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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Russell, Henry Chamberlain

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Russell, Henry Chamberlain, C.M.G., B.A., F.R.S., Government Astronomer of New South Wales, son of Hon. Bourn Russell, M.L.C., was born at West Maitland in that colony on March 17th, 1836. He was educated at the local grammar school and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated B.A. and took a scholarship for general proficiency and the Deas-Thomson scholarship for chemistry and physics. He was appointed assistant in the Sydney Observatory, and Government Astronomer in July 1870. Mr. Russell, who has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1872, has inaugurated a system of meteorological observations throughout the colony, and in 1874 organised four parties to observe the transit of Venus, the results being utilised by the Astronomer Royal in the determination of the sun's distance. He is the author of "Memoirs on the Australian Eclipse Expedition," published in 1875, and of numerous other papers on astronomical subjects, and has designed a variety of instruments for use in the observatory. In 1877 his life was attempted by means of an infernal machine. He was created C.M.G. in 1890, and elected Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney in 1891.