Open main menu

CATTON, THOMAS (1760–1838), astronomer, took a degree of B.A. in 1781 from St. John's College, Cambridge, as fourth wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, obtained one of the members' prizes for senior bachelors in 1783, proceeded M.A. in 1784 and B.D. in 1791. He was also a fellow and tutor of his college, and was entrusted with the care of the small observatory situated on one of its towers. Here he observed eclipses, occultations, and other astronomical phenomena from 1791 to 1832 with a 3½-foot transit, a 46-inch, and (after 1811) a 42-inch Dollond's achromatic. The data thus collected were reduced and printed in 1853 under the superintendence of Sir George Airy, at public expense, with the title ‘Astronomical Observations made by the Rev. Thomas Catton, B.D.’ Besides appearing separately, they formed part of vol. xxii. of ‘Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society.’ Catton was one of the earliest members of the last-named body, and was also a fellow of the Royal Society. He died at St. John's College, Cambridge, 6 Jan. 1838.

[Annual Register, 1838, p. 194; Gent. Mag. ix. (i.) 216 (new series); Monthly Notices, iv. 110; R. Soc.'s Cat. Sc. Papers.]

A. M. C.