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Fearon Fallows

“A very zealous and skilful astronomer”. “...the greatest man that Cockermouth has produced”. Such has been said of Fearon Fallows, born to a poor weaver and his wife in a cottage in Low Sand Lane (adjacent to Wordsworth House).

Fearon had his early education at Brigham School, later working at home helping his father weave to support their large family and at night studying to further his early promise in mathematics.

Hearing of his academic potential, several local clergy and businessmen contributed towards a scholarship which enabled him to go to University, later becoming ordained as a Church of England Minister and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society

In 1821 he was appointed Director of an Observatory to be built at the Cape of Good Hope and in May that year set sail with his wife to begin their new life.

However, delays plagued the building schedule, Fearon fell into poor health and died after an attack of Scarlet Fever at the age of 43.

Despite his early death, his contribution to astronomy was considerable, cataloguing nearly 300 stars from his observations at the Cape.

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