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Moses Holden: Preston’s Pioneering Astronomer 1777-1864




Price - £22.00 plus £3.50 P&P

ISBN 978-1-909-755-26-0, 496 pp.
Author: Stephen R. Halliwell
Published 2021


Detailed Description

Our eminent forebearer, Moses Holden (1777 – 1864), was a self-educated many who devoted much of his life to providing an education for the ordinary working man in his home town of Preston, and was ultimately made a Freeman of that town.

Moses played a leading role in founding, in 1828, what in most towns and cities would have been called a “Mechanics’ Institute”, only, at this suggestion, in Preston it was called “The Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge”. The Institute was the predecessor of the present-day University of Central Lancashire. His name is included on the University’s Founders’ Stone, and his emergence as a key founder was recognised in 2017 with the construction and dedication to him of the Moses Holden Memorial Telescope, the third largest university telescope in the United Kingdom, along with a Ph.D bursary provided by his three-times great grandson, Patrick Holden.

In this book, Stephen R. Halliwell gives the reader a unique insight into the fascinating life of Moses Holden, a larger than life character who excelled at many things. In his youth, despite studying astronomy, he appeared to be destined for a career as a man of God, preaching Wesleyan Methodism. But at the age of 35, having spent some time as a travelling missionary in the Fylde area of Lancashire, for the remainder of this life he concentrated on his work teaching astronomy.

He travelled and lectured in astronomy for almost forty years, much of it before the advent of the railways, and relied on canals and coasters, carriages and carts, to carry him around the country. The author described him simply, as a self-educated genius, a man who was never eclipsed.

If you have any queries, please contact: Danielle Bewsher, 01772 893271, [email protected]

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