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ASTRONOMER THOMAS WILLIAM BUSH F.R.A.S THE BAKER OF NOTTINGHAM Including the biographies of John Russell Hind of Nottingham And William Sadler Franks of Newark BY RICHARD PEARSON


ASTRONOMER THOMAS WILLIAM BUSH F.R.A.S THE BAKER OF NOTTIGHAM Including the histories of John Russell Hind of Nottingham And William Sadler Franks of Newark

By Richard Pearson

1881 Ordnance Survey Map of Alexandra Park showing The Mapperley Observatory


CONTENTS: JOHN RUSSELL HIND PAGE 03 ASTRONOMER THOMAS WILLIAM BUSH THE BAKER OF NOTTINGHAM PAGE 07 BUSH’S 13 INCH TELESCOPE PAGE 09 A KEEN NOTTINGHAM ASTRONOMER PAGE 11 ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS PAGE 13 WILLEY PARK PAGE 16 BROCKHURST: A SMALL TWENTIETH-CENTURY OBSERVATORY BY SIR PATRICK MOORE, CBE, FRAS PAGE 21 WILLIAM SADLER FRANKS 1851 – 1935 BY SIR PATRICK MOORE [2002 JOURNAL OF THE BAA. VOL. 112, P247] PAGE 22 WILLIAM SADLER FRANKS [MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, VOL. 96, P.291] PAGE 25 NEWARK’S BRILLIANT ASTRONOMER: DEATH OF W S FRANKS [THE NEWARK HERALD, SATURDAY JULY 13, 1935] PAGE 26

© RICHARD PEARSON APRIL 2014 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This book is copyright under the Berne Convention, and may not be reproduced digitally, photocopying or other wise, stored in any database or retrieval system, or on the internet, without the written permission of the copyright owner who may be contacted by e-mail at: Stonebridge54b@hotmail.co.uk

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JOHN RUSSELL HIND John Russell Hind was born in Nottingham on 12th May 1823, the son of Mr. John Hind a lace manufacturer. John Russell Hind attended Nottingham Grammar School and by the age of sixteen was contributing astronomical notes to the Nottingham Journal and other newspapers. Hind went to London at aged seventeen to work as a civil engineer for a Mr. Carpmael, but the lure of astronomy proved too much. He only remained in Mr. Carpmael's office a short time, and at the end of 1840 he secured, through Sir Charles Wheatstone, a post at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Mr. George Biddle Airy, then Astronomer Royal, appointing him to the Magnetical and Meteorological Department, where in 1843 he was engaged for a period of three months on the Commission to determine the longitude of Valencia. Sir George Biddell Airy (27 July 1801 – 2 January 1892) was an English mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal from 1835 to 1881. His many achievements include work on planetary orbits, measuring the mean density of the Earth, a method of solution of twodimensional problems in solid mechanics and, in his role as Astronomer Royal, establishing Greenwich as the location of the prime meridian. His reputation has been tarnished by allegations that, through his inaction, Britain lost the opportunity of priority in the discovery of Neptune in 1846. Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) shown here on the right was born above his family's shop at 52-54 Westgate Street in Barnwood, Gloucestershire, and at the age of 14 was apprenticed to his uncle, a musical instrument maker in London. Charles became fascinated with the physics of both sound and electricity, and having invented the concertina in 1829 went on to perfect a stereoscope for viewing photographs (which became invaluable for 20th Century aerial reconnaissance), and devices for measuring the speed of electricity and light. In 1834, Wheatstone became Professor of experimental physics at Kings College London, and in 1837 - along with William Cooke - developed the electric telegraph. He was later knighted by Queen Victoria for his work on the first transatlantic telegraph cable. He is also remembered for the Wheatstone bridge - used to measure electrical resistance and the “Magic Harp" which inspired Alexander Graham Bell to invent the telephone. During his life at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, It is curious that during the years of his greatest activity (18441856) Dr. John Russell Hind suffered from extreme bad health. Physically he was apparently a strong man, but he was excessively nervous and frequently had to give up work for a time because of "excessive nervous exhaustion." He 3


was of a most retiring disposition, and worked more for science' sake than for the admiration of his fellow men or for his own pecuniary advancement. In his diary, under January 15, 1849 he wrote— “I mentioned to Mr. Airy to-day that I thought very soon I should have to relinquish observations at night entirely," but happily a few months' rest enabled him to resume work and complete the task he had set himself to do. John Russell Hind left Greenwich in 1844 to succeed William Rutter Dawes (1799-1868) shown on the left, as Director of George Bishop’s private observatory in Regent’s Park, London. It is from this observatory, which was equipped with a fine 7-inch Dolland refractor, that he did most of his observational work and built up his fine reputation. Hind married in 1846 and had six children. On the 30th September 1846 he became the first British observer to successfully identify Neptune after Franz Friedrich Ernst Brunnow (1821 1891) had wrote to him informing him of Johann Galle and Heinrich d’Arrest’s discovery on the 23rd September. The fact that he was contacted directly, ahead of all other national astronomers including the Astronomer Royal Mr. George Airy, attests to his growing international reputation at the age of 23. Mr. George Bishop, shown here on the right, had determined before building his observatory that it "should do something." A successful businessperson, he had always had a great wish to possess an observatory, but never the opportunity until he was more than fifty years of age; and being then unable to work personally, he took great pains to get good assistants, and set them to observe with a definite objective. John Russell Hind’s search for minor planets was commenced in November 1846, employing the Berlin star maps (to which attention had doubtless been attracted by the discovery of Neptune two months before). As far as they extended, small stars of 9 or 10th magnitude, not marked on the maps, being inserted from time to time as they came under examination. The first discovery was announced to the Rev. Richard Sheepshanks, then vice-president of The Royal Society, in the following letter— 3 Allsop's Terrace, New Road, London; 1847 August 13d I6h. "DEAR Sir, I have this night discovered another member of the singular group of planets between Mars and Jupiter. It shines as a star of 8.9 magnitude, the observed positions being G.M.T. Aug. 13 at: 09:35:17 GMT RA 19H 57M 30.52 DEC -13° 27’ 23.4” At: 10:45:19 GM RA 19H 57M 28.02S DEC -13° 27’ 29.0” Showing a retrograde motion in R.A. of 51 daily. Have I been fortunate enough to detect the lost planet of Cacciatore? Yours very respectfully, J. R. Hind. Rev. R. Sheepshanks, M.A. Hind discovered Iris (6) on 13 August 1847. De Morgan, who also suggested a symbol, proposed the name Iris. Writing to Sheepshanks (1847 August 22) Hind says— 4


"I find the name is approved at Cambridge and Greenwich, though Thetis was preferred. However this will do for the next, if no better is to be found." The name Thetas was not, however, used until the discovery of (17) by Luther in 1852. From 1847, onwards Hind discovered a wealth of new astronomical objects by scrutinising the equatorial and ecliptic regions of the sky with the 7-inch refractor (Shown here) and comparing what he saw with the recently published Berlin star maps. By 1850, he was the World’s leading discoverer of variable stars with 12 out of a named list of 41. By 1854, he had discovered 10 of the first 30 numbered asteroids. In 1847, he was made a corresponding member of the Society Philomathique of Paris. In 1850, he was one of a Commission, for the Exhibition of 1851, respecting machinery as applied to direct use. The discovery of Flora on October 18 was also announced to Mr. Sheepshanks by a letter written the same night at 4 p.m., giving three positions for 11h 40m 4s, 15h 4m 10s, and 15h 52M 27s respectively. Soon afterwards, Hind wrote the following letter to a Mr. Fox regarding the new name for this asteroid— Mr. Bishop’s observatory, 1847 October 22nd Sir, I feel greatly obliged to you for the mention of the name you propose for the new Planet. Some time before I received your letter, the choice of a name and symbol had been referred to Sir John Herschel, who after consideration has fixed upon Flora with the “Rose of England” as an emblem, under the following form. Under these circumstances, I have no power to adopt the name Calypso, which, however, I like very much. I rather incline to Olber’s hypothesis, perhaps for want of a better. At any rate, I feel certain there are more planets to find. I am, Sir, Your most Obedient Servant. J. R. Hind H. Fox Talbot Esqre. On the discovery of asteroid (12) Victoria on 13 September 1850, the Americans strongly objected to the proposed name Victoria, which happened to be also that of our Queen Victoria (1819-1911). Indeed, they went so far as to substitute Clio, and the Astronomer Royal wrote, "When I looked for Victoria in the index to Gould's Journal and expected at least to find 'Victoria-see Clio,' and found it not, I was very indignant." At the same time, he advised Dr. Hind not to use the name Clio for a subsequent discovery in 1852, which "would cause much confusion and would be interpreted as exhibiting a too angry temper." However, the name was later adopted! In 1851, John Russell Hind was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Paris, in the place of Schumacher. There were eighteen candidates for the election, Dr. John Hind being chosen by forty-five out of forty-six votes. The same year he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and subsequently he was elected into the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg, and the Swedish Royal Society.

