Sir William Herschel: His Life and Works
by Edward Singleton Holden
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Continuation of experiments for investigating the cause of colored concentric rings and other appearances of a similar nature. Phil. Trans., 1809, pp. 259-302.

Supplement to the first and second part of the paper of experiments for investigating the cause of colored concentric rings between object-glasses, and other appearances of a similar nature. Phil. Trans., 1810, pp. 149-177. Gilbert Annal., XLVI., 1814, pp. 22-79.

Astronomical observations relating to the construction of the heavens, arranged for the purpose of a critical examination, the result of which appears to throw some new light upon the organization of the celestial bodies. Phil. Trans., 1811, pp. 269-336. Journ. de Phys., LXXV., 1812, pp. 121-167.

Observations of a comet, with remarks on the construction of its different parts [1811, I.]. Phil. Trans., 1812, pp. 115-143. Journ. de Phys., LXXVII., 1813, pp. 125-135. Zach, Monat. Corresp., XXVIII., 1813, pp. 455-469, 558-568. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1816, p. 185.

Observations of a second comet, with remarks on its construction [1811, II.]. Phil. Trans., 1812, pp. 229-237. Nicholson Journ., XXXV., 1813, pp. 193-199. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1816, p. 203.

Astronomical observations relating to the sidereal part of the heavens, and its connection with the nebulous part, arranged for the purpose of a critical examination. Phil. Trans., 1814. pp. 248-284. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1818, pp. 97-118.

A series of observations of the satellites of the Georgian planet, including a passage through the node of their orbits, with an introductory account of the telescopic apparatus that has been used on this occasion, and a final exposition of some calculated particulars deduced from the observations. Phil. Trans., 1815, pp. 293-362. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1819, p. 232-242.

Astronomical observations and experiments tending to investigate the local arrangement of the celestial bodies in space, and to determine the extent and condition of the Milky Way. Phil. Trans., 1817, pp. 302-331. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1821, p. 149.

Astronomical observations and experiments selected for the purpose of ascertaining the relative distances of clusters of stars, and of investigating how far the power of our telescopes may be expected to reach into space, when directed to ambiguous celestial objects. Phil. Trans., 1818, pp. 429-470.

On the places of one hundred and forty-five new double stars (1821). Mem. Roy. Ast. Soc., 1, 1822, pp. 166-181.


[Arranged alphabetically by authors.]

N.B.—In general, the notices of his life to be found in Encyclopaedias of Biography, etc., are not included here.

ARAGO (F.) Analyse de la vie et des travaux de Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL [from Annuaire du Bureau des Longitudes, 1842]. Paris, 1843. 18mo. [See also the Annuaire for 1834, for an account of HERSCHEL'S work on double stars.]

ARAGO (F.) Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men. Translated by Admiral W. H. SMYTH, Rev. B. POWELL, and ROBERT GRANT, Esq. HERSCHEL. First series, p. 258. Boston, 1859. 8vo.

ARAGO (F.) HERSCHEL. [Translated from the French.] Smithsonian Report. 1870. p. 197. 8vo.

AUWERS (A.) WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S Verzeichnisse von Nebelflecken und Sternhaufen bearbeitet von A. AUWERS. From the Koenigsberg Observations. 1862. Folio.

BESSEL (F. W.) Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL. [From the Koenigsberger Allgemeine Zeitung, 1, 1843, No. 37, et seq., reprinted in his] Abhandlungen, vol iii., p. 468. Leipzig, 1876. 4to.

D'ARREST (H. L.) Verzeichniss von Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S Nebelflecken erster und vierter Classe, aus den Beobachtungen berechnet und auf 1850 reducirt. Abhandlungen der Math. Phys. Classe der K. Saechs Gesells. d. Wissenschaften, Band iii. [1857], p. 359.

DUNKIN (E.) Obituary Notices of Astronomers, p. 86. Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL, K.C.H., F.R.S., 1738-1822. London, 1879. 12mo.

FETIS (F. J.) Biographie universelle des Musiciens [Article HERSCHEL]. Paris, 1835-37. 8vo.

