Page revised 9 April 2002



M to Z

For the introduction see A-L: note particularly that these notes were written up in 1990 and have not been updated.


MALLINSON, SIR DYSON - KNIGHT. Born in 1852 he was the son of George Mallinson of Hoyle House, Linthwaite, whose father had founded the firm of George Mallinson & Sons, woollen manufacturers. Dyson was apprenticed with Joshua Whiteley & Co., of Huddersfield, cotton spinners, but removed to Liverpool some time prior to 1880, where he traded as a cotton broker.

He was created a knight in 1921 for public services, was a governor of the Leys school, Cambridge, resided at Birkdale, Lancashire, and died in July 1929.

MARTIN, SIR ERNEST – KNIGHT. Ernest Martin was born in 1872, the son of Henry Martin of Lindley, whose father, Patrick, had come to Huddersfield from his native Kendall whilst still a young man. Patrick was a talented textile designer and helped to establish a manufacturing concern in the town which in 1864 was moved to Wellington Mills, Lindley. The concern prospered and by 1914 was the largest employer in the Huddersfield cloth trade with 1,400 hands. They had the distinction of a royal visit in July 1912.

Ernest Martin received his knighthood in 1917, lived for another 40 years and is buried in St Stephen's churchyard, Lindley.

NORTH AND GUILFORD - BARONESS. Elizabeth daughter of Sir Arthur Kaye of Woodsome (qv) married firstly Viscount Lewisham (see Earls of Dartmouth) and, following his death married Francis 7th Baron North and 3rd Baron Guilford. Elizabeth died in 1745 but left two children by her second marriage, her son Brownlow became Bishop of Lichfield, Worcester and Winchester successively and his son became the 6th Earl of Guilford, a title which had been granted to Elizabeth's husband after her death, and which had descended to her step-son, Lord North, the eminent Prime Minister. Lord North's three sons all held the title but for want of male issue it passed to their cousin, Elizabeth's grandson, and is presently held by his descendant Edward Francis North, 9th Earl.

Elizabeth's other child by her second marriage was Lady Louisa North who married the 14th Baron Willoughby de Broke, and whose descendant John Henry Peyton Verney is the 20th Baron.

Elizabeth Kaye must have been a remarkable woman, she made two auspicious marriages, three of her children held titles, two of which are still held by their descendants, and from her 4th child, Bishop of Winchester, sprang the present Earls of Guilford.

OXFORD AND ASQUITH - EARLS. Herbert Henry Asquith was born at Morley, the son of Joseph Dixon Asquith. His father died when he was a young boy and by 1861 his widow, Emily, the daughter of William Willans a Huddersfield woolstapler, had moved back to her native town where Herbert Henry was to spend a couple of terms at Huddersfield College.

A lawyer by profession he entered Parliament in 1886 and was Prime Minister from 1908, when his Liberal Ministry introduced old age pensions, to 1916.

He was made a Freeman of the town of Huddersfield in 1925 and the same year was elevated to the peerage under the title of Earl of Oxford and Asquith, with a second title, Viscount Asquith, to be borne by the eldest son. The first Earl died in 1928 and was succeeded in the title by his grandson, the present Earl.

PARRATT, SIR WALTER - KNIGHT. One of Huddersfield's premier musicians, he was born in the town in 1841, the son of Thomas Parratt, organist of the parish church, a post he had held from the age of 19, and in which he was to be succeeded by Henry his elder son.

At the age of eleven Walter became the organist at Armitage Bridge church and was of such stature that he rose to be organist of St. George's chapel, Windsor, and Master of Music to Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V, and was knighted in 1892.

Sir Walter Parratt died in 1924; a monument in Huddersfield parish church records that he was "by example and precept the outstanding organist of his time". There is a biography Walter Parratt by Tovey and Parratt.

PEACE, SIR WALTER - KNIGHT. Born in Huddersfield in 1840 he was the second son of James Peace, a professor of music in the town. He went to Natal in 1863, together with Charles North of Huddersfield, where they worked in partnership as farmers, merchants and millers; the opening out of diamond fields led to fortune. In Natal Walter Peace was vice-consul for Portugal (1870-78) and consul for Belgium (1870-79). He returned to England in 1880 and became the first Agent General for Natal.

