THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: British actor Nick Caldecott will be attending a meeting to be organised by the Kerala University on Monday in honour of his ancestor John Caldecott, the founder director of the Thiruvananthapuram Observatory (‘Thiruvithamcour Jyothishalayam’) at Kanakakkunnu.
Nick is the sixth generation descendant of John Caldecott, who was invited by Swathi Thirunal to come over from England in 1834 to establish the observatory. In 1837, the observatory was established opposite the Kanakakkunnu Grounds. In 1931, it was shifted to its present site on Observatory Hill.
During his tenure, Caldecott collected a good deal of data on stars which he handed over to the Royal Society. His observations came in handy for experts such as J R Hind to calculate the orbits of comets that appeared in 1843 and 1845. In 1845, Caldecott was receiving a salary of ` 1,000. When he returned to London, the Travancore King personally wrote to him to return. And he did.
Caldecott died in Thiruvananthapuram in 1849 and was buried at the CSI Christ Church, Palayam.
Vice-Chancellor Dr A Jayakrishnan will preside over the function planned at the Senate Chamber at 11.30 am. University officials and Observatory in-charge Dr V Biju will attend the function.