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In 1851, he went with Mr. Dawes to Sweden to observe the total eclipse of the Sun. In 1852, the English astronomer John Russell Hind, exploring the constellation Taurus through his telescope, found a dim star that was not noted on his charts. The new star, named T Tauri has since become something of a minor celebrity among astronomers. “On the evening of 15 December, 1855, I remarked in R.A. (1856) 7h 46m 33s.65, N.P.D. 670 37’ 17".1, an object shining as a star of the ninth magnitude, with a very blue planetary light, which I have never seen before during the five years that my attention has been directed to this quarter of the heavens. On the next fine night, 16 Dec. 1856, it was certainly fainter than on the 15th by half a magnitude or more. Since that date, I have not had an opportunity of examining it until last evening, January 10th, when its brightness was not greater than that of stars of the twelfth magnitude. It is evidently a variable star of a very interesting description, inasmuch as the minimum brightness appears to extend over a great part of the whole period, contrary to what happens with Algol and S Cancri.” Four objects in the sky bear his name. R Lep was christened "Hind’s Crimson Star" after he wrote in October 1845: "of the most intense crimson, resembling a blood-drop on the background of the sky.” NGC1555 became known as "Hind’s Variable Nebula" following its discovery together with T Tau in October 1852. Hind wrote, "Last night (11th October) I noticed a very small nebulous looking object preceding a star of 10th magnitude, which to my surprise, and had escaped attention on the map for 4h RA recently published – possibly it may be variable. In 1858, Hind received a Testimonial from The Royal Society and it fell to Sir John Herschel (1792-1871), himself one of the recipients, to deliver the address on the merit of those who received Testimonials: In speaking of Dr. Hind, he remarked— "No name comes oftener before the astronomical world, as an assiduous observer and able computist in the department of astronomy which the nature of the instrumental means committed to his charge gives him an immediate connection with, as a diligent observer of double-stars and computer of their orbits, for instance, or as the first detector of several comets, one of them a very remarkable one, which, from his calculation of its orbit, he was enabled to follow up to its actual perihelion, and to behold it at noon-day presenting a clear and well-defined disc within 2° of the Sun. “John Russell Hind observed many comets and computed their orbits. The Earth is believed to have passed through the tail of Comet Tebbutt on 30th June 1881 and Hind wrote in the Times; "There was a peculiar phosphorescence or illumination of the sky, which I attributed at the time to an aurora glare; it was remarked by other persons as something unusual.” This was an evening observation before sunset. Hind later wrote in the Times; "Allow me to draw attention to a circumstance relating to the present comet. It appears not only possible, but even probable, that in the course of Sunday last, the Earth passed through the tail at a distance of perhaps two-thirds of its length from the nucleus.” This was the same comet observed by Nottingham astronomer Thomas William Bush at his Thyra Grove, Mapperley observatory on June 23 – 25th, which Bush described in detail in a letter to The Nottingham Guardian. Since his retirement in 1891 from the Nautical Almanac office Dr. John Russell Hind lived quietly at Twickenham, not appearing much in public, nor even visiting the societies to which he belonged; but he still kept up a lively interest in his favourite study, and was a regular subscriber and contributor to the scientific journals at home and abroad. He died at Twickenham, on 23 December 1895, of heart disease accelerated by a chill, and was buried at the Twickenham Cemetery. Asteroid number 1897 is officially named "Hind" as is also a lunar crater. 6


ASTRONOMER THOMAS WILLIAM BUSH THE BAKER OF NOTTINGHAM Bush was born in Nottingham on 19 May 1839, son of John Bush (1802-1847) and Mary Neep (1807- 1870?). John Bush was a dyer by profession and lived at 4 Canal Street in the town. Upon his death in 1847 Mary went on to marry 43-year-old John Marriott on 6 August 1848 who became Thomas’s stepfather. Thomas Bush was generally self taught, though he owed a great deal to the Headmaster of the Wesleyan Methodist School, the Rev George Roebuck, who was a keen amateur astronomer. Bush was also educated at the Standard Hill Academy located near Nottingham Castle that taught many subjects, including Astronomy. Neville Hoskins of the Nottingham Thoroton Society in a review of The Nottinghamshire History Lecture by Dr Paul Elliott – ‘British Enlightenment Culture in a Regional Centre’: Scientific Personalities, Ideas & Institutions in Nottingham c1700-1840’ that took place on 13 November 2004, recorded:“In Nottingham many societies met in establishments such as the Nottingham Mechanics Institute and Nottingham Subscription Library, which also had their own special interest groups. The 18th and early 19th century saw a growing interest in scientific and technical advances, and was the heyday of itinerant public lecturers who thought nothing of transporting sheep's heads, working models of cranes and demonstrations of astronomical discoveries. “Some of these lecturers began by running private educational establishments: Charles Wilkinson, who’s Nottingham Academy, founded 1777, occupied land between what is now Parliament Street and Foreman Street. In that year Robert Goodacre was born, who, aged 20 started a day school, also in Parliament Street, which later moved and became the Standard Hill Academy shown here. Goodacre was particularly interested in astronomy, and was a prime example of the itinerant lecturer; in London, Yorkshire, Scotland, the Channel Islands and a 4-year tour of America; the logistics of this in the 1820s gives food for thought.” Mr. Goodacre died in 1835, aged 58 years. Bush’s new stepfather, 46-year-old John Marriott was a baker and flour seller by trade who originally lived in Mill Street off Derby Road, before moving to the Canal Street premises. The business then changed from being Dyers to a Bakers shop where John was able to employ one man to run his small shop selling flour, bread, and buns. The distinct smell of freshly baked bread early each morning was Mr. Marriott's trademark, which helped to sell most of what he baked. In addition, there were twelve other traders with the Christian name of Marriott; so that there is no doubt that the Marriott’s were wealthy business people living in Nottingham around 1840. William Marriott for example, was a victualler and kept the Royal Arch Druid in Lister gate. Listed on page 193 in the 'Post office Directory' of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire (1855).

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On the other hand, there were a great many people with the Christian name of Bush, the majority being in the dyers trade. Thomas Bush proved to have a good learning ability and to have a marvellous power of retaining what he was taught, which he used to his own advantage. Thomas Bush was able to obtain his schooling free by teaching the rest of the Scholars geography, while he himself became proficient in mathematics and optics, before going on to learn his stepfather’s baking trade. He also devoted much of his attention to linguistic studies, including German, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. However, it was optics and astronomy that interested him the most, although due to the industrial revolution the smoke and smog in the Nottingham air greatly hampered any observing he could do, for this reason he concentrated on building Newtonian telescopes. Work began when he was in his early twenties after joining the Nottingham Mechanics Institute, an educational establishment that preceded the setting up of Nottingham College University in Shakespeare Street. He joined the Institute in 1861, and was immediately rewarded by sitting in on two astronomical lectures by Mr. W.R. Brit FRAS. On 15 January the talk was entitled 'A Night among the Stars.' 48 hours later, he sat and enjoyed 'A Night with the Moon.' It is interesting to note that during his long membership history, his relative Samuel Bush joined him there in 1863. Astronomical lectures at Nottingham Mechanics Institute continued until February 1887, the most notable were:     

January 14, 1873 the Wonders of the Heavens. Benjamin J. Malden. January 19, 1874, The Aurora and star showers. J.H. Freeman. October 03, 1880 the birth of the Solar System. R.A. Proctor. November 17, 1882 an evening with the stars and the transit of Venus. Benjamin J. Malden. January 28, 1887 the Moon. Sir Robert S Ball. It was during this ten-year period that Thomas Bush married his wife Martha Cecilia Johnston on 24 August 1863 in St Mary’s church that was two years younger than he was. By profession, she was a teacher of music born at Harrington, Lancashire, in 1850. On the marriage certificate, the farther of the bride is given as Mr Henry Johnson (deceased), who was also a musician.

They both lived together at 4 Canal Street until (possibly) his mother (Mary Neep) died some time in 1870. Thomas and his wife Martha then moved into his own baker & grocery shop at 102 Canal Street (Shown here), situated opposite Narrow and Upper Marsh, two of Nottingham's most over crowded slum areas. Sadly, his new home was also located on a poor site in the heart of Nottingham, so he was unable to make any useful astronomical observations. On one side stood, a large Lace factory, the Nottingham canal and wharfs were still at the rear, while a rat infested and dusty sawmill stood on the site.

