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The Astronomer Royals

Three Astronomer Royals were associated with the Royal Observatory of King George IV on Calton Hill.

These were -

1. Thomas Henderson

Thomas Henderson, Scotland's first Astronomer Royal, was the Director of Calton Hill from 1834 until his early death in 1844. He was a prodigious observer and a very accomplished mathematician.

2. Charles Piazzi Smyth

Charles Piazzi Smyth was Astronomer Royal from 1846 until 1888. He was a multi-faceted scientist for whom basic astronomy was only one pursuit. He resigned in 1888 due to lack of funding from Government.

3. Ralph Copeland

Ralph Copeland was Astronomer Royal from 1889 until his death in 1905. However, he only spent the years 1889-1896 on Calton Hill before moving to a new Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill which had been made possible due to a generous gift to the Government by Lord Crawford. The observatory on Calton Hill was passed over to the City Council and re-named as the "City Observatory", a name which it still holds today.