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made in Jedburgh, Borders

Postcard of Telescope.
© National Museums Scotland


This telescope was made in 1820 by James Veitch, a scientific instrument maker and ploughwright based in Jedburgh in the Borders. It was probably made for Admiral Sir George Elliot, second son of one of Veitch's patrons, the first Earl of Minto.

The reflecting telescope has a brass objective and an octagonal brass-bound wooden barrel. The lower brass band is marked 'JAMES VEITCH / INCHBONNY 1820'. The instrument was originally mounted on a stand but this is now missing.

James Veitch's interest in astronomy turned to instrument making, first for himself, and then he was gradually persuaded by his agricultural patrons to sell what he made to them. His main line was telescopes with metal mirrors.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-835-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1987.316
Date: Around 1820
c. 1820
Material: Brass, wood. Inscription: JAMES VEITCH / INCHBONNY 1820; Admiral Elliott
Dimensions: 1360 mm x 170 mm x 170 mm
What: Telescope, reflecting, Gregorian
Subject: 22. PHYSICS, Light (Departmental Classification)
Who: Admiral Elliott (Inscribed on the telescope)
James Veitch, Jedburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Jedburgh
Description: Five-inch Gregorian reflecting telescope by James Veitch of Jedburgh, c. 1820
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. pp 20,23 
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