LOCKYER, Joseph Norman

1836 - 1920

He was born in Sheep Street on 15th May 1836. His father was a surgeon-apothecary. He was only in Rugby for a few years as his family had moved to Leicester by June 1841. When he was 13 his mother died and he went to live with an uncle at Kenilworth. In 1857 he moved to London for a civil service job in the War Office.

He took up astronomy as a hobby, specialising in the sun. He became noticed after publishing a number of papers and moved from the War Office to the Science and Art Department. In 1882 he became a lecturer in Astro-Physics at the Royal College of Science and was promoted to a Professorship a few years later.

His pioneering spectroscopy work on the sun resulted in him discovering the element Helium. He was knighted in 1897.

He died at home near Sidmouth, Devon on 16 August 1920.