The Reverend Thomas Henry Espinell Compton Espin or T. H. E. C. Espin (28 May 1858 – 2 December 1934) was a British astronomer. His father Thomas Espin was Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester and his mother was Elizabeth (née Jessop).
He became interested in astronomy after the appearance of "Coggia's Comet" (C/1874 H1).
He was an avid amateur astronomer and skilled observer. In 1876 he made the acquaintance of Rev. Thomas William Webb and assisted with the compilation of the famous book Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes; after Webb's death he published expanded 5th and 6th editions of it. He discovered many nebulas, variable stars, and more than 2500 double stars. He made many observations of the spectra of stars, and in particular he also did extensive searches for red stars (especially in his early career) and published a catalogue of them.
He became a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society on 11 January 1878. He was awarded the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1913. He discovered Nova Lacertae 1910.
His other amateur scientific interests included botany, geology and the study of X rays; his study of fossils caused him to disbelieve Darwin's theory of evolution.
In 1888 he became Vicar of Tow Law and held this post until his death. He also served as a county magistrate for 35 years beginning in 1891 and was Chairman of Stanhope and Wolsingham Sessions. He never married.
The crater Espin on the Moon is named after him.
Rev. Espin was a frequent correspondent with the Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto in the early 1890s.
- 1893-05-02 Letters were read from Rev. T.E. Espin, F.R.A.S., of Tow Law, England, respecting the variability of Stars Es-Birm., Numbers 545 and 561.
- 1893-10-31 In a circular, Rev. T.E. Espin, F.R.A.S., of Tow Law, England, announced that a fine red star (observed at R.A. 20h. 46m. 59s., and N.D. 46° and 47m.), is a variable, and was then fading. [Possibly TYC 3579-3479-1]
- 1893-11-28 From Rev. T.E. Espin, F.R.A.S., was received a report respecting the discovery of variability in certain stars which had been under observation at his Observatory in Tow Law, England.
Rev. Espin was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the A.P.S. of T. on 1894-01-09. He wrote, "Your communication in which you inform me that the Astronomical and Physical Society of Toronto intend to do me the honour of making me a Corresponding Member, has just reached me. In accepting, may I ask you to convey to the members of the Society my sincere thanks and wishes that what I shall soon hope to call our Society may be as flourishing in the future as in the past. I have watched with great interest its progress and the increasing value to Science of its publications."