Record

Authorised form of nameMaskelyne; Nevil (1732 - 1811)
SurnameMaskelyne
ForenamesNevil
Dates1732 - 1811
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
London, England (06 October 1732)
Death:
The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London (09 February 1811)
ActivityProfession:
Clergyman, Church of England
Research Field:
Astronomy
Education:
Westminster School; St Catharine's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1750); Trinity College, Cambridge; BA (1745), MA (1757); BD (1768), DD (1777)
Career:
Fellow of Trinity (1756); sent by the Royal Society to observe the Transit of Venus from St Helena (1761); Astronomer Royal (1765, for 46 years); established the Nautical Almanac (1766); He and his assistants climb Perthshire's 'fairy mountain', Schiehallion, where using plumb lines and astronomical observations, they demonstrated the gravitational attraction of mountains as proposed by Isaac Newton almost a century before, and measured the degree of plumb line defection to calculate the Earth's mean density and mass. Findings published n 'Philosophical Transactions'. Rector of Shrawardine, Shropshire (1775); Rector of North Runton, Norfolk (1782)
Memberships:
French Institute (1802)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
27/04/1758
Medals/Prizes:
Copley Medal 1775
RelationshipsSon of Edmund Maskelyne of Purton, Wiltshire, and his wife, Elizabeth Booth; brother-in-law of Lord Clive (FRS 1768); cousin of John Walsh (FRS 1770); grandfather of Mervyn Herbert Nevil Story Maskelyne (FRS 1870)
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
References:
Harold B Carter, 'The Royal Society and the Voyage of HMS Endeavour 1768-71' in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 245-260
Sir William McCrea, review of Derek Howse, Nevil Maskelyne: the Seaman's Astronomer in NR 1991 vol 45 pp 118-120
Mari Williams, 'James Bradley and the Eighteenth Century "Gap" in Attempts to Measure Annual Stellar Parallax' in NR 1982-83 vol 37 pp 83-100
W H McCrea, 'The Royal Observatory and the Study of Gravitation' in NR 1975-6 vol 30 pp 133-140, plate
John R Levene, 'Nevil Maskelyne, FRS, and the Discovery of Night Myopia' in NR 1965 vol 20 pp 100-108, plate
Colonel H Quill, 'John Harrison, Copley Medallist, and the £20,000 Longitude Prize' in NR 1963 vol 18 pp 146-160
L B Glyn, 'Israel Lyons: a short but starry career. The life of an eighteenth-century Jewish botanist and astronomer' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 275-305
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
W P Griffith and P J T Morris, 'Charles Hatchett FRS (1765 - 1847), chemist and discoverer of niobium' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 299 - 316
Notes:
Venn gives father of Maskelyne's brother William as Felix Edmund Maskelyne of Westminster
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/14808697
Royal Society codeNA5553
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1758/04Maskelyne, Nevil: certificate of election to the Royal Society
AB/1/2/1/20Order that Peter Davall advance £50 to Reverend Maskelyne out of the money lately granted to the Society by his Majesty 14 July 1760
L&P/11/10Letter, 'Account of a thunderstorm on the 4 April 1796' from John Hellins to Nevil Maskelyne1796
AB/1/2/1/26Bill for John Dollond19 December 1760
MM/7/11Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Joseph Banks8 July 1779
MM/1/34Copy of a Resolution from twelve Fellows of the Royal Society, recommending the reinstatement of Dr Charles Hutton as Foreign Secretary29 January 1784
MM/7/37Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich31 March 1783
AB/1/2/1/47Bill of Nevil Maskelyne21 July 1762
MM/7/48Letter from Sir Harry Parker, Commissioners of Longitude, Admiralty, to Sir Joseph Banks, Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd29 August 1784
MM/4/86Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Royal Observatory, to John Boddington, Office of Ordnance9 December 1773
MM/7/15Auditors' report on Board of Longitude's accounts, by Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd7 March 1780
