After attending the Academy at Edinburgh and spending a session at the University, he went up to Cambridge as a member of Peterhouse, and graduated as senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman in 1852.
In 1844 he entered St John's College, Cambridge, where he was senior wrangler in 1848, and gained the first Smith's prize and the Burney prize; and in 1849 he was elected to a fellowship, and began his life of college lecturer and private tutor.
At Cambridge, Leonard Courtney was second wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, and was elected a fellow of his college, St John's.
Going to Trinity College, Cambridge, he graduated as senior wrangler in 1865, and obtained the first Smith's prize of the year, the second being gained by Professor Alfred Marshall.
In 1758, as last but one of the senior optimes, Richard Beadon, his lifelong friend, afterwards bishop of Bath and Wells, being a wrangler in the same year.
In 1822 he was elected scholar of Trinity, and in the following year he graduated as senior wrangler and obtained first Smith's prize.
He was there coached by William Hopkins of Peterhouse, was admitted a scholar of the college in May 1840, and graduated as senior wrangler in 1842, and obtained the first Smith's Prize at the next examination.
The solar eclipse of 1748 made a deep impression upon him; and having graduated as seventh wrangler from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1754, he determined to devote himself wholly to astronomy.
JOHN JAMES BLUNT (1794-1855), English divine, was born at Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, and educated at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree as fifteenth wrangler and obtained a fellowship (1816).