Authorised form of nameRigaud; Stephen Peter (1774 - 1839); astronomer
Dates1774 - 1839
Place of birthRichmond, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Date of birth12 August 1774
Place of deathThe house of his old friend, Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy, Pall Mall, London
Date of death16 March 1839
Dates and placesBurial:
St James's, Piccadilly, London, England, United Kingdom
OccupationAstronomer; mathematician
Research fieldAstronomy
History of science
Mr Delafosse's school, Richmoond; Exeter College, University of Oxford. BA (1797), MA (1799)
Exeter College, University of Oxford, Fellow (1794-1810), Savilian Professor of Geometry and reader in experimental philosophy (1810-1827), Savilian Professor of Astronomy (1827-1839); observer to the King at Kew, succeeding his father (1814); Radcliffe Observer, Oxford (1827); gave experimental philosophy lectures in the Ashmolean museum; public examiner for University of Oxford mathematics scholarship; proctor to the Oxford University Press; member of the Board of Longitude
FRAS; Ashmolean Society (founding member)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election13/06/1805
Age at election30
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
VP 1837-1838
RelationshipsSon of Stephen Rigaud observer at the Kew Observatory and Mary nee Demainbray; married (1815) Christian Walker Jordan, daughter of Gibbes Walker Jordan (FRS 1800) colonial agent of Barbados
Published works
General contextRigaud was elected to the Royal Society in recognition of his expertise in mathematics and knowledge of the history of mathematics.

Riguad played a role in the the claims of his brother-in-law Joseph William Jordan for compensation after the emancipation of enslaved people. Rigaud signed at the National Debt Office for the compensation for the enslaved people on three estates of Jordan's in Barbados.
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; Wikipedia; UCL LBS
Proc Roy Soc 1839 No 40 pp 175-176
J M Edmonds and J A Douglas, 'William Buckland, FRS (1784-1856) and an Oxford Geological Lecture, 1823' in NR 1975-6 vol 30 pp 141-167
David Layton, 'Lord Wrottesley, FRS, Pioneer Statesman of Science' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 230-246
H E Bell, 'The Savilian Professors' Houses and Halley's Observatory at Oxford' in NR 1961 vol 16 pp 179-186
'Stephen Peter Rigaud', Legacies of British Slave-ownership database, [accessed 23rd July 2020]
Papers and library held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Collection of scientific ephemera in the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA1263
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/003828Rigaud, Stephen Peternd
IM/003829Rigaud, Stephen PeterJuly 1976
PT/2/9/2Plate, drawings of pendulum length and movement by [Stephen Peter Rigaud][1808]
MC/2/173Letter from Stephen Peter Rigaud, Oxford, to John William Lubbock, [Treasurer of the Royal Society]28 May 1835
EC/1805/04Rigaud, Stephen Peter: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PT/2/9Paper, 'An account of Mr [Joseph] Finney's method of compensating for the effects of heat and cold on the length of pendulums' by S [Stephen] P [Peter] Rigaud[1808]
MC/1/41Letter from Stephen Peter Rigaud, Richmond, to the Royal Society12 August 1814
MC/2Volume 2 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1832-1838
MC/2/76Letter from Professor [Stephen Peter] Rigaud, Observatory Oxford, to John William Lubbock, Treasurer of the Royal Society12 April 1833
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1831
PT/2/9/1Manuscript, 'An account of Mr [Joseph] Finney's method of compensating for the effects of heat and cold on the length of pendulums' by S [Stephen] P [Peter] Rigaud[1808]
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