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Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - Further to the Sheepshanks endowment [see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856], he has talked over the amended Draft - 'it is understood to be all right as far as the low intellect of a Solicitor goes'. The £10,000 will eventually get transferred to the Master, Fellows and Scholars of Trinity College and George Airy.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA has written to the Vice-Chancellor, 'stating the reasons for my scheme' [see GA to WW, 10 Nov. 1858].

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA has looked at Cowley's [Abraham Cowley] Ode to the Royal Society: 'I find the allusions and the repetition of allusions to Bacon much stronger than I had supposed. Cowley, though no man of science, was a schemer in science, and seems to have been intimate with the founders of the Royal Society...from whom probably he had derived his impressions about Bacon'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA has received permission from the Athenaeum for republishing: 'Alter the MS as you think fit, but not the printed matter except to have blank spaces where I have notated "white line". And with all speed put it in hand in the form which you think best'. GA does not know how it should be circulated: 'Would you send a copy to every Peer and MP? Would you send one to every graduate on the Trinity Books? Or what should be the rule?'

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - Could WW send one copy of the 'Remarks on the Draft of Statutes' when printed to the Chancellor. A further dozen of 'decent luxury' should be sent to the individual Commissioners.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - Can WW procure for GA from one of the libraries Horsley's [John Horsley] 'Britannia Romana'. Wilfred [Wilfred Airy] 'has made an awful mess of his examination...and must I conceive be set down to physical derangement, cerebral and nervous'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - The Sheepshanks endowment will be nearly in place once Miss Sheepshanks executes the Transfer of stock and the Deed of Gift [see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856]. Thus WW and Trinity Seniors should prepare the time and circumstances for the examination of scholarship.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA encloses the Deed of Gift in the matter of the Sheepshanks Endowment [see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856]. Wilfred Airy has returned home with the Senate House Papers: 'I have looked over them carefully. I see pretty clearly the state of things, and do not think the worse of Wilfred for his place. I am much dissatisfied with the examination. Your Smith's Prize Revision of the upper places has cast upon the examination such a slur as I never knew before'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - A minor technicality concerning the Sheepshanks endowment: 'I conceive that there is not the smallest difficulty about the departure from Deed-Regulation on the matter of notice from Managing Body to Trustees, in this year's disposal of the Sheepshanks Fund Proceeds'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA did not like the Senate House Examination Papers [see GA to WW, 5 Feb. 1859], 'and I digested and abstracted them. Of the Abstract I sent a copy to Mathison [William C. Mathison]. It so became known, and Challis [James Challis] asked for a copy which I sent him. Subsequently Mr. Ferress (moderator) has asked for a copy which I send'. Would WW like a copy.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA thanks WW for the copy of the Commissioners new Draft of Statutes for the College -- 'on the whole I am satisfied with it'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA fears that 'this little affair of the letter concerning Challis [James Challis] must have annoyed you much'. WW should show GA's letter again to Challis: 'His dire anger arises entirely from mistake of phrases. There is not a word derogatory to him. There is disapproval of his conduct of the Observatory, but he has known that for twenty years'. JC has on the one hand got 'the Observatory into an improper condition, and on the other hand he still hankers after the idle attempt of doing more than the Observatory can do or is wanted to do'. An application should be made to the Observatory Syndicate for funds to bring up the Observatory reductions.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA will arrive on Saturday at 1.30. He has written to the Vice-Chancellor advising him to send the Sheepshanks Endowment Deed to Trinity Lodge 'a few minutes before 1.30 for my examination' [for background see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856]. GA is not sure whether he can obtain information on the question of a Transit-Circle: 'Can you ascertain whether Challis [James] looks to dimensions equal to those of the Greenwich Instrument, or smaller?'

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA can not make his appointment with WW on Saturday at 1.30, since he has to meet the engineer of the new Equatorial [see GA to WW, 24 Mar. 1859].

