||The astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742) travelled to Saint Helena in 1677 after leaving Oxford University. He planned to investigate the position of the stars in the southern hemisphere, and hoped to observe the transit of Mercury across the sun in October 1677. His expedition was supported by Charles II and he received advice from the mathematician Sir Jonas Moore and astronomer Jean Dominique (Giandomenico) Cassini, as well as assistance from the East India Company. The East India Company had been granted a charter to settle Saint Helena in 1657 and took possession of the island in 1659. They were granted proprietory possession in 1673. The Company provided Halley and his companion James Clarke (or Clerke) with passage to Saint Helena in the UNITY in 1676, and their return passage in the GOLDEN FLEECE in 1678. Halley published his findings from Saint Helena in the 'Catalogus stellarum australium' in 1679.