William Henry Stanley Monck

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William Henry Stanley Monck (April 21, 1839–June 24, 1915) was an Irish astronomer and philosopher.

After early education at Kilkenny College, he attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. In 1878 he became appointed as Professor of Moral Philosophy and remained in that position until 1892. On August 28, 1892, he became the first person to measure starlight electrically.[1][2]

Plaque to W H S Monck at 16 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin

For many years he served as Chief Registrar for the Bankruptcy Division of the High Court of Ireland. He wrote several works about logic, metaphysics and astronomy, and was the author of a collection of articles in Popular Astronomy which were later published as a book, An Introduction to Stellar Astronomy, in 1899. On April 9, 1899 he was elected to the Royal Astronomical Society.[2] He was also a founder member of the British Astronomical Association, and whose body he served (an obituary of him appears in its Journal). He was apparently descended from Lord Monck, the Duke of Albermarle, who although a Parliamentarian during the English Civil Wars, was instrumental in the placing of Charles II as King of England in 1660.

He was survived for a few months by his wife.[2] The WHS Monck Observatory at Trinity College, Dublin is named after him.[3]


  • An Introduction to Stellar Astronomy (1899)
  • Sir William Hamilton (1881)
  • An Introduction to Logic (1880).
  • Six lectures on physical geography (1880).
  • Space and Vision: An Attempt to Deduce All Our Knowledge of Space from the Sense of Sight, with a Note On the Association Psychology (1872).
  • A Critical Examination of M. Cousin's Lectures on Locke (1862).
  • An Introduction to the Critical Philosophy. Intended for the Use of Students (1874)


  1. ^ Hearnshaw, J. B. (August 4–7, 1992). "Photoelectric Photometry - The First Fifty Years". In Butler, C.J.; Elliott, I. Stellar photometry - Current techniques and future developments, Proceedings of the IAU Colloquium No. 136. Dublin, Ireland: Cambridge University Press. p. 13. Bibcode:1993spct.conf...13H.
  2. ^ a b c "Obituary Notices: Fellows:- Monck, William Henry Stanley". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 76: 264. February 1916. Bibcode:1916MNRAS..76..264.. doi:10.1093/mnras/76.4.264.
  3. ^ "WHS Monck Observatory". Trinity College. Retrieved 2011-01-27.