Posts Tagged ‘H-4’

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM DAWES – ‘THE ETERNAL FLAME’ & ‘UNIVERSAL TERROR’

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

‘English clockmaker John Harrison, a mechanical genius who pioneered the science of portable precision timekeeping…invented a clock that would carry the true time from the home port, like an eternal flame, to any remote corner of the world’. Dava Sobel, Longitude, Fourth Estate, 1998

1788 – 24 January, Warranne:  K I – a faithful replica of H-4, John Harrison’s ‘sea-going watch‘ carrier of the ‘eternal flame’, arrived at one particular ‘remote corner of the world’  – Sydney Cove – on 24 January 1788 aboard HMS Supply one (1) of eleven (11) ships of Britain’s invasion fleet.

The discord that attended H-4’s birth accompanied K-1 to New Holland. See: Captain Cook, John Harrison, Charles Green – Three Yorkshire-men  Walked  into a Bar

Initially that discord had been played out during John Flamsteed’s long tenure as Britain’s first Astronomer Royal at Greenwich Observatory, from that institution’s inception in 1675 until his death in 1720.

Edmond Halley of comet fame who succeeded Flamsteed  as Astronomer Royal, with the connivance of Isaac Newton, purloined, plagiarized and published, Flamsteed’s life’s work  ‘Star Catalog’ without Flamsteed’s authority,

These antics paled however when compared to those of the Reverend Nevil Maskelyne fifth Astronomer Royal from 1765 to 1811, he persecuted John Harrison and waged a pitched battle against his invention – the sea-going clock – as Sobel says so poetically; ‘wrested the world’s whereabouts from the stars, and locked the secret in a pocket watch’. Sobel. ibid. See: Malicious Maskelyne

Governor Arthur Phillip RN saw fit to continue that war; his target Marine Lieutenant William Dawes for his devotion to both God and the ‘pocket watch’.

‘He [Dawes] was the scholar of the expedition, man of letters and man of science, explorer, mapmaker, student of language of anthropology, teacher and philanthropist.

There is no man among the founders who ought to have given so much information about himself and his views as Lieutenant Dawes, and there is no man among them who has given us so little. Professor G. Arnold Wood, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society Vol. X, 1924, Part 1

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THE THIRD MAN – CHARLES GREEN

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

‘The grim roll-call broke his [Cook’s) heart…the death of the astronomer Charles Green marked a wave of those who ‘departed this life’….By the end of January [1771] they had barely enough men to man the ship [HMS Endeavour]’. Vanesssa Collingridge, Captain Cook, The Life, Death and Legacy of History’s Greatest Explorer, Ebury Press, 2002

Charles Green son of ‘a prosperous’ free-hold Yorkshire farmer was born in Swinton towards the end of 1734. He received a broad education with a strong emphasis on science.

John his elder brother took Holy Orders and established a school in Soho, London where Charles found his ‘heavenly passion’ astronomy. After graduating he stayed on for a time teaching mathematics.

In 1760 Charles applied successfully for the position of Assistant Astronomer at Greenwich Observatory where in that capacity he served three (3) Astronomer Royals.

In 1742 James Bradley first of these men succeeded Edmond Halley of comet fame. In 1720 Halley himself had followed John Flamsteed the inaugural Astronomer Royal, appointed by King Charles II in 1675. Flamsteed remained at Greenwich until his death in 1720. Halley then held the post for twenty-two (22) years from 1720 to 1742.

Bradley’s tenure too was lengthy he reigned between 1742 and 1762. Bradley is celebrated principally for his work on the speed of light. In 1728 he estimated light moved at the speed of 295,000 km (183,000 miles) per second.

Three (3) centuries later – 2017 – Bradley’s calculations were amended to 299,790 km (186,290 miles) per second.

‘John Harrison, the man who solved the problem of longitude in 1759’. Peter Ackroyd, Revolution, Macmillan, London, 2016

If only Bradley had stuck to light and left time and longitude to Mr. John Harrison inventor of an accurate marine chronometer – a sea-going ‘pocket-watch’ – many a sea-farer would not have met a watery end.

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