He was knighted in 1897 and died 20 years later at his residence in Camberley. He was the author of two books, Our Colony of Natal and Notes on Natal.

QUARMBY, SIR JOHN SYKES - KNIGHT. Born in 1868, he was the son of James Quarmby of Common End, Linthwaite. He received his education at Longwood Grammar School, and became chairman of Messrs Quarmby & Sykes of Meltham.

He was for many years a Councillor for the West Riding, being for fifteen years the chairman of the Highways Committee, and was one of the twelve Traffic Commissioners for England. He received his knighthood in the New Year honours of 1934.

RADCLIFFE, SIR DAVID - KNIGHT. The son of a local clothier, Amos Radcliffe of Netherton Fold, he was born in 1834. The family moved to Liverpool where David was apprenticed to an engineer and ironfounder. He succeeded to the business, prospered and in 1882 was able to retire from trade.

In 1884 he was elected Mayor of Liverpool and received the singular honour of being re-elected for the ensuing year. He was chairman of that city's exhibition of navigation, travelling, commerce and manufacture, and following the opening ceremony in May 1886 he received his knighthood at the hands of Queen Victoria.

He lived at Thurstaston Hall on the Wirral and in 1892-3 was High Sheriff for the County of Cheshire. He died in 1907.

His son, Frederick Morton Radcliffe, also received a knighthood, in 1922.

RADCLIFFE OF MILNESBRIDGE HOUSE, YORKSHIRE - BARONETS. The first holder of the title was Joseph Pickford, born in 1744, the son of Joseph Pickford of Alt Hill, Lancashire. In 1795 he inherited the estate of his maternal uncle, William Radcliffe of Milnsbridge House, and the same year obtained royal permission to assume the surname and arms of Radcliffe.

He settled at Milnsbridge House, and for his exertions as a Justice of the Peace in 1812 at the time of the Luddite risings he was created a baronet in 1813, with the singular favour of a gratuitous patent. He died in 1819 and within five years the 2nd baronet had purchased Rudding Park near Harrogate for a family home. Milnsbridge House was subsequently let to tenants; it still stands and though greatly declined some of its original grandeur can still be guaged.

The 7th and present baronet is a schoolboy, a son born to the 6th Baronet at the age of 62, who entered to the title in 1975 at the age of 3.

RAMSDEN OF BYRAM, YORKSHIRE - BARONETS. A baronetcy conferred on John Ramsden of Longley Hall and Byram in 1689. The best known Huddersfield family, being virtual owners of the town for centuries, before selling their estates in Almondbury and Huddersfield to Huddersfield Corporation in 1920 for the sum of 1,300,000.

The baronetcy continued to be held by the family who sold the local estates until the 1980s, the 7th baronet being Sir Geoffrey William Pennington-Ramsden of Muncaster Castle in Cumbria. On his death without male heir the family had to be traced back to the 4th baronet, Sir John Ramsden (1755-1839), the promoter of the canal, and forward through one of his younger sons to Caryl Oliver Imbert Ramsden of Burton Agnes who became the 8th baronet. The 9th and present baronet, Sir John Charles Josslyn Ramsden of Her Majesty's foreign service, succeeded his father in 1987.

RAMSDEN, SIR WILLIAM - KNIGHT. Born at Meltham in 1857, one of the large family of James Ramsden of Dudd House. He was a solicitor and entered into partnership with T H Ramsden, whose daughter he was to marry, and Alfred Sykes, as Ramsden, Sykes and Ramsden.

A knighthood was conferred upon him in the New Year honours of 1926, for public services with the Ministry of Labour. He died at his residence, Marshfield, Edgerton Grove Road in 1928 and is interred in Huddersfield cemetery.

