Francis Place and the Early History of the Greenwich Observatory

Derek Howse

1975, 64pp.pp, Illus., ISBN 0-88135-031-5 L/C 75-7795, $20

Francis Place and the Early History of the Greenwich Observatory

On 22 June 1675, Charles II, “by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland,” granted a King’s Warrant authorizing the building of the Royal Observatory of Greenwich, “in order to the finding out of the Longitude of places for perfecting Navigation and Astronomy.” John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, and his assistants moved into the new observatory-built to the design of Sir Christopher Wren-on 10 July 1676.

At some time between 1676 and 1679, the twelve etchings of the Royal Observatory produced in this volume were executed by Francis Place, a young gentleman of Yorkshire. As only one complete set of the etchings is known to exist, their publications here to mark the tercentenary of the observatory was especially appropriate.