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a very eminent English astronomer, was born of reputable parents

, a very eminent English astronomer, was born of reputable parents at Denby in Derbyshire, Aug. 19, 1646. He was educated at the free-school of Derby, where his father lived; and at fourteen was visited with a severe fit of sickness, which being followed by other distempers, operating upon a very delicate constitution, prevented his going to the university, as was designed. He was taken from school in 1662, and within * month or two after had Sacrobosco’s book “De Sphscra,” put into his hand, which he set himself to read without any director. This accident, and the leisure that attended it, laid the groundwork of all that mathematical and astronomical knowledge, for which he became afterwards so justly celebrated. He had already perused a great deal of history, ecclesiastical, as well as civil: but astronomy was entirely new to him, and he found great pleasure in it. Having translated as much from Sacrobosco, as he thought necessary, he proceeded to make dials by the direction of such ordinary books as he could get together; and having changed a volume of astrology, found among his father’s books, for Mr. Street’s Caroline Tables, he undertook to calculate the places of the planets, but found very little help from that concise author.