John Smith (astronomer)

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John Smith D.D.(baptised 14 October 1711 – 17 June 1795) was a British academic and astronomer.

His father was an attorney named Henry Smith and his mother was Elizabeth Johnson. He was born in Coltishall, Norfolk and was educated at Norwich School and Eton.[1]

He was admitted to Caius College, Cambridge University in 1732. He received a B.A. in 1735/6 and an M.A. in 1739.

He was successively dean (1744–1749), bursar (1750–1753), and president of the college (1754–1764). He was Master of Caius from 1764 to 1795, and Lowndean Professor of Astronomy from 1771 to 1795.

He was ordained in 1739. He installed a transit telescope above his college ante-chapel.

He did not seem to have left any scientific papers or given any lectures.

Offices Held[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Roger Long
Lowndean Professor of Astronomy
Succeeded by
William Lax
Preceded by
Sir James Burrough
Master of Gonville and Caius College,
University of Cambridge

Succeeded by
Richard Fisher

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Anita McConnell, ‘Smith, John (bap. 1711, d. 1795)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Oct 2009, accessed 2 Oct 2013