National Maritime Museum Manuscripts : Navigational workbook: workings on chronometers, Hartwell

National Maritime Museum Manuscripts

<p>After time spent as an astronomer on two Arctic voyages, the first with <a href='/search?keyword=David%20Buchan'>David Buchan</a> on board <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Dorothea'> <i>HMS Dorothea</i> </a> in 1818, the second with <a href='/search?keyword=William%20Parry'>William Parry</a> in 1821 on <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Fury'> <i>HMS Fury</i> </a> seeking the North West Passage, as well as several expeditions to the warmer climes of the Mediterranean aboard the <a href='/search?keyword=HMS%20Asia'> <i>HMS Asia</i> </a> in 1831, <a href='/search?keyword=George%20Fisher'>George Fisher</a> retired from the <a href='/search?keyword=Navy'>Navy</a> on half pay in 1834 and took up the headship of the <a href='/search?keyword=Royal%20Hospital%20School'>Royal Hospital School</a> in Greenwich where he continued his academic interest in the causes of variation in the rates of chronometers whilst planning and overseeing the construction of the school's observatory.</p> <p>This volume is part of two workbooks that Fisher produced in this period in regard to his work on the rates of chronometers, the other being [<a href='/view/MS-FIS-00022/1'>FIS/22</a>]. This volume contains results from a series of experiments that Fisher conducted to observe variations in the rates of chronometers. Fisher recorded [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(17);return false;'>15</a>] the rates of twelve chronometers made by <a href='/search?keyword=Arnold'>Arnold</a> and <a href='/search?keyword=Dent'>Dent</a> whilst they were relocated by Dent from Greenwich to the Hartwell Observatory.</p> <p>The Hartwell Observatory was built between 1830 and 1839 by <a href='/search?keyword=John%20Lee'>John Lee</a> who inherited the property in 1827. Lee, a fellow member of the <a href='/search?keyword=Royal%20Astronomical%20Society'>Royal Astronomical Society</a> and its President from 1861 to 1863 also helped found the <a href='/search?keyword=Royal%20Meteorological%20Society'>Royal Meteorological Society</a> in 1850 in the library at Hartwell House. <a href='/search?keyword=William%20Henry%20Smyth'>William Henry Smyth</a> describes the house and the Hartwell Observatory established there, in <i>Aedes Hartwellianae: Or, Notices of the Manor and Mansion of Hartwell'</i>. Fisher published some of his results taken at the Observatory in the <i>Nautical Magazine</i> in 1837 along with a recommendation that a solution to the problem of accelerating rates in chronometers was the most important required contribution to navigational sciences of the day. Fisher also recorded the longitude of the Hartwell Observatory [<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(16);return false;'>14</a>] in extensive detail, annotated with explanations of his methodology whilst rating the chronometers by Arnold and Dent.</p> <p>Note that folios 28 to 85 are blank; the text is inverted from folios 86 to 92.</p> <p>Sophie Waring<br />History and Philosophy of Science<br />University of Cambridge<br /> </p>


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