(ii) Drawings from Lord Rosse's observatory, Birr Castle, Co. Offaly
Armagh Observatory was founded in 1789 in the historic Irish city of
Armagh on the initiative of Archbishop Richard Robinson, who endowed it
and appointed a board of Governors and Guardians , many of whom were
(and are) members of the Chapter of Armagh Cathedral. It was established
by an Act of Parliament in 1791 and therefore permanent in status - unlike
other observatories in Ireland such as those of Lord Rosse at Birr Castle and
of Colonel Edward Cooper at Markree Castle, observatories that fell into
ruin when the estates passed to less enthusiastic descendents.
Armagh Observatory has always enjoyed official esteem, but all too often
this has not been translated into the giving of financial support. Today, the
Observatory, being neither a university activity nor an institution under the
direction of the Science and Engineering Research Council, is supported
from public funds through the Department of Education in Northern
Ireland. Its history, therefore, has been chequered, its achievements heavily
dependent upon the quality of the Director both as observer and as
administrator. Nevertheless, as an eighteenth-century foundation it
occupies an important place in the history of Irish astronomy.
Our purpose here is to list the surviving archives from the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries-more exactly, from the period down to 1916, when J.
L. E. Dreyer resigned as Director - in order to make them known to
historians of the period. The first Director, the Rev. James Archibald
Hamilton, was appointed in 1790. Unfortunately, Archbishop Robinson
died in 1794, before the finances of the infant observatory were secure.
Nevertheless, his successors could not prevent the delivery in 1795 of the
one instrument of quality the observatory was to possess for many years:
an equatorial by Troughton of 2 inches aperture and 3 ft focal length.
The observatory clocks, too, were outstanding, two being by the great
London maker Thomas Earnshaw. With the equatorial and a locally-made
transit instrument, Hamilton and the assistants he employed made a variety
of observations, but of these only a few found their way into print. Hamilton
died in 1815, and was succeeded by the Rev. William Davenport, whose
ineffectual reign ended with his suicide in 1823. He was succeeded by a
Director of formidable abilities and energy, the Rev. Thomas Romney
Robinson, who, astonishingly, ruled for no less than 59 years. Robinson was
fortunate in that at the outset his patron, Lord John George Beresford, was
an archbishop of the same mold as Archbishop Robinson. With Beresford's
help a transit instrument by Thomas Jones of London was installed in 1827,
a mural circle by Jones in 1831, and a 15-inch Grubb reflector in 1835.
Using the transit instrument and the mural circle, Robinson and his
assistants compiled the Armagh catalogue under the title Places of 5,345
stars observed from 1828 to 1854, at the Armagh Observatory (Dublin,
1859). From the observations of Robinson's later years came a
list of still
more accurate positions, On the places of 1000 stars observed at the
Armagh Observatory , published in 1879 in Transactions of the Royal
Dublin Society. Robinson died in 1882, and was succeeded by a young
Danish assistant at Dunsink, John Louis Emil Dreyer. Astronomy was now
undergoing transformation, but Dreyer began by publishing the last fruits of
Robinson's many years as Director: The Second Armagh catalogue of 3300
stars (Dublin, 1886). Meanwhile he secured contributions in memory of
Robinson to help pay for a 10-inch equatorial by Grubb, which was
installed in 1885. Dreyer, who had earlier been assistant in charge of Lord
Rosse's great telescopes, was an experienced observer of nebulae, and at the
invitation of the Royal Astronomical Society he prepared the New General
Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (or N.G.C.), published in 1888
and a standard work ever since. Many of the nebulae were re-observed with
the Grubb refractor. Two supplements followed, in 1895 and 1910, but
Dreyer was being diverted into history of astronomy by his veneration for
his fellow-countryman, Tycho Brahe. He published a life of Tycho in 1890,
a history of early planetary theory in 1906, and a two-volume edition of the
works of William Herschel in 1912; and in 1913 there appeared the first of
what were to be fifteen volumes of the Opera Omnia of
Tycho. Soon these historical interests took priority over astronomy in
Dreyer's mind, and in 1916 he resigned so as to devote himself to history.
We list below the surviving archives of Armagh Observatory in the period
down to the resignation of Dreyer. Those wishing for further information
on them should write to:
Armagh, BT61 9DG
The standard account of the history of the Observatory is Church,
State and Astronomy in Ireland - 200 Years of Armagh Observatory
by J.A. Bennett, and published by The Institute of Irish Studies,
Queen's University, Belfast and Armagh Observatory. Available in
paperback from Armagh Observatory price 7.95 pounds plus postage.
We wish to thank Mr M. Murphy and Mr
B. McOscar of Armagh Observatory for their assistance in preparing
this manuscript. Michael Hoskin thanks the Royal Society for a travel
grant in support of this work.
(i) The Government of The Observatory
M93 Printed Act of Irish Parliament setting up
the Observatory, 1790 with 1938 amendment.
.1 Deed by Primate Robinson appointing Dean
Hamilton to act on his behalf as a Governor of the
Observatory, 6 April 1790. (2pp)
M149 Minutes of Governors Meetings, 1790, 1825,
1882, 1887, 1915, 1920. (9pp)
M59 Case of the Sovereign and Jury of Armagh with
Dr J. A. Hamilton and the Governors and Guardians
of the Observatory with respect to tax exemption
and the billeting of soldiers at the Observatory,
31 March 1799. (3pp)
M136 Minutes Books, 2 vols, 1820-1958, 1958-74.
Contain accounts of annual visitation by Governors
and Guardians and annual reports of the Directors.
M38 Manuscript copy of Minutes Book by Dreyer
donated by him to the Observatory, Aug 1916.
Covers the period 1820-65. (86pp)
.1 Printed report by Dr T. R. Robinson for
the Board of Governors, 1842. (12pp, 2 copies).
Lists George III collection and proposed
.2 Printed report by Dreyer,1883-96. (7pp).
.3 Printed report by Dreyer,1897-1910.
(7pp, 2 copies).
