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Joseph Baxendell 1815-1887

Joseph Baxendell 1815-1887

Joseph Baxendell was the oldest child of Thomas and Mary Baxendell.
He was born at Bank Top, Manchester, April 19th 1815.



Census Entries for Joseph Baxendell:

1841-
Name:      Joseph Baxendell (living with parents and brothers)
Age:     25
Estimated birth year:     abt 1816
Relation:     Head
Gender:     Male
Where born:     in county
Street address:        Cheetham Street, Crumpsall, Manchester

Occupation:     Cl (clerk)
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1851-
Name:      Joseph Baxendell (living alone with 1 servant
Age:     35
Estimated birth year:     abt 1816
Relation:     Head
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Manr, Lancashire, England
Civil parish:     Cheetham
Ecclesiastical parish:     St Thomas
County/Island:     Lancashire
Country:     England
Street address:        50 Stocks Street, Cheetham, Manchester
Condition as to marriage:     Unmarried
Education:
Employment status:
Occupation:     Land & Building Agent
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1861-
Name:      Joseph Baxendale (living alone with 1 servant
Age:     45
Estimated birth year:     abt 1816
Relation:     Head
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Manr, Lancashire, England
Civil parish:     Cheetham
Ecclesiastical parish:     St Thomas
County/Island:     Lancashire
Country:     England
Street address:        108 Stocks Street, Cheetham, Manchester
Condition as to marriage:     Unmarried
Education:
Employment status:
Occupation:     Estate Agent
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1871-
Name:      Joseph Baxendell (plus Mary Ann (Pogson) and Joseph jnr.)
Age:     55
Estimated birth year:     abt 1816
Relation:     Head
Spouse's name:     Mary Ann
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Manchester
Civil parish:     Crumpsall
Ecclesiastical parish:     St Mary and St Thomas
County/Island:     Lancashire
Country:     England
Street address:        32 Crescent Rd. Crumpsall, Manchester
Condition as to marriage:     Married
Education:
Employment status:
Occupation:     Accountant (...?...)
--------------------------------------------------------------
1881 -
Name:      Joseph Bayandell (plus Mary Ann (Pogson) and Joseph jnr.)
Age:     65
Estimated birth year:     abt 1816
Relation:     Head
Spouse's name:     Mary Ann
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Manchester, Lancashire, England
Civil parish:     Birkdale
County/Island:     Lancashire
Country:     England
Street address:     14 Liverpool Road
Condition as to marriage:     Married
Education:
Employment status:
Occupation:     Estate Agent Astronomer & Meteorologist

--------------------------------------------------------------
1901
Name:      Joseph Baxendell (this is Joseph Baxendell-jnr.)
Age:     31
Estimated birth year:     abt 1870
Relation:     Son
Mother's name:     Mary Ann
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Crumpsall, Lancashire, England
Civil parish:     Birkdale
Ecclesiastical parish:     St Peter
County/Island:     Lancashire
Country:     England
Street address:     14 Liverpool Road
Condition as to marriage:     Unmarried
Education:
Employment status:
Occupation:     Meteorologist & Land Agent

--------------------------------------------------------------

Extracts from: Memoir of the late Joseph Baxendell, F.R.S., F.R.A.S. by James Bottomley, D.Sc., Proceedings of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 4th series, Vol. 1, pp. 28-58:

