Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.8719
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    Madras Observatory interior

    James Basire III (1796 - 1869, British) , Engraver
    Unknown, Artist
    Object type
    Archive reference number
    height (painting): 271mm
    width (painting): 321mm
    Content object
    Painted depiction of the interior of the Madras Observatory. John Goldingham is shown taking an observation using a Kater’s pendulum hung in front of a Haswell clock, the observatory's second assistant, Thiruvenkatachary, is reading the clock whilst the first assistant, Srinivasachary records their observations. On the right (as viewed) is a granite column, on which is inscribed: 'Astronomiae consecratum sumplibus Societatis Anglieanae in India mercaturae facienclae favenle Carolo Oakley bar:to Praesecto Praesidii Snacti Georgii AD MDCCXCII', with translations in English, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

    Plate 14 from the paper "Observations for ascertaining the length of the Pendulum at Madras in the East Indies, latitude 13 4' 9", 1N. with the conclusions drawn from the same", by John Goldingham, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol.112 (1822), pp.127-170.

    Handwritten inscription below: "The interior of part of the Observatory at Madras with the Pendulum of Experiment suspended, and the preparatory adjustments making before commencing the observations of each day." An original version of the same caption appears verso, but has been cropped. The work is inscribed with publication and plate details. Not signed. Royal Society stamp verso. Watermarked "Tacey Wisd & Co 1819".

    John Goldingham (1767-1849), Brtish astronomer, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1808. Goldingham was the first official astronomer of the Madras Observatory when it was moved under the management of the British East India Company. The British East India Company was an English company formed for the exploitation of trade with East and Southeast Asia and India, incorporated by royal charter on December 31, 1600. Starting as a monopolistic trading body, the company became involved in politics and acted as an agent of British imperialism in India from the early 18th century to the mid-19th century.
    Object history
    An illustration produced for publication in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
    Associated place
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