Record

Authorised form of nameTroughton; Edward (1753 - 1835)
Dates1753 - 1835
NationalityBritish
Place of birthIn the parish of Corney, Cumberland, England
Date of birthOctober 1753
Place of deathLondon
Date of death12 June 1835
Dates and placesBurial:
Kensal Green cemetery, London
OccupationScientific instrument maker
Research fieldMathematics
Optics
Physics
ActivityCareer:
Apprenticed to his elder brother, John, a mechanician in London, and later was his partner; after John's death, Edward took into partnership William Simms (FRS 1852); invented a new method of graduating arcs of circles (1778); was colour blind
First English maker of mathematics instruments to apply spider silk in surveying and astronomical instruments, though other English makers followed his lead. Troughton made a micrometer for Sir John Frederick William Herschel's seven foot equatorial instrument he used for the observations made between 1821 and 1823 of the apparent distances and positions of 380 double and triple stars. In 1824 on their five foot focus equatorial telescope John Herschel and Sir Edwin South used a Troughton micrometer and measured position angles to the remarkable degree of accuracy of 1' of arc.
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election15/03/1810
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Copley Medal 1809
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1834-1835 No 22 p 355
References:
Brian J Ford, 'Shining Through the Centuries: John Ray's Life and Legacy. A Report of the Meeting "John Ray and his Successors"' in NR 2000 vol 54 pp 5-22
Allan Chapman, 'Pre-Eminently Precise', review of Anita McConnell, Instrument Makers to the World. A History of Cooke, Troughton, and Simms and Eleanor Mennim, Transit Circle. The Story of William Simms, 1793-1860 in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 168-170
Charles H Cotter, 'The Mariner's Sextant and the Royal Society' in NR 1978-9 vol 33 pp 23-36
A W Skempton and Joyce Brown, 'John and Edward Troughton, Mathematical Instrument Makers' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 233-262, plate
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/311501062
Royal Society codeNA7854
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
L&P/13/16Paper, 'Remarks upon circles' by Edward Troughtonc.1810
MC/1/210Letter from [William] Simms, Fleet Street, to Davies Gilbert, President of the Royal Society17 March 1830
L&P/13/16/1Paper, 'Remarks upon circles' by Edward Troughtonc.1810
MOB/065Spectroscope by Troughton and Simms1867
EC/1809/13Troughton, Edward: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PT/3/4Paper, 'An account of a method of dividing astronomical and other instruments, by ocular inspection, in which the usual tools for graduating are not employed, the whole operation being so contrived that, no error can occur but what is chargeable to vision when assisted by the best optical means of viewing and measuring minute quantities' by Edw [Edward] Troughton[1809]
PT/3/4/1Manuscript, 'An account of a method of dividing astronomical and other instruments, by ocular inspection, in which the usual tools for graduating are not employed, the whole operation being so contrived that, no error can occur but what is chargeable to vision when assisted by the best optical means of viewing and measuring minute quantities' by Edw [Edward] Troughton[1809]
PT/3/4/2Plate, diagrams showing how to use apparatus with telescope by unknown artist[1809]
PT/3/4/3Plate, diagrams showing tools for a microscope and a lantern to be used with a telescope by unknown artist[1809]
MC/1/35Letter from Edward Troughton, mathematical instrument maker, London, to Nevil Maskalyne, Astronomer Royal23 June 1808
MC/1/78Letter from John Pond, Astronomer Royal, to Sir Humphry Davy, President of the Royal Society21 November 1821
MC/1/100Letter from James South, Hackney [?] Street, to Sir Humphry Davy, President of the Royal Society15 January 1824
MC/1/136Letter from Edward Troughton, Fleet Street, to the Royal Society23 November 1825
MC/1/155Letter from [George Biddell] Airy, Trinity College Cambridge, to Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place22 January 1828
MC/1/283Letter from [Heinrich Christian] Schumacher, Altona, to James Hudson, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society8 February 1831
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1831
MC/10/227Letter from G B [George Biddell] Airy, Royal Observatory Greenwich, London, to Dr Joseph D [Dalton] Hooker, [President of the Royal Society]2 March 1875
MC/10Volume 10 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal SocietyJuly 1873-1876
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