); mathematical notes, especially from correspondence with John Caswell, passim; a table of times of Mars's opposition to the Sun (12r); work on atmospheric refraction, including 'Monsieur Picarts table ... imparted by Monsieur Auzout', 1682 (15v, 31r, 53v-55r); work on tides (43v-44r, 94rv, 129v-130v); comparisons of weights and measures (51r, 83r-85v); observations of an occultation by Gottfried Scultz, 1682 (53r); notes on the ancient obliquity of the ecliptic (63r-64v); a copy of 'Lord Keeper North's paper' on the effects of gravity, 1684 (66v-71v); lists of Ordnance stores, 1685 and 1695 (72v and inside the front cover); observations from the Jesuits' 'voyage de Syam' (73rv); collected notes on longitudes and latitudes (74r-78r, 86r, 131r-132v); an account of experiments to find the speed of sound, 1687 (78v-79r); collected lunar eclipse observations, 1674-1679, including those by Lawrence Rooke, 1653-1657 (108v, 169r); biographical 'Notes from my old Almanacks', 1671-1676 (109r); a 'Tractatulum' on planetary diameters, with appendices on Saturn's ring and Jupiter's satellites (118v-123v); a copy of a letter from Lowthorp on transmitting light through a vacuum, 1699 (124v-125r); a French treatise on magnetic variation (128rv); a copy of an extract of a letter from Abraham Sharp, 1703, with an enclosure on the aurora borealis (141v-142r); a draft of 'A Restitution and Rectification of the Earths Motion and places of the fixed stars', 1685 (159v-167v); stellar tables, with notes and rough calculations (169v-190v); and the dates and times of birth of Halley, Hevelius, Nicholas Cook and Richard Mageiras (192r).


  • Creation: 1679 - 1703


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

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1 volume(s) (1 volume)

Language of Materials



Former / Other Reference


Finding aid date

2005-10-19 16:20:21+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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