People: John Stafford

Name Stafford, John
Place of work Greenwich
Employment dates
1685 – 28 May 1688

Posts Amanuensis, Servant and Assistant

Died 1688, May 28

John Stafford who was a gunner at the Tower (RGO1/15/166) was appointed by Flamsteed while his second servant Abraham Sharp was still at the Observatory. In September 1865 Stafford was described by Flamsteed as both as his assistant who had ‘been but a little time’ with him and also as his amanuensis, whilst in November 1686 he was described as his servant and ‘not so handy’. From around the start of 1686, Stafford was Flamsteed’s sole assistant. Shortly before Stafford died, Flamsteed began, with his assistance, to construct his mural arc. This task was completed with the assistance of Abraham Sharp following Stafford’s death at the Observatory on 28 May 1688 of ‘a distemper that our unseasonable yeare has rendered too common a feavor and Rheumatisme’.


Further reading

An account of the Revd. John Flamsteed, Francis Bailey, (London, 1835)

The correspondence of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, ed. E. G. Forbes and others, 3 vols. (1995–2001)