John Hardy Thursby


John inherited the family estates, including property belonging to Lady Scarlett, who died in 1888.

He was educated at Eton, and served for seven years with the 90th Light Infantry, and then with the 1st Royal Militia, who were stationed at Lancaster. Later he became a Major in the 7th Lancashire Rifles.

According to family tradition John met ClaraWilliams, his future wife, in a railway carriage in 1859. Although they were immediately attracted to one another, the rules of good behaviour in the early Victorian days forbade conversation without a formal introduction.
It seems however that the ice was broken when the pair not only alighted at the same railway station, but found that they were staying at the same house.

In 1878, on the death of Colonel John Towneley, he accepted the Hon. Colonelcy of the 5th Lancashire Militia. For many years this battalion had training facilities at Bank Hall Meadow - now Thompson Park - which was part of the Thursby estates.

John was living at Holmhurst, Christchurch, Hampshire, at the time of the 1881 Census.

The Thursbys also has a property at 37 Ennismore Gardens, London, and they rented a property - Panmure House, Forfar, Scotland, for the shooting.

Ormerod House was normally occupied during the months of July, August and September.

On 24 May 1884, John laid the foundation stone for the Victoria Hospital in Burnley.

In 1886 Prince Albert visited Burnley to open the completed hospital. He stayed with the Thursbys at Ormerod House.

In 1887 John was serving as High Sheriff of Lancashire, and was also elevated to the baronetcy.

In 1888 he donated land for a public park at the top of Ormerod Road. This is now Queen's Park.

Sir John was an ardent Conservative, and a member of the Carlton Club, London, where he served for many years on the committee.

On his gravestone he is described as Colonel Sir John Hardy Thursby.

John had two children, John Ormerod Scarlett Thursby, born 27 April 1861, and Violet Thursby, born in about 1867. Photos of his children, and his wife, Clara, can be found below. 

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John Hardy Thursby (click on the thumbnail for an enlarged view)

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Clara Thursby (née Williams)

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John's children, John Ormerod Scarlett and Violet Thursby

The grave of Sir John Hardy Thursby, and his second wife, Louisa Harriett (née Smyth)