Marmaduke Swindlehurst was the Head Master of Ordsall Board School and President of the Salford Teachers Association.
He was born in Arkholme, in the Lune valley near Kirkby Lonsdale, Lancashire in 1862. The 1881 census has him as an 18-year-old student boarder at Chester Diocesan Training College. In 1885 he married Annie Elizabeth Warriner at St Luke's Church, Weaste. She was the daughter of James and Annie E. Warriner and born in 1855 at Hull, Yorkshire. (In 1881, Annie was living with her parents in Gorton, aged 26 and a, schoolmistress). They had a daughter Elsie, then tragically Annie developed tuberculosis and died on 22nd June 1888 aged 33. Two years later, Marmaduke was planning to marry again, but he too was struck down with tuberculosis and died on 4th November 1890. He was 28 years old. His bride-to-be later married his brother Mark. Marmaduke's daughter Elsie, was brought up by her aunties. She married and had a son.
The Salford Reporter of 8th November 1890 records, "The death of Mr Marmaduke Swindlehurst, head master of Ordsall Board School, which occurred on Tuesday last at the early age of 28 years, has deprived the Salford School Board of one of its ablest and most successful Head Masters. At the breaking up of the school for the summer holidays in July last, Mr Swindlehurst left with the intention of being married during the holidays, but his health broke down the following week and the event was postponed in consequence. His illness was of a severe character from the commencement and for a considerable time there seemed little chance of recovery. He died at the residence of his brother (Mark), at Docker Farm, Arkholme, near Kirkby Lonsdale, where he had been throughout his illness.
Mr Swindlehurst was the first Head Master of the Ordsall Board School, having been appointed to the position in 1885, when the school was opened. The success of this school has been very remarkable. Owing to the large attendance the school had not been long built before an extension of the premises became necessary. And the enlargement, which was complete in July of last year, provided accommodation for nearly 500 scholars in the senior boys department. The work of the school has obtained the highest commendation from Her Majesty's Inspector and in each year, the "excellent" merit grant has been awarded.
More striking perhaps than the efficiency of the school is the regularity of the scholars in attendance, which is probably not exceeded by any school in Manchester or the neighbourhood. With 450 scholars on the registers, a daily average attendance of 93 per cent has been maintained, and the attendance has shown very little fluctuation at the approach of holiday seasons, when as a rule, the best schools suffer a falling off in the regularity of their scholars. Mr Swindlehurst was a teacher of great force of character, original methods and untiring energy, and his influence was felt by all in the school, both teachers and scholars. He succeeded in raising an "espirit de corps" among the boys which caused them to take a pride in the reputation of the school and to vie with one another in maintaining the regularity of attendance. Mr Swindlehurst's reputation amongst his fellow teachers of similar standing may be indicated by the fact that he has filled the office of President of the Salford Teachers Association, and at the first meeting over-which he presided he delivered a masterly and interesting address on educational topics.
He was a widower and has left one child. Much sympathy is felt for this little one and for the lady to whom he was engaged to be married, who until recently filled the position of Head Mistress of a school in the neighbourhood."
The funeral took place on Saturday 8th November 1890 at half past three. Marmaduke was buried with his beloved wife Annie Elizabeth in plot A11 of the Church of England portion of Weaste Cemetery. Rev C.E. Stewart officiated.
I am indebted to Ruth Colley for a very interesting piece of history concerning the Swindlehurst family of north Lancashire. Farmer James Swindlehurst (1783 – 1863) of Gunnerthwaite Farm, Arkholme, near Kirkby Lonsdale is reputed to have sold a bull for 8 guineas in about 1816. He insisted on being paid in guinea gold coins, which were being phased out of the currency and quite hard to acquire. He gave one guinea to each of his 8 children and requested that they be passed down the generations. One of James' children was named Marmaduke (1821 – 1885) who was a twin. He farmed at the Gunnerthwaite Farm and later farmed at Docker Farm. He married Margaret Ellwood and they had 3 sons and 7 daughters. The eldest son James became a Milk Dealer in Barrow; the second son Mark took over at Docker Farm; and the youngest son was Marmaduke, who became a Head Master in Salford. Ruth is trying to find out what happened to the other 7 guineas!