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Denning, William Frederick

Born Redpost, Somerset, England, 25 November 1848

Died Bristol, England, 9 June 1931

Although William Denning received no formal training as a scientist, he was considered to be one of the highest ranking of British Victorian astronomers in his later life. His reputation was built on a lifetime dedicated to the study of meteor showers and the distribution of meteor shower radiants, as well as cometary observations and planetary studies, especially of Jupiter.

Denning was the eldest of four children born to Issac Poyntz and Lydia (née Padfield) Denning. Little is known about his early childhood and education. Although he may have trained as an accountant in the Bristol area, there is no indication that it was a full‐time vocation. He earned some income by writing popular astronomy articles, and probably received occasional monetary contributions from family and friends before the British Government awarded him a Civil List Pension in 1904 for his services