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The rear of 102 Canal Street is shown in this early photograph of the site. The Newtonian is a type of reflecting telescope invented by the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) in 1671. It consists of a parabolic mirror at the bottom of the telescope tube that focuses the starlight onto another flat mirror near the top. The secondary flat mirror is angled at precisely 45°, so that the starlight then enters the eyepiece and the astronomer's eye where it is seen magnified. In Thomas Bush's time, the primary mirror was made of speculum, an alloy of Copper and Tin, which was highly polished upon pitch using rouge and water. His first experiments in making speculum mirrors were tiresome. The property of speculum was of extreme hardness, although unusually brittle, so that great care had to be employed while grinding it to the correct curvature without any noticeable flaws. In the end, Thomas Bush turned to the then new technique of using glass for the primary mirror, and became one of the first pioneers of glass mirror making. The 13-inch mirror made by Bush for his first telescope weighed over 20 lb. and therefore needed to be mounted securely in the bottom of the tube, and for this, he settled on using a thick iron plate. He also employed a prism silver coated on one of its facets for the secondary flat. After many months of hard work, as well as sleepless nights, the telescope was complete and was a masterpiece of perfection. Thomas Bush then had his chance to show it to the rest of the world when he learned of the Working Men's International Exhibition being held in Islington at the Agricultural Hall, North London, in July 1870. At the exhibition, his telescope was number 37, and was put on public display in section twelve for Scientific Apparatus. BUSH’S 13 INCH TELESCOPE Bush was now 30 years old and his telescope was soon singled out for praise. On 19 July 1870. One Mr S. Alex. Renshaw wrote to the editor of the Nottingham Journal to claim his personal acquaintance with the town's sudden celebrity, and report upon how Bush had none about his optical work. Renshaw clearly knew something about telescopes, and discussed the problems of casting metal specula and figuring them into a proper parabolic curve. However another account of its construction appeared in The Times newspaper on 12 July 1870 that reads: "It has a speculum 13 inches in diameter, is equatorially mounted, and presents several novel features of construction that are claimed as improvements. "Mr. Bush is a self taught astronomer, mathematician and mechanic. He has made, without assistance, the whole of the calculations necessary for the construction of the instrument, and has constructed models for all of its parts. Some of these, such as the main cast iron column of support, as well as certain portions of the tube, were too bulky for his tools and were manufactured to his order.

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His prism was obtained from Stenholm, of Munich. However, with these exceptions, the whole of the telescope was his own work. "It is pleasing to add that this monument of industry, and perseverance, has fulfilled the expectations of its maker. "The speculum has been tested by Purvis’s process, as a consequence it proved correct, and the telescope has been found to divide satisfactorily such double stars as EtaCoronæ, Zeta-Böötes, and Zeta-Hercules. "Its performance on the Moon and nebula has also been very fine; it has been used with a magnifying power of 1,400... "Queen Victoria's special attention was directed to the telescope as one of the most remarkable features of the exhibition, she later presented Mr. Bush with a gold medal as a mark of appreciation.” A few days later, Mr. Milward, the agent of the Nottingham exhibitors, was explaining the working of the telescope to Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, and placed it in various positions for observation. The Prime Minister thanked him for his attention, and made a memorandum of Thomas Bush's Nottingham address. As William Ewart Gladstone (1809 – 1898), shown here on the right, left the exhibition that day he had already decided to write to the Astronomer Royal about this remarkable telescope made by a humble Nottingham Baker and Grocer. The Prime Minister had the view of presenting Bush with a scientific instrument as a mark of appreciation. In the event, unknown to the Prime Minister, the Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddle Airy (1801-1891), had a Nottingham connection. Not only had he met Lord Forester while they were educated together at Trinity College Cambridge, who would later befriend Bush; he had previously appointed John Russell Hind, an excellent self-taught astronomer, to work for him. The Astronomer Royal, shown here on the left, wished to give as much encouragement to Thomas Bush's astronomical work as he could. He therefore sent to his home a spectrometer by Browning, a solar eyepiece and a Filer micrometer. This then was a proud moment in his life, and Thomas Bush made full use of the instruments, and wore the medal on many special occasions. Since the discovery made by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) in 1665 that sunlight passed through a narrow slit, and then a triangular glass prism, was separated into a spectrum of colours, the 'Spectroscope' soon followed. It was refined by a number of astronomers to study starlight, one of the pioneers being Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787-1826) in Germany in 1814. However, regular spectroscopic observations of bright stars at the Greenwich Observatory only began in 1874, after a period of experiments by Sir George Airy himself, so that the

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Spectroscope' presented to Thomas Bush was the most modern scientific instrument of its time. A KEEN NOTTINGHAM ASTRONOMER Thomas Bush had now proved himself to be a remarkable Nottingham ambassador, by showing that the best of British genius and manufacturing of precision industrial components could be found in many Nottingham factories of the town situated in the heart of the Midlands. His name solar eyepiece and news reports of the 13-inch telescope had not only appeared in the local press: the Nottingham Daily Guardian, 13 July 1870, and the Nottingham Journal, 20 July. He made national headlines as well. The Times, 12 July, the Daily Telegraph, 13 July and the Counties Daily Express, 27 July. In Nottingham Bush had become a prominent figure and statesman. He soon set to work designing bigger telescopes, and began to consider moving away from the smoke and smog's of Canal Street out into the countryside. On 9 November 1873, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), and towards the end of the year became the secretary of Nottingham General Hospital and started work at an office in Postern Street. Nottingham General Hospital was founded as a charitable institution by public subscription in 1782. One of the major benefactors was John Key, a Nottingham banker who left a legacy of £500 in 1778 for the building of a County Hospital. His bequest was conditional on a further £1,000 in subscriptions being raised within five years. The Duke of Newcastle and the Nottingham Corporation each gave an acre of land and the cost of the building on Derry Hill, designed by the architect, John Simpson, was almost £5,000. Other prominent subscribers were Richard Arkwright, Sir Henry Cavendish and Peter Nightingale, great uncle of Florence. The formal opening of the building in September 1782 was a major event in Nottingham. The hospital opened with 44 beds and a small staff. Almost immediately, further beds had to be found and the Derbyshire wing was opened in 1787. Many extensions and additions followed including a third storey built onto the original building (1855), a new wing, located on the Park Row frontage (1879) and the Jubilee Wing (opened 1900), which comprised

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circular wards. The Cedars, a large house off Mansfield Road donated by Sir Charles Seely in 1897, provided 20 beds for convalescing patients. Now financially secure, Bush drew up plans for his own 2-floor, 3-bedroom cottage along with a large observatory situated on high ground in the prestige housing development of Alexandra Park, in Nottingham’s aristocratic district of Mapperley. However, I have been unable uncover any further references for his wife Martha. On 23 August 1853, Nottingham Architect Mr. Thomas Chambers Hine (1813-1899), and his brother John, purchased the Mapperley Hills Common that covered twenty-seven acres. Almost immediately, John bought his brother's rights to the land and acquired additional acres. Thomas Hine designed the grand layout of Alexandra Park, although due to financial difficulties during 1888 in the country as a whole it was never fully developed. By this time, Orlando Watkin Weld (18 April 1813 - 22 June 1894), the 4th Lord Forester of Willey Park & lodge in Shropshire, had been the Rector of Gedling parish church, Nottingham, for seven years from 1867. Orlando was also a keen amateur astronomer, and in 1872, to the dismay of church elders, he completely replaced the medieval roof timbers of the Chancel, and painted astronomical motifs on each of the new thirty-six roof segments. Unfortunately, these can no longer be seen today. The church records show that nine members of the Bush household originating from Carlton were buried at Gedling, four of which were children. On looking through the available electoral registers, 21-year-old Elisa Bush, a farm worker born at Whitechurch, was the only family member I found living in Carlton around the year 1851. 17-4-1828 Jessica Bush, infant. 01-7-1829 Ann Bush, 86 years. 6-12-1840 John Bush, 4 years. 20-3-1842 Richard Bush, 32 years. 29-6-1843 John Bush, 42 years. 25-7-1850 Ann Bush, 2 years. 18-3-1856 John Bush, Infant. 30-3-1857 Jessica Bush, Infant. 23-3-1861 William Bush, 26 years. Lord Forester's first wife, Sofia Elizabeth, died on 2 April 1872, aged 70, and was buried at Gedling. Lord Forester then went on to become Canon and Chancellor of York Minster in 1874. He married his second wife, Emma Maria, on 5 October 1875. As 1876 began, Thomas Bush decided on his observatory site high on a natural land formation at Thyra Grove, Mapperley, overlooking the Saint Ann's valley. In Bush's time, Thyra Grove was a fine orchard with apple blossom trees and a large open field. The site had two advantages for Bush. It was situated outside the town centre away from the smoke and smog filled atmosphere that had troubled him for many years. Secondly, street lighting in 1876 was in its infancy. Town gas lighting was first used in Nottingham in the spring of 1819; moreover, it was another 90 years before the invention of the electric light bulb and the general introduction of gas mantles. Bush was therefore virtually guaranteed clear dark skies, his only problem being with the British weather. 12


