John Wrottesley, 2nd Baron Wrottesley

The Lord Wrottesley

Born(1798-08-05)5 August 1798
Died27 October 1867(1867-10-27) (aged 69)
AwardsGold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1839)
Scientific career
28th President of the Royal Society
In office
Preceded byWilliam Parsons
Succeeded byBenjamin Collins Brodie

John Wrottesley, 2nd Baron Wrottesley FRS FRAS (5 August 1798 – 27 October 1867) was an English astronomer.

Wrottesley Hall, family mansion


Wrottesley was the son of John Wrottesley, 1st Baron Wrottesley, and his first wife Lady Caroline Bennet, daughter of Charles Bennet, 4th Earl of Tankerville. He attended Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with a First Class degree in Mathematics in 1819. He succeeded his father as baron on 16 March 1841.

Wrottesley is distinguished for his attainments in astronomical science, was a founding member of the Royal Astronomical Society and served as its president from 1841 to 1842. In 1839 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for his Catalogue of the Right Ascensions of 1,318 Stars. In 1853 he called the attention of the House of Lords to Lieutenant Maury's valuable scheme of meteorological observations and discoveries, and on 30 November 1855 succeeded the Earl of Rosse as President of the Royal Society. Wrottesley was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1860, the year of the famous debate between Wilberforce and Huxley at the Association's Oxford meeting.

The crater Wrottesley on the Moon is named in honour of John Wrottesley.

Lord Wrottesley died in October 1867, aged 69.


On 28 July 1821 Wrottesley married Sophia Elizabeth (d. 13 January 1880), third daughter of Thomas Giffard of Chillington in Staffordshire. By her he had five sons and two daughters. His two youngest sons—Henry and Cameron—were killed in warfare. He was succeeded in the baronetcy and barony by his eldest son Arthur Wrottesley. George Wrottesley was his third son.

See also

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