Meanwhile in Wales!

Thomas Harriot had gifted a friend Sir William Lower a telescope which he used to observe the Moon from Camarthenshire.

Sir William Lower turned the telescope to the sky, working with his friend John Prydderch (or Protheroe) of Nantyrhebog, Carmarthenshire. He established his observatory on some high ground near his house. In a letter to Harriot dated 6th February 1610 – the most famous of their correspondence – Lower described the appearance of the Moon through the telescope:

According as you wished, I have observed the moone in all his changes. In the new manifestlie, I discover the earthshine a little before the dichotomie; that spot which represents unto me the man in the moone (but without a head) is first to be seene. A little after, neare the brimme of the gibbous parts towards the upper corner appeare luminous parts like starres; much brighter than the rest; and the whole brimme along looks like unto the description of coasts in the Dutch books of voyages. In the full she appears like a tart that my cooke made me last weeke; here a vaine of bright stuffe, and there of darke, and so confusedlie all over. I must confess I can see none of this without my cylinder.


This description shows that Sir William had observed the irregular character of the Moon’s surface, seeing craters (though he did not recognise their exact character). Lower then went on to describe his work with his Carmarthenshire colleague John Prydderch (or Protheroe):

Yet an ingenious younge man that accompanies me here often, and loves you, and these studies much, sees manie of these things even without the helpe of the instrument, but with it sees them most planlie I mean the younge Mr. Protheröe.


Following Galileo’s announcements, in December 1610 Harriot and Lower themselves observed the satellites of Jupiter while Lower was visiting Syon House. Lower was present when Harriot first observed sunspots at sunrise. On returning to Carmarthenshire, Lower and Prydderch were, however, unable to see the Galilean satellites, which suggests that Lower’s own telescope was of lower quality than those of Harriot. On a later visit to Syon house in December 1611, Lower himself saw sunspots.