BornBishop Auckland, Durham, England, 27 July 1733
DiedCockfield, Durham, England, 22 January 1779
Jeremiah Dixon was a surveyor and astronomer who, with Charles Mason, surveyed the Mason-Dixon Line delineating the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, USA. Dixon was born to well-to-do Quaker parents, George and Mary Hunter Dixon; his father owed a coal mine that was believed to have drawn coal as far back as the fourteenth century. Dixon was educated in private schools, where he excelled in mathematics and astronomy.
With the transit of Venus of 1761 impending, Astronomer Royal James Bradleychose Mason to lead an observatory expedition to Bencoolen, Sumatra. On the voyage, he was accompanied by Dixon. They departed in November 1760 aboard HMS Seahorsewith orders to proceed to Bencoolen unless it was in the hands of the French, in which case they would divert to Batavia. While still in the English Channel, the Seahorsewas attacked by the French frigate Le Grand. After a...