People: Henry Park Hollis

Name Hollis, Henry Park
Place of work Greenwich
Employment dates
22 Nov 1881 – 9 Jan 1920
Posts 1881, Nov 22

Second Class Assistant

1896, Feb 1

First Class Assistant (replacing Criswick)
1896 Assistant (following a regrading exercise and the abolition of the post of First Class Assistant)

Born 1858, Jan 9

Died 1939, Aug 7

Known Addresses 1885–87
4 Hyde Vale Cottages (now 29 Hyde Vale)
5 Rosebank, Ulundi Road (now 35 Ulundi Road)
  1898–1920 +

2 Foyle Road, renumbered as 79 Foyle Road in 1902

Henry Park Hollis. From The Leisure Hour (1898)

Hollis was the first person to be appointed to the grade of Second Class Assistant following Christie’s appointment as Astronomer Royal. The grade was created in 1871 and abolished in 1896. Following changes to the appointment system in 1872, all the posts at this level were filled by competitive examinations organised by the Civil Service. In total, just eight individuals were appointed under this system. All were well educated (Hollis had a maths degree from Cambridge), and were generally in their early 20s when they arrived at the Observatory. They were:

1873      Arthur Matthew Weld Downing
1873      Edward Walter Maunder
1875      William Grasett Thackeray
1881      Thomas Lewis
1881      Henry Park Hollis
1891      Andrew Claude de la Cherois

1892      Walter William Bryant
1892      Thomas Charlton Hudson

Apart from Hudson (who left the year after he was appointed) and Bryant (who died in service), all stayed at the Observatory until they retired, each being promoted and put in charge of a particular section of the Observatory. Initially, Hollis’s work centred around the Tranist Instrument and Altazimuth. He began to work with Maunder following the 1882 Indian eclipse, eventually spending his time on the spectrocopic and photographic observations and reductions. He was put in charge of the work with the Astrographic Telescope in 1896 on his promotion to the grade of First Class Assistant a role he continued to have until his retirement in 1920. His obituaries (see below) should be consulted for futher details of other roles he took on both within and outside the Observatory.

Hollis was editor of The Observatory from 1893 until 1912. When he lived in Ulundi Road, he was a close neighbour of Maunder (who lived opposite) and of Lewis who had been appointed just a few months before him and lived a few doors along from Maunder.



By P.J. Melotte. The Observatory, Vol. 62, p. 297-299 (1939)

By P.J. Melotte. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 100, p.249 (1940)