118 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. X.
and Sir John's family joined in buying back the house at Slough, where their grandfather Sir William Herschel, had made many of his celebrated observations. That house and its varied contents I had also the pleasure of visiting on December 4,1891, being taken there by Lord Edward Churchill, when staying with him at Windsor. By the way, that Windsor visit obtained for my wife and myself access to another " sight " not open to the public, Queen Victoria's collection of miniatures, then in the custody of Mr. (afterwards Sir Richard) Holmes. These were very numerous and many of them historic as well as beautiful.
An episode of a somewhat romantic character connected with my pursuit of Astronomy at East-Bourne, may be here mentioned. In ] 899,1 undertook on behalf of the British Astronomical Association to assist in organising an expedition to Spain and Portugal to observe the total eclipse of the Sun of May 28, 1900; and part of my work was to collect information likely to be useful to members travelling to those countries. My name in this connection seems to have got into the newspapers, for in September 1899, I received a letter signed " E. Main," giving me some useful information, and a copy of a book entitled The Cities and Sights of Spain, with the endorsement " With the Author's Compliments." As the letter was dated from Brighton, I thought I could not do better than enter into communication with the writer. The author of the book turned out to be an authoress ; and she kindly invited me to call upon her at the house of her mother, Lady Hawkins-WThitshed. This I did, and it was the first of a long series of delightful visits to Somerby House, Brighton. In due course, I learnt that Lady Hawkins-Whitshed had a Barrister husband named Hughes, always in London on the mid-week days on which my visits to Brighton always took place. I generally found in the house a gentleman named Burnaby. In process of time, Mrs. Main, who when I first knew her was a widow, informed me that she had married again, and had become Mrs. Aubrey Le Blond. This was the extent of my knowledge