John Flamsteed

Henry Briggs: Arithmetica Logarithmica

Gouda: [s.n.], 1628

Sp Coll Bh1-c.2

The title page of this volume is inscribed "Johannis Flamsteedij pretium 14s Nov: 10 16 [ ]omia 2 Colsono", but it is uncertain whether or not this is the actual autograph of John Flamsteed (1649-1719) the English astronomer. Born in Denby, Derbyshire, Flamsteed was invited to London and appointed the King's Astronomical Observer by Royal Warrant in 1675 - England's first Astronomer Royal, with an allowance of £100. His successes included the accurate calculation of the solar eclipses of 1666 and 1668, and several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus.

In 1725, Historia Coelestis Brittanica was published containing observations and a catalogue of almost 3000 stars, arguably the first major contribution to science of the Greenwich Observatory. He also developed the numerical star designations which are still known as Flamsteed designations.

Arithmetica Logarithmica was written by Henry Briggs (1561-1630), an English mathematician and expert in the field of logarithms. Briggs was also recognized as an authority on astronomy, navigation and mining. The lunar crater "Briggs crater" is named after him. In 1624 he published Arithmetica Logarithmica in folio, which contained the logarithms of 30,000 natural numbers to 14 decimal places.

John Flamsteed: Titlepage of Briggs, Henry: Arithmetica Logarithmica
Title page of Arithmetica Logarithmica inscribed with the name of John Flamsteed.

Go to the next book in the exhibition, presented by Jonathan Swift to: Richard Mead.