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Ecological problems of deforestation, soil erosion, vermin and drought led Governor Isaac Pyke in 1715 to suggest that the population be moved to Mauritius, but this was not acted upon and the company continued to subsidise the community because of the island's strategic location.
Edmond Halley visited Saint Helena on leaving the University of Oxford in 1676 and set up an astronomical observatory with a 7.3-metre-long (24 ft) aerial telescope, with the intention of studying stars from the Southern Hemisphere.
The site of this telescope is near Saint Mathew's Church in Hutt's Gate in the Longwood district.
The 680-metre (2,230 ft) high hill there is named for him and is called Halley's Mount.
By 1651, the Dutch had mainly abandoned the island in favour of their colony at the Cape of Good Hope.
granted the English East India Company a charter to govern Saint Helena and, the following year, the company decided to fortify the island and colonise it with planters.