His mind made up, Thomas Bush arranged to buy a plot of land at Thyra Grove from John Hine, and then with his building plans already prepared, he applied to Nottingham Town Borough Council for planning permission, on 3 May 1876. He received consent soon afterwards and the builders began their work straight away. By Christmas, the two-story cottage was complete, and work had started on the new observatory that was a large building by any standards. The building consisted of an equatorial room that housed his 13-inch telescope, and a computing room attached to the rear of the building. The Mapperley Observatory, as it became known, was completed in the spring of 1877 when it came to general use. In order to pay for the project, Thomas Bush sold his baker and grocery business in Canal street, although he remained Secretary of Nottingham General Hospital. The Wright's & Kelly's trade directories gave his home address simply as 'The Observatory,' Mapperley, while the electoral register shows that Thomas Bush was resident at Thyra Grove between 1876-1888. ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS In brief, a comet is a huge ball of rock and ice, with other chemical components, usually over five miles in diameter, which generally orbits around the Sun in an elliptical path. As it passes close to the Sun, the heat melts the ice, which gives off vaporous filaments, which flow out and away from the nucleus, causing a long tail to appear. Some comets are only visible in large telescopes, while others like Halley's comet may be bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye, as with comet 1881 IV Schaeberle. The Australian astronomer John Tebbutt discovered his second great comet in the constellation of Columba the dove on the evening of 22 May 1881. "Immediately on its discovery I obtained with the 42 inch equatorial, eight good measures of the nucleus from one of the bright stars just mentioned. On the following day I notified the discovery to the Government Observatories of Sydney and Melbourne,� he wrote (Ibid. 117-18). The American astronomer John Schaeberle discovered his comet on 14 July 1881. Comet Schaeberle 1881 IV, at magnitude 6, was discovered in the pentagon of the constellation Auriga, the Charioteer. It grew a long tail and attained magnitude 3 clearly visible to the unaided eye. Fortunately, Thomas Bush's attention was attracted to comet Tebbutt that passed above the northern horizon midway between the constellations of Auriga, the Charioteer, and Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. Thomas Bush was able to put the Astronomer Royals' spectroscope to good use and made a number of precise position measurements between 25 June and 23 August. After the comet's apparition, he reported his findings in a letter to the Nottingham Guardian, a short abstract of which follows: "There's not the smallest orb which thou beholds, But in his motion like an angel sings.� 13


Bush then goes on to say: "As the above mysterious visitor to this our 'here' of the universe is rousing a good deal of interest and speculation just now, by its sudden and imposing appearance in our northern skies, perhaps a few words with regard to its aspect as witnessed by instrumental means, and also as to the physical processes which seem to be agitating its substance, may prove, more or less, interesting to your readers. "Not being aware that the great comet was so favourably situated for observation until the morning of 25 June, 1881, no attempt to observe it had been made, but a watch was kept up as the day declined. "At about 9.30 p.m. it was distinctly seen, being about 18 or 20 degrees above the 14


northern horizon, inclining a little to the west. The instruments were then put upon it, and speedily the nucleus or head gave signs of complex structure. "Tumultuous movements were shaking its frame; movements suggestive of those mysterious pulsations of light seen! During the displays of the Aurora. "At 11 30 p.m.. the head looked as if it were twisted round on the line of site, having a very brilliant core or centre, fairly round and well defined. "From the head spread 2 fan shaped plumes of light, directed to the N.W. and S.W. respectively; and likewise a ray pointing to the North. "The southern side head also appeared enveloped by three sheet-like masses of light having rounded surfaces and stretching in a slanting direction relative to the line of observation. "The whole bending round and constituting the tail, and presenting delicate detail hardly to be put into words. "At 11 10 p.m. wave like forms seemed to sweep outwards from the head, and at 12 35 p.m. a jet was seen projected in the direction of the S.E. bending round appositely, and resembling a broad sickle. The ray mentioned above had also assumed a curved shape, and, further, seemed to indicate that the evolution of another envelope was progressing. Further observations were made intensely interesting. "...The positions of the comet as determined by 3 'lower transit' observations reduced to the Meridian of Greenwich, subject to corrections, have been made as follows: June 25th RA 5 hours 38 minutes. DEC 53 deg. 25 min's north June 26th RA 5 hours 41 minutes. DEC 57 deg. 03 min's north June 27th RA 5 hours 48 minutes. DEC 62 deg. 17 min's north "The comet passes directly overhead daily at about 11.30 PM. On Tuesday night, it presented a most beautiful aspect, the four envelopes looking like delicate plumes of light rolled gracefully round the nucleus. "Spectroscopic observations show that probably a luminous form of Carbon vapours is one of its constituents." Thomas Bush also saw the bright comet Schaeberle although it was too low in the sky to make any serious observations. On 9 December 1874, while Thomas Bush was still living at 102 Canal Street, there was the first of two transits of Venus, and although he possessed a new solar eyepiece from the Astronomer Royal, the observing conditions were very poor and he saw nothing. However, on 6 December 1882 he had a second chance to observe this rare event from his new observatory at Mapperley. After observing the planet pass across the face of the Sun, he was invited to give a talk to the Natural Science section of the Nottingham Philosophical Society, and a news item of the event later appeared in the Nottingham Guardian. In 1879, the town’s men of Nottingham in recognition of his astronomical achievements presented Thomas William Bush F.R.A.S. with a large and valuable sidereal clock.

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The clock was made by George Cope, also of Nottingham, and at present is housed at Nottingham College University. WILLEY PARK Bush's life at Thyra Grove was very obscure, since few records of his astronomical observations have been handed down. Thomas Bush only lived at his cottage at Alexandra Park for twelve years, before resigning his position at the General Hospital and moving to Lord Forester's private stately home at Willey Park in 1889, taking all of his private papers along with him. Just before leaving Nottingham, he sold his estate to a local builder named Mr. Green (according to the deeds of the new property built on this land), and at the turn of the century, Bush's home and observatory in Thyra Grove were demolished. It is believed that the contractor destroyed any observations or correspondence left behind. In 1929, William Sadler Franks wrote an obituary for Thomas Bush: Minutes of the Royal Astronomical Society Vol. 890, Page 298, in which he says: [Thomas Bush] “Was in charge of Lord Forrester's Observatory, at Willey Park, where he made many observations of the planets with an 8-in. refractor. He came to live in the district of East Grinstead in 1909, and whilst there made several 24-in. specula and mountings, one of which was intended for Nottingham University.” However, the present Lord Forester informed me that to his knowledge there was never an observatory at Willey Park! None of the records I uncovered gives any mention of Thomas Bush’s wife Martha Cecilia Johnston during his time at Thyra grove. However, one unexpected discovery was that the 1881 Nottingham Census records 70 year-old Elizabeth Bush being an inmate of the Union Road ‘Workhouse’ where she was said to have been a ‘Lace Runner.’ Elizabeth would have been 28 at the time of Bush’s birth in 1839. Then of course, I found an entry for Isaac Newton, not the scientist himself you understand, another family that happens to have the same Christian name. The last three occupants of Bush's cottage according to the 1891 electoral register were Millicent Newton, Edward Arthur Newton, and Isaac William Newton. It is recorded that the last two members each paid sixteen shillings board & lodging to Millicent. In 1889, Thomas Bush accepted the position as general helper at Lord Forester's private home at Willey Park, shown here. The main hall of residence there is said to have a fine astrological clock on the front of the building. The present Lord Forester informed me that to his knowledge there has never been an astronomical observatory on his land that Bush may have used. The main business their from 1889 had been farming, although it was coal and ore extraction from the land that had made the Foresters wealthy. Bush resigned from the Royal Astronomical Society for unknown reasons on 9 March 1900. In the 1970s, his baker & grocery shop at 102 Canal Street was demolished to make way for the Nottingham Crown Court buildings. At the age of 90, Lord Forester sadly passed away at his house in York on 2 June 1894 and was buried on the Willey estate. Thomas Bush stayed on at Willey lodge where he helped to 16


run the farm. Four years later, Emma Forester, Lord Forester's second wife, died at Willey lodge on 24 June 1898, she was 59. Thomas Bush remained here for a further eleven years with the blessing of Cecil Theodore, the 5th Lord Forester. The photograph on the right is a view inside the great hall at Willey Park. At the age of 70, Thomas Bush began plans to build a new 24-inch telescope, the same instrument that would be presented as a gift to Nottingham College University in 1929. His new vocation was to build large telescopes for photographing astronomical objects. In 1909, he moved to West Sussex where he lived at Dormansland, near Dormans. It was here, after setting himself to work building a new Newtonian reflector, that on 10 December 1909, he rejoined the Royal Astronomical Society. Interestingly, the railway is not very far from East Grinstead connecting it to Dormansland. Today restored steam engines travel this route. After re-joining, the Royal Astronomical Society Bush would have been aware of William Sadler Frank’s of Newark-On Trent, Nottinghamshire, who was then the coordinator of the Coloured Star Section of the relatively new British Astronomical Association. Fifty-one year-old Frank’s was a professional observer at the East Grinstead Brockhurst Observatory. In the photograph shown here Thomas Bush is standing at the eyepiece of his home made telescope. Bush’s new 24-inch telescope had a square iron tube that was boxed using wood. It also had a hefty 48-inch declination circle on one side of the instrument, and a large right ascension circle positioned on the brass mechanism of the telescope mounting. It was weight driven by a gravity clock, and controlled by flyweights with a friction pad. On one side of the tube is an 8-inch reflector that he built himself, with a small 2inch guide-scope on the other. While still working on the 24-inch telescope, Bush moved to the observatory of Mr. W.S. Franks of Brockhurst, who appears in Kelley's county directories between 1911 and 1915 at Doona Cottage, Lewes Road, East 17


Grinstead. It was here that Thomas Bush set up his new telescope in a very large run-off shed observatory, tested the instrument, and corrected all of the remaining faults. In this photograph William Sadler Franks is shown sitting next to Bush’s telescope. Thomas Bush was 84 years old when he retired to live at Sackville College that is still located a few yards down Lewes road. Sackville College is a Jacobean almshouse in town of East Grinstead, West Sussex, England. It was founded in 1609 with money left by Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset. Throughout its history it has provided sheltered accommodation for the elderly. According to the official website: “The College is built of Sussex sandstone around a quadrangle and contains large mullioned windows and four exquisite old doorways, the northern one of which bears the Dorset Coat of Arms. These almshouses are a splendid example of Jacobean architecture. “The principle rooms are the Chapel with its original carved door and the Great Hall with its Minstrels' Gallery and hammer beam roof.

