Marianne Brocklehurst

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Marianne Brocklehurst (1832-1898) was an English traveller and collector of Egyptian antiquities. She supported a number of Egyptian excavations and donated most of her collection of antiquities to the West Park museum in Macclesfield.

Marianne Brocklehurst on Horseback, by Henry Calvert, 1853.

Personal life[edit]

Brocklehurst was one of the eight children of John Brocklehurst, a wealthy Macclesfield silk manufacturer.[1]

She never married, but shared most of her adult life with her companion Mary Booth. Brocklehurst and Booth shared a home, 'Bagstones', at Wincle outside Macclesfield.

Brocklehurst died in London in 1898. It is thought she committed suicide.[2] Booth inherited the property and lived there until her own death in 1912. They are buried in the same grave, with a joint gravestone, in the churchyard at Wincle. [2]


In 1873 Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth ('the two MBs') visited Egypt.[3] While in Egypt, she met Amelia Edwards, another English traveller, and the two parties travelled together in a flotilla up the Nile. Edwards later published her account of the journey in the bestselling A Thousand Miles up the Nile (1877). Brocklehurst's own travel diary of the voyage was published in 2005[4][5]. Brocklehurst and Edwards competed with each other in the illegal extraction of antiquities from Egypt. [6][7] Brocklehurst and Booth returned to Egypt in 1876-1877, in 1883[8] and then for a final time in 1890-1891.[2] On the final trip they witnessed the removal of a large quantity of recently removed 21st Dynasty mummies from Thebes. [2]

Brocklehurst was a funder of excavation efforts. She contributed to Edwards' Egypt Exploration Fund, and was an early subscriber to the fund-raising efforts of Flinders Petrie.[2] Through these connections she acquired a number of artefacts. Brocklehurst offered funding the local council to build a museum to hold these objects, and as a result Macclesfield's West Park museum was opened in 1898.[2] There was some dispute between the Brocklehursts and the council about the building of the museum,[9] and she remained in London on the opening day. [2]


  1. ^ Whistow, Thelma (2004). Marianne Brocklehurst : benefactor, explorer, artist : her life and times 1832-1898. Macclesfield Museums Trust. Macclesfield: Macclesfield Museums Trust. ISBN 978-1870926447. OCLC 56774718.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Serpico, Margaret (2015). Beyond Beauty (PDF). Two Temple Place.
  3. ^ Rushby, Pamela (2015). "MISS BROCKLEHURST AND THE WEST PARK MUSEUM" (PDF). Nova.
  4. ^ 1832-1898., Brocklehurst, Marianne (2004). Miss Brocklehurst on the Nile : diary of a Victorian traveller in Egypt. Disley: Millrace. ISBN 978-1902173146. OCLC 57209390.
  5. ^ "Ancient Egypt Magazine - Reviews". Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  6. ^ "Ancient Egypt Magazine - Reviews". Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  7. ^ Hilary., Forrest (2011). Manufacturers, mummies, and Manchester : two hundred years of interest in and study of Egyptology in the Greater Manchester area. Oxford, England: Archaeopress. ISBN 978-1407307886. OCLC 727021178.
  8. ^ Dawson, Warren (Dec 1947). "Letters from Maspero to Amelia Edwards". The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 47: 66–89. JSTOR 3855441.
  9. ^ Griffiths, Sarah Jane (2006). The charitable work of the Macclesfield silk manufacturers, . (PDF).