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Brother John Somer

Brother John Somer, one of the Friarn Street Grey Friars, was an amazing astronomer who wrote an astronomical calendar for Joan, Princess of Wales, wife of the Black Prince.  Geoffrey Chaucer, the first English poet, in writing a poem for his son, made reference to John Somer and the astronomical calendar he produced.  Somer had been educated at Oxford and excelled in philosophy and mathematics, being considered unequalled anywhere in the realm.  It was for his writings on astronomy that he is best remembered, having learnt from the writings of others but having added much new material of his own.  Around 1390 he published Canons of the Stars, Of the Quantity of the Year, Corrections of the Calendar, along with many other works which were to bring him fame.

Text Copyright © 2008 Roger Evans

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