M87 Legal documents relating to power of
attorney, commissions from the Primate etc., 1824,
1850, 1873, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1904.
.1 Minutes and Report of Financial
Committee, 1872. (3pp)
M172 "An historical account of the Armagh
Observatory", J. L. E. Dreyer, printed for private
circulation, 1883. (20pp + photograph)
.2 Appointment of J. A. Hamilton to post of
Astronomer and Keeper of Observatory and Museum by
the Primate, 31 July 1790. (2pp)
.3 Bond by J. A.Hamilton to Governors and
Guardians, 24 Aug 1790.(2pp)
.6 Letter from E. Stoppard concerning
Hamilton's Bond, 1823.
.8 Hamilton's Certificate from Maskelyne, 1790.
.1 Bond for William Gimingham as Assistant
to J. A. Hamilton, 18 July 1795. (2pp)
.2 Same for Rev. Robert Hogg, I Feb 1799. (2pp)
M166 Acknowledgement of salaries, 1800-1919.
M57 Appointment of T. R. Robinson by Primate
Beresford, 14 Aug 1823. (lp)
.1 Draft of T. R. Robinson's appointment,
.4 Robinson's Bond to the Governors and Guardians
plus 3 letters, 1823.
M85 Bonds to Observatory for Assistants; Charles
Faris,1868, Neal McNeal Edmondson, 1837, W. R.
.2 Draft of Dreyer's appointment corrected
by I. T. Ball, 1882.
.3 Note from Dean Reeves to Dreyer concerning date
of appointment and Dreyer's reply.
.5 Document of appointment of Dreyer as
Director of the Observatory, 1882.
M72 Certificate of recommendation for Dreyer as
Astronomer at Armagh by Christie Astronomer
Royal for England, 9 May 1882. (lp)
M39 Notebook with inscription "Sallie D.
Procter, Washington DC, July 24 '88" on flyleaf,
widow of R. A. Procter, nee Thompson. Contains
biographical and family notes of Rev. John
Thompson, born Muckamore Abbey near Belfast.
Copied from "A History of St Marks Parish,
Culpepper, Co. Va.", by Rev. Phillip Slaughtor
D.D., Rector of Emmanuel Church, Culpepper, Co.
Va. 1877. (6pp)
M40 Letters and papers concerning R. A. Procter,
.1 Report copied from The press, 23
Oct 1880 giving details of the life and work of
R.A. Procter. (7pp)
.2 Printed memorial to Rt Hon. W. H. Smith M.P.,
First Lord of the Treasury, concerning
R. A. Procter B.A. with list of signatures and
list of works. (4pp)
.3 Manuscript copy of article from Knowledge
concerning transit of Venus, dated 17 Feb 1882.
.4 Notes concerning the publication, Knowledge,
founded by R. A. Procter (4pp)
M89 Rules, undated. Note on duties of Assistant
Astronomer and payment of Faris (Assistant) 1884.
(lp) List of suggested rules for assistants, 24
Aug 1917. (4pp)
M150 Employment of John Kennedy, gardener, 1882.
See A(iii) M58 and A(vii) M60.
.2 Indenture, possibly a lease for land at
.1 Lease for land at Carlingford, 1614,
M101 Large volume of vouchers, receipts and
correspondence concerning the Observatory's
estates at Derrynaught, Tullynure and Carlingford,
1790-1910. Deposited with the Public Record
M58 Endowment of an Assistant Astronomer by
Primate Robinson, I Jan 1793.
.1 Document by Governors empowering J. A.
Hamilton to treat and compromise with tenants of
land at Derrynaught, 22 Aug 1795. (2pp)
.2 List of tenants and rentals for lands at
Derrynaught, c. 1800. (lp)
.3 Copy of Carlingford rental, 1838-39.(6pp)
M82 Collection of 21 leases, tithes and various
legal documents concerning the Observatory's
estates at Derrynaught, Tullynure and Carhngford,
M 118 Volume of Observatory accounts, 1813-86.
.2 List of Primate Beresford's gifts to the
Observatory plus income.
M6 Draft letter from the Governors and Guardians
of Armagh Observatory to the Right Honourable
First Lord of the Treasury outlining the pecuniary
state of the Observatory following the
disestablishment of the Church of Ireland and the
fixing of fair rents by the Land Court. Amended by
several of the Governors, c. 1870 (4pp), plus
draft by Robinson, 31 May 1869. (3pp)
M169 Correspondence regarding Observatory's
.2 Three letters regarding the School
House at Derrynaught, 1836, 1836, 1882.
.1 Example letter from Evans (agent) to
E. Tipping regarding the civic duty of land-
owners to pay tithes for the support of the
.3 Contract for land agent, 1873.
.4 Agreement on tithes, 1873.
.5 Three tithe-rent-charge purchase agreements, 1874.
M153 Report by Drs Robinson and Reeves on the
investment of 1246 pounds, 1874. (2pp)
.1 Draft memorial to Disraeli, Lord
Beaconsfield, requesting government support for
the Observatory, signed by the Governors, 1874,
plus three appendices containing: an inventory of
instruments, income and expenditure of the
Observatory, and a list of Primate Beresford's
.2 Letter from Robinson to Dean
accompanying draft memorial outlining future
requirements of the Observatory, 11 April 1879.
.3 Robinson's draft of 80.1. (3pp)
M81 Twenty-two letters between the Observatory and
the Treasury concerning request for a capital
grant for Armagh Observatory, 1883-87. Plus letter
from Mr Gladstone regarding same, 15 June 1883
(2pp), and from the Lord Lieutenant, Dublin, 12
June 1883. (2pp)
M154 Investment of Government grant, 1884-85.
.1 Collection of 16 letters to Dreyer and the
Archbishop of Armagh concerning the application to
the Government for support of Armagh Observatory.
Including letters from Dreyer, Barton, Archbishop
of Armagh, G. W. Balfour, Schornberg McDonnell
(Foreign Office), Royal Society, H. R. W. Hanbury
(Treasury), Christie (RGO), E. J. Stone (Oxford),
Robert Ball (Cambridge), and Lord Kelvin
.2 Printed memorial to the Government, 1897.
