- 1. Dates
- Born: Halifax, Yorkshire, Nov. 1626
- Died: India, c.1655
- The last thing known about Shakerley is a letter
addressed to him, in India, in 1655. By 1675 (I cite Sherburne's book
of that year) he was known to be dead.
- Dateinfo: Death Uncertain
- Lifespan: 29
- 2. Father
- Occupation: Unknown
- William Shakerley. There is no information other than his name.
- No information on financial status.
- 3. Nationality
- Birth: English
- Career: English (I consider that he was in English culture. in India.)
- Death: English (again the English culture in India)
- 4. Education
- Schooling: No University
- Self educated.
- 5. Religion
- Affiliation: Anglican
- Largely by assumption--there is not much information.
- 6. Scientific Disciplines
- Primary: Astronomy
- Subordinate: Astrology
- Anatomy of "Urania Practica", 1649, a criticism of a publication by
- Synopsis compendiana, 1651.
- Tabulae britannicae, 1653.
- He was the first mathematician to recognize the significance of the
work of Horrocks, which he found in manuscript in the Towneley
- In India he observed a transit of Mercury, 1651, the second transit of
Mercury ever observed, and a comet in 1652. He also studied the
astronomical knowledge of the Brahmins.
- His correspondence with Lilly indicates that Shakerley, like most
astronomers of his age, accepted astrology as well, though he became
increasingly skeptical as the correspondence continued.
- 7. Means of Support
- Primary: Patronage, Unknown
- The London astronomer, William Lilly, supplied him with books,
stationery, and other aids, 1640s-50. Lilley withdrew his support when
Shakerley attacked Wing.
- He was a member of the Towneley household at Carr Hall,
- He emigrated to India in 1651, possibly as an employee of the East
India Company, although his name does not appear in the company's
records. The trip is obscure. He did not go there solely to observe the
heavens. He could hardly have gone on his own.
- 8. Patronage
- Types: Scientist, Gentry
- William Lilly, the astrologer. Although Lilly appears to have withdrawn
his support, his connections in London may have helped Shakerley.
- Shakerley was taken into the Towneley household in 1649 and encouraged
in his scientific pursuits.
- 9. Technological Involvement
- Types: None
- 10. Scientific Societies
- Memberships: None
- Informal Connections: Correspondence with W. Lilly, 1648-50.
- 1. Dictionary of National Biography (repr., London: Oxford University
Press, 1949-50), 17, 1283. Allan Chapman, Three North Country
Astronomers, (Manchester, 1982), pp. 36-7.
- 2. There is not much information about this fairly obscure man.
- Compiled by:
- Richard S. Westfall
- Department of History and Philosophy of Science
- Indiana University
Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue
cannot answer email on geneological questions.