Stephen Peter Rigaud

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Stephen Peter Rigaud
Born 1774
Died 1839 (aged 64–65)
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford

Stephen Peter Rigaud (1774–1839) was an English mathematical historian and astronomer. He was a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford from 1794 to 1810, held the Savilian Chair of Geometry at the University of Oxford from 1810 to 1827, and was Savilian Professor of Astronomy from 1827 to 1839.[1]

Rigaud was the son of Stephen Rigaud, Observer at Kew Observatory. The family was French Protestant.[1] He lived at 21 Richmond Green in Richmond, Surrey (now Richmond, London).[2]

Published works[edit]

  • Historical essay on the first publication of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia (First published 1838)


Rigaud's papers, purchased at Sotheby's in 1978, are held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.[1]

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford has a portrait by his uncle John Francis Rigaud. "Peter Rigaud and Mary Anne Rigaud", painted in 1778 when Rigaud was aged four, shows him and his elder sister Mary Anne posing in a park landscape with Kew Observatory in the background.[3] Although described here as Richmond Park, topographical considerations make it more likely that the park portrayed is Old Deer Park, where the observatory is situated.

His eldest son, Stephen Jordan Rigaud (1816–1859), was an English clergyman and schoolmaster who became Bishop of Antigua.


  1. ^ a b c "MSS. Rigaud 3-33, 33A, 34-51, 53-7, 60-8 Riguad Papers". Collection Level Description: Savile Collection. Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Richmond Green: Properties" (PDF). Richmond Libraries’ Local Studies Collection: Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Peter Rigaud and Mary Anne Rigaud". Your Paintings: Uncovering the nation's art collection. BBC. Retrieved 16 October 2012.