Authorised form of nameBrinkley; John (1763 - 1835); Bishop of Cloyne; astronomer
Dates1763 - 1835
Place of birthWoodbridge, Suffolk, England
Date of birth1763
Place of deathLeeson Street, Dublin, Ireland
Date of death14 September 1835
Dates and placesBurial:
The chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
OccupationClergyman, Church of Ireland
Research fieldAstronomy
BA (1788, Senior Wrangler and 1st Smith's prizeman) MA (1791); DD (1806) Caius College, Cambridge; Doctor of Divinity, Univesity of Dublin (1806)
Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1789-1790); worked at Greenwich Observatory under Nevil Maskelyne; chosen by Provost Hely Hutchinson on advice of Maskelyne as Andrew's Professor of Astronomy, Dublin University (1790-1827); ordained priest in the Church of England (1791); first Astronomer Royal of Ireland ( 1792); Archdeacon of Clogher (1808); awarded Cunningham Medal of the Royal Irish Academy (1818); became an authority on ecclesiatical law and was made Bishop of Cloyne (1826-1835); interested in refraction of atmosphere, measuring constants of aberration and nutation due to the motion of the earth; attempted to determine the trigonometrical parallax of bright stars leading to controversy with John Pond, FRS; was one of the first to use least-squares methods to interpret observational readings in practical astronomy; promoted 'continental' notation into calculus in Ireland and England
MRIA, President 1822-1835; FRAS, President 1831-1834
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election17/03/1803
Royal Society activityMedals and prizes:
Copley Medal 1824
RelationshipsMarried Esther Weld (1792) daughter of Matthew Weld of Dublin
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Irish Innovators
Proc Roy Soc 1834-1835 No 22 pp 354-355
Maurice Crosland, 'Explicit Qualifications as a Criterion for Membership of the Royal Society: A Historical Review' in NR 1982-83 vol 37 pp 167-187
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
Venn gives year of birth as 1766. Baptised 31 Jan 1767
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8145
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1802/15Brinkley, John, Bishop of Cloyne: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PT/1/7Paper, 'An investigation of the general term of an important series in the inverse method of finite differences' by Reverend John Brinkley26 February 1807
PT/4/10Letter, 'On the annual parallax of α Lyræ' from Rev John Brinkley to Rev Nevil Maskelyne[1810]
PT/12/14Paper, 'On the parallax of certain fixed stars' by Rev John Brinkley20 February 1818
PT/13/19Paper, 'The results of observations made at the Observatory of Trinity College Dublin for determining the obliquity of the ecliptic and the maximum of the aberration of light' by Rev J [John] Brinkley[1819]
PT/15/26iPaper, 'An account of observations made with the 8 feet astronomical circle, at the Observatory of Trinity College Dublin, since the beginning of the year 1818, for investigating the effects of parallax and aberration on the places of certain fixed stars; also the comparison of these with former observations for determining the effects of lunar nutation' by Rev John Brinkley[1821]
PT/17/16Paper, 'Remarks on the parallax of α lyræ' by J [John] Brinkley[1824]
PT/61/2Paper, 'On the formulæ investigated by Dr Brinkley for the general term in the development of Lagrange's expression for the summation of series and for successive integrations' by [John Frederick William Herschel]20 April 1860
AP/11/24Unpublished letter, regarding parallel lines and the sum of angles from J [John] Walsh to J F W [John Frederick William] Herschel10 January 1824
AP/11/22Unpublished paper, 'Memoir of the binomial calculus, the Irish calculation' by John Walsh11 November 1823
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