Biography of Robert Grant
Robert Grant (1814-1892) was Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University and Director of the Observatory, 1859 to 1892.
Born in Grantown-on-Spey, Grant studied briefly at King's College, Aberdeen and became a bookkeeper in London. While preparing to write a history of astronomy, he spent two years studying and teaching in Paris and in 1850 became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. His History of Physical Astronomy from the Earliest Ages to the Middle of the Nineteenth Century was published two years later and Grant became a well-respected figure in the world of astronomical research.
Grant took up his appointment to the Regius Chair in May 1860 and successfully sought funds to improve the equipment at the Observatory, while continuing his research projects. The Government paid for the publication of his Catalogue of 6,415 Stars for the Epoch 1870 in 1883 and for a supplement which appeared soon after Grant's death.