FORBES (J. D.) Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL [being Sec. 2 of Dissertation vi.]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, eighth edition. Vol. i.,Dissertations, p. 838.

FOURIER (J.) Eloge historique de Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL, prononce dans la seance publique de l'Academie royale des sciences le 7 Juin, 1824.

Historie de l'Academie Royale des Sciences de l'Institut de France, tome vi., annee 1823, p. lxi.

HARDING (C. L.) Des Herrn Dr. HERSCHEL'S Untersuchungen ueber die Natur der Sonnenstrahlen, aus dem englischen uebersetzt. Erstes Heft. [Translations from Phil. Trans., 1800.] Celle, 1801. 16mo.


HERSCHEL (Carolina.) An Account of a new Comet. [1786, II.] Phil. Trans., 1787, vol. LXXVII., p. 1.

HERSCHEL (Carolina.) An Account of the Discovery of a Comet. [1793, I.] Phil. Trans., 1794, vol. LXXXIV., p. 1.

HERSCHEL (Carolina.) Account of the Discovery of a Comet. [1795, II.] Phil. Trans., 1796, vol. LXXXVI., p. 131.

HERSCHEL (Carolina.) Catalogue of Stars taken from FLAMSTEED'S observations contained in the second volume of his Historia Coelestis, and not inserted in the British Catalogue; to which is added a collection of errata which should be noticed in the same volume; with remarks by W. HERSCHEL. London, 1798. Folio.

HERSCHEL (Carolina.) Verzeichniss von 74 Sternen FLAMSTEEDS von denen keine beobachtungen in der Hist. Coel. Brit. vorkommen. Bode's Jahrbuch, 1806, p. 255

[HERSCHEL (Carolina.)] [Notice of her Life.] Monthly Notices Roy. Ast. Soc., vol. 8, p. 64; also, Memoirs Roy. Ast. Soc., vol. 17, p. 120.

[HERSCHEL (Carolina.)] Memoir and Correspondence of CAROLINE HERSCHEL. By Mrs. JOHN HERSCHEL. With portraits. London, 1876. 12mo.

HERSCHEL (J. F. W.) Article Telescope, in Encyclopaedia Britannica, eighth edition. [This article (illustrated) gives most of the important features of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S manner of grinding and polishing specula.]

HERSCHEL (J. F. W.) Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars. [General and systematic reduction of all Sir W. HERSCHEL'S observations brought into connection with all other similar ones.] Phil. Trans., 1864. Page 1. 4to.

HERSCHEL (J. F. W.) A Synopsis of all Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S Micrometrical Measurements, etc., of Double Stars, together with a Catalogue of those Stars . . . for 1880. Mem. Roy. Ast. Soc., vol. 35, p. 21. Lond., 1867. 4to.

HERSCHEL (J. F. W.) Additional Identifications of Double Stars in the Synoptic Catalogues of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S Micrometrical Measurements, etc. Monthly Notices Roy. Ast. Soc., vol. 28, p. 151. London, 1868. 8vo.

HERSCHEL (Mrs. John.) Memoir and Correspondence of CAROLINE HERSCHEL. With portraits. London, 1876. 12mo.

HERSCHEL (W.) [Solution of a prize question. See this book, page 46.] Ladies' Diary, 1779.

HERSCHEL (W.) The favorite Eccho Catch . . . and the preceding Glee [by S. LEACH]. To which is added the . . . Catch Sung by Three Old Women . . . in the Pantomime called "The Genius of Nonsense" [by H. HARINGTON]. London, 1780(?). Obl. folio. [A MS. copy of this was kindly furnished me by Dr. R. GARNETT, of the British Museum.]

HERSCHEL (W.) Goettingen Magazin der Wissenschaften und Literatur (1783), vol. iii., p. 4. LICHTENBERG and FORSTER, Editors. [Letter from HERSCHEL, giving a brief account of his life. See this book, page 3.]

HERSCHEL (W.) I. Manuscripts in possession of the Royal Society.

