William Pearson, British astronomer

William Pearson, British astronomer

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Reverend William Pearson (1767-1847), British astronomer, and family. Pearson was a successful schoolmaster and, from 1793, a curate of the Anglican Church. He worked in Lincoln and then, from around 1800, near London. In 1820 he was one of the founding members of the Astronomical Society of London, which became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831. He received the Society's Gold Medal in 1829. Pearson had a daughter, Frances (baptised 1797), by his first wife, also called Frances. Pearson is pointing at an orrery (far right), a device that illustrates the position and motions of the planets in the solar system. Pearson was renowned as a designer and builder of such devices, first designing one in 1796.

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