Record

Authorised form of nameFlamsteed; John (1646 - 1719); astronomer
Dates1646 - 1719
NationalityBritish
Place of birthDenby, Derbyshire, England, Europe
Date of birth19 August 1646
Place of deathGreenwich, London, England, Europe
Date of death31 December 1719
Dates and placesBurial:
The chancel of Burstow parish church, Surrey, England, Europe (12 January 1720)
OccupationAstronomer; Clergyman, Church of England
Research fieldAstronomy
ActivityEducation:
Derby School; Jesus College, Cambridge (MA Lit. Reg. 1674)
Career:
Left school because of an attack of rheumatism (1662); travelled to Ireland in search of a cure; went to London (1670) where he met Henry Oldenburg (FRS 1663) and Sir Jonas Moore (FRS 1674), who became his patron; ordained (1675); appointed first Astronomer Royal by Royal Warrant (1675-1719); used his own instruments, which were removed by his widow after his death; Vicar of Burstow, Surrey (1684); on 12 December 1709 Queen Anne appointed a Board of Visitors of the Royal Observatory made up of the president and council of the Royal Society, authorizing them to demand a copy of each year's observations, to direct what observations should be made, and to examine the observatory's instruments; his observations were published to his very high standards posthumously in 1725 edited by his wife Margaret, and his 'Atlas Coelestis' in 1729, where the editor was again his wife with Crosthwait and Sharp responsible for the technical side
Memberships:
Oxford Philosophical Society
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election08/02/1677
Age at election30
Date of ejection or withdrawal09/11/1709
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Council 1681, 1683, 1685, 1692, 1694, 1699
Other Royal Society activityFrequent correspondent to Henry Oldenburg;
Sent in his astronomical observations and predictions (early 1670s);
The Society ended his exemption from dues and used this as a reason to expel him
RelationshipsParents: Stephen Flamsteed and Mary Spatemen
Married: Margaret Cooke
Published worksRCN: 40247
RCN: 39362
RCN: 39361
RCN: 39360
RCN: 39359
RCN: R79741
RCN: 17514
RCN: 40397
General contextFlamsteed is most remembered for the founding of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, his subsequent appointment as first Astronomer Royal, as well as the posthumous publications of 'Catalogus Britannicus' and 'Atlas Coelestis'. His constant refusal to publish his observations unless they were perfect led to conflict with Isaac Newton (FRS 1672) and Edmond Halley (FRS 1678). Halley later published an incomplete version of the star catalogue, which Flamsteed condemned. He burnt most of Halley's unsold copies of the catalogue and reportedly kept some to display the errors. His wife was editor for both posthumous publications. One of the moon's craters is named after him, as is the asteroid 4987 Flamsteed.
Related imagesDiscover a selection of related images in our picture library
Image

Flamsteed P0041.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Venn; Hunter; Gunther; ODNB
References:
Appleby, J H. 2003. 'The founding of St Petersburg in the context of the Royal Society's relationship with Russia', in Notes and Records, vol. 57, pp. 273-284
Chapman, A. 1999. ''Our Astronomical Observator', review of Frances Willmoth, ed., Flamsteed's Stars, New Perspectives on the Life and Work of the First Astronomer Royal (1646-1719)', in Notes and Records, vol. 53, pp. 170-171
Cook, A. 2003. '1703 and other anniversaries', in Notes and Records, vol. 57, pp. 1-2
Cook, A. 2003. 'The end of the affair. The correspondence of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, vol 3 (1703-1719) by E G Forbes, L Murdin and F Willmoth', in Notes and Records, vol. 57, pp. 113-116
Cook, A. 2004. 'Rome and the Royal Society, 1660-1740', in Notes and Records, vol. 58, pp. 3-19
Cook, Sir A. 1998. ''Greenwich Comes of Age', review of Eric G Forbes, Lesley Murdin and Frances Willmoth, The Correspondence of John Flamsteed, the First Astronomer Royal. Volume Two, 1682-1703', in Notes and Records, vol. 52, pp. 191-193
Croarken, M. 2003. 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811', in Notes and Records, vol. 57, pp. 273-284
Da Costa Andrade, E N. 1965. 'The Birth and Early Days of the Philosophical Transactions', in Notes and Records, vol. 20, pp. 9-27
Forbes, Eric G. 1973-74. 'The Library of the Rev. John Flamsteed, FRS, First Astronomer Royal', in Notes and Records, vol. 28, pp. 119-143
Hall, M B. 1974-75. 'The Royal Society's Role in the Diffusion of Information in the Seventeenth Century', in Notes and Records, vol. 29, pp. 173-192
Hughes, D W. 1988. 'The Principia and Comets', in Notes and Records, vol. 42, pp. 53-74
Lovell, Sir B. 1975-76. 'Address at Westminster Abbey, on the Occasion of the Tercentenary of the Royal Greenwich Observatory', in Notes and Records, vol. 30, pp. 127-132
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
McCrea, W H. 1975-76. 'The Royal Observatory and the Study of Gravitation', in Notes and Records, vol. 30, pp. 133-140
Meadows, A J. 1996. ''John Flamsteed, Our Astronomical Observator', review of The Correspondence of John Flamsteed, First Astronomer Royal. Volume I (1666-1682), ed. Eric G Forbes et al', in Notes and Records, vol. 50, pp. 250-253
Spencer Jones, Sir H. 1956-57. 'Halley as an Astronomer', in Notes and Records, vol. 12, pp. 175-192