.3 Report on income of Observatory, 1897.
.4 Letter from Dreyer to Dean regarding leases
and tithes, 1905.
.5 Offer of Government grant by Royal Society
for purchase of measuring machine, 28 May 1898.
.6 Copy of letter
from R. J. Hamilton on maintenance of Observatory,
.1 Statements on sale of Observatory
estates, 1906. (11 pp)
.2 Letters and reports regarding investments,
.3 Notes and copy of letter regarding
sustentation fund for parish of Kildarton,
.4 General account of income and
expenditure, 1916. (lp)
See A(vi) M83; E M69; F M71.
.2 Modern correspondence regarding Short and
his telescope. Plus an old page of instructions
for using the 2ft reflecting telescope-undated,
possibly by Short.
M138 Instructions by Sir W. Herschel for assembly
of the 10ft reflector and care of speculum
mirrors, undated. With footnote by Dreyer (1911),
identifying the above as being written by Caroline
.1 Letters concerning the adjustment of
Troughton's Equatorial. Hamilton and Waugh, 1795,
.2 Paper by Hamilton on "Comparative observations
made with different kinds of micrometer",
submitted to R.I.A. with tables, c.1795.
.2 To adjust Troughton's Equatorial. J. E.
Troughton, c. 1800. (3pp)
.3 Collimation and adjustment of Troughton's
Equatorial, c. 1800.(4pp)
.4 Adjustments of the Equatorial probably by
.1 Inventories of furniture, apparatus,
instruments and books belonging to Armagh
Observatory and Museum, c. 1796, c. 1815, c. 1820,
1825, 1918, 1937, 1974, 1975. .3 List of
instruments from the Kew Observatory.
M48 Typed copy of extracts from Earnshaw's
"Appeal" relating to his clocks made for Armagh
M45 Account for instruments transferred to
Observatory by Representatives of the late Dean
Hamilton, 8 Jan 1817, signed by William Davenport.
.1 Account from "Thomas Jones" London to
Primate of Ireland for supply of 5ft transit
instrument and a 4'8" mural circle 2 April 1827.
.2 Accounts from Thomas Grubb, Dublin, for
supply of 15" equatorial Cassegrain telescope,
eyepieces, mirror fittings etc., 1837-44.
M14 Account of the Transit Instrument, Robinson,
M156 Accounts for supply of miscellaneous
instruments including telescopes, mirrors, lenses,
eyepieces, and parts for anemometers, clocks etc.,
Mlll Correspondence and notes concerning the
transfer of instruments from the George Collection
at Kew to Armagh, containing letters from Sir
James South (21), Colonel Rawden (7), Lord
Duncannon (4), Lord Mountneagle (1), T. R.
Robinson (3), Archbishop of Armagh (4), c. 1841.
Includes a 31-page "Narrative of events" in the
"Kew instrument affair" by South plus modern
correspondence and historical notes by E. M.
M43 List of the instruments of the Observatory,
Robinson, 1853. (7pp)
.7 Lists and correspondence concerning the
collection of instruments from Kew, 1851- 1951,
and other historical instruments at Armagh.
.2 Rating of Dent Chronometer by RGO, 1858.
.3 Correspondence regarding the purchase of a
.1 Methods adopted at Armagh Observatory
for making, recording and reducing observations,
Robinson, 1868. (24pp)
M171 Wiring diagram for clocks, chronograph etc.
in Transit and Mural Circle Rooms, 1882.
M10 Collection of 27 letters to Dreyer that
accompanied contributions to the Robinson Memorial
.1 Appeal by Dreyer for the T. R. Robinson
Memorial Fund, 1882-83.
.2 List of subscribers.
.3 Reports by G. Johnstone Stoney, R. S. Ball and J.
L. E. Dreyer regarding the relative merits of a
refractor or Grubb's own design for Robinson
Memorial Telescope, 1884.
M109 Contracts between H. Grubb and the Governors
for the erection of the Robinson Memorial Dome and
Telescope with plans, 1884, plus estimates,
invoices and receipts, 1884- 1909.
M157 Letter from Dreyer to Dr Irwin regarding
electrical illumination of telescope, 1890.
.1 Six letters from W. A. F. Weatherfield
regarding the purchase of Shelton Bracket Clock
Graham and Shelton "case piece" and Vulliamy
.11 Correspondence regarding the loan of
telescopes to Lady Robert's Field Glass Fund,
.9 Correspondence regarding the historical
clocks at Armagh Observatory, 1926-68.
See A(vii) M41 for repairs and changes to
instruments; B(i) M 12, B(i) M 129 for description
of Earnshaw clocks and setting up of Troughton
Equatorial, C for meteorology instruments; and
the important Maskelyne, Troughton and Earnshaw
letters in D M51.
M 107 Manuscript copy of "Minutes of evidence"
House of Commons Session, 1853, London and North
Western (Tring and Oxford) Railway Bill. Evidence
by Proposer Robinson, Sir Francis Beaufort and
Professor Johnson, 31 May 1853. (30pp)
.1 Letter from Newry and Enniskillen
Railway, 4 Nov 1856, concerning their plans to
build a line near Armagh. (Ip)
.2 Draft petition by the Governors and Guardians
of Armagh Observatory to Parliament against the
Railway Bill, 1857. (4pp)
.3 Draft Act of Parliament regarding Newry and
Enniskillen Railway, 21 July 1845. (13pp)
.4 Printed ditto. (4pp)
M77 Papers and letters concerning the
construction of the Newry and Armagh Railway.
.1 9 Letters from Newry and Armagh Railway,
April-Aug 1873 + map.
.2 3 letters from Robinson to the Archbishop
and Dean respectively concerning
Newry and Armagh Railway, April-June 1873.
.3 Legal opinion by J. J. Ball Q.C. on Newry and
.4 Petition to Parliament (not as 61.2) against
a railway extension, signed by Governors undated
(2pp) + draft of same by Robinson.
