John Bevis

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John Bevis (November 10, 1695 in Old Sarum, Wiltshire – November 6, 1771) was an English doctor and astronomer. He is best known for discovering the Crab Nebula in 1731.

Bevis has also observed an occultation by Venus of Mercury on May 28, 1737 NS, (May 17, 1737 OS) and observed and found a prediction rule for eclipses of Jupiter's moons. From observations made with his telescope at Stoke Newington, Middlesex, he compiled a star catalogue (more of an atlas) entitled Uranographia Britannica around 1750.

In 1757 Bevis published in London a volume on The History and Philosophy of Earthquakes in which he collected accounts of the Lisbon earthquake from diverse authentic sources. His survey, the first of its kind, was subsequently used by John Michell (1761).[1]

In 1757 Bevis was asked by the tobacconist Thomas Hughes to discover why no flowers would grow in his garden at Bagnigge House, which stood in the vicinity of 61-63 King's Cross Road, London. He found the water from the well on the site to be full of iron. On this research, a second well was dug, the water from which was found to be a good purgative. This led to the establishment of one of the most popular 18th Century spas, Bagnigge Wells, the following year.[2]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in November, 1765.[3] He received his B.A. from Christ Church, Oxford in 1715 and M.A. there also in 1718.[4]


  1. ^ Ben-Menahem, Ari (August 1995). "A Concise History of Mainstream Seismology: Origins, Legacy, and Perspectives" (PDF). Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America Vol. 85, No. 4. pp. 1202–1225. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ The London Encyclopaedia p.32
  3. ^ "Library and Archive catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 

External links[edit]


  • Weinreb, B and Hibbert, C, ed. (1983). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan London Ltd. ISBN 0-333-45817-6.