John Brinkley

Brinkley, John, Bishop of Cloyne, a noted astronomer, was born at Woodbridge, in Suffolk, about 1765. His distinguished career at Cambridge attracted the attention of the board of Trinity College, and in 1792, he was appointed Andrews' Professor of Astronomy, having at his command the observatory of Dunsink, furnished with some of the finest instruments in Europe. He zealously devoted himself to mathematics and astronomy. His discovery of the parallax of the fixed stars in 1814, with the controversy on the subject that ensued between him and Mr. Pond, the Astronomer-Royal at Greenwich, drew upon him the attention of the astronomical world for some years. He wrote many excellent papers for the Royal Irish Academy, of which he was President. In 1829 he was unexpectedly appointed Bishop of Cloyne. This was a loss to science, as he resigned his professorship, ceased to make observations and write papers, and conscientiously devoted himself to the duties of his episcopate. He died 14th September 1835, aged about 70, and was interred under the chapel of Trinity College. One of his chief claims to remembrance is that he was preceptor of Sir William Hamilton. He was also an eminent botanist. On his death, Cloyne became united with the sees of Cork and Ross.


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