1. A series of register sheets in which are entered up all the observations of each nebula, copied verbatim from the sweeps. 2. A similar set of register sheets for MESSIER'S nebulae. 3. A general index of the 2,508 nebulae of W. HERSCHEL; given the class and number, to find the general number. 4. An index list; given the general number, to find the class and number. 5. A more complete list like 4. 6. A manuscript catalogue of all the nebulae and clusters, reduced to 1,800, and arranged in zones of 1 deg. in polar distance; by Miss CAROLINA HERSCHEL. 7. The original sweeps with the 20-foot reflector at Slough, in three small 4to and four folio vols. of MS.

II. Manuscripts in possession of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This library contains "the whole series of autograph observations of each double star [observed by HERSCHEL], brought together on separate sheets by Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL and Miss CAROLINA HERSCHEL."

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Some Account of the Life and Writings of WILLIAM HERSCHEL, Esq. [With a Portrait.] The European Magazine and London Review for January, 1785. 8vo.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Edinburgh Review, vol. i., p, 426. [A review of HERSCHEL'S memoir, "Observations on the two lately discovered bodies," from Phil. Trans., 1802. See this book, page 96.]

[HERSCHEL (W.)] "Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL, from a London paper."

[This is a short obituary notice "furnished by a gentleman well acquainted with Sir WILLIAM and his family, and its accuracy may be relied on."]

Niles' Register, vol. 23, p. 154. Nov. 9, 1822. 8vo.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Obituary: Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL, Knt., LL.D., F.R.S. The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, vol. xcii., 1822, p. 274. 8vo.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Annual Register, 1822, p. 289. 8vo.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] W. HERSCHEL'S Saemmtliche Schriften, Erster Band. Ueber den Bau des Himmels. Mit 10 Kupfertafeln. [Edited by J. W. PFAFF. A second edition was published in 1850.] Dresden and Leipzig, 1828. 8vo.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] New York Mirror, vol. vi., 1829-30, p. 388.

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Living Age, vol. ii., p. 125 (1844). 8vo. [Reprinted from Chambers' Journal.]

[HERSCHEL (W.)] Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. 31, p. 438. 8vo.

[Review of ARAGO'S "Analyse de la vie et des travaux de Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL."]


Eclectic Museum, vol. ii., p. 556. [Reprinted from the Foreign Quarterly Review, vol. 31.]

HOLDEN (E. S.) On the Inner Satellites of Uranus. [Reduction of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S observations.]

Proceedings Amer. Assn. Adv. Science, August, 1874, p. 49. 8vo.

HOLDEN (E. S.) Index Catalogue of Books and Memoirs relative to nebulae, clusters, etc. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, No. 311, pp. 19-38. [Abstracts of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL'S memoirs (on nebulae) in the Philosophical Transactions.]

Washington, 1877. 8vo.

HOLDEN (E. S.) and C. S. HASTINGS. A Subject-index and a Synopsis of the scientific writings of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL. [Reprinted from the Report of the Smithsonian Institution (1879).]

Washington, 1881. 8vo.

KRAFFT (J. G. F.) Kurze Nachricht von dem beruehmten Astronomen HERSCHEL und einigen seiner Entdeckungen.

Bayreuth, 1787. 8vo.

PEIRCE (C. S.) Photometric Researches. [A reduction of HERSCHEL'S observations on the comparative brightness of the stars.] Annals Harvard College Observatory, vol. ix.

Leipzig, 1878. 4to.

SOMMER (G. M.) WILLIAM HERSCHEL . . . ueber den Bau des Himmels; drei abhandlungen aus dem englischen uebersetzt, nebst einem authentischen Auszug aus KANTS allgemeiner Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels.

Koenigsberg, 1791. 8vo.

STRUVE (W.) Etudes d'astronomie stellaire. Sur la voie lactee et sur la distance des etoiles fixes. [P. 24 et seq. contains an elaborate review of the construction of the heavens according to HERSCHEL.] St. Petersburg, 1847. 8vo.

