Riguad Papers

Scope and Content

Papers of Rigaud, including:

  • Biographical notebooks, relating to James Pound, James Bradley, and Edmond Halley
  • Notebooks on scientific subjects
  • Letters, 1770-1839

Administrative / Biographical History

Stephen Peter Rigaud (1774-1839), astronomer, was Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University, 1810-1839, and also Radcliffe Observer from 1827. He came of a French Protestant family, and was the son of Stephen Rigaud, Observer at Kew. He was educated at Richmond and Exeter College, Oxford (matriculated 15 April 1791, BA 1797, MA 1799, Fellow of the College, 1794-1810). He was especially interested in the historical side of science, and is best known for his editions of Miscellaneous works and correspondence of the Rev. James Bradley (Oxford, 1832) and of Correspondence of Scientific Men of the Seventeenth Century, a posthumous work (Oxford, 1841). Further details are given in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, nos. 26203-26267.

Custodial History

After Rigaud's death his astronomical books were purchased for the Radcliffe Observatory, and his miscellaneous library was sold, but his other scientific and literary collections devolved ultimately to his sons John and Gibbes Rigaud, who jointly presented them in 1874 to the Savile Library.

Related Material

See also Papers of Stephen Peter Rigaud (MSS. Eng. misc. c. 807-8, e. 1366-8) and Rigaud Manuscripts (MSS. Rigaud 69-89).