Whiteside, D T. 1991. 'The Prehistory of the Principia from 1664 to 1686', in Notes and Records, vol. 45, pp. 11-61
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/64164356
Royal Society codeNA8219
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/001436Flamsteed, Johnnd
IM/001434Flamsteed, Johnnd
EL/F1/129Observations of the solar eclipse by John Flamsteed1706
EL/F1/128Copy of astronomical observations of the vernal equinox by John Flamsteednd
EL/F1/79Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby5 February 1671
EL/F1/83Letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins, dated at Derby18 March 1671
EL/F1/78bNote, 'Lunae ad fixas appulus visibilies, nec non et transitus per eas arctiores observabiles Anno 1672' by John Flamsteed1671
RBO/8/57Observations of the vernal equinox by John Flamsteednd
IM/001430Flamsteed, Johnnd
MM/17/112Letter from Alfred Savill and Sons, Surveyors, to Herbert Rix, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society19 October 1894
RBO/6/15'An Account of a Spott seen in the Sun from the 25 of Aprill to the 8th of May instant with the line of its Course predicted if it make a second Returne' by John Flamsteed1684
DM/5/47Draft of a letter from Isaac Newton to the Board of Ordnance, giving the recommendations of the Visitors of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, as regards certain improvements needed therec.1710
IM/001432Flamsteed, John1995
IM/001433Flamsteed, John2001
IM/001435Flamsteed, Johnnd
IM/005370Flamsteed, John1996
MS/366/5/4Subsidium Selenographicum by John Flamsteed1669
NLB/5/109Copy letter from John Evans, to Messrs Savill & Son20 March 1891
NLB/10/210Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Messrs Savill & Son, 39 New Broad Street, E.C.22 October 1894
NLB/10/96Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Messrs Savill & Son, Surveyors, 39 New Broad Street, E.C.27 September 1894
LBO/4/47Copy extract of a letter from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg16 November 1670
MS/390/75Bond of John Flamsteed to the Treasurer of the Royal Society3 January 1682
EL/F1/124Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburgnd
EL/F1/116Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Johannes Hevelius1675
NLB/65/537Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to W. A. Holder, Esq.; 60 Brook Street, W.1.15 November 1923
EL/F1/58Note on the telescopes of Tycho and Hevelius by John Flamsteedc 1669
P/0151Portrait of Flamsteed, John
EL/F1/66aList of astronomical calculations by John Flamsteed1670
EL/F1/74aPaper, 'Tables of astronomical predictions' by John Flamsteed14 September 1671
EL/N1/64Copy of a letter, from Isaac Newton, Hans Sloane, Richard Mead, Edmond Halley, and Abraham Hill to John Flamsteed, dated at Crane Court1712
IM/000503Quartet engravingnd
S/0014Sculpture bust of Flamsteed, John
MOB/020Glass lens by John Flamsteedearly 17th century
EL/F1/96Observations of Jupiter by John Flamsteed1673
MS/710Letters to Robert Were Fox and to other members of the Fox family 1801-1873
CLP/10iii/33/1Manuscript, 'The historye of maltinge' by J F [John Flamsteed][1679]
CLP/10iii/33Paper, 'The historye of maltinge' by J F [John Flamsteed][1679]
CLP/10iii/33/2Plate, kilning process by [John Flamsteed][1679]
EL/F1/119Observations of the recent solar eclipse by John Flamsteed10 July 1676
EL/F1/104Paper, lunae ad fixas Appulsus Derbiae Anno 1674 by John Flamsteed1673
EL/F1/114Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg1675
EL/F1/82Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby5 March 1672
EL/F1/88Note, 'Lunae ad Pleiades Appulsus Anno 1672 Feb 23' by John Flamsteed1672
EL/H2/49Letter, from Johannes Hevelius to John Flamsteed, dated at Danzig (Gdansk)2 January 1677
EL/F1/110Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Jean Cassini1675
EL/H2/56Letter, from Johannes Hevelius to John Flamsteed1682
EL/F1/108Extract of a letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins14 December 1674
EL/F1/84Extract of a letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins18 March 1671
EL/F1/106Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby28 March 1674
EL/F1/80Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby10 February 1671
EL/F1/130Paper, proposal for 'Historia Brittannica Coelestis' by John Flamsteed to Hans Sloanend
EL/F1/117Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Jean Cassini, dated at Greenwich1675
EL/F1/112Paper, lunae totaliter deficientis observationes by John Flamsteed1675
EL/C1/67Copy of a letter, from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed11 February 1676
EL/F1/100Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby6 August 1673
EL/F1/111Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg1675
EL/F1/59Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg26 February 1669
EL/F1/69Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby29 May 1671
EL/F1/68Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby13 May 1671
EL/F1/81Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins, dated at Derby1 January 1672
EL/F1/98Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Jean Cassini, dated at Derby7 July 1673
EL/S2/31Letter, from Hans Sloane to John Flamsteed , dated at Crane Court5 March 1713
EL/C1/82Letter, from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed, dated at Paris15 June 1682
EL/F1/123Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg30 January 1676
