PortCities London

Introduction

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich was a working observatory from 1675 to the 1950s, when it moved to Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex and then to Cambridge. It closed down in 1998.  Over those 300 years it was run by a succession of 15 Astronomers Royal, each of whom in one way or another earned a place in history.  Their work however would not have been possible without the gradually expanding team of assistants they had working for them.

In the beginning the Observatory was run by John Flamsteed whose main assistant, his wife, he had taught himself.  Their work was helped by a series of assistants, employed one at a time, each often staying for many years.  The most famous of these was Abraham Sharp, not only an assistant but also an instrument maker wh