Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 145-147


Bainbridge, John

  • Patrick A. CattAffiliated withUniversity of Chicago

BornAshby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, England, 1582

DiedOxford, England, 3 November 1643

As one of the first astronomers to observe a comet telescopically and compute its parallax, and as the first Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University, John Bainbridge established a high standard for both research and pedagogy for his successors in academic astronomy. Bainbridge, the son of Robert and Anne (née Everard) Bainbridge, attended grammar school in Ashby, England, and later entered Cambridge University where he received his B.A. in 1603, M.A. in 1607, and M.D. in 1614. Bainbridge returned to Ashby in 1614 where he established his medical practice and started a grammar school at which he taught for 4 years. In what little leisure time was available to him, he occupied himself with the study of mathematics and astronomy.

On the advice of some friends, Bainbridge moved to London in early 1618, where he soon became a member of the “Gresham Circle,” a group of Puritan scholars and col ...

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