Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London
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Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765-1811

M. Croarken

M. Croarken

Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

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Published:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.2003.0215

    Nevil Maskelyne FRS held the post of British Astronomer Royal from 1765 to 1811. As Astronomer Royal, Maskelyne's main task was to ensure that the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars were regularly observed and that those observations were published in an accessible form. To do this, and simultaneously to maintain his role within London's scientific society, Maskelyne hired an assistant to undertake the routine work of the Observatory. This paper considers Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, identifies who the assistants were, and describes their working conditions.