"He was the son of Thomas Baxendell, an intelligent man, who by his own exertions raised himself from humble life. The family consisted of six sons and two daughters. Of his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Shepley, it is related that she had a strong love of observing the heavenly bodies, knowing well the planets, and many of the principal constellations; to this source probably may be traced Mr. Baxendell’s life-long devotion to astronomy, early impressions giving to the mind, while yet supple and tender, a bent which remains to old age. His early years were spent at his father’s farm at Smedley, but agriculture was not his destiny, and, later on, a churn from the old farm served him as the most suitable round table on which to grind and polish specula for telescopes for himself and some early scientific friends. He was educated by Mr. Whalley, of Cheetham Hill, a man of some scientific attainments. He proved himself a rapid learner, and soon acquired all that his teacher could impart; to a large extent we may consider him as self-taught. If there had been then the opportunities now offered by the city for instruction in experimental science, possibly there might have been developed a capacity for experimental enquiry which would have been serviceable in some branches of his work. He does not seem to have devoted much time to experiment, and he was destined to develop into the accurate observer of phenomena, and the deducer of laws from laborious calculations. From his bent for mathematics, one may reasonably infer that a brilliant mathematician would at this time have found him an apt pupil, and yet again, a possible advantage might not have been without some detriments, and excursions into the domain of pure mathematics would have left less time for astronomy and meteorology. We are liable to imagine that a man who has done well, would have done better under more favorable circumstances in his early career, but this is far from certain, and for one who has won for himself an eminent position with little extraneous assistance, we may with good reason say that it was best as it was. His constitution in early life was delicate, frequent visits to Southport with his mother for the sake of his health led also to a love for a sea-faring life; at first fishing boats gave him an opportunity of gratifying his enthusiasm; afterwards, when about 14 years old, he embarked upon the ship Mary Scott, bound for Valparaiso. This step was taken in the hope that the voyage would invigorate his delicate constitution. Although so young, his excellent seamanship son won the confidence of his Captain. It was his fortune to be a witness of the extraordinary display of meteors in 1833; he was well adapted to be the spectator of such a magnificent scene, being not wholly lost in admiration, but seeking to determine the radiant point from which they diverged. He also, while at sea, experienced the shock of the earthquake of 1835, which was attended with such disastrous results to the Pacific coast of South America. He made several voyages, and when he retired, it was with no disgust of a maritime career, indeed in his old age, he would still speak with enthusiasm of the sea and the sailor’s life.

After returning to Manchester, he was for some time engaged in assisting his father in his business. For some years he resided at Stocks Street, Cheetham, and afterwards at Crescent Road, Cheetham Hill. Here he was not far from the Observatory belonging to his friend Robert Worthington, situated in the pleasant park-like grounds attached to Crumpsall Hall. An accident to his right eye debarred Mr. Worthington from using his own Observatory; Mr. Baxendell had the privilege of using it, and the excellent work done therin, until its removal in 1869, won for it a distinguished place amongst private observatories both in this country and abroad.

Amongst other astronomical friends with whom he corresponded was Mr. Norman Pogson, Government Astronomer of Madras, and this connection became a closer one by the marriage of Mr. Baxendell with Mr. Pogson’s sister Mary Anne in 1865; the issue of the marriage was an only son, Joseph. His quiet orderly life leaves little to be recorded. In his own town he was not widely known, nor did he ever seek to become widely known.; indeed he furnishes a fresh instance of a peculiarity of scientific life in Manchester, that is the seclusion, almost bordering on obscurity, of some of its most eminent men……….

………Personal intercourse with Mr. Baxendell would leave the impression of amiability of disposition, and of a simplicity of character which has often been found associated with scientific eminence………

……..Most of Mr. Baxendell’s papers were in the first instance communicated to this section (the Physical & Mathematical section of the Manchester L.P.S.); the quiet social character of the meetings seemed quite in harmony with his retiring disposition; first there was the half-hour spent in pleasant conversation over tea, and, when the cloth was drawn, the half-dozen members, or thereabout, who ordinarily composed a meeting, would draw up to the green baize table, with the President of the Section at one end, a cheerful fire would give a pleasant glow in the old council room, and four wax candles, if they could not compete with modern methods of illumination, were not without a certain charm, reminding us that we belonged to an old society, and recalling the days of Mainwaring, Massey, Percival, Henry, Dalton and other worthies of the Society………

……..he took a warm interest in the plan of supplying storm warnings, and made vigorous protest when the Board of Trade announced an intention of discontinuing them; he was also anxious to obtain definite information of the influence of meteorological conditions on public health. His warning of the dry summer of 1868 was very serviceable to the Manchester Corporation Water Works in regulating the supply of water. On another occasion his warning at Southport, to take precautionary measures against an epidemic, was followed by an outbreak of small-pox…….