.5 Letters from the Governors to Newry
and Armagh Railway giving permission for laying
.6 Draft request for legal opinion on
proposed railway, by Robinson, undated.
.7 Receipt for land purchased by Newry and Armagh
Railway, 5 Sept 1873.
.8 Draft Parliamentary Bill regarding Newry and
Armagh Railway, 1859.
.9 Letter from Archbishop to Dean regarding
railways, 2 July 1873.
M75 Copy of letter from Governors and Guardians
giving Newry and Armagh Railway permission to
encroach within 760 yards of the Observatory
provided speed does not exceed 5 mph. Plus 3
coloured maps showing the relative position of the
Observatory and the proposed station and lines,
M163 Library accounts and related documents,
M42 Book of incidental expenses and library
accounts, 1883-1916. (65pp)
M83 Drafts for summary of the history of the
townland of Derrynaught by Dr Reeves, Dean of
Armagh, later Bishop of Down and Connor. (3pp,
plus copy, 4pp, and notes 3pp)
.1 Letter from Mrs Robinson, n.d., possibly
to Dean Reeves, apologizing for a remark, undated.
.2 Letter from Dr Robinson to Dean Reeves
concerning maps of Observatory estates and
proceedings at Synod, 1873.
.3 Robinson to Reeves regarding accounts and
Leclanche cells, 26 Feb 1879.
M73 Death certificate for William Edward Meade,
Protestant Bishop of Cork, 12 Oct 1912.
M165 Observatory accounts, 1824-1905. (67pp)
M167 Documents concerning taxes, rates and
charitable status, 1904-37. (28pp)
D10 Plan of Observatory site at Knockamell
Townland, 3 Oct 1789. (framed)
.1 Surrender of land by Dean Hamilton to the
Lord Primate. Four acres of land for Observatory,
23 June 1790. (3pp)
.2 Surrender of land by Mr McCann and Singleton
to the Governors and Guardians of the Observatory,
23 June 1790. (3pp)
.3 Surrender of land by Thomas Stringer to Thomas
McCann. Land for the use of the Lord Primate etc.,
Sept 1789. (Ip)
.4 Surrender of land by the Primate to Richard
Upton for use by the Observatory with map of
Observatory grounds, I July 1790.
M60 List of indentures concerning the transfer of
land to the Governors and appointment of J A.
Hamilton as Astronomer with dates, c. 1790. (2pp)
.1 Insurance policies, 1794, 1807, 1888.(6pp)
.2 Correspondence and receipts regarding
insurance, 1804-1945. (116pp)
.1 Letter from John Stanley farmer, to
Robinson, 25 Nov 1851, undertaking to replace the
stones forming the old meridian marker, if
requested to do so.
.2 Copies of two letters from the Secretary
of the Church Temporalities Commission to
John Stanley concerning the purchase of a
perpetuity on property in Tullynure, 1872
(for meridian markers).
.3 Invoices and receipts
concerning the meridian markers, 1802-64. (9pp)
M41 "Journal of work and repairs etc.",
1867-1915. Contains details of decoration, repair
and changes to Observatory buildings and equipment
plus an outline of observations made and
publications. Entries by Robinson, Dreyer and
assistants (68pp). With plan of basement on N.E.
side of Observatory, tunnel and sewers.
M68 Written specifications for the erection of a
meteorological house, in 1867, at the expense of
the Meteorological Office, London, 21 Sept 1867
(10pp), with four coloured drawings of same. This
building was erected to house automatic recording
.1 Ten plans of the Observatory, possibly
from Dreyer's time, showing the layout of the
buildings, tunnel, rooms, furniture etc.
D8 Plan of Observatory and grounds, scale 1/500,
showing layout of gardens, grounds etc., 5 Aug
1862 (in colour).
.1 Two letters from Charles Faris (Assistant)
to Dean Reeves concerning the
maintenance of buildings, 1882, 1887.
.1 Chemical composition of water supply,
.2 Accounts and correspondence concerning
repairs to buildings etc., 1800-1919. (602pp)
M164 Accounts for electricity, 1890-94. (5pp)
D7 Plan of the Observatory, 1953, showing
modifications to the old meteorological building
and the position of the anemometer box on the
(i) Series of Systematic Observations of Positions of Stars with the
Mural or Transit Circle, and Reductions
M12 Collection of observation record books,
1782-1840, containing observations of stars,
planets and comets.
.1 Correction for errors of division of
the Mural Circle. (79pp)
.2 Clock corrections, 1830-39. (79pp)
.3 Reductions of R.A., 1831 Sept 28 to 1832
May 12. (93pp)
.4 Reductions of R.A., 1831 April I to Sept 21.
.5 Old working list, 1839-lists of
observations of stars and comets (including
.6 Supplements ?, 1856. (13pp)
.7 Reductions of R.A., 1829 Feb 23 to Dec 8.
.8 Reductions of R.A., 1829 Dec 15 to 1830
Sept 28. (94pp)
.9 Observations with Mural Circle,
1832, 1833, 1834. (95pp)
.10 Observations of NPD for various stars,
.11 Observations of NPD with Troughton
Equatorial, 1809. (17pp)
.12 Book of computations? (193pp)
.13 Observations of NPD, 1807, 1808. (5pp)
.14 Observations of NPD,1800-3. (50pp)
.15 Observation record book, 1782.(12pp)
.16 Observations of NPD, 1805. (27pp)
.17 Equatorial observations, 1813- 15. (36pp)
.18 Observations of unknown date. (86pp)
M129 Observation record book 1793-96 with
journal of events relating to the setting up and
adjustment of clocks and instruments at Armagh
Observatory. Also contains drawings of Jupiter,
M97 Eight notebooks of observations (mainly
astronomical, occasionally topographical,
magnetic variation etc.) made by Dr Hamilton
1792-1810. Plus four sheets of observations,
M 126 Fifteen Transit Circle record books, 1796-
1882. (c. 5000pp)
Ml9 Record books for observations of stars,
Sun, planets, comets etc.
