Record

Authorised form of nameMaclear; Sir; Thomas (1794 - 1879)
Dates1794 - 1879
NationalityIrish
British
South African
Place of birthNewtownstewart, County Tyrone [now in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom]
Date of birth17 March 1794
Place of deathMowbray, near Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Date of death14 July 1879
Dates and placesBurial:
The grounds of the Royal Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa
OccupationPhysician; astronomer
Research fieldAstronomy
ActivityEducation:
Medicine at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospitals, London
Career:
Bedford Infirmary (1815); practised medicine at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire where he set up a small observatory (1823); appointed Her Majesty's Astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope (1833-1870); observed alpha and beta Centauri and confirmed the parallax measured by Thomas Henderson; re-measured and extended the meridian arc of Lacaille which laid the foundation for the mapping of Africa; awarded Lalande Prize (1867); helped establish lighthouses and the transmission of time signals to Port Elizabeth and Simon's Town; friend of Livingstone and Stanley; also collected meteorological, magnetic and tide data; retired to Mowbray near Cape Town (1870); lost his sight (1876); a lunar crater bears his name as does a town in South Africa
Memberships:
FRCS (1815); FRAS
Honours:
Kt 1860
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election08/12/1831
Age at election37
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Royal Medal 1869
RelationshipsEldest son of Rev James Thomas Maclear; married (1825) Mary Pearse of Bedford
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Irish Innovators; Wikipedia
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1879 vol 29 pp xviii-xix
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/59124200
Royal Society codeNA7105
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1831/26Maclear, Sir Thomas: certificate of election to the Royal Society
MS/426/181Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to John [Heywood] Hawkins Esq10 January 1846
PT/23/3Paper, 'Further particulars of the fall of the Cold Bokkeveld meteorite' by Thomas Maclear in a letter to Sir John [Frederick William] Herschel20 November 1839
MC/4/79Letter from Thomas Maclear, Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, to the Secretary of the Royal Society17 July 1845
MS/426/163Copy letter from C R [Charles Richard] Weld, the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to T [Thomas] Maclear Esq25 November 1845
PT/22/7Paper, 'An account of the fall of a meteoric stone, in the Cold Bokkeveld, Cape of Good Hope' by Thos [Thomas] Maclear in a letter to Sir John F W [Frederick William] Herschel24 November 1838
MC/4Volume 4 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1844-1850
MC/6Volume 6 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1859-1863
MC/6/345Letter from Thos [Thomas] Maclear, Cape of Good Hope, Royal Observatory, to the Secretary of the Royal Society, London24 September 1863
MC/9/11Letter from Thos [Thomas] Maclear to Sir Edward [Sabine], [President of the Royal Society]18 January 1870
MC/9/12Letter from Thos [Thomas] Maclear, Cape of Good Hope, Royal Observatory to Sir Edward Sabine, President of the Royal Society18 January 1870
AP/20/11Unpublished observations, 'Copy of a meteorological journal kept at the Royal Observatory Cape of Good Hope from the 1st June to 31st December 1834' by T [Thomas] Maclear1835
MC/9Volume 9 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1870-June 1873
MC/11Volume 11 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1877-1879
MC/11/417Copy letter from G G [George Gabriel] Stokes, Secretary of the Royal Society, Observatory Armagh, to The Hon R H [Robert Henry] Meade, Assistant UnderSecretary of State for the Colonies9 September 1879
MC/11/430Letter from Edwin Dunkin, Kenwyn, Kidbrooke Park Road, Blackheath, to W [William] Spottiswoode, President of the Royal Society1 November 1879
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