John Flamsteed

1646 (Denby, England) – 1719 (Burstow)

One of the founders of modern astronomy, Flamsteed’s observations led to the most complete and detailed star catalogue to date. His trustful friendship with Newton became acrimonious when Flamsteed objected to the unauthorised publication and amendment of his data by Halley (whom he had always detested); Arbuthnot met Flamsteed in a coffee shop to placate him, but passed on a lie. He corresponded with both Cassinis (describing Jean-Dominique as a most valued friend), with Hevelius, Rømer, Kirch and Boulliau. He never got on with Hooke, described Sloane as a bulky gentleman, and eventually succeeded in burning three quarters of Halley’s edition.

John Flamsteed knew…