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Jeremiah Horrocks maquette

We’re trying to raise funds for a Statue in the North West of England of Jeremiah Horrocks, Founder of Modern Astronomy. Here’s his story, which we hope will inspire you to fund the project. We’re also hoping to initiate an Educational Programme, as you’ll find out below.

Amongst the many historic Liverpool “firsts” listed on the towering wall in the city’s Central Library are the words “Transit of Venus”. Behind these three words lies the story of a young man from early 17th century Toxteth who shook the astronomy theory of his time with his accurate prediction of when the planet Venus would move across the Sun. His observations led to him being known as the founder of modern astronomy on a global scale.

The young man’s name was Jeremiah Horrocks and nearly 400 years since his prediction, this campaign has begun to erect a statue that will celebrate his achievements.

Astronomical Historian, Dr. Allan Chapman, of Oxford’s Wadham College, is backing the campaign whole-heartedly: “Jeremiah Horrocks was one of the founders of British science, a true pioneer of astronomy as an accurate, instrument-based science.  His observation of the 1639 Transit of Venus, with his Salford astronomer friend, William Crabtree, would serve as a model for precise telescopic observation, and interpretation”.  

Dr. Chapman also believes Horrocks has a place in the modern school curriculum as a role model for the young: “All his brilliant, original work was being done between the ages of 15 and 22 - ages which today would be spent gaining GCSE’s and doing an undergraduate degree. Horrocks was the Einstein of the early 17th century, a schoolboy genius, who would have achieved goodness knows what had he lived to the age of 60”.  

The impetus for a life-size statue has come from Liverpool sculptor and artist, Philip Garrett, whose art practice focuses on neglected, important figures from the city’s history. No known image of Horrocks exists but Garrett has already made a one-third life-size maquette that represents him as a young man, dressed in the clothes of the time and holding a cross staff, the instrument he used to help make his calculations.

Garrett says Horrocks is worth celebrating now because he would be inspirational for young people of today: “He was only 22 when he died, yet in his brief life he changed the course of Science. A statue in the public domain would inspire future generations and be a reminder that someone from a humble background achieved greatness and influenced the rest of the world”.

It is well documented that sculpture has the power to transform the site where it is located and can act as a catalyst for social interaction, that people connect better to a place when it contains a work of art. A statue of Jeremiah Horrocks would do this and also inspire those who see it to believe that great things are possible whatever one’s background.

The financial target for The Jeremiah Horrocks Statue project includes a life size sculpture in bronze and an Educational Programme, is around £151,600.

Updates and more information can be found on the Campaign’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/event...