Celebrating John Harrison

We’ve done a lot of celebrating here at Royal Museums Greenwich to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the passing of the 1714 Longitude Act, and with a full season of events, we have plenty more celebrating still to come. But the celebrations aren’t limited to Greenwich. Below, Year 6 pupils from John Harrison Primary School More…

Guest Post: Matthew Flinders – a celebration

David Barrie, author of Sextant, published earlier this year by William Collins, has kindly written this post on Matthew Flinders, the distinguished English navigator and cartographer who died 200 years ago. July 2014 marks the bicentenary of the death in 1814 of Captain Matthew Flinders RN, one of the great unsung heroes of British marine More…

The Longitude Act – 300 today

Today is the big anniversary of the first Longitude Act, which gained royal assent 300 years ago on 9 July 1714. From this Friday you can see the original Act on display – for the first time – in Ships, Clocks & Stars. Let’s start with some basics. The Act’s full title was ‘An Act More…

Why longitude mattered in 1714

We’re nearly there. Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude opens on Friday and hopefully people will think it looks good. With that in mind, it’s a good moment to think about the historical context of the 1714 Longitude Act and that deceptively simple question: why did longitude matter? The Longitude Act gives a More…