SOCIAL LIFE 177
called Hawk Cottage, that stood on the old Brompton Road, nearly opposite to where Bina Gardens now are, on a spot that had not then passed into the hands of the builders of streets. They were much visited by members of the highest Russian nobility and by many English friends.
In 1861 Mr. Atkinson died, and his wife applying to the Treasury for some money due to him, was met by the astounding assertion, backed by abundant proof, that she was not legally his wife, inasmuch as he had been married before he went to Russia to a lady who was still living in England. To the natural inquiry why the claim should be now put forward for the first time, considering the publicity under which Mr. Atkinson had lived, the reply was that no news of him had reached the claimant, who occupied a different grade of society, until intelligence had been sent to her by a friend of her husband's death. This tragic termination affected many of us greatly. We recollected that Atkinson had avoided bringing his wife (as we thought she was) to the forefront, and it had been remarked at the time of the publication of his book of travels that he made the scantiest references to her, and never used the word "wife." It was a wonder, and it is so still, how he dared to settle in London and risk a serious criminal charge. Friends gathered round Mrs. Atkinson, as I must still call her, and helped her in many substantial ways. She afterwards returned to Russia.
It was during this time that I made the acquaintance of the then Mr., afterwards Sir John Lubbock, and now Lord Avebury, who was engaged on his