James Bradley
(1693-1762)

astronomer and 3rd Astronomer Royal (1742-1762)

Died aged c. 69

James Bradley (1692–1762) was an English astronomer and priest who served as Astronomer Royal from 1742. He is best known for two fundamental discoveries in astronomy, the aberration of light (1725–1728), and the nutation of the Earth's axis (1728–1748). These discoveries were called "the most brilliant and useful of the century" by Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre, historian of astronomy, mathematical astronomer and director of the Paris Observatory, in his history of astronomy in the 18th century (1821), because "It is to these two discoveries by Bradley that we owe the exactness of modern astronomy. ... This double service assures to their discoverer the most distinguished place (after Hipparchus and Kepler) above the greatest astronomers of all ages and all countries."

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

TonyMo22 on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr

In Wanstead James Bradley Third Astronomer Royal 1693-1762 was the first to demonstrate that the earth moves round the sun

Grove House, 2 Grove Park, Wanstead, E11, London, United Kingdom where they was

The Bradley Meridian The first British National Meridian The Greenwich Meridian was set according to the location of the telescope used by the Astronomer Royal to establish time. Between 1750 and 1850, the Greenwich Meridian was marked by the north-south line running through the Transit Instrument first used by James Bradley, the 3rd Astronomer Royal (1742-62). The Bradley Meridian served as Longitude 0° for all of the earliest Ordnance Survey maps of England. When the Airy Transit Circle Telescope was erected in 1850, the Greenwich Meridian was moved approximately 19 ft east to its present location. This move equals only 1/50th of a second of time - a quantity too small for ninteenth-century astronomers to measure.

Meridian Building - Royal Observatory Greenwich, London, United Kingdom where they was (1742-1762)