Posts Tagged ‘harrions chronometer’

LIEUTENANT WILLIAM DAWES & ‘THE ETERNAL FLAME’

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: When the ‘eternal flame’ arrived aboard HMS Supply at ‘a remote corner of the world’ – Sydney Cove now –  on 24 January, 1788 it was accompanied by the discord that attended its birth. See: Captain Cook, John Harrison, Charles Green – Three Yorkshire-men  Walked  into a Bar

Initially that discord was played out at Greenwich Observatory between John Flamsteed, Britain’s first Astronomer Royal and Edmond Halley, who would succeed Flamsteed.

During Flamsteed’s long tenure 1675-1720 Halley, with the connivance of Isaac Newton, purloined, plagiarised and published Flamsteed’s work without his permission.

Their antics however paled into insignificance when compared to those of Nevil Maskelyne fifth Astronomer Royal from 1765 to 1811, who fought a pitched battle against John Harrison and his invention the clock that ‘wrested the world’s whereabouts from the stars, and locked the secret in a pocket watch’. Sobel. ibid.

Governor Arthur Phillip RN saw fit to continue that war. His target Marine Lieutenant William Dawes and his devotion to both God and the ‘pocket watch’. See: Malicious Maskelyne

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