.1 1803 NPD Troughton Equatorial (10pp)
.2 1804 ditto (14pp)
.3 1799-1800 ditto (21pp)
.4 1803 ditto (15pp)
.5 1824 ditto (32pp)
.6 1797-98 ditto (20pp) contains
drawings of sunspots
.7 1797 ditto (20pp)
ditto (43pp) contains drawing of Cathedral
.9 1823-24 ditto (36pp) contains
comments on observing procedure with Equatorial
.10 1825 NPD Troughton Equatorial
.12 Reductions (34pp)
.13 ditto (36pp)
.14 Reductions of principal wires, 1851 (18pp)
.3 Approximately thirty small bundles of
notes containing observations, 1830-32.
.1 Collection of 49 small notebooks
containing reductions of observations of stars,
M131 Eight record books of observations of NPD,
1832-83. (c. 4000pp)
M132 Five RA record books, 1832-70. (c. 2000pp)
M 124 Five "Wire" record books, 1838-78. (c.
M125 Four Circle observation books,
1832-68. (c. 1750pp)
M70 Book of reductions of
right ascensions for observations made, 29 Sept
1830 to 31 March 1831. (84pp)
M 135 Two books ofcorrections for Circle
observations. (c. 400pp)
M127 Reductions for clock rates, refraction and
constants. (c. 370pp)
M133 Six books of constants. (c. 1800pp)
M 128 Four books of "Index
errors of Mural Circle". (c. 600pp)
.11 Reduction for Circle divisions. (39pp)
M95 Box of tracings from electric chronograph
for transits of stars observed, 1869-80.
.4 Observations of NPD, 1869-72.
.2 Two black covered notebooks
containing observations, 1873-77 and 1877-83.
.5 Miniature tables for reduction of observations.
.6 Precession tables.
M134 Book of meanobservations. (c. 750pp)
M130 Four reduction books. See D M28.
M103 A catalogue of 153 of the principal fixed
stars etc. for the year 1760 and the six following
years with a general index. Handwritten catalogue,
of 159 pages, possibly by Hamilton.
M25 Observations made at Cookstown, 1782 by J. A.
Hamilton (14pp) plus some meteorological
M22 Catalogue of stars with RA, NPD etc for
1 Jan 1790 together with catalogue (Herschel's ?)
of nebulae, clusters and remarkable stars for
Jan. 1796. (36pp)
.3 Papers relating to solar eclipse of
28 Nov 1807, Hamilton. (1p)
M23 Stellar observation records, 1795-96. (49pp)
.1 Miscellaneous observations from Armagh
Observatory, 1796, with drawings of planets. (9pp)
.1 Table of mean N. Polar Distance of 34
principal fixed stars, for the beginning of the
year 1797, deduced from observations made at
M139 Account of observations of the transit of
Mercury Tuesday 12th [Aug 1782]. By J.A. Hamilton.
.2 NPD observations of brightstars and
comparisons between different observers,
.2 Observation of comet, Oct-Dec 1807. (Ip)
M30 Book of manuscript observations and notes
by W.Davenport, 1816-l9.Contains a copy of
Troughton's directions for adjustment
of Equatorial. (141pp)
.1 Observations of eclipse ? from Armagh
and Markree, no date.
.2 Rating of Dent's Chronometer by RGO, 1858.
M116 Tables of refraction, by Robinson, 2 copies
plus a set of tables for unknown purpose, 0°- 15~
and xii to xxiii hours.
M13 Various working tables, c. 1840-60 and
later, refraction tables and miscellaneous
mathematical tables. (44pp)
M3 Comparison of standard stars with the Sun
from 11 March 1841 to 28 July 1854, working notes.
.1 Places of Donati's Comet, 1858 and Comet
1861, No. I and No. 2, from observations made at
Armagh Observatory by N. McN. Edmonson.
M4 Beta Cassiopeia, observations and
corrections for parallax with the Twelve
Microscope Mural Circle, March 1858. Using least
squares to obtain equations of parallax and
temperature combined, March 1858. (50pp)
M122 Astronomical Observations made with the
10-inch Grubb refractor at Armagh Observatory by
J. L. E. Dreyer, 1885-1914. Includes observations
of planets, nebulae, comets and sunspots, with
drawings, and table for computing refraction.
M99 Notebook of 10-inch refractor observations
made by Dreyer, 1898-1914. Includes observations
of nebulae, stars, eclipses and comets, including
Halley's Comet, 1910.
M98 Tables of reductions from Dreyer's time,
M35 Notebooks containing micrometer measurements
by Dreyer of photographic plates provided by Isaac
.1 Measurements of stars in Pleiades on
plate taken 22 Jan 1889, 1899. (65pp)
.2 Measurements of Messier 33, completed 13 April
1904. (84pp plus chart)
.3 Correspondence (1926-58) concerning
Demainbury's account of the observation of the
transit of Venus, 3 June 1769.
See B(i) M 129 for drawings of Jupiter 1795; G.
.1 Meteorological notes Dec 1783 - Jan 1784,
Hamilton (Cookstown?). (4pp)
M31 Twelve charts of barometer readings for 6 mths,
Jan-June 1788 for observatory (probably
Cookstown, Co. Tyrone), Charlesfort, Co. Meath,
Creggan, Co. Louth and Athlone, J. A. Hamilton?
M26 Barometrical and thermometrical observations
made at Athlone by Sylvester Nowlan, Oct 1788 -
April 1789. (7pp)
.1 Twenty-two volumes of meteorological
records and charts for Armagh Observatory, July
1795 to May 1825.
.2 Thirteen volumes of meteorological records
for Armagh, 1833-1987. (c.5550pp)
.1 Meteorological observations taken at
Armagh Observatory presented to Armagh Natural
Historical Society by N. McN. Edmonson for the
years leading up to and including the Famine Era,
.2 Tables of mean monthly temperature and
pressure, 1833-50. (4pp)
.1 Book of manuscript observations of
meteorological conditions in Glendooen, Co.
