Tuesday 2 November 2021

Frederick Brodie and an 8.5 inch Cooke Telescope


Frederick Brodie was born in Eastbourne Sussex on July 19th 1835, his mother Anna was the daughter of John Walter MP, the founder of the Times. He studied at the University of Edinburgh his background would be engineering but he had a great interest in astronomy.

Originally he settled in Somerset with his wife where he had an observatory with a 6.25 in Merz refractor. On the death of his wife in 1854 he moved from Somerset to Eastbourne where he relocated his observatory, following his second marriage in 1858 he moved to Uckfield in Sussex .

Brodie had an 8.5 in Cooke refractor which he obtained around 1860 shortly after moving to Uckfield. During the next 18 years he would observations of the Sun, star clusters and comets. In Chambers Handbook of Descriptive astronomy there are drawings made by Brodie of Sunspots in 1865 and comet Coggia in 1874 using the Cooke telescope.

In 1878 Brodie moved again with his observatory to Wootton on the Isle of Wight where he set up the Fernhill Observatory. Brodie died on August 14th 1896. In 2000 the whole observatory and telescope was sold to a buyer in America, where I believe it still to be.

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