……His activity in the interests of the Society continued until a few years back, when he was afflicted with a disease of the lower jaw, attended with a series of painful abscesses; in addition to which he was at times troubled with a difficulty of breathing. On a partial recovery, he attempted to resume his old regularity of attendance, and would even venture out on cold wintry nights to do so; but his appearance made it painfully evident to a spectator that his constitution was thoroughly undermined. His latest residence was Southport; here he was appointed superintendent of an observatory in Hesketh Park, fitted up and presented by Mr. John Fernley, formerly of Manchester. In his private observatory at Birkdale he resumed his astronomical work, in which he had the valuable assistance of his son, who had the advantage of his father’s training. He was also meteorologist to the Corporation of Southport; he had been since 1859 astronomer to the Corporation of Manchester, succeeding the Rev. H. H. Jones.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1858, and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1884……..

……it may be mentioned that in later life he took an intense interest in the Great Pyramid; he seemed to think that the builders of it were under some kind of inspiration, and that in the dimensions of certain passages and chambers were contained the most recent and accurate measurements made in physical astronomy, and some of those numbers which mark the epochs in religious history….

(there follows details of all the papers presented by Joseph Baxendell to the MLPS)

……Mr Baxendell sought no applause while living; to refrain from adding it now will be to respect a wish, casually expressed about three years ago, that when his time came he should like to slip out of the world as quietly as possible.

The approval of his work, by those who are capable of judging its merits, will supply a testimony to its worth of greater value than any studied eulogy with which the writer of this memoir could conclude his task."


Obituary from the Royal Astronomical Society

RAS obit-01
RAS obit-02
RAS Obit-03
RAS obit-04

From: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronimical Society - 1880
RAS Nebula-01
Occultation of Regulus, May 19, 1858, observed at Crumpsall Hall Observatory, near Manchester Authors:
Worthington, Thomas; Baxendell, Joseph Journal:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 18, p.276 (MNRAS Homepage) Publication Date:
06/1858 Origin:
ADS Bibliographic Code:
1858MNRAS..18..276W

RAS nebula-02
Occultation of Jupiter on the 2d of January, observed Authors:
Main, R.; Johnson, M. J.; Watson, John; Turnbull, J.; Brodie, F.; Glaisher, J.; Pogson, N.; Slatter, J.; dell, T.; Perigal, Mr.; Dunkin, E.; Quirling, Mr.; Simms, W.; Lowndes, C.; Burr, T.; Ellis, Mr.; Luff, W.; Simms, J.; Peto, Mr.; Jeans, Mr.; Criswick, Mr.; Mann, Mr.; Simms, W.; Jun, Mr.; Hodgson, R.; Jee, Mr.; Lynn, W.; Dawes, W.; Lee, J.; Webb, T.; Worttesley, Mr.; Hartnup, J.; Grove, G.; Horton, Mr.; Huggins, W.; Worthington, T.; Edmondson, N.; Gillett, Mr.; Brereton, Mr.; Hippisley, J.; Baxendell, J. Journal:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 17, p.71 (MNRAS Homepage) Publication Date:
01/1857 Origin:
ADS Bibliographic Code:
1857MNRAS..17...71M

RAS nebula-03
On the Appearance of Jupiter Authors:
Long, J. W.; Baxendell, Joseph Journal:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 20, p.243 (MNRAS Homepage) Publication Date:
04/1860 Origin:
ADS Bibliographic Code:
1860MNRAS..20..243L

RAS Nebula-04
On the Appearance of Jupiter Authors:
Long, J. W.; Baxendell, Joseph Journal:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 20, p.243 (MNRAS Homepage) Publication Date:
04/1860 Origin:
ADS Bibliographic Code:
1860MNRAS..20..243L

RAS Nebula-05
Occultation of Regulus, May 19, 1858, observed at Crumpsall Hall Observatory, near Manchester Authors:
Worthington, Thomas; Baxendell, Joseph Journal:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 18, p.276 (MNRAS Homepage) Publication Date:
06/1858 Origin:
ADS Bibliographic Code:
1858MNRAS..18..276W

RAS Nebula-06





crumpsall hall
          


Crumpsall Hall       where Joseph Baxendell made his first obsevations with Mr Robert Worthington  


Robert Worthington moved from Sale in Cheshire to Crumpsall Hall between 1841 and 1851. In 1861 he was living at 5 Hyde Rd. Ardwick - occupation Registrar of County Court.                                                                       
hesketh park-01
Joseph's Observatory in Hesketh Park restored 2007

hesketh park 1902

Hesketh park Observatory ca. 1902


Proposal for admission to the Royal Society

royal society proposal

Other references to Joseph Baxendell:

** (ISIS UNVEILED - A Master Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology. Madame H.P. Blavatsky New York 1877 Vol.1. Ch.XI p.416

Mr. Meldrum may exact praise for his meteorological observation of Cyclones in the Mauritius, and Mr. Baxendell, of Manchester, talk learnedly of the convection-currents of the earth, and Dr. Carpenter and Commander Maury map out for us the equatorial current, and Professor Henry show us how the moist wind deposits its burden to form rivulets and rivers, only to be again rescued from the ocean and returned to the hill-tops -- but hear what Koheleth says: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits."