Donegal during the years 1846-68, with many
comments on crops etc. (60pp)
.2 Loose insert containing similar records
for 1867-83. (75pp plus 4 graphs)
.3 Study of 7- and ll-year cycles in
weather records of Glendooen, 7 Jan 1883.
M123 Eleven Anemometer record books, 1852-1907.
.1 Book of observations and computations,
Robinson and Edmonson, 1858-61. (146pp)
Computation of heights from Mr Mallet's barometric
observations made in the Kingdom of Naples in
1858. N. McN. Edmonson, Sept 1859. Corrections to
values of solar semi-diameter given in the
Nautical almanac, Robinson and Mc. N. Edmonson.
.1 Three notebooks containing recordings for
Roof Thermometer, 1865-75. (27pp)
.2 Table for converting wind speed determined
by Robinson Anemometer.
.3 Notebook containing tables and
factors for Anemometer. (23pp)
.4 Two working tables for the Anemometer.
.2 Copy of letter from F. J. Whipple of Kew
Observatory, 17 Aug 1926 with description of
errors in the Anemometer. (3pp)
.3 Two reprints of papers on the theory and
constants of the Anemometer, Robinson
1876 1878, with letter from W. B. Morton, Q.U.B.,
30 Aug 1921.
.4 Drawings of bearing of Cup Anemometer.
M141 Eighteen anemometer and thermograph
reduction books, 1870-91.
M104 Seven photographically recorded thermograms,
barograms and thermographs, c. 1870. Plus copy of
paper by Robinson on the reduction of anemograms,
.1 Manuscript notebook containing records
of experiments to determine the friction of the
Kew Anemometer, 1877-79, including many tables
M63 Collection of 13 letters, 1869-1939, to the
Observatory concerning meteorological observations at
Armagh. One to Ellison from F. J. W.
Whipple, 23 April 1926, mentions return to Armagh
of the original recording apparatus of the
M110 Correspondence with Meteorological Office
regarding equipment at Armagh, 1838-1919, plus
draft instructions for the use of Robinson
Anemometer with Berkley Direction Recorder, I Jan
M120 Correspondence with Meteorological Office,
.4 Correspondence, 1915, regarding the loan
of Robinson's original anemometer to the Science
M65 Historical notes on meteorological
observations from Armagh by Lindsay. Includes
highest and lowest monthly barometric pressures,
M51 Collection of letters to Hamilton.
.1 Queries relative to the motions of
fireballs of 18 Aug and 4 Oct 1783 and 19
Oct 1783- dated I Nov 1783, Greenwich. Gives
guidelines for useful observations of meteors,
such as timing, determination of apparent path
and general physical characteristics (probably
included with Maskelyne's letter of 27 Nov 1783).
.2 Letter from Maskelyne, 27 Nov 1783, Greenwich,
concerning meteor observations- mentions question
of whether combustion is observed and whether
bodies might be solid or planetary in origin. (4pp)
.3 Letter from Maskelyne to J. A. Hamilton, Bath,
22 April 1789, regarding purchase of Troughton
Equatorial for Armagh and the possibility of
procuring a clock for Armagh.(3PP)
.4 Letter from Maskelyne to J. A. Hamilton,
Creggan, Dundalk, 16 Feb 1790. Contains
suggestions for the equipment of the new
Observatory and details of clock Maskelyne tested
for accuracy. Mentions clock by Earnshaw and the
reliability of an Earnshaw watch possessed by
Maskelyne and refers to claim by Earnshaw to have
invented the detached escapement used by Arnold.
.5 Letter from J. Troughton, 17 Feb 1790,
regarding the provision of an equatorial telescope
and transit circle. (2pp)
.6 Letter from J. Troughton, 10 Sept 1790,
commenting on progress of the Equatorial
and describing the "Meridian Circle", and
its differences with respect to the common transit
.7 Letter from J.Troughton, 7 July 1792.
Gives details of supports and pillars required
for the Equatorial, with drawings. (3pp)
.8 Letter from Maskelyne, 13 Aug 1793.
Mentions his trials of Earnshaw's two clocks
and their excellent workmanship and accuracy.
Conveys news of progress of Troughton with the
Equatorial -a superior instrument. (Ip)
.9 Letter from Earnshaw, 22 Dec 1807. Requesting
information on the rates of his clocks for
a forthcoming publication. (3pp)
.10 Letter from Earnshaw, 7 Jan 1808.
Thanks Hamilton for his letter regarding
clock and mentions his unhappy state and his hope
that Parliament will recognise his efforts. (2pp)
.11 Letter from Maskelyne, 31 Dec 1782. Contains
observation and correction for an observation of
the transit of Mercury by Hamilton at Cookstown.
.12 Letter from Thomas Hurd, Admiralty
Officer, 3 Dec 1814, regarding books ordered from
the Board of Longitude. (Ip)
.13 Letter from Brinkley, Dunsink, I June 1805,
giving the positions of minor planets Ceres,
Pallas and Juno, 1805-6. Refers to state of alarm
in Dublin after firing of canons at night. (3pp)
.14 Letter from Brinkley, Dunsink, 22 Feb 1806.
Concerning Hamilton's paper on comparison of
micrometers. Mentions his discovery of a comet
whilst at Greenwich and Earnshaw's discontent. (3pp)
.15 Letter from Brinkley, Dunsink, 16 May 1806,
concerning Hamilton's and Brinkley's methods for
correcting R.A. observations. (2pp)
.16 Letter from Brinkley, Dunsink, 16 May 1814.
Comments on quality of Greenwich (Pond's)
observations and effects of parallax. (4pp)
Requests observation of a Lyrae and a Aquilae
by Hamilton and comments on Napoleonic Wars.
M15 Manuscript on the present state of
astronomical certainty with regard to the quantity
of the Earth's diameter, the distance of our
planet from the Sun, and the absolute limit of the
nearest possible interval from the Sun to any one
of the fixed stars. Sent to the Bishop of Ossery
to be communicated to the R.l.A., 24 April 1805.
