Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reflections on the Astronomy of GlasgowA story of some 500 years$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Clarke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Some Early Astronomy

Some Early Astronomy

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 2 Some Early Astronomy
Source:
Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow
Author(s):

David Clarke

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.003.0002

The activities of the first local notable person related to Glasgow astronomy form this chapter. George Sinclair, Professor of Natural Philosophy, is known for his tracts on physics, astronomy, mathematics, religion and witchcraft. His chief astronomical text of 1688 on the ‘Celestial Sphere’ was ‘The Principles of Astronomy and Navigation’. He was notoriously accused of plagiarism on several occasions, particularly in claiming authorship of ‘Truth's Victory over Error’, a religious text simply translated from a Latin script of Dickson of Edinburgh. He wrote on the principles of coal mining, but it was suggested that he was better at ‘mining the minds of others’ rather than writing with originality. He observed Newton's Comet of 1681 but was taken to task by Professor Gregory of St Andrews on the uselessness of his observations. Other astronomical studies related to the secular movements of the Sun and Moon were also castigated in similar vain. He had a passion for understanding the behaviour of the barometer according to the weather and was the first person, at least in Scotland, to measure the heights of mountains by barometric pressure changes on their summits. He is also credited with inventing the diving bell for undersea wreck salvaging.

Keywords:   George Sinclair, Newton's Comet, The Celestial Sphere, Heights of mountains by barometric pressure change, The barometer, The diving bell, Witchcraft

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.