Observations of the Meteoric Shower of Nov. 13-14, 1886 by Joseph Baxendell


From: Astronomische Nachrichten (AN)

(The Astronomische Nachrichten were first published in 1823 by H. C. Schumacher in Altona, then Professor of Astronomy in Copenhagen. Today Altona is a part of the city of Hamburg but was Danish then. The volumes, beginning with the very first one, have been made available for reference by the Library of the University of Hannover. They contain a lot of biographical information, although it was difficult to extract it from the thousands of pages. The Astronomische Nachrichten are referred to as AN in the text and in the footnotes.)

Baxendell, Joseph (1815 - 1887)

J. Baxendell was born in Manchester on the 19. April 1815. He went to sea and was in the Pacific during the great meteor shower in 1833. Since 1848 he had observed together with R. Worthington at the latters private observatory at Crumpsall Old Hall, near Manchester. This observatory was equipped with a 13 inch reflector and a 5 inch refractor. Baxendell’s interest was on the variable stars of which he discovered 18, including l Tauri, R Lyrae and 30 Herculis. In 1859 Baxendell was appointed Astronomer to the ‘Corporation of Manchester’.

In 1877 he moved to Southport and continued his observations there in a clearer atmosphere with a 6 inch refractor. J. Baxendell died on the 7. October 1887 . He was the brother-in-law of N. R. Pogson. Obituary by T.E. Espin in AN 1887.


Baxendell's nebula NGC 7088 Eagle nebula

NGC 6611 = M 16NGC 7088, (called "Baxendell's unphotographable nebula").

NGC 7088 is faint, large and elongated 2x1 E-W. This star cluster is 26' North of M2. It took a 38mm eyepiece which gives a one degree field to get some contrast surrounding this cluster. It is just a faint glow with some mottled structure and 6 stars superimposed across the face. This object is called Baxendell's Unphotographable Nebula, probably because it could be seen but not photographed with older technology. In the era of long focal ratio scopes and slow emulsions, this was "unphotographable".


From: J. P. Joule ``On an appearance of the setting sun,'' Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc. 9, 1 (1869).

N.B.: Title appears only in Index, not on article page.

(DISCOVERY attributed to Joseph Baxendell (Pogson's brother-in-law) who had been a sailor -- see obits in Nature 36, 585 (1887) and M.N. 48, 157-160 (1888), and (especially) James Bottomley in Mem. Proc. Manch. Lit. Phil. Soc. (4) 1, 28-58 (1888).

"Mr. Baxendell noticed the fact that at the moment of the departure of the sun below the horizon, the last glimpse is coloured bluish green. On two or three occasions I have noticed this, and also near sunset an appearance like what I have rudely depicted. Just at the upper edge, where bands of the sun's disk are separated one after the other by refraction, each band becomes coloured blue just before it vanishes."

Another account of the above in:

J. P. Joule ``On sunset seen at Southport,'' in in The Scientific Papers of James Prescott Joule (Dawson's of Pall Mall, London, 1887), (reprinted by the Physical Society of London, 1963) p. 607.


From: Nature, first issue Nov. 4, 1869

Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, October.-- Mr. E. W. Binney, F.R.S. in the Chair.

The following extract of a letter from Dr. Joule, F.R.S., dated Southport, October 5th, 1869, and addressed to the Chairman, was read:-''I
enclose a rough drawing of the appearance of the setting sun. Mr Baxendell
noticed the fact that at the moment of the departure of the sun below the
horizon, the last glimpse is coloured bluish green. On two or three occasions I
have noticed this, and also near sunset that just at the upper edge, where bands
of the sun's disk are separated one after the other by refraction, each band
becomes coloured blue just before it vanishes.''
 
 

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