MM/7/35Letter from the Navy Board to the Admiralty10 January 1783
MM/7/124'Calculation of the error of Mr Arnold's pocket Chronometer No. 36 in the months by the trial at the Royal Observatory in 1779 and 1780, by Nevil Maskelynec.1793
CB/2/557Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne27 August 1791
MM/10/149Receipt for £10 from Nevil Maskelyne to Charles Mason 2 January 1762
MM/7/97Letter from Sir Harry Parker, Commissioners of Longitude, Admiralty, to Sir Joseph Banks, Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd5 December 1792
MM/7/70Extract from minutes of meeting of the Board of Longitude6 March 1790
MM/15/4Copy of notes on determining the heights of mountains by the barometer, by Nevil Maskelyne and Charles Huttonc. late 18th century
MM/7/36Letter from Sir Harry Parker, Secretary, Board of Longitude, Admiralty Office, to Sir Joseph Banks, Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd3 March 1783
MM/5/51Letter from Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre, Institut de France, to the President of the Royal Society31 October 1811
MM/10/118Letter from Charles Mason to the Council of the Royal Society4 November 1760
MM/7/133Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks24 April 1793
MM/8/14Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks28 December 1798
MM/7/87Letter from Sir Harry Parker, Commissioners of Longitude, Admiralty, to Sir Joseph Banks, Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd14 December 1791
MM/8/17Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks4 February 1799
MM/7/135Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks21 May 1793
MM/7/136A short note from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banksc.1793
AP/7/23Note by Nevil Maskelyne on Charles Wildbone's paper 'On Spherical Motion'23 February 1788
CB/2/523Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne6 June 1791
MM/7/120Copy of a letter from Joseph Banks, Soho Square, to Thomas Mudge13 March 1793
MM/8/67Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Soho Square, to Sir Joseph Banks26 May 1809
MM/8/15Letter from T Bygrave, 9 Mincing Lane, to Nevil Maskelyne25 January 1799
MM/10/148Account of expenses by Nevil Maskelyne1762
MM/10/111Estimate by Nevil Maskelyne of the probable expense of journey to and staying at St Helena to observe the Transit of Venus of 17615 August 1760
MM/10/136Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, St Helena, to James West17 August 1761
AP/7/22Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 26 June 1787
MM/13/44Receipt from Nevil Maskelyne for some apparatus, including an object case by Huyghens of 210 ft focal length, borrowed from the Royal Society17 December 1778
MM/7/58Letter from Sir Harry Parker, Commissioners of Longitude, Admiralty, to Sir Joseph Banks, Nevil Maskelyne and Anthony Shepherd9 March 1787
AP/7/20Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 8 June 1787
MM/1/35Copy of a Resolution from Nine Fellows of the Royal Society, deprecating Presidential influence in the election of Fellowsc.1784
MM/7/139Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks7 July 1793
AP/7/19Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 26 May 1787
AP/7/17Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks26 May 1787
MM/7/88Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks23 April 1792
MM/7/94'An extract from a letter of the Rev Mr John Hellins, formerly Assistant to Mr (now Dr) Maskelyne, the Astronomer-Royal at Greenwich Observatory, to Francis Maseres, Esq'c.1792
CB/2/103Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne8 January 1788
DM/4/25Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Geenwich, to General William Roy1 November 1789
AP/7/25Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 12 July 1788
DM/2/144Candidates certificate in favour of John Bernouilli being elected to the Fellowship18th century
AP/7/26Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 16 July 1788
AP/7/33Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 19 May 1790