WOLF (R.) WILLIAM HERSCHEL. Zurich, 1867. 8vo.

ZACH (F. von.) Dr. WILLIAM HERSCHEL [translated from Public Characters and printed in ZACH'S Monatlich Correspondenz, 1802, part i., p. 70 et seq.]


Artist, MME. DUPIERY. Engraver, THOeNERT. 8vo. Early portrait. Some copies in red. Profile.

Artist, F. REHBURG. Engraver, F. W. BOLLINGER. 8vo. Late portrait.

Artist, ——? Engraver, C. WESTERMAYR. 8vo. Medallion.

Artist, C. BRAND. Engraver, ——? 8vo. Lithograph.

Artist, ——? Engraver, J. SEWELL. 8vo. Profile, 1785.

Artist, ——? Engraver, ——? 8vo. Profile.

Artist, F. BONNEVILLE. Engraver, F. BONNEVILLE. 8vo. Profile.

Artist, J. RUSSELL, R.A. Engraver, E. SCRIVEN. 8vo. Engraved from a crayon in the possession of his son, and published by the S. D. U. K. in the Gallery of Portraits, vol. 5.

Artist, ——? Engraver, ——? 8vo. European Magazine, Jan., 1785. This is a bust in profile, showing the left side of the face.

Artist, ——? Engraver, THOMSON. 8vo. Published by Caxton, 1823. This must have been engraved before 1816 since the legend is WILLIAM HERSCHEL, LL.D., F.R.S.

Artist, Lady GORDON. From the painting by ABBOTT in the National Portrait Gallery. Engraver, JOSEPH BROWN. 8vo. Published in memoir of CAROLINE HERSCHEL. This is of the date 1788, or thereabouts. See frontispiece.

Artist, ——? Engraver, C. MUeLLER. 4to. Medallion, 1785(?).

Artist, ——? Engraver, H. PINHAS. 4to. Legend in Russian.

Artist, BAISCH. Engraver, ——? 4to. Lithograph.

Artist, H. GREVEDON. Engraver, ——? Fol. Lithograph.

Artist, ——? Engraver, F. MUeLLER. Fol.

Artist, ABBOTT. Engraver, RYDER. Fol. 1788.

Artist, J. BOILLY. Engraver, ——? Fol. 1822. Lithograph.

Artist, ——? Engraver, J. GODBY. Fol.

R. W. S. LUTWIDGE, Esq., F.R.A.S., has an original seal with a head of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL, which is shown on the title-page of this work. A cut of it has been courteously furnished me by JOHN BROWNING, Esq., F.R.A.S., etc.

In 1787 a bust of HERSCHEL was made by LOCKIE for Sir WILLIAM WATSON.

A picture of HERSCHEL was painted by Mr. ARTAUD about the beginning of 1819. A portrait of HERSCHEL by ABBOTT is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. There are no doubt many other paintings in England, though I can find notices of these only. The Royal Society of London has nearly a hundred portraits of its most distinguished members, but owns none of Sir WILLIAM HERSCHEL.


N.B.—This index is intended to refer to the proper names occurring in the body of the work only, and not to the Bibliography.

Airy (Sir George), 17.

Alison (Sir Archibald), 111.

Arago (Francois), 49, 81, 139.

Artaud (M.), 114.

Aubert (Alexander), 52, 62, 63.

Baldwin (Miss), 115.

Banks (Sir Joseph), 56, 58, 64.

Bessel (F. W.), 127, 137.

Blagden (Dr.), 57.

Bonaparte (Napoleon), 108, 111.

Bradley (James), 51, 153.

Bruhl (Count von), 52.

Bulman (Mr.), 22, 115, 116.

Bunsen (Chevalier), 12.

Burney (Dr.), 82, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106.

Campbell (Thomas), 107.

Cassini (J. D.), 51.

Cropley (Mr.), 20.

Dalrymple (Mr.), 73.

D'Arblay (Madame), 100 et seq.

Darlington (Earl of), 18.

Darquier, 51, 119.

