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John Lee, British astronomer

John Lee, British astronomer

C003/6715

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

John Lee (1783-1866), English astronomer and philanthropist. Lee was born as John Fiott, but was orphaned when young and raised by his maternal uncle, taking the family name on his uncle's death. He studies mathematics at St. John's College Oxford, then travelled extensively in the Middle East as an amateur archaeologist. Lee had become interested in astronomy at university, and on his inheritance started a programme of acquiring and building major instruments that he used along with his friend Smyth. Although he made no single important discovery, Lee's contribution through observation and patronage led to being made fellow and later president of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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