They wonder at the star
This is the earliest picture of Halley’s Comet, made at a time when comets were bad omens. In 1066, it was visible from 24 April to 1 May, a few months after Harold’s coronation on 6 January, and before his death and defeat at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October.
Edmond Halley (1656 – 1742) astronomer and mathematician, was the first to compute the orbit of this comet and accurately predict its return in 1758. Halley was a frequent visitor when Sir Isaac Newton lived in the house which was on the site of the library from 1710 – 1727.
Did you know the library has a specialist Fine Arts Collection on the first floor? You are welcome to explore our books on this early medieval masterpiece, from a contemporary account to recent research:
Lucien Musset, The Bayeux Tapestry: translated by Richard Rex, Woodbridge, 2005
Carola Hicks, The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece London, 2007
Library staff are happy to help you to find these and other books in the collection.
Not sure where we are? Westminster Reference Library is off the south side of Leicester Square, behind the main wing of the National Gallery. For more information, telephone 020 7641 1300.