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Caricature of Newton and Flamsteed

Caricature of Newton and Flamsteed

V700/0227

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Credit

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Caricature of Newton and Flamsteed. Cartoon of Isaac Newton and John Flamsteed depicted as saints. Newton is insulting Flamsteed by calling him a 'puppy'. In 1712, Newton was the President of the Royal Society and Flamsteed was the Astronomer Royal, both positions of high power and respect. They famously disputed over Newton's premature release of Flamsteed's astronomy book Historia Coelestis Britannica (British Celestial Record). Newton claimed that Flamsteed had refused to publish his findings, and since it had been commissioned by the king he was compelled to publish it. However, Newton had published the work without crediting the author, infuriating Flamsteed. Cartoon sketched by Augustus de Morgan in the 19th century.

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