James Hodgson was an assistant to John Flamsteed, the first astronomer royal, at the Royal Observatory, from 1695, and later acted jointly with Flamsteed's widow to ensure that the "authorized" version of his Historia coelestis (1725) and Atlas coelestis (1729) were completed and published. Hodgson was appointed to run the Royal Mathematical School at Christ's Hospital in 1709 and this work was published for the use of his pupils (see dedication to volume 2).
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