People: Hugh Breen (Jnr)

Name Breen, Hugh
Place of work Greenwich
Employment dates
10 Dec 1838 – 31 Jan 1859

Posts 1838, Dec 10 Computer (Planetary and Lunar Reductions)

Assistant (Magnetic)

1847, Jan 1

Assistant (Astronomical)

Born 1824

Family connections His father Hugh Breen (Snr) was employed as a Computer (1838–48), as was his brother James Breen (1841–46) and also John William Breen

Known addresses 1852

Upper George Street (now the western section of King George Street)

3 Prior Street Greenwich (RGO6/4/69)

Hugh Breen (Jnr) was the oldest of three Breen brothers, who along with their father Hugh Breen (Snr) all worked at some point as Computers at Greenwich. Hugh (Snr) started work at Greenwich in June 1838 and Hugh (Jnr) a few months later in December. Both worked on the Planetary and Lunar Reductions. Hugh (Jnr) qualified as an observer, and is recorded as having performed such duties in the years 1842–44.

When James Paul resigned as a Magnetic Assistant in August 1844, his post was given to Hugh (Jnr). When Airy’s Altazimuth Telescope was commissioned, Airy was given permission to employ an additional assistant. The post was awarded to Hugh (Jnr) who became Seventh Assistant at the start of 1847. In 1851, he was put in charge of the computers. In 1856, following the death of the Second Assistant John Henry Belville, he rose from Fifth Assistant to Fourth, receiving a 50% increase in his salary in the process. Click here for more details about the pay of the assistants from 1836–71. Despite having no job to go to, Breen resigned unexpectedly on a matter of principal with effect from the end of January 1859.


Further reading

A plain statement of facts connected with my resignation of the office of Fourth Assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Breen, H (1859)

A Family of Astronomers - The Breens of Armagh by Bruck, M. T. & Grew, S