People: Joshua Moore

Name Moore, Joshua
Place of work Greenwich
Employment dates
11 Dec 1787 – 29 Jan 1788 (see below)

Posts Assistant

Although Maskelyne records in the list of assistants that he wrote in his memorandum book that Joshua Moore was his Assistant from 11 December 1787 – 29 January 1788 (Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre,1390/2D), his actual status and length of stay at Greenwich is rather more ambiguous. This is illustrated by other entries relating to Moore in the same memorandum book:

‘1787 Aug 15 Mr. Moore came here, & was employed till Sept.19 inclusive in transcribing rules & papers & making calculations, relative to the nautical almanac. __________________
From Sept. 20 to Oct 12 in transcribing reductions of my observations, viz. 22 days ___
From thence to Oct. 16 in copying papers &c relative to the nautical almanac. He went away Oct.16 & Mr. Burnstead came the same day. Mr Burnstead went away Decm. 3d. Mr Moore came here Dec.11’

Further down the page, Maskelyne wrote:

‘Mr. Joshua Moore at Mr. Wesley’s corner of Stamford Street, Surrey side of Black Fryar’s Bridge. ___

And three pages later:

‘1787 Dec. 11 Mr. Moore came here. Employed in calculating refractions & par. of ☉[Sun] & bringing up reductions of ARs.[right ascensions], and ☉’s long. from obs. to end of 1787 till Jan. 2.1788, [illegible] a table giving deviation in N.P.D. ___ He then began reductions of ☽’s [Moon’s] longs & lats. compared with Naut. alm. from beginning of 1783, and was employed therin till Jan. 29, viz, 27 days, and computed 21 places of [the] ☽, and prepared the remaining calculations to make up a whole book, viz, 176 in all ... . He took the book with him to complete the calculations. He went away Jan.29.1788.’

During his stay at Greenwich, there is no record of Moore having made any observations. After leaving Greenwich for the second time, Moore was employed as a Computer on the Nautical Almanac until the 1790s when work was suspended for a period. It seems therefore that not only did Moore arrive at the Observatory before Maskelyne claims to have employed him as an assistant, but that the work he did there was more akin to that of a Nautical Almanac computer than a Greenwich Assistant. According to Maskelyne’s list of assistants, Moore was a replacement for John Burnstead and was himself replaced by John Brinkley, who had previously been employed by Maskelyne and returned from Cambridge where he was studying for a second stint .

Moore emigrated to America in 1793 though what he did there is not known.