Record

Authorised form of nameFlamsteed; John (1646 - 1719); astronomer
SurnameFlamsteed
ForenamesJohn
Dates1646 - 1719
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Denby, Derbyshire, England (19 August 1646)
Death:
Greenwich, London (31 December 1719)
Burial:
The chancel of Burstow parish church, Surrey
ActivityProfession:
Astronomer
Clergyman, Church of England
Research Field:
Astronomy
Education:
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 date) and Sir Jonas Moore (FRS date), who became his patron; ordained (1675); first Astronomer Royal (1675-1719), he used his own instruments, which were removed by his widow after his death; Vicar of Burstow, Surrey (1684); a perfectionist, he was reluctant to publish his observations unless they were perfect, which led to conflict with Newton and Halley. 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. Flamsteed's vigorous objections and refusal to co-operate further on the publication of his star catalogue and observations led to an incomplete version being published by Halley in 1712, which he condemned. After the accession of George I Flamsteed was able to buy up 300 of Halley's unsold copies, and after removing the sextant observations which he had previously approved and reserving some copies to display their errors, he burnt the rest. 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
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
8/02/1677
Council:
1681, 1683, 1685, 1692, 1694, 1699
9/11/1709 Society ended his exemption from dues, and used non-payment as an excuse to expel him.
RelationshipsSon of Stephen Flamsteed, Maltster, of Derby, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Spateman, Ironmonger, of Derby; married Margaret, daughter of Ralph Cooke of London; no children
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Venn; Hunter; Gunther
References:
Sir Harold Spencer Jones, 'Halley as an Astronomer' in NR 1956-57 vol 12 pp 175-192
E N da C Andrade, 'The Birth and Early Days of the Philosophical Transactions' in NR 1965 vol 20 pp 9-27
Eric G Forbes, 'The Library of the Rev. John Flamsteed, FRS, First Astronomer Royal' in NR 1973-4 vol 28 pp 119-143
Marie Boas Hall, 'The Royal Society's Role in the Diffusion of Information in the Seventeenth Century' in NR 1974-5 vol 29 pp 173-192
Sir Bernard Lovell, 'Address at Westminster Abbey, on the Occasion of the Tercentenary of the Royal Greenwich Observatory' in NR 1975-6 vol 30 pp 127-132
W H McCrea, 'The Royal Observatory and the Study of Gravitation' in NR 1975-6 vol 30 pp 133-140, plate
D W Hughes, 'The Principia and Comets' in NR 1988 vol 42 pp 53-74
D T Whiteside, 'The Prehistory of the Principia from 1664 to 1686' in NR 1991 vol 45 pp 11-61
A J Meadows, '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 NR 1996 vol 50 pp 250-253, plate
Sir Alan Cook, '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 NR 1998 vol 52 pp 191-193, plate
Allan Chapman, '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 NR 1999 vol 53 pp 170-171
A Cook, '1703 and other anniversaries' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 1-2
A Cook, '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 NR 2003 vol 57 pp 113-116
J H Appleby, 'The founding of St Petersburg in the context of the Royal Society's relationship with Russia' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 273-284
M Croarken, 'Astronomical labourers: Maskelyne's assistants at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1765 - 1811' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 285 - 298
A Cook, 'Rome and the Royal Society, 1660-1740' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 3-19
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/64164356
Royal Society codeNA8219
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EL/F1/116Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed to Johannes Hevelius1675
EL/F1/107Extract of letter from John Flamsteed to John Collins25 November 1674
EL/F1/112'Lunae totaliter deficientis observationes' by John Flamsteed, Astronomer Royal1675
IM/001436Flamsteed, Johnnd
EL/F1/88'Lunae ad Pleiades Appulsus Anno 1672 Feb 23' by John Flamsteed1672
EL/F1/84Extract of a letter from John Flamsteed to John Collins18 March 1671
EL/O2/123Henry Oldenburg, dated at London, to John Flamsteed9 August 1673
EL/F1/58Note from John Flamsteedc 1669
IM/001434Flamsteed, Johnnd
EL/F1/73John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg23 August 1671
EL/F1/93'Lunae ad fixas appulsus Londini' by John Flamsteed1673
RBO/5/20'An Observation Of the variation of the Needle made by Mr Flamsteed'1680
EL/F1/62John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg16 November 1670
EL/F1/99John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to John Collins12 July 1673
EL/F1/74John Flamsteed to Henry OldenburgSeptember 1671
EL/F1/86John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg30 May 1672
EL/F1/114John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg1675
EL/C1/59Copy of a letter from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed11 August 1673
EL/H2/49Johannes Hevelius, dated at Danzig (Gdansk), to John Flamsteed2 January 1677
EL/F1/76John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg21 November 1671
EL/C1/67Copy of a letter from Jean Dominique Cassini to John Flamsteed11 February 1676
EL/C1/61Copy of a letter from Jean Dominique Cassini, dated at Paris, to John Flamsteed8 November 1673
EL/F1/82John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg5 March 1672
EL/F1/123John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg30 January 1676
EL/F1/102Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Jean Cassini September 1673
EL/F1/97John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg19 April 1673
EL/F1/90John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg12 August 1672
EL/F1/125John Flamsteed, dated The Observatory [Greenwich], to Henry Oldenburg5 April 1677
EL/F1/124John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburgnd
EL/F1/63John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg5 December 1670
EL/F1/70John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Thomas Wilson3 July 1671
EL/F1/83John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to John Collins18 March 1671
EL/F1/74aTables of astronomical predictions by John Flamsteed14 September 1671
EL/F1/108Extract of letter from John Flamsteed to John Collins14 December 1674