“A previous Warden was the Victorian hymnologist, the Revd. Dr. John Mason Neale. In his study adjoining the Chapel, he wrote many well-known hymns and carols, including "Good King Wenceslas" and "Jerusalem the Golden". Dr. Neale, who died here in 1866 after twenty years as warden, also founded the first Anglican sisterhood, the Order of St. Margaret, and 18


was one of the leading figures in the Oxford movement, which endeavoured to revitalise high-church institutions.” The County Archivist, Mr. Richard Childs BA. DAA, of West Sussex Records Office, kindly searched through the records held at County Hall and reported, "We hold the records of Sackville College (WSRO Ref. Add. Ms. 17826-18013) and the parish records for East Grinstead at this office. I checked the catalogues of these records but could find no specific reference to Mr. Bush. However, I checked Add.Ms. 17836, which is a record of Sackville College Pensioners and Inmates, and found an entry for him." The paper indicates that he entered Sackville College “a widower” on 8 January 1924, the fee being £100 a year. It also shows that his “sister-in-law” was ill at the time, although no name or address was supplied to the college. While researching her family history, Patricia Reehl of Swanley, Kent, a relative of Thomas Bush, uncovered another Nottingham connection with East Grinstead in Noreen Bush who would have been 19 years-old in 1924 she writes: “Interestingly, Noreen Bush born 1905 in Nottingham was the founder-principal of the BushDavies Ballet Schools. Noreen was appointed head scholarship teacher to the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1929 and became a member of the Academy’s Grand council in 1929. In 1930 in conjunction with Victor Leopold, she opened a school in London. By 1939 she joined forces with Marjory Davies to establish two schools one at East Grinstead and the other at Romford.” I later learned that the Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts was a renowned dance and performing arts school in the United Kingdom. Founded by the dance teacher Pauline Bush in Nottingham in 1914, and later with branches in Romford and East Grinstead, it would become recognised as one of the foremost performing arts schools in the United Kingdom, until its closure in 1989. Sadly, with increasing ill health, Thomas William Bush FRAS died here on Monday 23 April 1928, he was 88 years-old. Bush’s close friend, Mr. Percy Sharman, who was a professor of music at the college, was appointed the executor of Mr. Bush's will and he took charge of the contents of his room. Bush’s Probate record reads: “Thomas William Bush of Sackville College East Grinstead. Administration with Will 16.6.1928 to Percy Victor Sharman. Professor of Music. Effects £708 3s 10d. Probate 1928 London.” Professor Sharman acted according to the last wishes of the late Mr. Bush, by contacting Mr. J.E. Shimeld at University College, Nottingham, to present him with Bush's scientific instruments, books and the great 24 inch reflector, that are all still held in storage on the new campus today. These include the gold medal presented by Queen Victoria. A 1613 Bible covered in black leather, an 1800 folio Bible, and a rare 1682 Botanical book: 'The Anatomy of Plants,' by Nehemiah Grew. The Anatomy of Plants: With an idea of a philosophical history of plants, and several other lectures, read before the Royal Society· By Nehemiah Grew M.D. Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the College of Physicians. Printed by W. Rawlins, for the author, 1682 – with 320 pages. Bush's religion was Church of England; furthermore, the funeral service that followed on Friday 27th of April was carried out according to the ancient rites and ordinances of the

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college. The brothers and sisters all paid their respects by following Bush to the gates of the building, and the service then followed in the Sackville Chapel shown here. The actual site of Thomas Bush's final resting place is still a mystery. Mr. Martin Hayes, the Principal Local Studies Librarian at Worthing library, West Sussex, made a number of enquiries, however he drew a blank, and I can say with certainty no one was buried in the grounds of Sackville College. "As regards his burial place, officers at East Grinstead Town Council checked the burial registers for Mount Noddy & Queens road cemeteries but no record of his burial is listed. The parish churchyard at St. Swithun's was closed by 1928 according to Canon Roger Brown the present incumbent." Bush's obituary notices were published in Nottingham, nationally, and in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, volume 89. At this point, I believe it fitting to quote from two of the obituary columns. The first is from Mr. W.S. Franks writing in The Courier: "By those who knew him he was esteemed for his sterling qualities, though not seeking publicity. He was an expert mechanic as well as a mathematician; designing and building a number of large reflecting telescopes, some of them with mirrors two feet in diameter. "He was a classical scholar and could quote passages from Shakespeare, Goth, and Schiller with much facility, besides having a pretty thorough knowledge of Greek and Latin..." The second obituary abstract is from Mr. F.C. Poynder writing in 'The National Deposit Friendly Society magazine, April 1932, page 89: "Mr. Bush's mathematical attainments were of a very high order. He had a wide knowledge of History and Geography. He could read the Old and New Testament in their original languages and could read French and German. He had a great interest in Philosophy. "He was well read in general literature; had a great love of music; and was an ardent admirer of Shakespeare and Shelley, whose words were often on his lips. "When it is added that he had an intimate knowledge of farming and knew all about Mechanics, we may justly say that intellectually he was among the giants. It was only due to his total lack of ambition and his indifference to the world’s prizes that he did not attain to a position of pre-eminence in any one of half a dozen subjects. "But we shall form a very incomplete picture of him if we omit his nobility of character. He was courteous, gentle, and lovable, with that greatness which results from the union of brilliant intellect with loftiness of character, complete simplicity." In East Grinstead the young television astronomer Sir. Patrick Moore befriended Mr. William Sadler Frank's who introduced him to stargazing. In 1930, the 24-inch telescope was already dismantled ready for dispatch to Nottingham; Patrick had full use of all the other telescopes at the observatory. Sadly, William Sadler Frank’s died suddenly in a road accident after being knocked off his bicycle in 1935.

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At the Convention of the Antique Telescope Society held at Bath in September 1996, I gave a lecture on the life of Thomas Bush, Sir. Patrick Moore told me afterwards that he had the original observation books compiled by W.S. Frank's, and that a number were written by Bush himself. Patrick also informed the meeting that he had many photographs showing the observatory and the telescopes their. The 24-inch telescope was brought back to Nottingham, where it was set up on the former University grounds in Shakespeare Street during the summer of 1935. Unfortunately, the University staff was unable to get the gravity clock mechanism of the telescope to work properly. It was then dismantled and put into storage in the cellar of the University building. Sadly, along with the University, the telescope was damaged during World War II on the night of the Blitz, 10 May 1941. What remains of the telescope is today at Nottingham University’s Highfield campus. BROCKHURST: A SMALL TWENTIETH-CENTURY OBSERVATORY BY SIR PATRICK MOORE, CBE, FRAS. Brockhurst Observatory, at East Grinstead in Sussex, cannot claim to have been a major institution. Its largest telescope was a Bush 24-inch reflector, but much of the work was carried out with a 6 1/8 inch refractor, and by one man, William Sadler Franks (18511935). Yet some useful results came from it, and it deserves to be remembered. The location 51° 7’ 27” N. 2° 27 E. F.J. Hanbury, senior partner in the famous firm of Allan and Hanbury, set it up in the first decade of the twentieth century. Hanbury was very wealthy, and bought a lovely old house on the boundary between East Grinstead and the village of Ashurst Wood in West Sussex. He was a noted horticulturalist, and specialised in orchids; his orchid-houses were world famous, and were tended by a large staff. The Observatory was set up in the grounds, and was attractive; there was one main building, with a dome for the refractor as well as a transit instrument and an observing room. The Cooke telescope was optically excellent, with a conventional falling-weights drive; there was an accurate clock, and a small library. As observer, Hanbury engaged W.S. Franks, who had been born in Newark on 26 April 1851 and had become an enthusiastic astronomer, though he never attended University. He specialised in observations of star colours, and his first major contribution was “Catalogue of the Colours of 3,890 Stars”, communicated to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1878 by Rev. T. W. Webb. Subsequently he became director of the Star Colours Section of the Liverpool Astronomical Society (then a national rather than a local organization). The Liverpool society collapsed, and was to all intents and purposes succeeded by the British Astronomical Association, founded in 1890. Franks joined the BAA in 1891, and directed its Star Colour Section for some years. In view of the small telescopes involved (many of them refractors) the estimates were surprisingly accurate, and several lists were issued, though with the rise of spectroscopy the Section faded away. Franks retained his interest in the subject, and in 1921 undertook a revision of the colours of 6,000 stars at the request of the Vatican Observatory. Meanwhile he had spent some time as assistant to Isaac Roberts at a private observatory in Crowborough in Sussex (1892-1904). He assisted John Franklin-Adams in 21


