John Ormerod Scarlett Thursby


John was the last of the Thursby line to occupy Ormerod continuously, and also lived at Bank Top prior to the death of his father.

He was born on 27 April 1861 at Falconer's Hill, Daventry.

John was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was one of the top boys at Eton in his final year (1879).
In 1881 he was chosen to represent Cambridge University against Oxford at chess.

He is possibly the 'John A. S. Thursby' shown as lodging at 56 Bridge St, Cambridge, at the time of the 1881 Census.
Census Place: The Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge.
FHL Film 1341399; PRO Ref RG11; Piece 1670; Folio 111; Page 14.
This John Thursby is shown as an undergraduate of Trinity College, 19 years old, born in London.
56 Bridge St was the home of Westley Wheeler, a grocer, and his family.

After leaving university with a B.A. and a First in Political Economy (special) he read for the Bar and qualified as a barrister-at-law.

In 1885 he was elected as an adjudicator by the British Chess Association, and further honoured when they elected him president of the British Chess Federation. He became president of the National Chess Congress in 1904.

On 25 November 1888 John married Ella Beatrice Cross, at St Peter's, Eaton Square, London.

The Misses Violet and Mary Thursby were among the six bridesmaids, who wore sashes of the Royal Stewart tartan, and Mr C.P. Powney, of the Grenadier Guards, was the best man.

The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. W.F. Thursby, John's uncle.

The event was celebrated in Burnley by the flying of flags from many of the public buildings, peals of bells from St Peter's Church and fog signals from Bank Top Station.

On their return from a honeymoon in Brighton, the young couple were entertained to a civic reception and presentation at the Mechanic's Institute.

John bought and developed an area to the east of Ormerod as a grouse moor and entertained lavishly.

On the death of his father, he took over control of Hargreaves Collieries, and he also later became Director of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway, and of the Manchester and County Bank, and President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Coal Association (1916).

He was High Sheriff of Lancashire (1905), and Deputy Lieutenant of the county.

Later in his life John sold Bank Hall to Burnley Corporation.

He stood as a Conservative candidate in parliamentary elections, but was defeated in the Clitheroe Division in 1885 by Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, and then by Mr John Slagg in the Burnley constituency two years later.

In 1913 he was invited to become mayor of Burnley, but declined.

John's wife, Ella, died on 27 February 1917.

Sir John himself died whilst on a motor trip to see the battlefields of France in 1920. He had gone on this trip with his fiancée, Mrs Jenkin, and her son, Captain Guy Jenkin.
He died at the Hotel Moderne in Grenoble, and was buried Holy Trinity Church, Nice, France.

Under the will of his father, Sir John Hardy Thursby, the Thursby lands and Ormerod House were inherited by Sir George Thursby.

John had one child, a daughter, Clara, who was born on 13 November 1889.