Thomazine Mary Browne was born in Bridgwater in 1852. She studied Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at Queens College, London. She also attended courses in physics and applied mathematics at University College and became a mathematics tutor in 1875. Mary and her sister Annie worked for Octavia Hill, and for Canon and Mrs Barnett at Toynbee Hall, to improve housing conditions in London. They were also involved in the formation of College Hall, the first women's hall of residence in London.
in the 1880's Mary attended the Solar Physics Observatory in South Kensington. This was the brainchild of the charismatic and self-taught Norman Lockyer. It was publicly-funded and both taught and researched day-time astronomical physics rather than traditional astronomy. Sir Norman Lockyer became Mary's second husband on 23rd May 1903 in the Church of the Annunciation, Marylebone. The couple built a house in Sidmouth, where Mary's grandparents had lived. Norman Lockyer's moved the Observatory to Sidmouth in 1912, which he ran until his death in 1920. Mary was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1923.
Mary was secretary of the Sidmouth branch of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies from 1909 to 1918. She maintained an active involvement with Sidmouth societies until her death in 1943.
Devon History Society
Royal Astronomical Society obituary
The Lockyer Ladies
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