Monday 16 May 2011

One of Jospeh Moxons Globes

English globe by Joseph Moxon

An immobile globe, designed by the Earl of Castlemaine and Joseph Moxon

The 'English Globe' is a rare example of an immobile globe, whose sphere does not rotate but is fixed in place over a planisphere. Its fixed position allows complex calculations to be performed more easily than with a turning sphere.

Roger Palmer XR  (1634-1705), Earl of Castlemaine and Cambridge-educated son of Sir James Palmer, collaborated with Joseph Moxon XR  (1627-1691), son and apprentice of printer James Moxon, in 1679 to produce an instrument that they named the 'English Globe' (Image 1). Three examples of English Globes are preserved at the University of Cambridge in the University Library, Pembroke College, and the Whipple Museum (on loan from Trinity College, Cambridge).