Reference numberMS/119/2/74
TitleLetter from Frederick Marow Eardley-Wilmot, Cape of Good Hope Observatory to Humphrey Lloyd, Trinity College, Dublin
Date20 April 1840
DescriptionEardley-Wilmot informs Lloyd that he has not yet received Lloyd’s letter regarding a ‘small instrument’.

Discussion on the building of the Cape of Good Hope observatory. Eardley-Wilmot discusses the dimensions of the building, and its placement in the true meridian, which allows him to readjust the two force instruments in the relative position of the meridian according to its annual change. Plans for the building are not yet ready, but includes a rough sketch to show Lloyd his idea and welcomes his advice.

Colonel Lewis the Commanding Engineer has added a foot to the width. The only point Eardley-Wilmot doubts are whether 32 feet is adequate space between the bars. Eardley-Wilmot notes that he was having difficulty reading the scales when the magnetometer is in adjustment.

Eardley-Wilmot describes the observatory, and the different materials that will be used in its construction, stone for the foundations, logs of timber for the walls, and demonstrates in a small sketch weather boarding used for the exterior. The observatory will have double windows, inside swing door will green baize, and includes a small sketch to show the roof and veranda.

Description of the placement of the anemometer, the computing room and the transit room.

The assistant’s room and duties are explained, and how they work in shifts to keep watch.

Sketch of Eardley-Wilmot’s rough plan with explanation. Sketch includes the boundary of the admiralty land, officers’ quarters, the magnetic observatory, a fence to be erected by Colonel Lewis, four rooms for married men, three single men, a workstation and a stable. The Sketch shows the relative positions and distances of all the buildings from each other.

Eardley-Wilmot hopes the observatory will be ready by 1st May.

Mr [Thomas] Maclear has promised to lend Eardley-Wilmot micrometer measuring apparatus.

Description of the colony, planting vegetables, and the men working with him, the nature of military men in his opinion and the temptation to drink in colonies. Eardley-Wilmot informs Lloyd that his letters are not intended to be official and asks for his blessings for this endeavour.

Discussion regarding the placement of the reading telescope. Materials used for the instrument room and transit room.

Eardley-Wilmot recounts all his instruments that have been damaged, and the disheartening effects for his first expedition. Discussion on alternative instruments that could be obtained and borrowed.

Captain [James Clark] Ross intends to set up his observatory in Kerguelen Land. Eardley-Wilmot discusses the proceedings on board the 'Melville'.

Mr Maclear has lent Eardley-Wilmot a gold leaf electrometer, and he intends to conduct as many experiments with it as possible.

Eardley-Wilmot notes the ship 'Blenheim' was anchored in Simon’s Bay today on route to China, with reference to the first opium war. Eardley-Wilmot makes racist and offensive comments about Chinese people.
Physical descriptionInk on paper
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA6061Eardley-Wilmot; Frederick Marow (1812 - 1877)1812 - 1877
NA8252Lloyd; Humphrey (1800 - 1881)1800 - 1881
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