George Bishop (1785- 1861)
George Bishop died on June 14th 1861 he had been born on August 21st 1785 in Leicester where he made his fortune as a wine merchant, but his great passion in life was astronomy. In 1836 in the grounds of his home in South Villa in Regent`s Park, London he built an astronomical observatory.
The observatory was equipped with a 7 inch Dollond refractor. The Rev William Rutter Dawes used the telescope from 1839-1844 until poor health forced him to leave. In October 1844 John Russell Hind became the observatory`s astronomer where he made many discoveries. Between 1847 and 1854 Hind discovered 10 asteroids from the observatory, they were, 7 Iris, 8 Flora, 12 Victoria, 14 Irene, 18 Melpomene, 19 Fortuna, 22 calliope, 23 Thalia, 27 Eutepe and 30 Urania. Another asteroid 29 Amphitrite was discovered in 1854 by Albert Marth, Hind`s young assistant.
After the death of George Bishop in 1861, the observatory dome and instruments were moved to Twickenham in west London to avoid the more polluted skies of the capital.
The observatory operated until 1877 when the instruments and library were donated to Royal Observatory at Naples.
The original Regent`s Park observatory no longer exists