RAYNOR, SIR WILLIAM PICK - KNIGHT. William Pick Raynor was born in Huddersfield in 1854 the son of John Raynor. He emulated his father in business, both having commenced as warehousemen and both becoming partners in the firm of Thomas Hirst & Co., wool merchants. He is best remembered for his masonic connections, rising to the office of Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire.

His knighthood was announced in the birthday honours list of 1912 and conferred on 14th June that year. In 1922 he was elected Master of the Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers; he was a freeman of the City of London and was honoured by Huddersfield in 1926 with the freedom of the town.

He died at his home, Reinwood, Quarmby, in 1927 and was interred at Huddersfield cemetery, having bequeathed money to the Council for the upkeep of the same.

ROLLIT, SIR ALBERT KAYE - KNIGHT. Albert Kaye Rollit was the grandson of Joseph Kaye, the celebrated Huddersfield builder, though he was born, brought up and worked, initially, in the City of Hull where his father was a solicitor.

He was created a knight in 1885, and in 1894 the freedom of the town of Huddersfield was conferred upon him, partly in recognition of assistance given to the passage of local bills in the House of Commons.

He was proud of, and retained his Huddersfield connections to the last. He donated a splendid portrait of his grandfather to Huddersfield Art Gallery in 1897.

He married for his second wife the widow of the 3rd Duke of Sutherland, the richest of all peers, and it is said that despite the Married Woman's Property Act he enjoyed an income of 100,000 from her estate. He died in 1922.

RUTLAND, ANNE DUCHESS OF – DUKE’S WIFE. A society wedding took place at Westminster on 27th April 1946 when the 10th Duke of Rutland married Anne Bairstow Cumming-Bell. Anne was the eldest of three daughters of Major William Cumming-Bell of Binham Lodge, Edgerton, partner in a local stockbroking firm; her mother was a relative of Sir Edward Bairstow (qv).

The marriage to the Duke of Rutland, which produced one daughter, was dissolved in 1956.

SIKES, SIR CHARLES WILLIAM - KNIGHT. Born in 1818 Charles William Sikes was the son of Shakespear Garrick Sikes and the nephew of Silvester Sikes, both of whom had been among the pioneers of banking in Huddersfield, each running private banks in the town. Charles grew up in the era of the joint-stock banks that succeeded the private banks. He entered the employ of the Huddersfield Banking Co. in 1833, and was the manager by 1850. His brother, Edward, was also a bank manager in the town, with the Huddersfield and Halifax Bank.

Charles was knighted in 1881 in recognition of his strenuous advocacy of a system of Post Office Savings Banks, which when introduced brought in deposits of many millions of pounds. Recognition of his efforts was slow in coming, in 1868 the lack of any public or government recognition was being commented upon, and in 1881 a petition on the matter was submitted; it is said that the decision to confer a knighthood had been made before the petition was received.

Sir Charles invested his own savings wisely, he owned several large inns in the town, and it was his bringing together of the Pack Horse estate which in recent times enabled the carrying through of one of Huddersfield's largest private developments.

He died in 1889 at his home, Birkby Lodge, and is remembered by a monument in Huddersfield cemetery.

LADY MARGARETTE CONSTANCE STANTON - KNIGHT' S WIFE. Margarette was the daughter of Thomas Starkey one of the founding partners of the firm of Starkey Bros., Longroyd Bridge, and aunt to John Ralph Starkey, baronet (qv).

In 1862 she married Edward Stanton, a relative on her mother's side of the family. He had a distinguished military career, retiring as a general in 1881 and receiving a knighthood the following year.

STARKEY OF NORWOOD PARK, PARISH OF SOUTHWELL, AND CO. OF NOTTINGHAM -BARONETS. The 1st baronet, John Ralph Starkey was born in 1859, the son of Lewis Randle Starkey, a principal in the Longroyd Bridge firm of Starkey Bros, and a member of the family which promoted the building of St. Thomas' church across from their mills. Lewis Randle Starkey left Huddersfield and settled at Norwood Park, Nottinghamshire which became the family home.

John Ralph Starkey was MP for Newark from 1906 to 1922 and was created a baronet in 1935. The present and 3rd baronet is his grandson, John Philip Starkey.

