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Papers on the appointment of assistants, 1880 - 1894

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 7/8

Scope and Contents

Correspondence between Sir George Airy and the Admiralty on the difficulty of obtaining a sufficient number of suitable applicants for the post of Second Class Assistant to the Astronomer Royal, 1880. The correspondence covers discussion of the postponement of the examination of applicants, the suitability of the existing examination requirements, and the possibility of revising them. The correspondents are Sir George Airy, S. Butler, W.H.M. Christie, A. Fowler, R. Hall, E. Headlam, M. Howlett, E. Humphreys, J. Lockhart, E. MacGregor, R. Main, G. Swainson and W. Wharton.

Correspondence between Sir George Airy, W. Lynn and the Admiralty concerning the retirement of Lynn as First Assistant due to prolonged ill-health, 1879-1880. The correspondence covers Lynn's offer of resignation, the arrangement of his pension, and an application for the vacant post from G.S. Criswick, who was at that time a Second Class Assistant.

Correspondence between Sir George Airy and the Admiralty, 1880, regarding C. Taylor, who applied for the post of Junior Assistant and was conditionally accepted, but was subsequently disqualified from the appointment as a result of his medical examination. There is also subsequent correspondence involving Airy and the Admiralty, concerning the modification or revision of the existing procedures with regard to applicants. The correspondents are Sir George Airy, E. Dunkin, R. Hall, E. Headlam, J. Lilburn, H. Mann and C. Taylor.

Correspondence on the applications of T. Lewis, R. Pett, W. Robinson and W. Walmsley for the post of Junior Assistant and the subsequent appointment of T. Lewis, 1880.

Correspondence concerning the promotion of E. Dunkin to Chief Assistant and that of A. Downing to First Assistant, and the examination to be held to fill the post vacated by Downing, 1881.

Application from J. Wilson for the post of Second Class Assistant and related correspondence, 1881.

Letter from G. Pinnington enquiring with which person or department the appointment of Astronomer Royal rested and a reply giving the information required, 1881.

Letter from Lord Crawford to Christie congratulating him on his appointment as Astronomer Royal and recommending Mr Carpenter for a post should there be any vacancies, 1881.

Letter to W. Spottiswoode informing him that the Admiralty has approved E. Dunkin's promotion and therefore a vacancy will arise for a Second Class Assistant, 1881.

Letter from J. Walrond regarding the arrangements for an examination for Second Class Assistant and a delay in holding the examination, 1881. In his reply, Christie states that in order to attract Cambridge graduates the examination should be held on or about 20 October.

Letter from the Admiralty forwarding copies of the revised regulations for open competitive examinations, 1881.

Letter from A. Freeman enquiring about a vacancy for the position of First Assistant and a reply from Christie informing him that the post has been filled by E. Dunkin for the past three years, 1881.

Letter from James Stuart recommending Mr Niven as a possible candidate and agreeing that October or after would be a suitable time for the examinations to be held, 1881.

Letter from R. Hall asking if Christie would agree to postponing the examinations for a Second Class Assistant until after the universities have their new intake, with Christie's reply in the affirmative, 1881.

Letter from E.J. Routh discussing the examinations in October and suggesting some possible candidates currently studying at Cambridge, 1881.

Further letter from E.J. Routh informing Christie that of all the men he told of the vacancy, only one was likely to be a candidate, J. Hammond, 1881.

Application from J.L. Heath for the post of Assistant at the Royal Observatory, 1881.

Letter from the Admiralty enclosing ten copies of the regulations under which the examination of candidates for the Assistant's post will be conducted, 1881.

Applications from J. Hammond, J.E. Marshall and M. Rickcord for the post of Second Class Assistant at the Royal Observatory, 1881.

Correspondence on the candidates and examinations for the post of Assistant, 1881. The correspondents are E. Dunkin, A. Freeman, R. Hall, J. Heath, E. Humphreys, S. Lamb, E. Routh and J. Walrond.

Letter from the Civil Service Commission informing Christie that the successful candidate for the post of Second Class Assistant was H. Hollis, 1881.

Correspondence between Christie and H. Hollis regarding the date on which his employment commences, 1881.

Letter from William Ellis to Sir George Airy enclosing a letter from W. Nash, the Magnetical and Meteorological Assistant at the Observatory, expressing dissatisfaction with his salary and status, 1876.

Correspondence on the appointment of H.H. Turner as Chief Assistant to Christie following the retirement of E. Dunkin, 1883. The correspondents are W.G. Adams, E. MacGregor and H.H. Turner.

Correspondence on the retirement of E. Dunkin, Chief Assistant, 1884.

Correspondence with E. MacGregor, E.W. Maunder and Captain W.J. Wharton on Maunder's promotion to First Assistant, 1883-1884.

Correspondence on the decision of the Board of Visitors to appoint a clerk to the Royal Observatory in order that the Astronomer Royal and his assistants be free to carry out their astronomical duties, and on the resulting appointment of W.J. Wickison, 1886-1887.

Correspondence concerning candidates for the post of Second Class Assistant to the Astronomer Royal, 1890. The candidates were B.F. Bawtree, E.W. Brown, A. Crommelin, H.N. Dickson, W. Doake, J.C. Hudson, F. Jelly and F.H. Kitchen.

Correspondence on the appointment of A. Crommelin as Assistant to the Astronomer Royal, 1891, including correspondence with J. Lockhart of the Civil Service Commission, material on the exemption of university graduates from preliminary examinations, an extract from A. Crommelin's medical report, a copy of the examination paper and a list of candidates nominated.

Correspondence concerning the appointment of Mr Downing as Superintendent of the Nautical Almanac Office in place of R. Hind, 1891. The correspondents are the Secretary of the Admiralty, G. Darwin, E. MacGregor, E.C. Pritchard, W. Thompson and Captain W.J. Wharton.

Correspondence on the application of E. Dunkin for the post of Chief Assistant in the Nautical Almanac Office and various correspondence on the examinations and their results, 1881. The correspondents are E. Dunkin, J. Lockhart, E. Poste and E. MacGregor.

Two letters concerning the temporary appointment of Mr Sayers as Clerk to the Royal Observatory after the dismissal of W.J. Wickison, 1892.

Correspondence on the appointment of Mr Lebrun as Sub-Accountant at the Royal Observatory and his resignation a year later, 1892.

Correspondence on the resignation of T. Hudson, Assistant, 1893.

Correspondence concerning W. Ellis, Assistant, 1893, including an extension of his period of services, his resignation, his pension, and the appointment of W. Nash as his successor. The correspondents are Sir George Airy, R.D. Awdry, W.H.M. Christie, W. Ellis and E. MacGregor.

Letter on the temporary appointment of C. Cass as accountant, 1894.

Correspondence on the resignation of H.H. Turner, Chief Assistant, 1894, including correspondence on a congratulatory dinner held in his honour, with the menu and seating plan; the appointment of F. Dyson as his successor; and the application of J. Findlay for the post of Chief Assistant. The correspondents are F.M. Chan, J. Findlay, E. MacGregor, E.J. Stone, H.H. Turner and Captain W.J. Wharton.


  • 1880 - 1894

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1 volume(s) (1 volume)

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.