Letter from George Airy

Flamsteed House, Greenwich -- Thanks WW for his letter of congratulations on Hubert's [Hubert Airy] Scholarship. GA gives a few remarks concerning the questions set in WW's papers. The confusion arising from the first question probably arises from 'the floating idea, that inches multiplied by inches produce square inches'. GA found the solution to question 23 very quickly.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - Sheepshanks Exhibition [see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856] can be divided into three parts: 1. Gravitational, 2. Geometrical Astronomy and 3. Theory and Practice of Observations. GA could do number 3, Mathison [William C. Mathison] number 2 and if Adams [John C. Adams] is around, he could do number 1. A Transit-Circle was first introduced in Greenwich, because 'a Mural Circle cannot carry a large object-glass. - But there are many distinct advantages. As a Transit, it is no better than a detached Transit, but as a Circle it holds its position much better than a Mural Circle: the same object is infallibly observed in both elements; and (probably for that reason) one observer with the Transit-Circle observes a greater number of objects than two with Transit and Mural Circle: and it saves the salary of one observer'.

Letter from George Airy

Observatory - Henderson [Thomas Henderson] is with GA: 'I intend to bring him to hall; pray dine there if you have nothing better to do'. GA gives the two things which need correcting in his Venus paper.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA has sought to get rid of the imaginaries ever since the Root of Equation appeared and believes that he has at last succeeded: 'And now I have faith in the real thing: i.e. that every algebraic expression is divisible by a quadratic trinomial. I abominate all duplicate square roots, even when real, and I proceed thus with an ordinary quadratic' [GA gives the mathematical demonstration].

Letter from George Airy

Flamsteed House, Greenwich - Further to his paper on the Roots of Equations, GA would be happy to pay the Cambridge Philosophical Society for the printing of it. In Aberdeen, as Robert Willis can confirm, GA placed his 'opinion in opposition to that of all fashionable engineers as to the effect of the tides in tidal harbours'. GA is pleased he did not go to Balmoral: 'It seems as if the Queen was haughty and in a pet, and the Prince was weak. Heaven defend us from such associations!' GA has not heard of Le Verrier's [Urbain J. J. Le Verrier] belief that 'a little planet is to account for the movements of Mercury - can WW give him the reference?

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - WW needs to amend the date with regard to the Sheepshanks Exhibition [for background see GA to WW, 30 Sept., 1856]. Le Verrier's [Urbain J. J. Leverrier] 'speculation is a fair one [see GA to WW, 4 Oct. 1859]: but it almost excludes explanation of another matter which he thought he had established, namely the retardation of mean motion of Mercury'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA received Mathison's [William C. Mathison] letter this morning announcing that the Sheepshanks Seniority should meet tomorrow [for background see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856]. GA will catch the 10.57 train.

Letter from George Airy

Playford near Ipswich - GA sends 'the orthodox map of the Ecliptic path. Mr. Hind [John Hind] I know not why has squeezed up the degrees of longitude most uncomfortably'. GA gives suggestions for travel routes in Spain [this is to do with WW's trip to Spain to witness a total eclipse on 18 July 1860]. If the claims of the un-credible village doctor are true, and that there is a planet between Mercury and the Sun, then it is odd 'that it should have been kept so long unrevealed'.

Letter from George Airy

Royal Observatory Greenwich - GA has written to Lord John Russell about the high amount of duty on telescopes charged by the Spanish: A 'Telescope about 10 inches long, a Tripod stand...is very desirable. The Sun will be about 50 degrees high'. More advice on travelling in Spain and suggestions on the best location to observe the total eclipse [see GA to WW, 17 Jan. 1860]. GA presumes that James Challis and the Syndicate are still pursuing 'their policy of laying up money for an instrument, which I think very good'. GA is willing to pay for the printing of his paper on equations for the Cambridge Philosophical Society [see GA to WW, 4 Oct. 1859].

Letter from George Airy

Flamsteed House, Greenwich - Has any application been made by the Observatory Syndicate for any portion of the proceeds of the Sheepshanks Fund? [For background see GA to WW, 30 Sept. 1856]. WW should keep GA informed of his eclipse plans since there is a heavy duty to pay at the Spanish border on instruments. GA will try to find a solution: 'What is likely to be your geographical course?' Wilfred Airy is about 'to learn the management of iron malleable and weldable' in the smithery, 'and of the men who inflict those operations upon the metal'.

Letter from George Airy

Observatory - GA 'tried the rings on the diamond this morning, and they succeeded perfectly' [light polarised through a diamond].

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