Two views of the celestial spheres

Gallileo should have lived in England. The Church of England would have supported him as they did John Wilkins, also later a bishop.

The Renaissance Mathematicus

When the Bishop of Salisbury scanned the heavens in the 1670s it was difficult to know if he was contemplating the wonders of his God, or those of Kepler’s planetary laws. Seth Ward, the incumbent of the Salisbury bishopric, was both a successful Anglican churchman and an acknowledge astronomer, who did much to boost Kepler’s theories in the middle of the seventeenth century.

Greenhill, John; Seth Ward (1617-1689), Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Oxford (1649-1660) Source: Wikimedia Commons Greenhill, John; Seth Ward (1617-1689), Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Oxford (1649-1660)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Born in Aspenden in Hertfordshire on an unknown day in 1617, Seth Ward was the son of John Ward, an attorney, and his wife Mary Dalton. Having received a basic schooling he was admitted to Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge on 1 December 1632, where he graduated B.A. in 1637 and M.A. on 27 July 1640, following which he was elected a fellow of the college. Ward was a keen mathematician, who, like many others…

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1 thought on “Two views of the celestial spheres

  1. Paul Braterman

    The trial of Galileo was of course in 1633. Was the Inquisition in Italy still proscribing heliocentrism as late as the 1650s? And what line did the Cromwellian puritans take on this? I’m not clear from the article whether their problem with Ward was purely theological, or also involved has astronomy.

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