Margaret Lindsay Murray - who would become Lady Huggins
- was born on August 14, 1848 in Dublin, Ireland. An early interest in astronomy is attributed to her grandfather who taught her the constellations. She went on to study the heavens with a home-made spectroscope.
Her interest and abilities in spectroscopy and photography led to her introduction to the astronomer William Huggins, whom she married in 1875. Evidence suggests that she was instrumental in instigating William Huggins' successful program of photographic research. She used her background in photography to facilitate early spectroscopic photography.
Together the pair were pioneers in the field of spectroscopy, and from their discoveries together they wrote the Atlas of Representative Stellar Spectra
It took William eight years to acknowledge her co-equal role in their laboratory by placing her name on the reports of their joint work. Even after his death she never attempted to outline her own role in the technical and theoretical development of their pioneering work in spectral astrophotography. But she left behind her notebooks, and the story they tell is at odds with the Victorian face the Hugginses showed to the British astronomical community.
Margaret Huggins willed her scientific and artistic treasures to Wellesley Women's College in the USA, as she admired the academic achievements of American women and supported women's education.