Reply To: Christmas Meeting

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David C Rayment

The plaque in the picture gives a date c1865, but, having not seen the actual telescope it looks the finished article to me. I would therefore guess a little later – c1867. William Wray’s patent on Improvements in Achromatic Object Glasses was filed in 1866. See 920 of English Patents of Inventions, Specifications: 1866, 903-966. The witness to the September piece is J Turnbull, which I suspect is his brother-in-law, Joseph, who was also an optician.
Wray, however, was at Clifton Villas up to at least the spring of 1874, but he had changed his address to Laurel House sometime in 1875, so the telescope must date before then.

The Science Museum Group website, incidentally, states the company name changed from W Wray to Wray Ltd after the merger with Aitcheson in 1908 and that the name became Wray Optical Works Ltd in 1950. However, the London Gazette shows the business name was Wray Optical Works Ltd as early as 1944.

In 1860, two years before he was elected FRAS, Wray visited Spain where he assisted James Buckingham in his observations of the 1860 solar eclipse on July 18. Also in the large group was the Astronomer Royal. Wray was also a member of the Microscopical Society.
Wray died at Laurel House on 31 December 1885 and was buried at Camden on January 4 the following year.