Arthur Beverly

Arthur Beverly (22 March 1822 – 25 October 1907) was a New Zealand watchmaker, mathematician and astronomer.[1]

He was born the son of farmer George Beverly in Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland and was educated at home and by a local shoemaker in the evenings. He was apprenticed at 14 to an Aberdeen watchmaker and optician, where he made a reputation as a lensmaker. After he made a set of microscope lenses for Dr George Dickie, professor of botany at the University of Aberdeen, Dickie recommended him to other scientists.

The Beverly clock at Otago University

In 1852 he sailed to Australia and after a spell in the goldfields moved to Melbourne to work as a watchmaker, moving on to New Zealand in 1858, where he set up a business in Dunedin. In the New Zealand Exhibition of 1865 he exhibited a clock, known as the Beverly Clock, which used the daily variation in temperature to wind itself up and a planimeter to measure the area of irregular shapes.[2] He was awarded the Makdougall Brisbane medal of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts in 1865 for his planimeter design.

He was also very interested in astronomy and built his own 3 inch telescope. The Beverly-Begg Observatory is named in his honour.

He died unmarried in 1907, leaving his money to the University of Otago.


  1. ^ "Story: Beverly, Arthur". Te Ara. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. ^ Amon, Hardwicke Knight and L. E. S. "Arthur Beverly". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 December 2011.