CHAPTER III - At Trinity College, Cambridge, from his taking his B.A. Degree to his taking charge of the Cambridge Observatory as Plumian Professor  pp. 49-81


By George Biddell Airy and Wilfred Airy

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FROM JANUARY 18TH, 1823, TO MARCH 15TH, 1828.

“On Jan. 30th, 1823, I returned to Cambridge. I had already heard that I had gained the 1st Smith's Prize, and one of the first notifications to me on my return was that the Walker's good-conduct prize of £10 was awarded to me.

“I remember that my return was not very pleasant, for our table in hall was half occupied by a set of irregular men who had lost terms and were obliged to reside somewhat longer in order to receive the B.A. degree. But at the time of my completing the B.A. degree (which is not till some weeks after the examination and admission) I with the other complete bachelors was duly invited to the table of the B.A. scholars, and that annoyance ended.

“The liberation from undergraduate study left me at liberty generally to pursue my own course (except so far as it was influenced by the preparation for fellowship examination), and also left me at liberty to earn more money, in the way usual with the graduates, by taking undergraduate pupils. Mr Peacock recommended me to take only four, which occupied me four hours every day, and for each of them I received 20 guineas each term. My first pupils, for the Lent and Easter terms, were Williamson (afterwards Head Master of Westminster School), James Parker (afterwards Q.C. and Vice-Chancellor), Bissett, and Clinton of Caius. To all these I had been engaged before taking my B.A. degree.

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