Jesse Ramsden (1735-1800) was born in Yorkshire, studied mathematics for
several years, and worked at a cloth warehouse. He became an
apprentice of a mathematical instrument maker named Burton in 1758, and set up his own shop in London in 1762. He married Sarah Dollond, the daughter of instrument maker John Dollond in 1775 or 1776.
Ramsden quickly earned a reputation as an inventive and skilled instrument
maker. He had constructed nearly one thousand sextants by 1789 and invented several specialized instruments, including a universal equatorial and a circular dividing engine. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1786. The quality of Ramsden’s instruments testifies to his astronomically high standards of accuracy and craftsmanship. Demand almost always exceeded what Ramsden and his shop of over 60 workmen could supply.
Ref: R. Webster, "Jesse Ramsden" in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 11, pp. 284-285.