SWANN OF PRINCE' S GARDENS, ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON - BARONETS. Charles Edward Schwann, the 1st baronet was born at Huddersfield in 1844 the son of Frederick Schwann a textile merchant, a native of Frankfurt who came to England after the death of his brother who was thrown from his horse on the Ainleys, above Elland.

Charles was educated at Huddersfield College and at the age of 20 was a merchant in Manchester. He led a full public and political life, becoming an MP in 1886. He was created a baronet, in the name of Schwann in 1906, and became a member of the Privy Council in 1911. It was in 1913 that he took the surname Swann, by Royal Licence, no doubt because of the rise of feeling against Germany prior to the First World War.

The present baronet, the 3rd, is his grandson, Anthony Charles Christopher Swann CMG OBE, whose marriage to Aitha Isobel, daughter of Lionel Dean of New Mill, was dissolved in 1970.

SYKES OF KINGSKNOWES, GALASHIELS, CO. SELKIRK. - BARONETS. Charles Sykes, born in 1867 was the son of Benjamin and Rachel Sykes of Kirkburton, and was a woollen manufacturer.

During the war he had been a director of Wool Textile Production and chairman of the Board of Control of the Worsted and Woollen Trade. He became MP for Huddersfield in 1918 in which year he also received a knighthood.

A baronetcy was conferred upon him in 1921, the present holder of which is his grandson, John Charles Anthony Le Gallais Sykes, the 3rd baronet.

TURNER, SIR BEN - KNIGHT Ben Turner was born near Holmfirth in 1863 of farming and weaving stock, but was living in Huddersfield by 1877.

He became Chairman of the TUC in 1928 and was Member of Parliament for Batley from 1922 to 1931, being awarded a knighthood in the latter year. He died in 1942. Much detail of his life and work can be found in his autobiography, About Myself 1863-1930.

TURNER, SIR JOSEPH - KNIGHT. Joseph Turner was a native of Sheffield but was working in Huddersfield by the age of 12, at Read Holliday's chemical works at Turnbridge. By 1918 he was managing director of the firm, then known as the British Dyestuffs Corporation, which during hostilities had produced 11 million tons of TNT without a single fatality.

His knighthood was awarded in 1920, and he died in 1939 at the age of 72 at his home, Birkby Lodge. Like a previous occupant of the house, Sir Charles William Sikes (qv), he is interred at Huddersfield cemetery.

WALKER, SIR WILLIAM - KNIGHT. Little is known of the background of William Walker, he was born c.1753, was brother to Samuel Walker who settled at Lascelles Hall and to Sarah Walker who married George Armitage of Highroyd.

William married in 1781 Martha daughter of John Kenworthy of Wooldale, and by 1795 had removed to Leicester where he traded as a wool merchant. He was mayor of that city in 1814 when the Prince Regent, later George IV, visited Belvoir Castle, the home of the Dukes of Rutland. As mayor he presented a loyal address to the Prince following which he received a knighthood at his hands. He became High Sheriff of the county of Leicestershire in 1823.

Sir William died in 1825 and was interred at St. Martin's, Leicester. There is a monument to his memory in Deanhead church, erected by his son John Kenworthy Walker who had retired to a small estate in the area after practising medicine in Huddersfield for some years.

WILSON OF RIEVAULX, BARON - LIFE PEER. James Harold Wilson was born in 1916 at Cowlersley, the son of James Herbert Wilson, and was educated at Milnsbridge Council school and Royds Hall School.

He became a Member of Parliament in 1945 and was Prime Minister from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976. He was created a knight of the Garter in 1976 and a life peer in 1983.

WOODHEAD, SIR GERMAN SIMS - KNIGHT. He was born at Woodthorpe, Huddersfield in 1855, the son of Joseph Woodhead the proprietor of the Huddersfield Examiner newspaper.

After an education at Huddersfield College he became a pathologist and attained an international reputation in the field.

He was knighted in 1919 and died in 1921. A volume of obituary notices appeared under the title of Sir German Sims Woodhead, KBE, 1855-1921.

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