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One or two had never engaged in any form of gainful employment, possessing that enviable advantage for any scholar, a private income. They were in the position of the retired soldier, whose time was mainly given to the acquisition of beautiful things, and who was charmingly characterised in his obituary as having 'tastes of this kind and means enough to allow him to indulge them'. Others, by their success in their chosen calling, made enough money fairly quickly to allow them to retire early and to practise their hobbies on a full-time basis.

He was also able to show that the available evidence pointed to Stonehenge being a monument of the Bronze Age, while Avebury was still older. In 1871, after he had become a Member of Parliament and therefore a person of some political influence, he received an urgent message from the Rector of Avebury, who was well aware of his close interest in the prehistoric stone circles there. The message was to inform Sir John that the site was about to be used for building purposes - this, we should note, was in the 1870s, not the 1970s.

He was a member of the German Academy of Sciences, a corresponding member of the French Institute and an honorary professor of the University of Leipzig. The Society of Antiquaries elected him an Honorary Fellow in 1893. ' 1855 Lt. Col. George Babington Croft Lyons 19 d. 1926 A regular officer in the Essex Regiment, Col. Lyons devoted much money and effort, especially in the second half of his life, to building up collections of objets d'art, furniture and scientific instruments. 'It is unfortunate that with all his industry in gathering information about the collections he made, Lyons was not one of those who readily sat down to the writing of a note or paper for the Society's publications.

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