Robinson, Thomas Romney (1793-1882)


Thomas Romney Robinson (1793-1882) was appointed Director in 1823, he was young and gifted and held the post for 59 years. He was fortunate in that before he took up his post, a new Archbishop was created – John George Beresford – who was an enthusiastic supporter of the Observatory, and, fortunately for the Observatory, rich. With this combination of ability and financial backing the Observatory flourished during the mid-19th century, acquiring the long-needed collection of good quality instruments – such as can be found in the telescope domes at the back of the building. It was during this period that Armagh became established as a scientific institution of national and international importance. Robinson was able to compile the first Armagh Catalogue of stars which he published in 1859. He retained a living as rector at Carrickmacross and used this to supplement his income as Director of the Observatory. He was a founder member of Armagh Natural History and Philosophical Society, President of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He married twice, his first wife was Elizabeth Rambaut and his second Lucy Jane Edgeworth (sister to Maria).

Director of Armagh Observatory from 1823 until 1882