Publisher Information: 1653.
[Shakerley, Jeremy (1626 – ca. 1655).] Tabulae Britannicae, the British tables . . . Manuscript copy in an unidentified 17th or 18th-century hand. 63, , pp., plus several blank leaves in front and back. N.p., n.d. [1653 or after]. 153 x 98 mm. Old sheep ruled in blind on front and back covers, spine worn and chipped, some rubbing and wear. Internally fine.
Shakerley, a British mathematician and astronomer, came from astrological traditions but later embraced a more observational and scientific approach to astronomy, as can be seen in his final work, the Tabulae Britannicae of 1653. Shakerley was the first to discover and publicize the work of Jeremiah Horrocks, now regarded as one of the founding fathers of British astronomy; the Tabulae makes use of some of Horrocks’ then-unpublished observations, which Shakerley had found among the papers of his onetime patron, the Lancashire antiquary Christopher Towneley. The Tabulae Britannicae appeared in print when its author was in India, where in 1651 he became only the second person to observe the transit of Mercury across the sun. It is likely that Shakerley died a few years later, as nothing more is known of him after 1653. “We see in Shakerley the evolution of a scientific mind of remarkable potential. After first learning how to calculate horoscopes, he came to doubt astrology. In its place, he became a staunch supporter of the new science, began to make observations and defend his position with all the zeal of a convert . . . As one of the most vociferous and restless scientific Englishmen of his day, Shakerley casts a great light onto the circle of men who pursued the new science in Lancashire” (Chapman, p. 11).
We are offering here a contemporary or near-contemporary manuscript copy of the Tabulae Britannicae, made in a spidery but clear and legible hand. The copy contains all of the printed work’s main text except for the title-page and author’s preface, but includes only 10 (nos. 5 – 14) of Shakerley’s 33 tables. That would suggest that the copy might have been made before the edition was published, but that is uncertain. A. Chapman, “Jeremy Shakerley (1626-1655?): Astronomy, astrology and patronage in Civil War Lancashire,” Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire 135 (1985): 1-14.Book Id: 46153