Webb, Thomas William [Revd.] (1807-1885), born Ross-on-Wye, clergyman and antiquarian with an interest in astronomy. Appoited vicar of Hardwicke, near Hey-on-Wye in 1856, he best known for his observational guide Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes first published in 1859 (ODNB; Robinson 2006).
With, George Henry (1827-1904), born in Chelsea, he spent two years at St John’s College, Battersea, became a schoolmaster. In 1851 he was appointed Master of the Blue Coat School in Hereford, and remained there 25 years. Around 1860 he adopted the new technology of making silver on glass mirrors, and began producing excellent mirrors that replaced speculum metal. It made better telescopes more readily affordable, and led to a great expansion in amateur astronomy (Marriott 1996).
Webb’s Observatory (1866-1885) [WeO], Hardwicke, established by the Revd. Thomas William Webb at the rectory. Equipped with a 9-inch With reflector,the telescope was housed in a Romsey type observatory, a 12-sided wooden structure with canvas roof (Robinson 2006, 38 & 139).
Herefordshire Astronomical Society (HereAS), founded (?). Members meet monthly at Kindle Centre Belmont Road Hereford (HR2 7JE)