AP/7/27Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 4 October 1788
AP/7/34Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks 1790
RSL/1/29Letter from Dr Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks23 June 1783
CB/2/25Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne12 August 1786
CB/2/192Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne12 December 1768
CB/2/592Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Nevil Maskelyne25 November 1791
MM/10/107List by Nevil Maskelyne of instruments required for observing the Transit of Venus, and their cost1760
AB/1/2/1/25Account for items bought by Mr Maskelyne from John Shelton, at the diall on Shoe Lane, Fleet Street20 December 1760
L&P/9/3Letter, 'Of the longitude and latitude of York' from Edward Pigott to Nevil Maskelyne16 March 1786
L&P/7/208Letter, 'Description of some experiments on cold' from Patrick Wilson to Nevil Maskelyne9 February 1781
L&P/8/92/1Letter, 'Announcement of the comet of 18 August 1783' from Nathaniel Pigott to Nevil Maskelyne18 October 1783
L&P/8/92/3Letter, 'Announcement of the comet of 18 August 1783' from Nathaniel Pigott to Nevil Maskelyne 11 December 1783
MM/5/39Memorial from the Royal Society to King George III concerning the Transit of Venus of 1769c.1768
APArchived Papers1768-1984
NLB/20/138Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to the Superintendent, United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Washington, D.C.10 February 1900
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1832
MM/4/81Letter from Reuben Burrow, Greenwich, to the Royal Society26 January 1775
MS/353Observations at Greenwich Observatory by the Reverend Nevil Maskelyne, DD, FRS1765-1810
L&P/7/181Letter, 'Account of a nebula in Coma Berenices' from Edward Pigott to Nevil Maskelyne3 September 1779
L&P/6/131Paper, 'A proposal for measuring the attraction of some hill in the kingdom' by Nevil Maskelyne1772
L&P/3/424Paper, 'An account of the book 'De la route de la lumiere' by the Revd Nevil Maskelyne' by J H Lambert1760
L&P/6/15Paper, 'Of De Luc's method of measuring heights by the barometer' by Nevil Maskelyne1773
L&P/4/114Letter, 'Of finding longitude at sea by observation of the Moon' from Nevil Maskelyne to Thomas Birch14 May 1762
L&P/5/132Letter, 'Of optical matters' from J H Magalhaens to Nevil Maskelyne17 July 1769
L&P/5/107Paper, 'The transit of Venus and the solar sclipse of 3 June' by Nevil Maskelyne1769
L&P/4/23Paper, 'A proposal for discovering the annual parallax of Sirius' by Nevil Maskelyne1760
L&P/7/88Paper, 'Of the orbit of a comet and of Mr Eric Prosperin's conjectures of 1776' by Nevil Maskelyne1779
L&P/5/298Letter, 'A sketch of the signs of the zodiac found in a pagoda near Cape Cormorin in India' from John Call to Nevil Maskelyne1772
L&P/12/6Letter, 'Further observations of Ceres Ferdinandea at Greenwich on 4 February 1802' from Nevil Maskelyne to Joseph Banks11 February 1802
L&P/6/130Paper, 'Observations on Schiehallien' by Nevil Maskelyne1775
L&P/4/119Paper, 'Of finding longitude at sea, by observations of the Moon' by Nevil Maskelyne1762
L&P/5/34Paper, 'Introduction to Smeaton's papers no 35 and 36' by Nevil Maskelyne1768
L&P/5/306Paper, 'Remarks on Hadley's quadrant' by Nevil Maskelyne1772
L&P/4/351Letter, 'Of a new method of determining longitudes of places from observations of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites' from Peter William Wargentin to Nevil Maskelyne6 July 1766
L&P/5/110Letter, 'Of the transit of Venus and the solar eclipse' from John Canton to Nevil Maskelyne9 June 1769
L&P/5/47Paper, 'Account of observations made by Mason and Dixon for determining a degree of latitude in the province of Maryland' by Nevil Maskelyne1768
L&P/5/251Letter, 'Of a remarkable cold at Glasgow' from Alexander Wilson to Nevil Maskelyne29 May 1771
L&P/5/182Letter, 'Occultation of the star Tauri by the Moon' from William Ludlam to Nevil Maskelyne1770
L&P/5/201Letter, 'The transit of Venus observed at St Domingo' from Alexandre Gui Pingre to Nevil Maskelyne10 March 1770
