St John's College, Cambridge: Observatory Notes

Scope and Content

Notes of observations made in the observatory of St John's College, Cambridge, compiled by a member of the college, probably Thomas Catton.

Administrative / Biographical History

The observatory at St John's College, Cambridge, was planned and funded in 1765 by Richard Dunthorne, the butler and astronomical observer of Pembroke College, who also donated astronomical instruments.

Thomas Catton (1760-1838) attended St John's College (B.A., 1781; M.A., 1784; M.D., 1791), before becoming a fellow and tutor. He was given responsibility for the college observatory, where he observed eclipses, occultations and other astronomical phenomena between 1791 and 1832. His findings were printed in 1853. Catton died at St John's on 6 January 1838.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by T. Jesson, 1920.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Thomas Catton in Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds, Dictionary of national biography, Vol. III (London, 1908), p. 1234.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.