the preparation of the famous star charts, and in 1910 accepted Hanbury’s invitation to take charge at the Brockhurst Observatory. Franks made his own programme of observations – mainly concerned with star colours; various papers were published, and in 1923, the RAS Council awarded him the Jackson-Gilt medal. Otherwise, Frank’s duties were more or less limited to making the telescopes available to Hanbury’s houseguests, of which there were many. The 24-inch Bush reflector was housed in a separate observatory, but was always the secondary instrument, and was taken down in 1930. The work at Brockhurst was not confined to star colours; Franks was concerned largely with micrometrical measurements of double stars, and indeed this was probably the most important contribution. Between 1914 and 1920, in particular, thousands of measurements were made. Neither was photography neglected, and in fact, Franks’ last paper, published in 1930, dealt with Barnard’s dark nebulae. Franks died on 19 June 1935, at the age of eighty-five. I had been observing with him, and very much to my surprise, Hanbury invited me to take charge of the Observatory. Despite my tender years (I was aged fourteen) I hope that I carried out my duties efficiently; at any rate, Hanbury seemed to think so, and I was able to use the Cooke refractor to contribute to the lunar and planetary sections of the BAA. Hanbury died in early 1939, and the Observatory was dismantled; the Cooke refractor was sold for £40 – a sum that was, to my great regret, out of my range. Franks observing books were handed over to me at the request of his relations. I correlated them and handed them over to the BAA. Trees now grow over the site of the Brockhurst Observatory, but it played a role, albeit a minor one and I at least will remember it with great affection. WILLIAM SADLER FRANKS 1851 – 1935 By Sir Patrick Moore [2002 Journal of the BAA. Vol. 112, P247] In 1934, I was elected a member of the British Astronomical Association. I was not exactly advanced in years - I was, in fact, eleven - but already I knew some BAA members, and the one who really stands out in my memory is William Sadler Franks. He was born in Newark, Nottinghamshire, on 26 April 1851. He became fascinated by astronomy at an early age, and before long, he had acquired a small telescope, which he set up in a homemade observatory. He was keen to carry out systematic work, and he decided to concentrate on the colours of the stars; this, remember, was well before the real development of spectroscopy. His first contribution was a 'Catalogue of the Colours of 3890 Stars', communicated to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1878 by no less a person than the Rev. T. W. Webb, of Celestial Objects fame. The Catalogue showed that despite his limited telescopic equipment, Franks was an extremely accurate and conscientious observer. His interest in star colours lasted all his life, and he became Director of the Star Colour Section of the Liverpool Astronomical Society, then the premier amateur organisation in the country. 22


The Liverpool society collapsed with surprising suddenness - or rather, became a local rather than a national body - and was to all intents and purposes succeeded by the BAA, founded in 1890. Franks was not an Original Member of the BAA, but he joined in the following year, and when a Star Colour Section was formed, Franks became its Director. He served in this capacity until 1894, when he was succeeded by G. F. Chambers. The Star Colour Section published several Memoirs; it is fascinating to look back at them. The first report forms Part III of Volume I of our Memoirs, and in it, Franks laid down the procedure to be followed. There were four grades: palest tint, pale, normal and full. Thus, R1 indicated 'ruddy white', R2 was pale red, R3 was red, and R4 very red. Stars with no detectable colour were marked zero. Others were Orange (Or), Yellow (Y), Green (G), Blue (B) and Purplish or Violet (V). There could be combinations of these, such as YG, yellowishgreen. Of course the observations were purely visual, and most members of the team used small refractors; thus E. H. Blakeney of Dewsbury (3-inch [75mm] OG), G. T. Davis of Reading (3-inch [94mm] OG), and the Rev. W. R. Waugh of Portland (4-inch [112mm] OG). There were a few reflectors; the largest was the 9-inch [240mm] used by R. W. Buttemer of Godalming. Franks himself used his 3-inch OG. Generally speaking, the colour estimates were surprisingly good. Among bright stars, only Vega was recorded as definitely blue and Beta Librae as definitely green. Here are some typical examples, with their modern spectral types:

The last Memoir of the Section formed Part II of Volume IX, but by then Franks had retired as Director, and the Catalogue of Red Stars for 1900' was produced by his successor. Apart from the fact that Achernar somehow crept into the list, it too agreed well with modern results. However, spectroscopy was taking over, and the Star Colour Section quietly faded away; by the time I joined the BAA, in 1934, the Section was long defunct. However, Franks retained his interest. He contributed several papers to the Monthly Notices of the RAS, and in 1921 undertook a revision of the colours of 6000 stars; this was at the request of Father Hagen, the Vatican astronomer, who published the results in 1923 in a special edition of the Specola Vaticana. In the meantime, Isaac Roberts had set up an observatory at Crowborough in Sussex, and equipped it with a 20-inch [500mm] reflector. In 1892, Franks joined him, and became adept at photographing star clusters and nebulae; his pictures were among the best of their time. This work continued until Roberts died in 1904; alas, nothing now remains of the observatory. Franks left Crowborough in 1906 and went to live in Uxbridge, where he had 23


several small engagements at private observatories; he also gave valuable assistance to John Franklin-Adams in the preparation of his famous star charts. This photograph shows Isaac Robert’s 20 inch telescope inside his observatory. Then, in 1910, Franks made what was to be his final move, to East Grinstead in Sussex. He joined F. J. Hanbury, who was a millionaire (associated with the firm of Allen and Hanbury); his main interest was in growing orchids, about which he was a world authority, but he was also interested in astronomy, and established an observatory at his home, Brockhurst, with Franks as the official astronomer-in-charge. By modern standards Brockhurst was modest; the main telescope was a Cooke 6-inch [155mm] refractor, though for a while there was also a 24-inch [600mm] Bush reflector. The position, accurately worked out by Franks, was latitude 51° 7’ 27” North, longitude 2°.27 E, altitude 435 feet. There was a neat building, with an excellent revolving dome, an annexe, and also a transit instrument. Franks worked here for the rest of his life, and he was most certainly not idle. He bought a house half a mile away, off the Lewes Road, and named it 'Starfield' after Isaac Roberts' observatory. Star colours were always very much to the fore, but at Brockhurst, the main work was in making micrometrical measurements of double stars. The Cooke refractor was very suitable for this, and Franks was a superbly accurate observer. He worked unceasingly; the most important results were those of the period between 1914 and 1920, and were published in various papers communicated to the Royal Astronomical Society. In 1923, the RAS Council awarded him its Jackson-Guilt Medal. There were other aspects to his work; in fact, his very last paper, published in the RAS Monthly Notices in January 1930, dealt with Barnard's Dark Nebulae. He also made beautiful drawings of the planets, and some lunar features. He was a familiar figure in East Grinstead; almost every day he could be seen bicycling from his house to the Observatory. It is no disrespect to say that he looked remarkably like a gnome. He was no more than five feet tall; he always wore a skullcap, and he had a characteristic white beard. He still attended meetings in London, but then, sadly, he had a cycling accident and never recovered. He died on 19 June 1935, in his eighty-fifth year, universally regretted. This is where I come into the story. My home in East Grinstead was directly opposite the Brockhurst estate. Of course, we knew the Hanbury’s, and it was there that I first met Franks - over dinner at Brockhurst one evening. I know that I had just been proposed as a BAA member (by another well-known astronomer, Major A. E. Levin), so it must have been in early 1934. Franks could not have been kinder or more helpful. I was able to join him in observing, and he taught me most of what I know; I spent happy hours in 'Starfield'. When he died, I was frankly shattered. I felt as though I had lost a very dear friend - as indeed I had. The Observatory was still in full order, though the Bush reflector had been removed (in fact I never saw it). Hanbury was then over ninety, and he gave me a surprise. Sometimes he needed an astronomer to 'show stars' to his guests; would I like to fill this role? If so, I could take charge of the observatory. You can well imagine that it did not take long for me to make up my mind. It is not every fourteen-year-old who has the chance to be an Observatory Director! Also, I was tutor-educated at home. I had been destined for Eton, but by the age of 24


