John Harrison


John Harrison

Foulby, Metropolitan Borough of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England
Death 24 Mar 1776 (aged 82)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 5393 View Source
Suggest Edits

Inventor. He invented the chronometer, which enabled the determination of longitude at sea. His original chronometers can still be seen at Greenwich Observatory.


In memory of Mr. JOHN HARRISON, late of Red Lionsquare, London, inventor of the time-keeper for ascertaining the longitude at sea. He was born at Foulby, in the county of York, and was the son of a builder of that place, who brought him up to the same profession. Before he attained the age of 21, he, without any instruction, employed himself in cleaning and repairing clocks and watches, and made a few of the former, chiefly of wood. At the age of 25, he employed his whole time in chronometrical improvements. He was the inventor of the gridiron pendulum, and the method of preventing the effects of heat and cold upon timekeepers by two bars fixed together; He introduced the secondary spring, to keep them going while winding up, and was the inventor of most (or all) the improvements and clocks and watches during his time. In the year 1735, his first time–keeper was sent to Lisbon, and in 1764, his then much improved fourth time-keeper, having been sent to Barbados, the Commissioners of Longitude certified that he had determined the longitude within one-third of half a degree of a great circle, having not erred more than forty seconds in time. After sixty years close application to the above pursuits, he departed this life on the 24th day of March, 1776, aged 83.

Gravesite Details

In the 1890s, a careful restoration, at the cost and under the supervision of the Company of Clockmakers was completed, and the fact was recorded in large characters on the tomb.

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



How famous was John Harrison?

Current rating:

59 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 8 May 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5393
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Harrison (31 Mar 1693–24 Mar 1776), Find a Grave Memorial ID 5393, citing St John-at-Hampstead Churchyard, Hampstead, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find a Grave .