(19pp) Also letter to the R.l.A. through Brinkley,
1805, on the correspondence of micrometers, J. A.
M16 An account by J. A. Hamilton of a method for
obtaining the difference in longitude of two
stations by the comparison of observations of the
enlightened limb of the Moon with that of a fixed
star on the same day, and its use to determine the
difference in longitude of Armagh, Dunsink,
Cookstown and Greenwich. Much of it a draft letter
from Bath, 1794. (36pp)
M21 Letter to Director of Dunsink from Hamilton
dated I March 1794, from Bath, amended version of
M 16. Suggests cooperation in research between
Armagh and Dunsink and gives account of
observations and corrections for determining
longitude from the relative position of the Moon's
enlightened limb and the fixed stars, with tables,
plus use of the method to determine the difference
in longitude of Armagh, Dunsink, Cookstown and
Greenwich. (21 pp)
M28 Miscellaneous papers and tables, c.1780-1800.
.1 Observations with meteorologicalnotes,
Nov 1783. (4pp)
.2 Observations of stars, Aug 1798 - April 1799.
.3 Dates of observations of stars, 1794-98. (13pp)
.4 Observations of stars, 1794. (8pp)
.5 ditto, 1793-94. (9pp)
.6 Table for converting sidereal to mean time. (Ip)
.7 Table of decimals of year.(2pp)
.8 Table for reduction of wires of Transit
.2 Paper by Hamilton on "Comparative
observations with different kinds of micrometer"
submitted to R.l.A. with tables, c. 1795.
See B(i) M 12, M 129; B(ii) pre- 1815 papers.
M27 Miscellaneous papers by T. R. Robinson.
.1 Observation of solar eclipse, 15 May 1836 at
.2 Part of a paper presented to R.I.A. on the
casting of speculum mirrors by Lord Rosse.
(4pp numbered 5-8)
.1 Manuscript notebook containing the
results of experiments with discharge lamps,
undated, including many tables. (85pp)
.2 Printed copy of paper on luminous phenomena
produced by discharge lamps etc. Robinson
(Proc. R.l.A., Dec 1856). (14pp)
M36 Compendium of published and unpublished
papers and newspaper reports of speeches made by
T. R. Robinson. Found by Dr W. A. Osbourne of
Melbourne University in a second-hand bookshop in
Melbourne and presented by him to Armagh
Observatory, 7 July 1919, with two letters from
Osbourne and one from W. B. Morton, Dept of
p 5 Sermon Clogher visitation, 1823.
(22pp plus 8pp notes)
p 37 Speech at Armagh (Col. Verner's election) 1826.
p 46 Speech at Armagh "Concessions", 1827. (ilpp)
p 58 Speech at Armagh in the Brunswick Club,
9 Oct 1828. (14pp)
p 73 Speech at Monaghan in the Brunswick Club,
10 Oct 1828. (llpp)
p 91 Proposing vote of thanks at York, 10 Oct 1831.(Ip)
p 93 Constant of nutation, 1838. (6pp) p 102 Lord
Oxmantown's telescope, 1840. (40pp)
p 143 Report of Annual Visitation of Observatory,
p 155 Distribution of medals, Royal Dublin Society,
8 Dec 1842. (8pp)
p 163 Speech at Church Education Society, 1843. (9pp)
p 177 Captive balloons, 1843. (2pp)
p 179 Dr Coulter's obituary, 1844. (5pp)
p 185 Address Monaghan Literary Society, 1845. (20pp)
p 205 Annual motion of Earth's crust, 1846. (3pp)
p 209 Nebula 11 44, 1848. (2pp)
p 210 Bronze vessel in King's Co., 1848. (10pp)
p 220 Electricity, Lit. Soc in Monaghan, 1848. (2pp)
p 223 Moon lecture at Belfast, 1849. (8pp)
p 236Speech at the Church Education Society,
p 247 Address Brit. Assoc., Birmingham, 1849. (21pp)
p 268 Close of Brit. Assoc., Birmingham, 1849. (3pp)
p 266 Nebulae, 1849.
p 273 Sermon, St Peter's, Dublin, Protestant Schools,
p 283 Dynamic effect of a turbine, 1848. (8pp)
p 293 Address-Chair R.l. Academy, 1851. (l lpp)
p 309 Vicinity of a railroad, 1851. (6pp)
p 317 Address opening of Brit Assoc., Belfast,
p 322 Conclusion, 1852.(9pp)
p 339 Sermon, Providence Home, Dublin, 1852. (22pp)
p 357 Errors of ear and eye, 1853. (7pp)
p 365 Cassegrain telescope, 1853. (9pp)
p 373 Speech R.l.A.-Library, 1854.(2pp)
p 376 Speech "Propagation of Gospel in foreign parts",
p 379 Angular aperture, 1854. (10pp)
p 389 Electric discharge, Aberdeen, 1855. (Ip)
p 390 Patent laws, Aberdeen, 1855. (Ip)
p 393 Ruhmkorfflnductor. No. 1, 1856. (10pp)
p 401 Ruhmkorff Inductor. No. 11, 1856. (13pp)
p 415 Address, Nat. Hist. Soc., Armagh, 1857. (10pp)
p 417 Speculum, Nicol's Encyclopaedia of science,
p 429 Address, Nat. Hist. Soc., Armagh, 1857. (10pp)
p 439Stratification of electric light, 1859. (6pp)
p 447 Address, Armagh Philosophical Society, 1859. (6pp)
p 453 Letter to V. Christian in Clogher, 1860. (Ip)
p 454 Address, Armagh Philosophical Society, 1860. (9pp)
p 463 Address, Armagh Philosophical Society, 1862. (6pp)
p 469 Astronomical instruments and glass
(Mallet's journal), 1862. (llpp)
p 481 Letter from L. Shulhof (Bureau des Longitudes), 1882.
