Arthur Storer – First known American astronomer, ‘discoverer’ of what became known as Halley’s Comet

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Photo by Francis Barker

We recently visited the small market town of Grantham in Lincolnshire in the east of England and found out something new and interesting.

Among the notable people associated with Grantham are Sir Isaac Newton, who was born nearby and former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who was raised in the town in her father’s shop.

Astronomer and Mathematician

Walking through the town and by the wonderful church, we came across the old school building, upon which is a notice, bearing the name of Arthur Storer, identifying him as an astronomer and mathematician. I have to confess, up to that point, I had never heard of him.

It turns out that he knew Isaac Newton and probably had a fight with him when they were boys. However, the two later became friends and scientific associates, Newton recognising Storer’s contribution in his most famous work Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. 

Fine Reputation

What I did not know was that Storer effectively became the first known astronomer in America and he developed a reputation for accuracy which outlived him.

Storer seems to have initially trained to be an apothecary, the profession of his step father, William Clarke of Grantham. However, it would appear that his real interests lay in the science of astronomy.

Journeys to Maryland

He would later travel to Maryland in North America, to observe all astronomical phenomena there. Later he would make a second trip to Maryland to do more astronomical work, sending his calculations to Isaac Newton.

A consequence of this work was that one comet he observed, in 1682, would later turn out to be Halley’s Comet, named after Edmund Halley who became the first to forecast its next appearance.

Sadly, Storer did not live to be an old man, dying in early 1687. He is buried in Maryland.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Lost Worlds: Crowland’s Triangular Bridge

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In the centre of the small historic town of Crowland in south Lincolnshire, England, is a most curious piece of architecture, commonly named the triangular bridge.

It dates back to medieval times, when the River Welland split into two at this point, reputedly, necessitating the building of this structure. The river now flows elsewhere beyond the town.

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There is a figure of Christ or possibly King Ethelbald of Mercia, which may have come from the dissolved abbey nearby.

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The Irby Tomb, Whaplode St. Mary’s Church, Lincolnshire

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The Irby Tomb – one of the most impressive features of this south Lincolnshire church at Whaplode, Lincolnshire, England.

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English Church: Whaplode St. Mary, Lincolnshire

At this lovely church, there were a series of flower displays representing the countries of the world.

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Guess which country…

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Pictures of the Day: An English church, Whaplode, Lincolnshire 1

Inside views of Whaplode Saint Mary church flower festival, south Lincolnshire, England.

There were a series of displays representing all the countries of the world.

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Pictures of the Day: Fleet Church, England

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*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.

Pictures of the Day: England, Fleet Church

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Lychgate, Fleet Church, Lincolnshire

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copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.