Brisbane’s Famous early astronomer: Captain Henry O’Reilly

Anderson, P. (2020)


In this paper I have researched the life of Captain O’Reilly while he was living and working in Brisbane, but particularly focusing upon his astronomical activities. In order to better accomplish this, I needed to learn something about the man himself. I became very impressed with his attributes – competent, capable and courteous – and feel sadness that he was not allowed (dying as he did at 52) a couple more decades of life. He left a fine legacy. In my view he can be regarded as the first Queensland (non-indigenous) astronomer. My thanks go to Steve Hutcheon for his indefatigable research efforts; Bill Kitson, former Senior Curator of the Queensland Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying; the descendants of Henry O’Reilly; the State Library of Queensland; and especially the ‘Trove’ service, which has made so much material from early newspapers and publications so readily accessible on the internet.