Obituary | Published:

W. H. Wesley

Nature volume 110, pages 609610 (04 November 1922) | Download Citation



WILLIAM HENRY WESLEY, who died on October 17, at the age of eighty-one years, was appointed assistant secretary of the Royal Astrono:ical Society in 1875, and continued in that office till Ais death, a period of forty-seven -years. He had excellent qualifications for the post, being most orderly and methodical in all secretarial and editorial work, and having great skill as a draughtsman and engraver, as was exemplified in his engravings of Dr. Boeddicker's drawings of the Milky Way, and the illustrations of the corona in Mr. Ranyard's memoir on solar eclipses. It used to be said that Wesley knew the corona better than any man living, although he had never seen it; however, after an unsuccessful effort in Norway in 1896, the equatorial coudé at Algiers was put at his service by M. Trepied in 1900, when he made a detailed drawing in the short duration of totality (64 seconds) and expressed his opinion that the eye was no more efficient than the photographic plate for this work. He made combination drawings from the negatives obtained by the Greenwich staff in the eclipses of 1898,1900, 1901, 1905, and these will probably be reproduced. Fellows of the Royal Astronomical Society will long remember Wesley's readiness to help them in their researches, and to put his intimate knowledge of the society's library at their service. He was an original member of the British Astronomical Association, and served as vice-president for many years; on one occasion he delivered the presidential address in place of the late Mr. Green.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for A. C. D. CROMMELIN in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing