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Green plaque honour for clergyman astronomer

The Rev. Dr William Pearson was a pioneering figure

Portrait picture of William Pearson

A clergyman and astronomer, who was one of the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), is to be honoured later this month with a green plaque by the county council.

The Rev. Dr William Pearson became rector of South Kilworth in 1817, and lived there from 1821 until his death in 1847.

During his time in the village, he carried out decades of astronomical observations, first from the rectory where he built a new wing to house his telescopes - and later from a purpose-built observatory in the village.

He co-founded the RAS, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this month and wrote a major work, the two-volume 'An Introduction to Practical Astronomy', which won him the RAS’s gold medal. The work was still in use as a textbook until the end of the 19th century.

On Thursday 16 January, a green plaque in honour of Rev. Dr Pearson will be unveiled at the Old Rectory in South Kilworth.

The Rev. Dr Pearson was nominated for the award by Mike Frost, who is a Fellow of the RAS, and Carolyn Bedwell, a member of the Leicester Astronomical Society.

Mr Frost said: “A green plaque to Rev. Dr Pearson would honour a significant figure from the history of British observational astronomy and just in time for the RAS’s 200th birthday!."

The Rev. Dr Pearson played a big role in the development of astronomy in the 19th century. He also built and endowed a school in South Kilworth and was a leading figure in the local community. He is very deserving of a green plaque in his honour

More information on the green plaque scheme can be found by visiting www.leicestershire.gov.uk/greenplaques

 

 

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