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HALTON, IMMANUEL (1628–1699), astronomer, born at Greystoke in Cumberland on 21 April 1628, was the eldest son of Miles Halton of Greenthwaite Hall, where the family had resided from the time of Richard II. Timothy Halton [q. v.] was probably a younger brother. Halton was educated at Blencowe grammar school in Cumberland, became a student at Gray's Inn, and thence entered the service of Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel. He transacted on his behalf affairs of importance in Holland, and on his return to England accepted and kept for twenty years the post of auditor of his household, involving onerous duties connected with commissions and arbitrations. In 1660 the successor of his patron made him a grant of part of the manor of Shirland in Derbyshire; he came to reside at Wingfield Manor in the same county early in 1666, and purchased some of the adjacent lands from the sixth Duke of Norfolk on 28 May 1678. Having heard of Flamsteed's astronomical proficiency, Halton called to see him at Derby during the Lenten assizes of 1666, and afterwards sent him Riccioli's 'New Almagest,' Kepler's 'Rudolphine Tables,' and other books on astronomy (Baily, Account of Flamsteed, p. 21). 'He was a person,' Flamsteed says (ib. p. 26), 'of great humanity and judgment, a good algebraist, and endeavoured to draw me into the study of algebra by proposing little problems to me.' Halton's observations at Wingfield on the solar eclipse of 23 June 1675 were communicated to the Royal Society by Flamsteed, who styled him 'amicus meus singularis' (Phil. Trans. xi. 664). In a letter to Collins of 20 Feb. 1673 Flamsteed mentioned that Halton was then translating Kinkhuysen's 'Moon-Wiser' into English, 'that I may have a view of it' (Rigaud, Correspondence of Scientific Men, ii. 160). A little later he speaks of observing with his quadrants, and on 27 Dec. 1673 told Collins that 'lately, in discourse with Mr. Halton, he was pleased to show me a straight-lined projection for finding the hour by inspection, the sun's declination and height being given' (ib. p. 171). Some of the sun-dials put up by him are still to be seen at Wingfield Manor; and a letter written from Gray's Inn in May 1650, describing a dial of his own invention, was published in the appendix to Samuel Foster's 'Miscellanea,' London, 1659. He married Mary, daughter of John Newton of Oakerthorpe in Derbyshire, and had by her three sons, two of whom left issue. Halton made several alterations and improvements in Wingfield Manor, and repaired the worst ravages inflicted upon it by the civil war. It remained the property of his descendants until a few years ago, when it passed by marriage to the Tristrams of Hampshire (E. Bradbury, All about Derbyshire, p. 286). He died in 1699, aged 72, and was buried in the church of South Wingfield. The inscription on his tomb states that 'the late years of his life were chiefly spent in the studies of music and the mathematics, in which noble sciences he attained a great perfection.'

[J. Barlow Robinson's Historical Sketch of the Ancient Manor of South Wingfield, 1872, p. 12 ; Henry T. Wake, in Notes and Queries, 6th ser. iii. 45; Addit. MSS. 6670 f. 236, 6705 f. 6b, 1026, 6707 f. 11.]

A. M. C.