William Brydone Jack
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents.
Level of description
CA MNBM ID144
Edition statement of responsibility
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
ca. 1850 (Creation)
- Jack, William Brydone
40 cm of textual records and 6 photographs
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Name of creator
William Brydone Jack (1817-1886) was born in Trailflatt the parish of Tinweld, Scotland, the son of Peter Jack, a stone mason and master builder, and Janet Bryden. When he graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 1840 with a M.A. in mathematics and natural sciences, he was offered two posts, chair of Physics at Manchester New College and professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at Kings College, Fredericton (later the University of New Brunswick). Because his friends thought he was too young for the post at Manchester, he accepted the post in Fredericton and remained there for 45 years.
Hailed as a leading Canadian astronomer, in 1851 he helped establish an astronomical observatory on the campus of King's College, being the first such observatory in British North America. It housed an achromatic telescope, purchased with £300 provided by the provincial government. In 1855, in collaboration with Fredericton physician Dr. J. B. Toldervy, he determined the exact longitude of Fredericton with reference to Boston. Later Jack and Toldervy determined the longitudes of other locations in the province with reference to Fredericton, submitting their findings to Astronomer Royal George Biddell Airy, who subsequently disagreed with them.
He was keenly interested in surveying, and in the 1870s, helped the surveyor general of New Brunswick improve surveying standards. With Dr. James Robb, first professor of chemistry and natural history at King's, Jack also worked to improve the teaching of science at King's College.
He encouraged the introduction of a course in civil engineering and in 1861, following the conversion of King's to a secular college. He was named second president of the University of New Brunswick (1861-1885). In conjunction with Lieutenant Governor Sir Edmund Head, he worked to introduce more practical training in the sciences and arts into the college curriculum. As well, between 1872 and 1885 he served on the provincial Board of Education. William Brydone Jack died at Fredericton on 23 November 1886.
Jack married twice. By his first marriage, to Marion Ellen Peters in 1844, he had 4 daughters, Mary, Helen, Rose, Blanche and one son, Hurd. His second marriage, to Caroline Amelia Disbrow (1829-1910) of Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1859, produced 6 children: William Disbrow Brydone (b.1860), who became a doctor and married Alice Hicklin (b. 1865) of England in 1884; Mabel Amelia (b. 1863), who married L.D. Millidge in 1889 and lived in Saint John; Arthur Canby Brydone (b. 1864), a lawyer who married Vera Vaughn in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1889; Harold Bruce, who died in infancy 1866; Robert or Robin Brydone (1867-1899), who married Kate Millican in 1894 and died in Skagway, Alaska; and Ernest Edmund Brydone (b. 1871), who married Minnie Fisher (b.1872) in 1896. The second child of this marriage, Mabel Milldridge, and her husband had three children: Brydone DeBlois (b.1894), Marion DeBlois (b. 1890), and Cranston DeBlois (1892-1935).
The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1988
Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. IX
A.W. Trueman, Canada's University of New Brunswick
Information about the custody of these records between the time of Jack's death and 1951, when they were donated to the New Brunswick Museum by his son, Ernest E. Jack, is incomplete.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of typescripts of addresses and lectures, including a series of lectures on astronomy for the general public, correspondence, handwritten essays, genealogical notes, and photographs. The correspondence includes letters relating to the establishment of the observatory in Fredericton, and the determination of Fredericton's longitude. Genealogy includes birth dates of Jack family members and Disbrow family history. Photographs include Caroline Disbrow Jack, William Brydone Jack, a group photo that is possibly of staff of UNB or King's College (no date), and a University of New Brunswick building.
Immediate source of acquisition
Acquired from William Brydone Jack's son, Ernest E. Jack, in 1951.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
There are William Brydone Jack fonds at the University of New Brunwick (UA G155) and the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (MC7).
Place access points
Name access points
- Jack, William Brydone (Subject)