D'Arrest (H. L.), 204.

Dawes (W. R.), 200.

De Luc (M.), 64.

De Luc (Mrs.), 100, 102.

Dollond (J.), 120.

Engelfield (Sir Harry), 57.

Farinelli (Miss), 38.

Flaugergues (H.), 51, 119.

Fleming (Miss), 42.

Fourier (J.), 124.

Frauenhofer (J.), 195.

Galileo, 50, 135.

George III., 64, 77, 124, 126.

Griesbach (George), 63.

Griesbachs (the), 62, 106.

Hansen (P. A.), 142.

Hastings (C. S.), 119.

Heberden (Dr.), 64.

Helmholtz (H.), 188.

Herschel (Abraham) [1651-1718], 6.

Herschel (Alexander) [1745-1821], 10, 12, 14, 15, 35, 38, 41, 57, 61, 62, 66, 72, 73, 114.

Herschel (Benjamin), 7.

Herschel (Carolina) [1750-1848], 2, 10, 11, 12, 16, 23, 29, 33, 41, 43, 68; discovers five comets, 69, 70, 78, 83, 103, 105, 112, 113, 114, 115.

Herschel (Carolina), her Memoir quoted, 2, 9, 13, 23, 29, 31, 34, 36, 41, 57, 61, 63, 64, 65, 70, 74.

Herschel (Dietrich), 9, 10, 11, 29, 42, 114.

Herschel (Eusebius), 7.

Herschel (Hans) [circa 1600], 6.

Herschel (Isaac) [1707-1767], 7, 8, 29.

Herschel (Jacob) [1734-1792], 10, 11, 16, 23, 30.

Herschel (Sir John Frederick William) [1792-1871], 80, 103, 105, 114, 126, 127, 143, 203.

Herschel (Lady), 80, 102, 103, 105, 114.

Herschel (Major John), 2.

Herschel (Mrs. Mary Cornwallis), 2.

Herschel (Sophia Elizabeth), b. 1733, married Griesbach, 10.

Herschel (William), born 1738, November 15; 10. oboist in the band of the Guards (1755), and goes to England for the first time, returning in 1756, 16. deserts from the Guards and goes to England (1757), 17. organizes the band of the Durham militia (1760), 18. leaves the band and lives with Dr. Miller, 19. leads the public concerts at Wakefield and Halifax, 20. organist at Halifax (1765), 22. organist of the Octagon Chapel at Bath (1766), 24. his musical writings, 26. studies Smith's harmonies and optics, 28. visits Hanover, August, 1772, 32. hires a small telescope, 37. makes his first telescope (1774), 38. visits Hanover (1775?), 42. 1st review of the heavens, 39, 73. 2d review of the heavens, 73. 3d review of the heavens (1783), 73. 4th review of the heavens (1785), 74. manufacture of telescopes, 40, 59, 75, 77, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127. moves to 19 New King St., Bath, 43. conducts oratorios of Handel, 43. begins astronomical measures (1779), 44. joins Philosophical Society of Bath, 45. first published scientific writing (1779), 46. first communication to the Royal Society (1780), 47. discovery of Uranus (1781, March 13), 49. its effect on his career, 53. elected a member of the Royal Society (1781), and receives the Copley medal, 56. attempts a thirty-foot reflector, 59. goes to London, 1782 (May, June, July), 61. appointed Royal Astronomer (L200), 1782, 67. removes to Datchet, 1782, August 1, 67. his assiduity, 72, 77, 79, 81. his mechanical genius, 14, 41, 121. cost of his telescopes, 77. marries Mrs. John Pitt, nee Baldwin (1783), 80. only child born (1792), 80. removes to Slough (1786), 81. LL.D. (Oxon.), 1786, 47. his account of the discovery of Uranus (1781, March 13), 4. discovers two satellites to Uranus, 1787, Jan. 11, 84. discovers two satellites to Saturn, 1789, August-September, 125. invents machines for making reflectors (1788), 41. began forty-foot telescope, 1785, finished it, 1789, 121. biographical letter (1783), 3. list of published portraits of him, 232. value of his sister's assistance to him, 34. letters to Carolina Herschel, 61, 63, 64, 114. his personal character (1786-1800), 100 et seq. his relations to his cotemporaries, 85, 86, 87, 91, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99. list of writings relating to him and to his works, 225. his literary skill, 45. examples of his style, 83 et seq. failure of health, 112 et seq. created a Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order (1816), 115.