EL/F1/126John Flamsteed, dated at Greenwich, to Henry Oldenburg1677
EL/F1/128Copy of astronomical observations of the vernal equinox by John Flamsteednd
EL/F1/105John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg9 December 1673
EL/F1/110Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed to Jean Cassini 1675
EL/F1/119Observations of the recent solar eclipse by John Flamsteed10 July 1676
EL/F1/66aList of astronomical calculations from John Flamsteed 1670
EL/F1/122John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg30 November 1676
EL/F1/115John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg7 March 1676
EL/F1/120John Flamsteed, dated at Greenwich, to Jonas Moore27 July 1676
EL/F1/118Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed to Johannes Hevelius1676
EL/F1/121Observations of the moon by John Flamsteed21 August 1676
EL/F1/79John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg5 February 1671
EL/F1/69John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg29 May 1671
EL/F1/91John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg28 August 1672
EL/F1/60John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg11 April 1670
EL/H2/56Johannes Hevelius to John Flamsteed1682
RBO/8/57Observations of the vernal equinox by John Flamsteednd
EL/F1/98Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Jean Cassini7 July 1673
EL/W3/90Richard Waller to John FlamsteedJuly 1714
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
EL/F1/80John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg10 February 1671
EL/S2/31Hans Sloane, dated at Crane Court, to John Flamsteed 5 March 1713
EL/F1/68John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg13 May 1671
EL/F1/57John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg7 February 1669
EL/F1/78John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg23 December 1671
EL/F1/101John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg24 August 1673
EL/T/29Copy of Richard Towneley's letter to John Flamsteed1675
EL/W3/81Copy of a letter from Richard Waller, dated at Crane Court, to John Flamsteed4 March 1714
EL/F1/85John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg1 April 1672
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
IM/001430Flamsteed, Johnnd
CLP/10iii/33Paper, 'The historye of maltinge' by J F [John Flamsteed][1679]
P/0151Portrait of Flamsteed, John
MM/17/112Letter from Alfred Savill and Sons, Surveyors, to Herbert Rix, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society19 October 1894
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
S/0014Sculpture bust of Flamsteed, John
MS/243John Flamsteed papers1673-1687
MS/366/5/5Luna ad Fixas Saturnum, anno 1671. Appulsus observabiles predicti et Ad meridianum latitudinum, Londini at tuato supputati a Johannae flamsteedio.1670
MS/366/5/4Subsidium Selenographicum by John Flamsteed1669
EL/F1/66John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg28 January 1670
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/710Letters to Robert Were Fox and to other members of the Fox family 1801-1873
MS/390/75Bond of John Flamsteed to the Treasurer of the Royal Society3 January 1682
EL/F1/106John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg28 March 1674
EL/F1/130John Flamsteed's proposal for 'Historia Brittannica Coelestis' to Hans Sloanend
EL/N1/64Copy of a letter to John Flamsteed from a committee of the Royal Society, dated at Crane Court1712
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
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]
MOB/020Glass lens by John Flamsteedearly 17th century
EL/F1/89John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg27 July 1672
EL/F1/61John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg30 May 1670
EL/F1/65John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg3 January 1670
EL/F1/67John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg18 February 1670
EL/F1/92John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg16 November 1672
EL/C1/82Jean Dominique Cassini, dated at Paris, to John Flamsteed15 June 1682
EL/F1/117Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed, dated at Greenwich, to Jean Cassini1675
EL/F1/78bAstronomical predictions by John Flamsteed1671
EL/F1/78a'De Lunae ad Pleiades reliquas Applicationibus Anno 1672' by John Flamsteed1671
EL/F1/96Observations of Jupiter by John Flamsteed1673
EL/F1/103John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg3 December 1673
EL/F1/104'Lunae ad fixas Appulsus Derbiae Anno 1674' by John Flamsteed1673
EL/F1/129Observations of the solar eclipse by John Flamsteed1706
EL/F1/81Copy of a letter from John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to John Collins1 January 1672
EL/F1/59John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg26 February 1669
EL/O2/19Henry Oldenburg, dated at London, to John Flamsteed 14 January 1670
EL/O2/40Henry Oldenburg, dated at London, to John Flamsteed22 December 1670
EL/O2/126Henry Oldenburg, dated at London, to John Flamsteed14 August 1673
EL/F1/71John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg4 July 1671
EL/F1/72John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg1 August 1671
EL/F1/64John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg13 December 1670
EL/F1/100John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg6 August 1673
EL/F1/111John Flamsteed to Henry Oldenburg1675
EL/F1/94John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg17 February 1673
EL/F1/95John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg20 February 1672
EL/F1/87John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg25 July 1672
EL/F1/113John Flamsteed, dated at Greenwich, to Sir Jonas Moore24 December 1675
EL/F1/77John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg2 December 1671
EL/F1/127John Flamsteed, dated The Observatory [Greenwich], to Henry Oldenburg17 August 1677
EL/F1/75John Flamsteed, dated at Derby, to Henry Oldenburg15 November 1671
IM/000503Quartet engravingnd
P/0041Portrait of Flamsteed, John1712
CLP/24/88/28Drawing, 'Observations of the comet by Mr Flamsteed' by John Flamsteed4 September 1682
CLP/24/88/31Drawing, Comet observation by Robert Hooke13-22 July 1683
CLP/10iii/33/1Manuscript, 'The historye of maltinge' by J F [John Flamsteed][1679]
CLP/10iii/33/2Plate, kilning process by [John Flamsteed][1679]
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