L&P/5/133Letter, 'Of the transit of Venus' from Joseph Jerome le Francois de Lalande to Nevil Maskelyne8 August 1769
L&P/5/119Letter, 'Astronomical observations near Quebec' from Thomas Wright to Nevil Maskelyne15 July 1769
L&P/6/9Letter, 'Improving the cross-wires of the telescope' from Alexander Wilson to Nevil Maskelyne25 October 1773
L&P/5/134Letter, 'Transit of Venus observed at Stockholm' from Benedict Ferner to Nevil Maskelyne9 June 1769
L&P/5/205Letter, 'Observation of the transit of Mercury, giving times observed by J Winthrop' from Benjamin Franklin to Nevil Maskelyne12 February 1770
L&P/5/289Letter, 'Additions and alterations to Hadley's quadrant' from Peter Dollond to Nevil Maskelyne25 February 1772
L&P/6/135Paper, 'Observations of stars made with the zenith sector on Schiehallien' by Nevil Maskelyne1775
L&P/5/301Letter, 'An account of the flowing of tides in the South Sea, observed from the bark Endeavour' from James Cook to Nevil Maskelyne5 February 1772
L&P/5/288Letter, 'Observations during a voyage to Mocha; a new chart of the Red Sea' from Charles Newland to Nevil Maskelyne21 August 1771
L&P/8/38Paper, 'Plan for observing the meteors called fire-balls' by Nevil Maskelyne1783
L&P/6/20Letter, 'Astronomical observations made for ascertaining the longitude of several places in the northern districts of North America' from Samuel Holland to Nevil Maskelyne1773
L&P/8/24Letter, 'The transit of Mercury' from James Hamilton to Nevil Maskelyne16 November 1782
L&P/11/11Letter, 'Account of an oak destroyed by lightning in 1773' from Nevil Maskelyne to Joseph Banks30 May 1796
L&P/9/4Paper, 'Advertisement of the expected return of the comet of 1532 and 1661 in the year 1788' by Nevil Maskelyne1786
L&P/7/111Paper, 'A new nebula' by Nevil Maskelyne21 May 1779
L&P/7/225/1Letter, 'On the parallax of the fixed stars' by William Herschel to Nevil Maskelyne1781
L&P/6/146Letter, 'Astronomical observations made in the Spanish Netherlands' from Nathaniel Pigott to Maskelyne11 August 1775
L&P/6/260Paper, 'Of the prismatic micrometer; with certificates by Alexander Aubert and Peter Dolland' by Nevil Maskelyne1777
L&P/7/118Paper, 'Improvements to the prismatic miscometer' by Nevil Maskelyne1779
L&P/6/257Paper, 'Report on the graduation of thermometers' by the Royal Society Commitee1777
L&P/12/4Letter, 'Observations at Seeberg, Gotha of Piazzi's new planet, Ceres Ferdinandea' from Franz Xaver Zach to Nevil Maskelyne14 January 1802
L&P/8/47Letter, 'Project for a new division of the quadrant' from Charles Hutton to Nevil Maskelyne12 August 1782
L&P/7/120Letter, 'Calculations to determine at what point on the side of a hill its attraction will be greatest' from Charles Hutton to Nevil Maskelyne21 September 1779
L&P/7/152Letter, 'Of the great frost at Glasgow, January 1780' from Patrick Wilson to Nevil Maskelyne28 May 1780
L&P/8/183/1Paper, 'A proposal for detecting any great concealed motion which may belong in common to all the bodies of the solar systems' by Nevil Maskelyne2 March 1786
L&P/12/5Letter, 'Observations of Cere Ferdinandea' from Nevil Maskelyne to Joseph Banks4 February 1802
L&P/7/218Letter, 'Concerning the longitude of Cambridge, Massachusetts' from Joseph Willard to Nevil Maskelyne16 February 1781
L&P/8/183/2Plate, 'Figures of motion in the bodies of the solar system' by Nevil Maskelyne1786
L&P/9/39Letter, 'Account of the dicovery of a comet' from Pierre Francoise Andre Mechain to Nevil Maskelyne11 April 1787
L&P/8/183Paper, 'A proposal for detecting any great concealed motion which may belong in common to all the bodies of the solar systems' by Nevil Maskelyne2 March 1786
L&P/10/31Letter, 'Of the new comet' from Nevil Maskelyne to Joseph Banks19 January 1793
L&P/8/157Letter, 'On variation in the light of Bayer's star delta dear the head of Cepheus' from John Goodricke to Nevil Maskelyne28 June 1785
L&P/10/97Letters, 'An appearance of light like a star, seen in the dark part of the moon, 7 March 1794' from William Wilkins to Nevil Maskelyne17 April 1794
