Fonds UA RG 155 - William Brydone Jack

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William Brydone Jack

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [184-]-1881 (Creation)
    Jack, William Brydone, 1817-1886 (UNB)

Physical description area

Physical description

7.6 cm of textual records

Publisher's series area

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

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

William Brydone Jack, son of Peter and Janet (Bryden) Jack, was born 23 November 1817 at Trailflatt, parish of Tinwald, Scotland. His first marriage on 19 December 1844 to Marian Ellen Peters, daughter of Attorney General of New Brunswick Charles J. Peters, produced four daughters and one son. In 1859 he married Caroline Disbrowe (Disbrow), and they had one daughter and four sons.

William Brydone graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 1840 with a M.A., majoring in mathematics and the natural sciences. On the recommendation of Sir David Brewster, the principal of United College at St. Andrews, in 1840 Jack accepted the post of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at King's College in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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 Ð300 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.

Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia, 1988.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This fonds contains personal correspondence between William Brydone Jack and his wives, Marian Ellen Peters and Caroline Disbrowe. In letters to Marian Jack mentions his astronomical work with Drs. J.B. Toldervy and James Robb. Also included are newspaper clippings and a sketchbook belonging to Blanche Jack, Dr. William Brydone Jack's daughter.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Source unknown


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

See also UA RG 61.

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres