Burton, Charles Edward
BornBarnton, Cheshire, England, 16 September 1846
DiedCastleknock, (Fingal), Ireland, 9 July 1882
The astronomer Charles Burton was born of Irish parents in Barnton, a small village in northwest England. Suffering from ill-health as a child, he was educated privately. By the age of 15, he had already begun experimenting with astronomical photography. A few years later, Burton’s family returned to Ireland as his father, the Reverend Edward Burton, became curate of Rathmichael Church, Loughlinstown, Co., Dublin. He was sent to Trinity College, Dublin, and graduated in 1868 with a junior moderatorship in experimental and natural science, and received an appointment as an assistant astronomer to Laurence Parsons, Fourth Earl of Rosse, at Parsonstown (now Birr), where he made observations with a small transit instrument and, using technology recently introduced by Jean Foucaultin France, produced several excellent silver-on-glass mirrors. Given that in later years he would become a...