Jeremiah Horrocks: Venus in sole visa

Scope and Content

The author's own manuscript, 206 folios.

(f.3) 'Venus in sole visa: seu tractatus astronomicus de nobilissima Solis et Veneris coniunctione, Novembris die 24, 1639'. Chapter 4 and the last paragraph of chapter 9 are in different hands, and were probably added later.

(f.40) 'Venus in sole visa...', the same treatise, in a slightly variant seventeen-chapter version, probably in the same hand.

(f.84) 'Jeremiae Horroxj praeludium astronomicum liber primus, De motu solis', an unfinished tract.

(f.87v) 'Astronomiae Lansbergianae censura'.

(f.110) 'Jeremiae Horroxij Astronomiae Lansbergianae censura&cum Kepleriana comparatio'.

(f.135) The rest of the manuscript is substantially blank, but with some headings, English notes on eclipses and geometrical problems, and diagrams.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jeremiah Horrocks (1618-41) of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, astronomer, inspired John Flamsteed in the creation of the Royal Observatory, 1675, and was named by Sir Isaac Newton as a crucial link between Kepler and his own work. Horrocks predicted a transit of Venus, and on 24th November 1639 was the first astronomer to see it, with the aid of a telescope. Horrocks worked on 'Venus in sole visa' until his death at the age of 23; it was published from another manuscript (now lost) by Joannes Hevelius in Danzig, 1662. An English translation was published in 1859.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Sotheby's, 24th July 1995.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.

Alternative Form Available

Manuscript versions of the volume can be found in the Flamsteed Papers, RGO 1/68C and 1/76.

Custodial History

The volume was owned formerly by the Hopkinson family, and has the old classmark R.12.7 on the first page and spine. It was possibly handed down from the Yorkshire antiquary John Hopkinson (1610-80).