Astronmical Regulator: Molyneux & Cope


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Between 1821 and 1823, an astronomical regulator by Molyneux and Cope was used as the Transit Clock on two separate occasions. The first was from 10 September 1821 until 24 November 1822. The second was from 12 March 1823 until 4 November 1823. It is not known if the same clock was used on the second occasion or a different one.

The observatory records concerning the clock(s) are distinctly thin on the ground, the only clear references identified to date coming from the published volumes of Greenwich Observations.

Between 10 September 1821 and 4 November 1823, the Transit Clock was changed no fewer than five times. Before the first change, Graham 3, had been used continuously as the Transit Clock (except when being serviced or upgraded) since being purchased for the Observatory in 1750. The last change was to clock Hardy, which continued to be used as the Transit Clock whilst the Observatory remained at Greenwich.


The changes to the Observatory's Transit Clock between 1821 and 1823 as recorded in Greenwich Observations

The table below lists entries from the published volumes of Greenwich Observations. Only once does Pond state why a chage was made

Text as published in Greenwich Observations
1821 Sep 10 The Clock was taken down, in order to put up a new one, made by Messrs. Molyneux and Cope. Greenwich Observations 1821
1822 Nov 24 Mr. Molyneux took down the Clock. The observations were continued with the Counter set to beat with Hardy's Clock in the Circle Room. Greenwich Observations 1822
1822 Nov 28 The Observations will now be continued with a Clock put up by Mr. Johnson. Greenwich Observations 1822
1823 Mar 2 After the passage of the Sun, the Clock was taken down, and another put up by Captain Kater. Greenwich Observations 1823
1823 Mar 12 The clock was removed, and another put up by Molyneux and Cope.*
    *Captain KATER'S Clock was removed on account of its being very indistinct and irregular in beat.
Greenwich Observations 1823
1823 Nov 4 Took down the temporary transit clock, and removed Mr. Hardy's clock from the circle room into its place, Greenwich Observations 1823


The reason for the changes and the ownership of the clocks


Other information

The partnership between Molyneux and Cope was dissolved on 31 December 1823. (The Law Advertiser)

Grimalde & Johnson were in partnership from 1815 (1809?) to 1825

William Johnson operated from 1825-1842

A bill on account for a payment of £6.6s to Molyneux & Cope, another for a payment of £1.1s to Grimaldi & Johnson, together with other bills were presented on 26 January 1824 by Pond to the Board of Visitors (i.e. the Council of the Royal Society), where is was ordered that 'the bills be forwarded to the Admiralty with the usual recommendation that they be forwarded for payment.'(RGO6/22/130)

Description of an escapement for an astronomical clock, invented by the late Captain Henry Kater. Phil Trans 1840