James Glaisher joined the Observatory soon after the Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy was appointed in 1835. When in 1838 a magnetic and meteorological department was established at Greenwich Glaisher was made its superintendent, a post he held until retirement. Through this work he organised meteorological observations and data collection throughout Britain. In 1849 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a year later, in 1850 he took a leading role in the foundation of the (now Royal) Meteorological Society.
Edward Walter Maunder worked as an assistant at the Observatory from 1873 to 1913, and again from 1915 to 1919. He arrived when George Biddell Airy was still in charge, stayed on under William Henry Mahoney Christie and Frank Dyson. Working in the Photographic and Spectroscopic Department he became particularly interested in the Sun. With his wife Annie, he collected data on sunspots, from which they concluded that sunspots went in cycles (as demonstrated in Maunder’s famous butterfly diagrams) and these cycles could be linked to magnetic disturbances and changes in weather. He was influential in the formation of the BAA (British Astronomical Association) in 1890 and in 1900 he wrote a book describing the Observatory as it then was.