Thursday 25 November 2021

Maw and his two Cookes


William Henry Maw (1836 – 1924) was born in Scarborough on December 6th 1836, when he was growing up he was friends with the sons of Dr Harland, two who would become the founders of the Harland & Wolf ship builders. Both his parents died when he was in his teens, without influences and an advantage of a higher education he was still able to raise himself to become a leading authority in the fields of mechanics and engineering.

His leisure time was however devoted to astronomy. In Kensington, London in 1887 he built an observatory for his 6 inch Cooke telescope which he used to study the Moon. Later from 1897 when he lived in Surrey he built an observatory for a larger 8 inch Cooke telescope. This had originally been owned by the Rev R W Dawes and would later be located at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and known as the Thorrowgood Telescope.

W H Maw made extensive observations of double stars using both Cooke telescopes. In particular the double stars from the Struve catalogue. His observations were considered to be very accurate. Maw was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and one of the founders of the British Astronomical Society.

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