Royal Observatory, Greenwich,
1860 June 11
A party of observers represented (as secretary) by me hope to have the use of a large steam ship from the Government to convey them to and from the north coast of Spain: calling off Bilbao to land those who choose to land there, and proceeding to Santander, returning in the reverse order.
The ship is to sail from Portsmouth on the morning of July 7h: (baggage to be on board on 6h). Parties landing at the two ports will go as far as they please into the interior (the engineers of the two railways, Mr Vignoles <1> and Mr Sewell, <2> will give much assistance) The ship will sail for England three or four days after the eclipse.
Probably some will be at Reynosa, some at Bruges, some at Orduna, some at Miranda, some at Vitoria
I am, dear Sir, Faithfully yours
G B Airy
[envelope, "Royal Observatory" blindstamped on rear flap:]
Henry F. Talbot Esq.
Envelope:Henry R. Talbot Esqre
1. Charles Blacker Vignoles (1793–1875) railway and bridge engineer.
2. Philip Sewell (1822–1906) civil engineer and brother of the author Anna Sewell, had been a student under Vignoles when he taught at University College, London some time between 1841–1843. In 1860 Sewell was building a railway from Bilbao to the River Ebro.