EL/F1/78aPaper, 'De Lunae ad Pleiades reliquas Application[ibus] Anno 1672 Observandi Promisa appendicula Authoris J: F' by John Flamsteed1671
EL/F1/113Letter, from John Flamsteed to Sir Jonas Moore, dated at Greenwich24 December 1675
EL/F1/109Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby25 January 1674
EL/F1/90Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby12 August 1672
EL/W3/81Copy of a letter, from Richard Waller to John Flamsteed, dated at Crane Court4 March 1714
EL/W3/90Letter, from Richard Waller to John FlamsteedJuly 1714
EL/F1/99Letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins, dated at Derby12 July 1673
EL/F1/115Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg7 March 1676
EL/F1/122Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg30 November 1676
EL/F1/76Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby21 November 1671
EL/O2/123Letter, from Henry Oldenburg to John Flamsteed, dated at London9 August 1673
EL/F1/61Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby30 May 1670
EL/O2/126Letter, from Henry Oldenburg to John Flamsteed, dated at London14 August 1673
EL/F1/57Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby7 February 1669
EL/F1/126Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Greenwich1677
EL/C1/59Copy of a letter, from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed11 August 1673
EL/F1/107Extract of a letter, from John Flamsteed to John Collins25 November 1674
EL/F1/60Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby11 April 1670
EL/F1/74Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry OldenburgSeptember 1671
EL/F1/91Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby28 August 1672
EL/F1/66Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby28 January 1670
EL/F1/73Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby23 August 1671
EL/F1/62Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby16 November 1670
EL/F1/77Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby2 December 1671
EL/H2/44Copy of a letter, from Johannes Hevelius to John Flamsteed1676
EL/F1/87Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby25 July 1672
EL/F1/94Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby17 February 1673
EL/F1/118Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Johannes Hevelius1676
MS/243John Flamsteed papers1673-1687
EL/F1/120Letter, from John Flamsteed to Jonas Moore, dated at Greenwich27 July 1676
EL/F1/93Note, 'Lunae ad fixas appulsus' by John Flamsteed1673
EL/F1/70Letter, from John Flamsteed to Thomas Wilson, dated at Derby3 July 1671
EL/F1/63Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby5 December 1670
EL/F1/64Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg13 December 1670
EL/F1/71Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby4 July 1671
EL/F1/78Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby23 December 1671
EL/F1/101Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby24 August 1673
EL/F1/95Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby20 February 1672
EL/F1/102Copy of a letter, from John Flamsteed to Jean Cassini, dated at DerbySeptember 1673
EL/O2/19Letter, from Henry Oldenburg to John Flamsteed , dated at London14 January 1670
EL/F1/86Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby30 May 1672
EL/F1/89Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby27 July 1672
EL/O2/40Letter, from Henry Oldenburg to John Flamsteed, dated at London22 December 1670
EL/F1/72Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby1 August 1671
CLP/24/88/31Drawing, Comet observation by Robert Hooke13-22 July 1683
CLP/24/88/28Drawing, 'Observations of the comet by Mr Flamsteed' by John Flamsteed4 September 1682
CLP/22ii/15Paper, Account of [John] Flamstead's 'Historia coelestis Britannica tribus volumnibus contenta [The heavenly history - star atlas - of the British people, complete volumes]' by Mr [James] Hodgson[1725]
EL/F1/85Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby1 April 1672
MS/366/5/5Luna ad Fixas Saturnum, anno 1671. Appulsus observabiles predicti et Ad meridianum latitudinum, Londini at tuato supputati a Johannae flamsteedio.1670
RBO/5/20'An Observation Of the variation of the Needle made by Mr Flamsteed'1680
RBO/6/2'Table of the Eclipses of the Satellites of Jupiter Calculated for the year 1684' by John Flamsteed with instructions for its use19 December 1683
EL/C1/61Copy of a letter, from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed, dated at Paris8 November 1673
EL/F1/65Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby3 January 1670
EL/F1/67Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby18 February 1670
EL/F1/75Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby15 November 1671
EL/F1/92Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby16 November 1672
EL/F1/97Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby19 April 1673
EL/F1/103Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby3 December 1673
EL/F1/105Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Derby9 December 1673
EL/F1/125Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at the Observatory [Greenwich]5 April 1677
EL/F1/127Letter, from John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg, dated at the Observatory [Greenwich]17 August 1677
EL/T/29Copy of a letter, from Richard Towneley to John Flamsteed1675
P/0041Portrait of Flamsteed, John1712
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