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Edward J. Cooper (2)

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Edward Joshua Cooper (1798–1863), landowner and astronomer

1798 born at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, the eldest of the three sons of Edward Synge Cooper (d. 1830), a landowner, and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Harry Verelst, governor of Bengal.

Following 10 years of travels he selected Munich and Nice as the best suited spots in Europe for astronomical observation. He subsequently undertook important astronomical work in the vicinity of both cities

1830 On his father's death Cooper succeeded to his position as manager of the family estates at Markree, Collooney, Co. Sligo, Ireland. He decided to erect an observatory at Markree.

He was Conservative member of parliament for Co. Sligo from 1830 to 1841, and again from 1857 to 1859.

1831 purchased an object-glass 13 1/3 inches across and 25 feet in focal length, the largest then in existence.

1833 The first meteorological register was completed; these were continuously kept at Markree for thirty years, and many of the results were communicated to the Meteorological Society.

1834 The large object glass was mounted equatorially by Thomas Grubb of Dublin. Cast iron was employed for the first time as the material of the tube and stand, set up in the open air.

1837 succeeded to the proprietorship of the Markree estates on the death of his uncle Joshua Cooper.

1839 Ordered a 5 foot transit by Troughton, a meridian circle 3 feet in diameter, fitted with a 7 inch telescope

1842–3 Established the positions of fifty stars within two degrees of the pole

1847 an experiment was successfully made of determining the difference of longitude between Markree and Killiney, 98 miles distant, by simultaneous observations of shooting stars.

1851 His equipment was described as "undoubtedly the most richly furnished of private observatories"[1] and was continually upgraded.

1863 Cooper died, shortly after his wife, at Markree Castle on 23 April 1863.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 11, 1850–51, 104
  • Biography, ODNB