The Reverend J.A. Hamilton of Cookstown, County Tyrone influenced Archbishop Richard Robinson to found an observatory in Armagh. He was a noted amateur astronomer and became the first Director of the Observatory. He embarked on a comprehensive programme of accurately measuring the positions of the stars, but was hindered by the death of Archbishop Robinson in 1794. Robinson’s successors took little interest in science, which resulted in the loss of a number of instruments originally ordered for the Observatory. However, Hamilton perservered with his astronomy, and also initiated a series of weather readings which are still carried out today at the meteorological station to the south of the main buildings.
First Director of Armagh Observatory