thirteen it had become clear that I was not fit enough to go, so I was wholly East Grinstead based. I hope I fulfilled my duties adequately; at least there were no complaints, and of course, I had full use of the Cooke. It could not last. Hanbury died in early 1939, and the observatory was sold. If I had had ÂŁ40 I could have bought the telescope, but that was beyond me. I did acquire the observatory steps (which I still use), and Franks' observing books were handed over to me; also his personal copies of Webb's Celestial Objects, since Franks had been involved in preparing the final, Sixth Edition. The double star books have been handed to the BAA; the rest will follow. Trees now grow over the site of Brockhurst Observatory, but 'Starfield' is still there, and I went to see it a few weeks ago. The present owners made me very welcome, and had no objection to my taking photographs. It was strange to be back in that familiar room, after nearly seventy years, and I could briefly imagine that I was thirteen again instead of seventyeight! Certainly, I for one will never forget W. S. Franks. He was a charming, modest man, and all who knew him appreciated his delightful personality. I am glad to have known him. WILLIAM SADLER FRANKS [Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 96, p.291] Franks was born at Newark on 1851 April 26. During the early part of his life, he was occupied in his father's business at Leicester, but lie soon exhibited a preference for pursuits of a mechanical and scientific nature. At first chemistry and electricity claimed his chief attention -, but a glance through a friend's telescope turned his thoughts towards astronomy, and it was not long before he had an instrument of his own, mounted in a small homemade observatory of the Berthon type. After satisfying his curiosity by a little general stargazing, Franks soon settled down to systematic work, choosing the study of star colours as his line of research. The first fruits of this work took the form of a “Catalogue of the Colours of 3,890 Stars," which was communicated to the Society on his behalf in 1878 by the Rev. T. W. 'Webb. His interest in this branch of work persisted throughout his life, though he was otherwise occupied for a great part of his observing career. He directed the Star-Colour Section of the Liverpool Astronomical society and, later, that of the British Astronomical Association. He contributed many papers on the subject to the Monthly Notices, and as recently as 1921 undertook a revision of the colours of some 6000 stars at the request of the late father Hagen, who published them in a volume of the Specola Vaticana in 1923. He acquired great skill in the estimation of star colours, and his results, attained by purely visual means with a small telescope, have been found to be in quite remarkable agreement with those derived more recently by measurements of intensity distribution in photographic spectra. In 1802 Franks joined the late Dr. Isaac Roberts (Shown here on the right) at Crowborough, and was there engaged in photographing nebula and star clusters with the 20-inch reflector, until the time of his employer's death in 1904. In this work, he showed the same careful attention to detail as had characterised his previous visual observations. The 25


applause, which always greeted the appearance of the Crowborough photographs on the screen at Burlington House, was often a virtual tribute to his personal skill and gave him much quiet satisfaction. He left Crowborough in 1906 and went to live at Uxbridge for some years, during which time he had several small engagements connected with private observatories. He also assisted the late John Franklin Adams at Mervel Hill in the preparation of his star charts for publication. From 1910 until the time of his death Franks was in charge: of Mr. Frederick J. Hanbury*s observatory at East Grinstead. Here the chief instrument was a 6-inch equatorial refractor by Cooke, and with it, he made, during seven years, a series of micrometrical measures of wide double stars. These were published in various papers communicated to the Society in the years 1914-1920. In 1923, the Council awarded to him the Jackson-Gilt medal of the moiety for his work on the colours of the stars. He was by this time in his seventy-second year, hut he continued to contribute occasionally to the Monthly Notices, his last paper, on Bernard's marl: nebulae, being published in 1930 January, when he was seventy-eight. Franks, in whose character modesty was charmingly blended with enthusiasm, was probably little known to the present generation of astronomers, but there was a time when his diminutive,., almost gnome-like figure was often seen at the meetings of the Society, and those who were privileged to know him will retain a happy recollection of his delightful personality. He died on 1935 June 19, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, leaving a widow, one son and two daughters. He was elected a Fellow of the Society on 1880 January 9th. NEWARK’S BRILLIANT ASTRONOMER: DEATH OF W S FRANKS [The Newark Herald, Saturday July 13, 1935] The death has taken place at East Grinstead of a distinguished Newarker, Mr. W. S. Franks, Who was a cousin of Mr. A. J. Franks. The East Grinstead Observer in the course of its obituary notice says, "The news came as a great shock to the town, where he was well known and highly esteemed. He had been in indifferent health for some but the end was by no means expected. Mr. Franks took a turn for the worse on Saturday and passed away five days later. The gentleman was 84 years of age, but almost until the end, he was active and recently seen in the town. For 25 years, he was in charge of the observatory and meteorological instruments belonging to Mr. F. J, Hanbury at Brockhurst, East Grinstead. He had a brilliant mind and his knowledge of astronomy was in exhaustive. To East Grinstead people he will perhaps be best remembered for the many delightful lectures he gave during the winter evenings over a long period of years and to the readers of this paper his name was a familiar one. His monthly letters in these columns on the weather were always read with great interest. Mr. Franks also sent each week a meteorological summary. The following letter from a correspondent appeared in the "Times":— "William Sadler Franks was born at Newark, Nottinghamshire on April 26th, 1851. During his early years, he lived in Leicester, except for a year in the United States of America (186869). He early developed a taste for mechanical and scientific pursuits. "Quite by chance he looked through a friend's telescope (a fairly powerful one) at the heavens, and from that time onward he turned his attention towards astronomy. The longing thus created was not satisfied except by the acquisition of a telescope for his own use; but there was nowhere to have it except on the roof of his father's house. A wooden platform overcame that difficulty—to be followed later by a homemade "Bertnon' observatory. His first piece of systematic work was a ''Catalogue of the Colours of 3,890 Stars, which was 26


presented to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1878 by the late Prebendary Webb on behalf of the author. This was largely prompted by the gifted author of 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes,'' to whose kindly advice Mr. Franks was much indebted. He was elected a Fellow of the R.A.S. in January 1880. Besides the routine observing work. Mr. Franks was a frequent contributor to the 'English Mechanic' and other miscellaneous publications. About that time, he was an active member of the Liverpool Astronomical Society and director of its Star Colour Section. He also was an original member of the British Astronomical Association, which practically superseded the waning L.A.S., taking, over the charge of the Star Colour Section. "In 1892 Mr. Franks joined the late Dr. Isaac Roberts at Crowborough, and was engaged in photographing nebulae and star clusters with the 22-inch reflector, until the time of Dr Roberts' death in 1904.”

Isaac Roberts (27 January 1829 - 17 July 1904) was a Welsh engineer and businessman best known for his work as an amateur astronomer, pioneering the field of astrophotography of nebulae. He was a member of the Liverpool Astronomical Society in England and was a fellow of the Royal Geological Society. Roberts was also awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1895. In 1878, Roberts had a 7-inch refractor at his home in Rock Ferry, Birkenhead. Although at the time he used this for visual observation, he began to explore stellar photography, his forte, a few years later. In 1883, Roberts began experimenting with astrophotography. He first used portrait lenses with apertures varying from to 8 inches. Roberts was pleased with the results, and ordered a reflecting telescope with a silver-on-glass mirror of 20 inch diameter (100 inch focal length) from Howard Grubb and by 1885 he had built observatory building to house it. He mounted photographic plates directly at the prime focus in order to avoid the loss of light that would occur from using a second mirror. This allowed him to make significant progress in the then-developing field of astrophotography. In 1886 Roberts displayed his first photographs at the Royal Astronomical Society at Liverpool, which he was president. These images showed, for the first time, "the vast extensions of nebulosity in the Pleiades and Orion. Roberts died suddenly in Crowborough, Sussex, England in 1904 (he was 75 years old). “He left Crowborough in 1906 and went to live at Uxbridge for several years and, in the absence of regular employment, he had various small engagements connected with private observatories—several months in London, Guernsey and elsewhere. Occasionally he assisted the late John Franklin Adams at Mervil Hill, in preparing his Star Charts for publication. Prom 1910 onwards. Franks was in charge of the Brockhurst Observatory, East Grinstead, belonging to Mr. Frederick J. Hanbury, which was equipped with a fine 6-inch Cooke equatorial and small transit instrument by Troughton and Simms. Here micrometrical measures of wide double stars occupied some seven years work, the results being published in annual reports in 'Monthly Notices,' 1914 -1920. “Afterwards he undertook the revision of the colours of some 6000 stars at the request of the late Father S.J. Hagan who published them in a volume of the 'Specola Vaticana' in 1923. In the same year, Frank's was awarded the Jackson-Guilt Medal by the Council of the R.A.S. at the June meeting. Since then a catalogue of the mean colours of 205 red stars was published in 'Monthly Notices,' November, 1924; observations of Herschel's Nebulous Regions appeared in 'Popular Astronomy' (U.S.A.), October, 1928, and visual observations of Bernard's Dark Nebulae were published in "Monthly Notices,' January 1930. Meteorological observations have been taken daily at the Brockhurst Observatory since January, 1912, the rainfall statistics being duly forwarded to the Meteorological Office each year, and a weekly summary sent to a local newspaper. Frequent letters from Mr. Franks on current

