Miss Brocklehurst

Miss Brocklehurst of Bagstones & Lyme Hall Lion’ dau Lady

The KCSB mentions ‘Lady’ bred & owned by Miss Brocklehurst of Bagstones – Macclesfield out of Noble, from Derby , sired by Lyme Hall Lion . Lady got a 3rd prize at Manchester Belle Vue in ‘74 . Here above a painting described as  - ‘Lady also known as Lion , one of the last of the breed of Lyme’ .

About the artist of the painting ‘Lyme hall Lion’ John Trivett Nettleship . B 1841 Kettering – Northamps , 2nd  second son of the solicitor Henry John Nettleship . Nettleship was for some time a chorister at New College Oxford . Afterwards he was sent to the cathedral school at Durham . Having won the English verse prize on ‘Venice’ in ‘56 , he was taken away comparatively young in order to enter his father's office . There he remained for some years finishing his articles in London . Admitted a solicitor & in practice for a brief period , he decided to devote himself to art & entered himself as a student at Heatherley' & at the Slade School London , but was largely self-taught .

From ’74 until ‘01 he exhibited spacious oil pictures of lions, tigers, &c , at the Royal Academy and for most of the period at the Grosvenor Gallery . In 1880 Nettleship was invited to India by the Gaekwar of Baroda , for whom he painted a cheetah hunt as well as an equestrian portrait . In his later years he took to the medium of pastel & painting his old subjects on a smaller scale , enjoyed greater popularity .Nettleship was far more than a painter . His intellectual sympathies were unusually wide . In 1868 he published a volume of ‘Essays on Robert Browning' Poetry’ which was probably the first serious study of the poet and has passed through three editions with considerable enlargements of which the latest is entitled ‘Robert Browning - Essays & Thoughts’ 1895 . The book brought about an intimate friendship between the poet & his critic .

Lady came later on into the hands of Rev Morris Piddocke , residing at Wincle vicarage – Macclesfield and got a 1st prize at Burton on Trent in ’77 . Morris Piddocke , b Stapenhill ‘46 , may have been the older brother of the famous breeder Captain JL Piddocke as the latter’ father resided at Stanton House in the parish of Stapenhill. Being a bachelor of Arts , he became Vicar of Wincle – Macclesfield from ‘73 to ’78 ; in ‘82 being  a  M A he became Rector of Wyton & in ‘86 Vicar of  Kirknewton – Northumberland .

 Bagstones , Maccesfield only ten mls SW of Lyme Hall , was built by two ladies as a summer residence, sitting on the edge of the woods with wonderful views over the Dane valley . It may be named after the bak- or bake-stones that were quarried nearby and used for making old-cake , or the name may refer to ‘bagg’ which means badger in certain dialects . The ladies were well-travelled & avid collectors , and their house once contained a remarkable treasure trove of relics from all over the world as well as the local area – including the urn that was excavated from the burial mound near Clulow Cross .

Probably it goes about Miss Marianne Brocklehurst 1832-1898 and her companion , Miss Booth , who travelled extensively on the Continent, and made three trips to Egypt in l873—4 , 1882—3 & 1890-9. Miss Brocklehurst kept an illustrated diary recording their exploits and became a close friend of Miss Amelia Edwards , the well-known travel Writer . The artefacts collected by Marianne were later donated to the Museum by her niece , Lady Yarborough. Miss Marianne was the daughter of John Brocklehurst b 1818-1900 of Hurdsfield House - Cheshire and head of a Macclesfield’ silk family .

Miss Brocklehurst on the Nile , a diary of a Victorian Traveller in Egypt written with wit & humour . Modern travellers to Egypt will recognise many of Marianne’s comments and observations as she travelled the length of Egypt on board her specially-commissioned dahabeeya called ‘Bagstones’. In 1873 she arrived in Egypt for a voyage up the Nile , the fashionable winter pastime in the 1870s . She was accompanied by her friend and partner in her photography business , Mary Booth . Travelling with them were Marianne’ trigger-happy nephew Alfred and their resourceful groom George . Money was no problem — she was from one of Macclesfield’ wealthy silk families and daughter of the town’ MP — so in Cairo they hired a boat with a crew of fifteen and set off to the Second Cataract . Their boat was part of a flotilla of eager sightseers , among them Miss Amelia Edwards , author of 'A Thousand Miles up the Nile' .

As they progressed upriver, they visited temples , picnicked in tombs , dug for antiquities , dinner-partied & bartered . And shot (Alfred blazed away at anything that moved) . Marianne also indulged in a spot of smuggling , sneaking a mummy and an ancient papyrus out of the country . With her more legally acquired trophies, they formed the basis of what was to become a fine collection at West Park Museum in Macclesfield . Marianne was a talented artist as well as diarist and some of her sketches & watercolours are reproduced in the book .

Marianne’ father John Brocklehurst , b 1788 , purchased Swythamley Hall  in 1831 which later on passed to his Marianne’ brother Philip Lancaster Brocklehurst b 1827 who sailed with the explorer Shackleton on one of his many expeditions to the Antarctic , as an Assistant Geologist , although history states that he may well have been a paying guest . He elaborated further in his book about the neighbourhood of Swythamley , describing a number of artefacts discovered following ploughing in the area - ‘At Bartomley … have at various times been discovered in considerable number of Roman antiquities, consisting of gold rings, in one instance with a curious green stone called prez together with gold ornaments , the last discovery being a very beautiful fibula of virgin gold .’ Gold objects such as these are incredibly rare in Cheshire . The only other record that we have come across to such rich artefacts comes from William Thompson Watkin’ Roman Cheshire where he reports the discovery of two gold bracelets of twisted torque pattern , found while excavating for a cottage near the site of Egerton Old Hall near Malpas .’