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SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-...

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 392 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR FREDERICK WILLIAM HERSCHEL (1738-1822), generally known as Sir William Herschel, English astronomer, was born at Hanover on the 15th of November 1738. His father was a musician employed as hautboy player in .the Hanoverian guard. The family had quitted Moravia for Saxony in the early part of the 17th century on account of religious troubles, they themselves being Protestants. Herschel's earlier education was necessarily of a very limited character, chiefly owing to the warlike commotions of his country; but being at all times an indomitable student, he, by his own exertions, more than repaired this deficiency. He became a very skilful musician, both theoretical and practical; while his attainments as a self-taught mathematician were fully adequate to the prosecution of those branches of astronomy which he so eminently advanced and adorned. Whatever he did he did methodically and thoroughly; and in this methodical thoroughness lay the secret of what Arago very properly termed his astonishing scientific success.
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