27


astronomical topics have been published, and occasionally papers to the R.A.S. various volumes of the Notices' form 1880 onwards.� ALPHABETICAL INDEX 102 Canal Street ................................................................................................................................................8, 15 1881 Nottingham Census records .................................................................................................................. 16 20-inch [500mm] reflector. ................................................................................................................................. 23 24-inch telescope................................................................................................................................................... 20 4th Lord Forester of Willey Park & lodge in Shropshire......................................................................... 12 Agricultural Hall, North London .......................................................................................................................... 9 Alexandra Park ....................................................................................................................................................... 12 Allan and Hanbury................................................................................................................................................. 21 BAA ............................................................................................................................................................................. 23 British Astronomical Association ........................................................................................................ 21, 25, 27 Brockhurst................................................................................................................................................................. 17 Brockhurst estate................................................................................................................................................... 24 Brockhurst Observatory ............................................................................................................ 17, 21, 22, 25, 27 Bush 24-inch reflector.......................................................................................................................................... 21 Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts.............................................................................................................. 19 Bush’s new 24-inch telescope.......................................................................................................................... 17 Carlton........................................................................................................................................................................ 12 Catalogue of the Colours of 3,890 Stars ...................................................................................................... 21 Cecil Theodore, the 5th Lord Forester .......................................................................................................... 17 Charles Wheatstone ............................................................................................................................................... 3 Charles Wilkinson.................................................................................................................................................... 7 Coloured Star Section.......................................................................................................................................... 17 comet 1881 IV Schaeberle ................................................................................................................................ 13 comet Tebbutt ......................................................................................................................................................... 13 Comet Tebbutt .......................................................................................................................................................... 6 Convention of the Antique Telescope Society ........................................................................................... 21 Counties Daily Express, 27 July ...................................................................................................................... 11 Crowborough ........................................................................................................................................21, 23, 25, 27 Daily Telegraph, 13............................................................................................................................................... 11 Doona Cottage, Lewes Road, East Grinstead........................................................................................... 18 Dormansland ........................................................................................................................................................... 17 Dr. Isaac Roberts.............................................................................................................................................25, 27 East Grinstead .....................................................................................................................................17, 21, 24, 26 Elisa Bush................................................................................................................................................................. 12 Elizabeth Bush ........................................................................................................................................................ 16 28


F. J. Hanbury ........................................................................................................................................................... 24 F.J. Hanbury ............................................................................................................................................................ 21 Father S.J. Hagan ................................................................................................................................................. 27 G. F. Chambers...................................................................................................................................................... 23 Gedling parish......................................................................................................................................................... 12 George Bishop’s private observatory .............................................................................................................. 4 Hanbury died ........................................................................................................................................................... 22 Isaac Robert’s 20 inch telescope .................................................................................................................... 24 Isaac Roberts ....................................................................................................................................................21, 23 Jackson-Gilt medal................................................................................................................................................ 26 Jackson-Gilt medal. .............................................................................................................................................. 22 Jackson-Guilt Medal ............................................................................................................................................. 24 John Bush................................................................................................................................................................... 7 John Franklin Adams ........................................................................................................................................... 26 John Franklin-Adams ........................................................................................................................................... 21 John Marriott.............................................................................................................................................................. 7 John Russell Hind.................................................................................................................................................... 4 John Russell Hind was born................................................................................................................................ 3 large and valuable sidereal clock .................................................................................................................... 15 Lewes road............................................................................................................................................................... 18 Lewes Road ............................................................................................................................................................. 24 Liverpool Astronomical society......................................................................................................................... 25 Liverpool Astronomical Society..................................................................................................................21, 22 Lord Forester .....................................................................................................................................................10, 16 Lord Forrester's Observatory ............................................................................................................................ 16 Major A. E. Levin.................................................................................................................................................... 24 Martha Cecilia Johnston .................................................................................................................................8, 16 Mary Neep .................................................................................................................................................................. 7 Millicent Newton ..................................................................................................................................................... 16 Mount Noddy & Queens road cemeteries ................................................................................................... 20 Mr Henry Johnson ................................................................................................................................................... 8 Mr S. Alex. Renshaw.............................................................................................................................................. 9 Mr. Carpmael............................................................................................................................................................. 3 Mr. F. J, Hanbury at Brockhurst....................................................................................................................... 26 Mr. F.C. Poynder.................................................................................................................................................... 20 Mr. Frederick J. Hanbury*s observatory at East Grinstead.................................................................. 26 Mr. George Biddle Airy .......................................................................................................................................... 3 Mr. George Bishop .................................................................................................................................................. 4 Mr. John Hind ............................................................................................................................................................ 3

2


Mr. Percy Sharman ............................................................................................................................................... 19 Mr. Thomas Chambers Hine ............................................................................................................................. 12 Mr. W. S. Franks .................................................................................................................................................... 26 Mr. W.S. Franks...................................................................................................................................................... 17 Mr. W.S. Franks writing in The Courier: ....................................................................................................... 20 Newark ....................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Newark,...................................................................................................................................................................... 22 Newark-On Trent ................................................................................................................................................... 17 Noreen Bush............................................................................................................................................................ 19 Nottingham Academy............................................................................................................................................. 7 Nottingham College University .............................................................................................................. 8, 16, 17 Nottingham Crown Court buildings................................................................................................................. 16 Nottingham Daily Guardian, 13 July 1870 ................................................................................................... 11 Nottingham General Hospital............................................................................................................................ 11 Nottingham Grammar School ............................................................................................................................. 3 Nottingham Guardian ........................................................................................................................................... 13 Nottingham Journal................................................................................................................................................. 9 Nottingham Journal, 20 July.............................................................................................................................. 11 Nottingham Mechanics Institute......................................................................................................................... 8 Nottingham Subscription Library ....................................................................................................................... 7 Nottingham Town Borough Council................................................................................................................ 13 Nottingham University’s Highfield campus .................................................................................................. 21 observatory of the Berthon type....................................................................................................................... 25 orchid-houses.......................................................................................................................................................... 21 Orlando Watkin Weld ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Patricia Reehl of Swanley, Kent ...................................................................................................................... 19 Pauline Bush............................................................................................................................................................ 19 Percy Victor Sharman. Professor of Music.................................................................................................. 19 Postern Street ......................................................................................................................................................... 11 Rev George Roebuck............................................................................................................................................. 7 Rev. T. W. Webb..............................................................................................................................................21, 22 Rev. T. W. 'Webb................................................................................................................................................... 25 Robert Goodacre ..................................................................................................................................................... 7 Royal Arch Druid in Lister gate .......................................................................................................................... 7 Royal Astronomical Society.................................................................................. 11, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27 Royal Observatory, Greenwich .......................................................................................................................... 3 Sackville College..............................................................................................................................................18, 19 Saint Ann's valley................................................................................................................................................... 12 Sir Charles Wheatstone ........................................................................................................................................ 3

3


Sir George Biddell Airy .......................................................................................................................................... 3 Sir George Biddle Airy ......................................................................................................................................... 10 Sir Isaac Newton................................................................................................................................................9, 10 Sir John Herschel .................................................................................................................................................... 6 Sir. Patrick Moore .................................................................................................................................................. 20 Sofia Elizabeth........................................................................................................................................................ 12 Specola Vaticana................................................................................................................................................... 25 Spectroscope .......................................................................................................................................................... 10 speculum..................................................................................................................................................................... 9 St Mary’s church ...................................................................................................................................................... 8 St. Swithun's ............................................................................................................................................................ 20 Standard Hill Academy.......................................................................................................................................... 7 The 13-inch mirror made by Bush..................................................................................................................... 9 The 24-inch telescope ......................................................................................................................................... 21 'The Anatomy of Plants,' by Nehemiah Grew............................................................................................. 19 The Duke of Newcastle ....................................................................................................................................... 11 The Mapperley Observatory.............................................................................................................................. 13 The Newark Herald ............................................................................................................................................... 26 The Nottingham Guardian.................................................................................................................................... 6 'The Observatory,' Mapperley........................................................................................................................... 13 The Star Colour Section...................................................................................................................................... 23 The Times newspaper on 12 July 1870.......................................................................................................... 9 The Times, 12 July................................................................................................................................................ 11 Thomas Bush .......................................................................................................................................................... 12 Thomas William Bush ......................................................................................................................................6, 19 Thyra Grove ............................................................................................................................................ 6, 12, 13, 16 transits of Venus .................................................................................................................................................... 15 Trinity College Cambridge.................................................................................................................................. 10 Twickenham............................................................................................................................................................... 6 Union Road ‘Workhouse’.................................................................................................................................... 16 Uxbridge .................................................................................................................................................................... 26 Vatican Observatory ............................................................................................................................................. 21 W. S. Franks ............................................................................................................................................................ 25 W.S. Franks ............................................................................................................................................................. 21 West Sussex Records Office ............................................................................................................................ 19 Willey Park................................................................................................................................................................ 16 William Ewart Gladstone..................................................................................................................................... 10 William Marriott......................................................................................................................................................... 7 William Rutter Dawes............................................................................................................................................. 4

4


William Sadler Frank’s ......................................................................................................................................... 17 William Sadler Franks ....................................................................................................................................16, 21 William Sadler Franks.......................................................................................................................................... 22 Working Men's International Exhibition........................................................................................................... 9 Worthing library, West Sussex ......................................................................................................................... 20

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Thomas William Bush F.R.A.S.  

Thomas Bush (1839 - 1928). Originally published in 2012, this booklet details the biographies of three of Nottinghamshire's most recognised...

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