L&P/9/33Paper, 'Concerning the latitude and longitude of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich; with remarks on the memoire by Cassini de Thury' by Nevil Maskelyne1787
L&P/9/157Letter, 'Account of the new comet (in French)' from Pierre Francois Andre Mechain to Nevil Maskelyne10 January 1790
L&P/8/190Letter, 'The transit of Mercury over the Sun's disk, observed at Louvain 3 May 1786' from Nathaniel Pigott to Nevil Mas
kelyne
27 May 1786
L&P/9/113Letter, 'Result of calculations of the observations made at various places of the eclipse of the sun which happened 3 June 1788' from Giuseppe Piazzi to Nevil Maskelyne4 November 1788
L&P/10/36Paper, 'Account of a comet: extracts from two letters to Nevil Maskelyne' by Edward Gregory1793
L&P/9/140Paper, 'An attempt to explain a difficulty in the theory of vision depending on the different refrangibility of light' by Nevil Maskelyne1789
L&P/10/37Paper, 'Comments on the two letters of Edward Gregory concerning the comet' by Nevil Maskelyne1793
L&P/10/35Letter, 'Account of a comet' from Edward Gregory to Nevil Maskelyne15 February 1793
L&P/10/121Letter, 'The binomial theorum demonstrated by the principles of multiplication' from Abraham Robertson to Nevil Maskelyne27 October 1794
L&P/11/48Letter, 'A new method of computing the value of a slowly converging series of which all the terms are affirmative' from John Hellins to Nevil Maskelyne1798
L&P/12/101Letter, 'The elements of Ceres and Pallas' from Carl Friedrich Gauss to Nevil Maskelyne2 April 1805
L&P/12/118Paper, 'The discovery of the same comet at Greenwich' by Nevil Maskelyne1805
L&P/11/109Letter, 'Second appendix to the paper on improved solution of a problem in Physical Astronomy' from John Hellins to Nevil Maskelyne27 September 1799
MM/10/127Receipt for instruments from the Royal Society, with schedule27 December 1760
MM/7/119Letter from Thomas Mudge, Lincoln's Inn, London to Sir Joseph Banks12 March 1793
MS/244Maskelyne papers1769-1807
MM/7/91Questionnaire about Banks and the business of Mudge's chronometers
MM/7/82Letter from Nevil Maskelyne to Sir Joseph Banks19 February 1791
MM/7/123'Errors of Mr Mudge's two time-keepers in six months', by Nevil Maskelynec.1793
MM/8/10Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Sir Joseph Banks25 June 1798
MM/7/129Letter from Nevil Maskelyne, Greenwich, to Richard Shepherd21 April 1793
MM/10/123'Account of moneys apportioned for 29 November 1760 for the expenses of the observations', by Peter Davall22 July 1760
L&P/4/38Paper, 'A theorum of the aberration of light' by Nevil Maskelyne1761
L&P/5/33Letter, 'Of the winter in Stockholm' from Peter William Wargentin to Nevil Maskelyne23 February 1768
L&P/5/120/1Letter, 'Of the transit of Venus as observed at Norton, near Leicester' from William Hirst to Nevil Maskelyne15 June 1769
L&P/6/21Paper, 'Immersions and emersions of the first satellite of Jupiter observed in the island of Anticosti, with deductions by the Astronomer Royal' by Thomas Wright1773
L&P/6/221Letter, 'On the difference in longitude of Paris and Greenwich observatories' from Peter William Wargentin to Nevil Maskelyne1776
L&P/11/69Letter, 'An improved solution of a problem in physical astronomy...also an appendix containing an easy method of obtaining the sums of many slowly converging series which arise in taking the fluents of binomial surds' from John Hellins to Nevil Maskelyne17 April 1797
P/0088Portrait of Maskelyne, Nevil1785
DM/4/14Copy of a letter from General William Roy, Argyll Street, to Nevil Maskylne11 December 1786
AB/1/2/1/51Mr [James] Short's Account3 June 1761
MM/8/40Copies and extracts of letters from Joseph de Mendoza Rios to Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal, on the topic of the publication of Mendoza Rios's tables to aid navigation at sea1802-1803
MC/1/33Letter from Stephen Groombridge, Blackheath, to Nevil Maskelyne, Astronomer Royal17 December 1806
MC/1/35Letter from Edward Troughton, mathematical instrument maker, London, to Nevil Maskalyne, Astronomer Royal23 June 1808
MC/1/41Letter from Stephen Peter Rigaud, Richmond, to the Royal Society12 August 1814
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