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Miscellaneous correspondence, 1872 - 1920

Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 7/28

Scope and Contents

Correspondence between the Astronomer Royal and A. Downing, assistant, on the subject of eyepieces, lenses and the principles of the telescope, 1874.

Report to the Astronomer Royal on the work of E.W. Maunder, assistant, 1874.

List of addresses of Royal Observatory staff, 1872.

Request from W.G. Thackeray, assistant, for a testimonial from the Astronomer Royal, 1877.

Letter from F. Galton and a reply informing him that in E. Dunkin's absence his letter was being dealt with by the Astronomer Royal, 1877.

Correspondence on the increase in observing duties as a result of W. Lynn's illness, 1879.

Letter from the Astronomer Royal relieving W. Thackeray and W. Lynn from Time Ball duty, 1879.

Correspondence with the Astronomer Royal on the duties of labourers at the Royal Observatory, 1879.

Correspondence with the Astronomer Royal concerning the overcrowding of the Lower Computing Room, 1879.

'Eye and Ear Observations of the Sun with the Sheepshanks Equatorial', 1876.

Routine correspondence with assistants on the daily work of the Royal Observatory, 1875-1890.

Correspondence with G.H. Lifton, assistant to the Astronomer Royal, enclosing his recommendations on the hours of attendance and duties of charwomen at the Royal Observatory, 1904.

Letter to J. Carter enclosing the sum of £4 6s 6d which was collected by and from the Royal Observatory staff to help him out of the financial difficulties caused by his long disability, 1908.

List of subscribers to the collection for P.H. Cowell on his transfer to the Nautical Almanac Office, amounting to £7 0s 0d, 1910.

Bill and receipt from Hampton and Sons for a divan easy chair (purchased for P.H. Cowell as a parting gift from Observatory staff), 1910.

Letter from W. Witchell, assistant, requesting that the Royal Observatory Hockey Club be granted the use of the Assistants' and Chief Assistants' rooms as changing rooms for visiting teams, 1910.

Bill and receipt from Henry Richardson for 'An illuminated testimonial on vellum to Sir William Christie from the staff of the Royal Observatory, with cut mount and frame complete £7 10s 0d', and a letter to Christie expressing the good wishes of the staff for his retirement, 1910.

Letter from Mrs E. Robbins enclosing circulars offering 'board and residence', 1912.

Letter from the National Council of the Young Man's Christian Association asking for donations to the 'war fund', receipts for the amounts of 7/- and £1 5s 6d for donations to the fund, and a letter from the Y.M.C.A. thanking the staff of the Royal Observatory for their generosity, 1915.

Letter from the staff of the Royal Observatory to T. Lewis on his retirement giving their best wishes, and a letter from the Junior Assistants at the Royal Observatory to H. Outhwaite, assistant, sending their good wishes on the occasion of his marriage, 1917.

Bill and a receipt from Maple and Company Ltd for an inlaid mahogany bookcase for the sum of £5 18s 6d, 1919.

List of contributors to a collection for a wreath for G.H. Lifton, late foreman of works at the Royal Observatory, 1919.

Bill from J. Walker and Son for a wreath, 1919.

Three letters of thanks from Mrs A. Lifton for the kindness of the Astronomer Royal and Royal Observatory staff and their continued assistance on the death of her husband, 1919.

Five printed notices from the London County Council Education Officer on 'Compulsory day continuation schools' and 'Interim scheme under section 10 of the Education Act 1918', 1920.

Correspondence between the Astronomer Royal and Greenwich County Court requesting that the following employees of the Royal Observatory be excused from jury service, 1908: H. Turner, C. Symms, C. Davidson, J. Carter, J. Vickery and W. Bowyer.

Correspondence with the Royal Observatory staff and others concerning the Astronomer Royal's garden party to be held at the Royal Observatory on 15 July 1920 in aid of the war memorial fund. There are also applications to visit the Royal Observatory and newspaper cuttings containing reports on the garden party. The correspondents include E.P. Baldwin, M.F. Barnes, F. Hird, T. Hudson, M. McMaster, H.R. Richardson, Miss E. Saunders, O. Small, H.W. Stanton, R.J. Thompson, C. Waldcott and E.A. Widowson.

Extract from the 'Blackheath Guide' on the Royal Observatory garden party, 15 July 1920.

Circulars on entertainment tax, and applications and letters of thanks for tickets to the Royal Observatory garden party, 1919. The correspondents are E.A. Chamberlain, S.A. Kelly, Miss M. Loft, F. Osborn and J.W. Waterer.

Bills and receipts from tradesmen for the Royal Observatory garden party, 1919.

Envelope containing seventeen unused tickets for the Royal Observatory garden party, 1919.

Note on 'Service on Juries', 1894.

Correspondence on the Royal Observatory Hockey Club dinner and the 'send off' for Messrs Banks, Johns and Walter, including a menu and programme, 1897.

Royal Observatory Camera Club catalogue for the second annual exhibition, 1901.

Correspondence with C.A. Butler of the Royal College of Science, London, dealing with a request for a set of regulations applying to the post of Second Class Assistant, 1902.

Notification from staff of thefts and breakages, 1902.

Catalogue for the third annual exhibition of photographs of the Royal Observatory Camera Club, held at the Royal Observatory, 5 November 1902.

Request from the Royal Observatory Camera Club to be allowed use of the north library for their annual exhibition, 1903.

Catalogue for the fourth annual exhibition of the Royal Observatory Camera Club, held at the Royal Observatory, 11 November 1903.

Correspondence with the Admiralty on a dinner and 'smoking concert', 1904.

Catalogue for the fifth annual exhibition of the Royal Observatory Camera Club, held at the Royal Observatory, 7 December 1904.

Letter from Mrs E. Hewett enclosing an advertisement offering 'Board and Residence', 1905.

Four cards from Mrs Nettleford advertising 'Board and Residence'.

List of addresses of all Royal Observatory staff, 1906.

Catalogue for the sixth annual exhibition of the Royal Observatory Camera Club, held at the Royal Observatory, 18 October 1906.

Menu, programme and invitation for the Royal Observatory Hockey Club annual dinner, 1907.


  • 1872 - 1920

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 bundle(s) (1 bundle)

Language of Materials


The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.