Herschel (Sir William), first president of the Royal Astronomical Society (1821), 115. his will, 114. his death, August 25th, 1822, 116. his epitaph, 117. list of his scientific writings, 215. review of his scientific labors, 118. the improvement of telescopes and apparatus, 121. the relative brightness of the stars; variable stars, 130. researches on double stars, 134. researches on planets and satellites, 140. researches on the nature of the sun, 145, 186, 198. the motion of the solar system in space, 149. researches on the construction of the heavens, 154. scale of celestial measures; distances of the stars, 170. researches on light, heat, etc., 176. researches on the dimensions of the stars, 193. on the spectra of the fixed stars, 195. on the variable emission of light and heat from the sun, 198. researches on nebulae and clusters, 202.

Huyghens (C.), 50, 189.

King George III., 64, 77, 124, 126.

Lacaille (N. L.), 156, 202.

Lalande (Jerome), 28, 124, 156.

Lambert (J. H.), 153.

Lassell (W.), 143.

Lee (Miss), 61.

Lichtenberg (Herr), 3.

Lind (Dr. and Mrs.), 69.

Long (Dr.), 135.

Magellan (Herr), 3, 78.

Maskelyne (Nevil), 5, 51, 57, 62, 63, 150, 153.

Mayer (Christian), 94, 153.

Melloni (M.), 186.

Messier (C.), 202.

Michell (John), 52, 94, 137, 156.

Miller (Dr.), 19, 20, 21, 22.

Monson (Mrs.), 115.

Moritzen (Anna Ilse), m. Isaac Herschel, 7, 8.

Napoleon I., 108, 111.

Newton (Sir Isaac), 189, 190, 191, 192.

Olbers (William), 95.

Pabrich (Cappelmeister), 7.

Palmerston (Lord), 64.

Piazzi (Joseph), 75, 95.

Pierce (Charles S.), 132.

Pigott (J.), 119.

Poggendorff (J. G.), 188.

Ronzoni (Signor), 59.

Rosse (Lord), 122, 207.

Savary (M.), 139.

Secchi (Angelo), 195, 196.

Scheiner (C.), 199.

Schroeter (J. H.), 51, 77, 91, 92, 93.

Schwabe (H.), 201.

Short (James), 120.

Smith (Dr. Robert), 28.

Snetzler (Herr), 20, 21.

Struve (Otto von), 129.

Thomson (Thomas), 95.

Verdet (E.), 188.

Wainwright (Dr.), 20.

Walsh (Colonel), 62.

Watson (Sir William), 44, 58, 60, 64, 65, 66, 67, 75, 76.

Watt (James), 106.

Weld (R.), 126.

Wilson (Alexander), 52, 94, 146.

Zach (Baron von), 69.



I have used [alpha] to represent the greek letter used in the text.

page line In the Original text, left as is. 227 3 uebersetzt 231 29 uebersetzt 18 24 Biographie universelle des musiciens 226 24 Biographie universelle des Musiciens 231 33 Koenigsberg, 1791. 8vo. 226 9 Koenigsberger Allgemeine Zeitung 195 4 Fraunhofer 235 index Frauenhofer (J.), 195. 226 29 Vol. (all other occurances are) vol. 238 index Ronzoni (Signor), 59. 58 26 Ronzini

Original page line Original text Replaced with 65 23 ornamented. ornamented." 117 31 [C] for letter C reversed CI[C]I[C]CCCXXII 216 25 den 18. May den 18. Mai 219 23 Suppl. Band., p. 238. Suppl. Band, p. 238.


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