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Jeremiah Dixon was an English surveyor and astronomer who is best known for his work with Charles Mason, from 1763 to 1767, in determining what was later called the Mason–Dixon line.

Dixon was born in Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in 1733, the fifth of seven children, to George Fenwick Dixon and Mary Hunter. His father was a wealthy Quaker coal mine owner of the Northumberland Landed Gentry. His great grandfather was the theologian Robertus Dixon. His mother came from Newcastle, and was said to have been "the cleverest woman" to ever marry into the Dixon family. Dixon became interested in astronomy and mathematics during his education at Barnard Castle. Early in life he made acquaintances with the eminent intellectuals of Southern Durham: mathematician William Emerson, and astronomers John Bird and Thomas Wright. In all probability it was John Bird, who was an active Fellow of the Royal Society, who recommended Dixon as a suitable companion to accompany Mason.

Jeremiah Dixon served as assistant to Charles Mason in 1761 when the Royal Society selected Mason to observe the transit of Venus from Sumatra. However, their passage to Sumatra was delayed, and they landed instead at the Cape of Good Hope where the transit was observed on 6 June 1761. Dixon returned to the Cape once again with Nevil Maskelyne's clock to work on experiments with gravity.

Dixon and Mason signed an agreement in 1763 with the proprietors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, Thomas Penn and Frederick Calvert, sixth Baron Baltimore, to assist with resolving a boundary dispute between the two provinces. They arrived in Philadelphia in November 1763 and began work towards the end of the year. The survey was not complete until late 1766, following which they stayed on to measure a degree of Earth's meridian on the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland, on behalf of the Royal Society. They also made a number of gravity measurements with the same instrument that Dixon had used with Maskelyne in 1761. Before returning to England in 1768, they were both admitted to the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge, in Philadelphia.

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Jeremiah Dixon was an English surveyor and astronomer who is best known for his work with Charles Mason, from 1763 to 1767, in determining what was later called the Mason–Dixon line.

Dixon was born in Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in 1733, the fifth of seven children, to George Fenwick Dixon and Mary Hunter. His father was a wealthy Quaker coal mine owner of the Northumberland Landed Gentry. His great grandfather was the theologian Robertus Dixon. His mother came from Newcastle, and was said to have been "the cleverest woman" to ever marry into the Dixon family. Dixon became interested in astronomy and mathematics during his education at Barnard Castle. Early in life he made acquaintances with the eminent intellectuals of Southern Durham: mathematician William Emerson, and astronomers John Bird and Thomas Wright. In all probability it was John Bird, who was an active Fellow of the Royal Society, who recommended Dixon as a suitable companion to accompany Mason.

Jeremiah Dixon served as assistant to Charles Mason in 1761 when the Royal Society selected Mason to observe the transit of Venus from Sumatra. However, their passage to Sumatra was delayed, and they landed instead at the Cape of Good Hope where the transit was observed on 6 June 1761. Dixon returned to the Cape once again with Nevil Maskelyne's clock to work on experiments with gravity.

Dixon and Mason signed an agreement in 1763 with the proprietors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, Thomas Penn and Frederick Calvert, sixth Baron Baltimore, to assist with resolving a boundary dispute between the two provinces. They arrived in Philadelphia in November 1763 and began work towards the end of the year. The survey was not complete until late 1766, following which they stayed on to measure a degree of Earth's meridian on the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland, on behalf of the Royal Society. They also made a number of gravity measurements with the same instrument that Dixon had used with Maskelyne in 1761. Before returning to England in 1768, they were both admitted to the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge, in Philadelphia. More...

 
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  The Royal Society of London
The origins of the Royal Society lie in a group of men who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the new philosophy. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the...
 
       
 
         
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