p 483 Light-lecture in Dublin, 1862. (21pp)
p 504 Correspondence with Galloway, 1862. (2pp)
p 509 Lighthouse of Ireland, 1863. (8pp)
p 521 Fog signals, 1863. (6pp)
p 527 Mercurial gasometer and air-pump, 1864. (6pp)
p 535 Address, Armagh Philosophical Society, 1864. (10pp)
p 551 E. J. Cooper, 1864. (2pp)
p 553 Electricity by induction machines, 1864. (12pp)
p 565 Address, Armagh Philosophical Society,1867. (20pp)
p 587 Reflecting Telescope at Melbourne, 1867. (3pp)
p 591 Report of Committee on above, 1867. (4pp)
p 597 Lord Rosse, 1868. (7pp)
p 605 Convention, 1868. (3pp)
p 608 Juries, 1873. (Ip)
p 613 Cup anemometer, 1875. (16pp)
p 629 Reduction of anemograms, 1875. (4pp)
p 633 Space-penetrating powers, 1877. (Ip)
p 635 Constants of cup anemometers, 1878. (7pp)
p 643 Esther, 1878. (5pp)
p 643(b) Notes on the character of John Hely
Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College Dublin,
and the election of Brinkley as Andrews
Professor of Astronomy. (4pp)
p 644 Fair rent, 1881. (Ip)
p 645 W. Lassell, 1881. (3pp)
p 648 Kew Observatory, 1881. (Ip)
p 649 Absorption of light, 1882. (Ip)
p 650 At the Convention, 1869. (8pp)
Also note to Dr Huggins regarding spectra
of aurora and three photographs of the garden
and observatory in the 19th century.
M69 A collection of letters to and from Robinson
mostly concerning financial matters. .
.1 Fifty-seven letters from T. R. Robinson to
Dr Reeves, Dean of Armagh, dated 1842-80
containing comments on buildings, ecclesiastical and
.2 Three letters, 1872, from Robinson to
Leonard Dobbin, agent for Observatory lands.
.3 Four letters from Dean Reeves, 1872-73,
and one from M. G. Armagh (Beresford),
15 Aug 1872, to Robinson.
.4 Six letters to Robinson concerning tithes
at Carlingford and notes on rents, 1872-73.
.5 Four letters from J. A. Ball regarding
case of the Observatory in Irish Churches Bill,
.6 Letter from C. Rivers Wilson of 11 Downing Street
to Sir Edward Sabine, 9 Aug 1872
and copy of a letter from Robinson to Ball,
18 March 1872, regarding same.
.7 Copies of two letters from Robinson to Evans, 1838. (3pp)
.10 Correspondence concerning T. R. Robinson's
part in setting up an early Canadian
M114 Copy of book of poems written by T. R. Robinson
before the age of 12, Juvenile poems,
T. R. Robinson, published privately, Belfast 1806.
(108pp, plus list of subscribers, 22pp, and an
account of the life of the author, 31pp)
M71 Draft of letter from Dreyer to Royal Society for grant
towards publishing Second Armagh catalogue, Nov 1882. ( I p)
.1 Manuscript of Second Armagh catalogue of 3300
Stars, by J. L. E. Dreyer, 1886. (ISSpp)
.2 Plus comparison of 2nd Armagh catalogue with
Glasgow catalogue, c. 1886. (12pp)
M5 Manuscript, Heidelberg Nebulae Second Index
Catalogue, Dreyer, undated. (100pp)
M105 Dreyer's copy of the New general catalogue
of nebulae and clusters of stars annotated by the
author with all corrections known to him, 1888.
M7 Manuscript of Tycho Brahe, 1880-90, Dreyer.
(346pp, contents (9pp), bibliography (6pp))
M168 Collection of 22 letters from Dreyer, mostly to Irwin,
1889-1905, concerning financial matters. (40pp)
M8 Manuscript of History of planetary systemsfrom Thales to
Kepler, 1905, Dreyer. (398pp, contents (6pp), index (17pp))
M9 Manuscript of A short account of Sir William Herschel's
life and work, undated, Dreyer. (91pp plus appendix (19pp
plus 15pp), index (7pp), contents (3pp), notes (18pp plus
7pp), plus a table and graph)
.1 Table for paper published by R.l.A., 1904,
on calculation of x, y and z ,for 431 objects in
.3 April 1904, Dreyer.(9pp)
.2 Tables for paper on "Pleiades", 1900,
Dreyer. (5pp+ chart)
.3 Note concerning proper motion of nebulae
and the importance of photographic measurements. (1p)
M142 Two postcards from Dreyer to Hardcastle, 1917.
See B(ii) M22, M35.
(i) Pen and Ink Sketches of Lunar Craters by Evelyn M.Whitehead
Dl .1 Sinus, Pr La Place Tridum, 1911 June 6, 10pm.
.2 Fraestorius, 1911 May 1, 10pm.
.3 Proclus, 1911 May 8, 10pm.
D2 .1 Aristarchus.
.6 Schroder's Valley.
D3 Original sketches by W. H. Rambaut of nebulae at
Parsonstown (white chalk and lead pencil on grey paper).
.1 Messier 99.
.2 Messier 97.
.3 H 731.
.4 Jupiter in Lord Rosse 6ft reflector, Feb 1848, signed WHR.
.5 Messier 64.
.6 Envelope of graph paper depicting unknown mechanism.
D4 Drawing, possibly made with Lord Rosse reflector, of
Orion nebula, showing Trapezium. White on black-damaged.
D5 Drawing of Great Spiral Nebula M51. White chalk on grey
paper, probably by Rambaut with Lord Rosse's Great
D6 Eight large original sketches of astronomical objects.
.1 H84 and H86, group of globular objects, damaged.
.2 H1173= Messier 99, spiral galaxy, condition fair.
.3 H604, spiral galaxy, condition fair.
.4 H854 = Messier 65, spiral galaxy, condition fair.
.5 H2205, spiral galaxy, condition fair.
.6 H838 = Messier 97, Owl Nebula, condition good.
.7 H2098, edge-on galaxy, condition good.
.8 H1909, spiral galaxy, condition fair.
Last Revised: 2011 May 12th