The Eagle-Eyed Reverend William Rutter Dawes

  • Neil English
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


Thus wrote Dr. Joseph Ashbrook, former editor in chief of Sky & Telescope magazine in a short essay on the life of William Rutter Dawes (1799–1868). Using small classical refractors, made with just a token nod to optical theory, this benevolent English observer greatly advanced our knowledge of the heavens, showing that, above all, acute and highly trained eyes could see things other amateurs could not, even using larger instruments. Born on March 19, 1799, Dawes (Fig. 14.1) could be said to have had astronomical blood in his veins. His father, William Dawes the Elder (1762–1836), served as the astronomer on Governor Philip’s first expedition to Botany Bay, Australia, in 1787 on board HMS Sirius.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUK

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