Record

Authorised form of nameChallis; James (1803 - 1882); astronomer
Dates1803 - 1882
NationalityBritish
Place of birthBraintree, Essex, England
Date of birth12 December 1803
Place of deathCambridge
Date of death03 December 1882
Dates and placesBurial:
Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge
OccupationClergyman, Church of England
Research fieldAstronomy
ActivityEducation:
Trinity College, Cambridge. BA (1825, Senior Wrangler and Smith's Prizeman); MA
Career:
Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge (1826-1831); ordained (1830); vicar of Papworth Everard (1830-1852); Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy, University of Cambridge (1836-1852); Director, Cambridge University Observatory (1836-1861); observed Neptune before its official discovery in Berlin (1846); published works on astronomy, religion and education
Memberships:
FRAS
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election09/06/1848
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
VP 1851-1852
RelationshipsFourth son of John Challis; married (1831) daughter of Samuel Chandler of Tyringham, Buckinghamshire and widow of Daniel Copsey of Braintree
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
References:
David W Hughes, 'J C Adams, Cambridge and Neptune', review of H M Harrison, Voyager in Time and Space: The Life of John Couch Adams, Cambridge Astronomer in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 245-248
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/20432981
Royal Society codeNA7554
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1848/04Challis, James: certificate of election to the Royal Society
MM/14/79Note from JC Adams supporting James Challis's application for a Royal Society grant to enable Mr Edward Walker to publish his Adams Prize essay28 September 1865
MM/16/51Letter from James Challis, Cambridge, to C Taylor6 May 1879
MM/14/78Application from James Challis for a Royal Society grant to enable Edward Walker to publish his Cambridge University Adams Prize essay23 September 1865
IM/Maull/000785Challis, Jamesnd
RR/3/153Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the figure, dimensions, and mean specific gravity of the earth, as derived from the Ordnance trigonometrical survey of Great Britain and Ireland' by Colonel H James24 June 1856
RR/3/68Note by anonymous, on a paper 'On the problem of the three bodies' by James Challis1856
RR/3/252Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'Astronomical experiment on the peak of Teneriffe, carried out under the sanction of the lords commissioners of the admiralty' by Charles Piazzi Smyth20 October 1857
RR/6/71Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the solar variations of magnetic declination at Bombay' by Charles Chambers18 February 1869
RR/6/199Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the lunar-diurnal variation of the magnetic declination, with special regard to the moon's declination' in animal bodies' by G Neumayer15 May 1867
RR/7/488Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the variations of the daily range of atmospheric temperature as recorded at the Kew Observatory' by Balfour Stewart4 December 1876
RR/4/67Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the total solar eclipse of July 18th, 1860, observed at Rivabellosa, near Miranda de Ebro, in Spain' by Warren De La Rue[1862]
MS/426/107Copy letter from [Charles Richard Weld] the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Mons. [Adolph Stephanus] Rueb, University, Utrecht [The Netherlands]13 November 1844
RR/3/5Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'Account of pendulum experiments undertaken in the Harton Colliery, for the purpose of determining the mean density of the earth' by George Biddell Airy26 February 1856
PT/53/7Paper, 'On the problem of three bodies' by Rev J [James] Challis10 May 1856
RR/3/67Letter from James Challis, on his paper 'On the problem of three bodies' to unknown refereeJuly 7 1856
RR/3/4Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'Account of pendulum experiments undertaken in the Harton Colliery, for the purpose of determining the mean density of the earth' by George Biddell Airy18 February 1856
PT/50/2/3Plate, method of calculation of mountain attraction by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2/4Plate, method of calculation of attraction of earth's superficial crust by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2/5Plate, deflection on arc intervening between Kaliana and Damargida by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2Paper, 'On the attraction of the Himmalaya [Himalaya] Mountains, and of the elevated regions beyond them, upon the plumb-line of India' by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2/2Plate, diagram of error on plumb-line by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2/6Plate, attraction over stations in Kaliana, Kalianpur, and Damargida by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
PT/50/2/1Manuscript, 'On the attraction of the Himmalaya [Himalaya] Mountains, and of the elevated regions beyond them, upon the plumb-line of India' by John Henry Pratt12 July 1854
RR/3/152Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the deflection of the plumb-line at Arthur's seat, and the mean specific gravity of the earth' by Colonel H James7 April 1856
PT/52/3/3Plate, chart illustrating local attraction by John Henry Pratt23 September 1854
PT/52/3/2Plate, diagram of local attraction over China and Central Asia by John Henry Pratt23 September 1854
PT/52/3/1Manuscript, 'On the effect of local attraction upon the plumb-line at stations on the English arc of the meridian between Dunnose and Burleigh Moor; and a method of computing its amount' by Archdeacon [John Henry] Pratt23 September 1854
RR/4/166Referee's report by James Challis on a paper 'Account of experiments made at Holyhead (North Wales) to ascertain the transit-velocity of waves, analogous to earthquake waves, through the local rock formations' by Robert Mallet27 July 1861
MC/3Volume 3 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1839-1843
RR/4/168Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'Appendix to the account of the earthquake-wave experiments made at Holyhead' by Robert Mallet25 June 1862
MC/3/223Letter from [James] Challis, Plumian Professor, Greenwich Observatory, to Samuel Hunter Christie, Secretary of the Royal Society6 June 1842
PT/52/3Paper, 'On the effect of local attraction upon the plumb-line at stations on the English arc of the meridian between Dunnose and Burleigh Moor; and a method of computing its amount' by Archdeacon [John Henry] Pratt23 September 1854
MC/4/117Letter from Reverend [James] Challis, Cambridge Observatory, to Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Sabine, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society26 December 1845
MC/4/114Letter from Reverend [James] Challis, Cambridge Observatory, to Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Sabine, Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society19 December 1845
MC/4Volume 4 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1844-1850
MC/7/93Letter from J [James] Challis, Plumian Professor of astronomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, to General [Edward] Sabine, [President of the Royal Society]11 June 1864
MC/7Volume 7 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1864-1866
RR/2/137Referee's report by James Challis, on a paper 'On the mean temperature of the observatory at Highfield House, near Nottingham, from the year 1810 to 1850' by Edward Joseph Lowe27 October 1851
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