The Nautical Almanac & Its Superintendents



The first Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris was for the year 1767. These pages chart their history from 1675, when the Royal Greenwich Observatory was founded

to find out the so much desired longitude of places for the perfecting the art of navigation,

until 1967— the 200th anniversary of The Nautical Almanac. Only a few highlights are given for the last fifty years. The details for this period are left for future historians to describe at a later point in the Almanac's history.

Useful lists of Superintendents and Heads, publications, acronyms and other categories are given in the Appendix.


Although I have put this history together most of the information has been taken from many sources. I particularly thank Dr Wilkins for all the material he made available. See Acknowledgements for more ....


To all those who have worked on The Nautical Almanac and all the publications and services of HM Nautical Almanac Office.

In Remembrance of Phil Laurie

This account of the Nautical Almanac and its Superintendents is written in remembrance of Phil Laurie, the head of the Solar Department where I worked when I first joined the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO) in 1971. More pertinently, he was also the RGO Archivist.


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