John Bainbridge (astronomer)

John Bainbridge (1582 3 November 1643) was an English astronomer and mathematician.


Bainbridge was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, in Leicestershire to Robert and Anne (née Everard) Bainbridge.[1]

He attended the Free Grammar School in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and then became a student at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[2] He returned to Ashby where he practiced as a physician for some years, kept a school and studied astronomy. Having removed to London, he was admitted (6 November 1618) a licentiate of the college of physicians, and was noticed due to a publication concerning the comet of 1618.

In 1618, he became a member of the puritan group of scholars known as the Gresham Circle. In 1619, Sir Henry Savile (Bible translator) (1549–1622) elected him as the first Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University.[3] Bainbridge was incorporated of Merton College and became, in 1631 and 1635 respectively, junior and senior reader of Linacre's lectures.

Bainbridge was a puritan.[4]

He died at Oxford on 3 November 1643. He was a friend of Christopher Heydon, the writer on astrology; and also of John Greaves, his successor to both the Savilian chair and Linacre's lectures.[5]


He wrote An Astronomical Description of the late Comet (1619); Canicularia (1648); and translated Proclus' De Sphaera, and Ptolemy's De Planetarum Hypothesibus (1620). Several manuscript works by him exist in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.[6]


  1. Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  2. Nichols, John (1804). The history and antiquities of the county of Leicester : Vol. 3, Part 2. Note: Nichols mistakenly says John Bainbridge's mother's name is Alice.
  3. Thomas Hockey, Katherine Bracher, Marvin Bolt, Virginia Trimble, Richard Jarrell, JoAnn Palmeri, Jordan D. Marché, Thomas Williams, F. Jamil Ragep. "Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers", Springer. p. 85
  4. David C. Lindberg, Ronald L. Numbers (1986). "God and Nature", p. 201.
  5. Birch, Thomas (1737). Miscellaneous works of Mr. John Greaves. London: J. Brindley and C. Corbett. p. xii. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  6. "Tercentenary of John Bainbridge". Nature. 152 (6 November 1943): 532. 1943. Bibcode:1943Natur.152Q.532.. doi:10.1038/152532a0. Retrieved 15 May 2011. The papers in Trinity library came from archbishop James Ussher, possibly through John Greaves, who knew both men well. Bainbridge died intestate, and Greaves dealt with his estate (Birch, Misc. works, p. xxix)
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