Alice's Father

Thomas Swindlehurst (1847 - 1926)

Thomas Swindlehurst was a Sergeant with Salford Police Force and retired to become Landlord of the Ellesmere Inn.

He was born on 1st March 1847 at 48,Sidmouth Street, Salford. He was the son of James and Alice (nee Moores) Swindlehurst. James, (1816 – 1886) was a Shoe-maker. Thomas was Christened at Manchester Cathedral on 26th December 1847. He married Mary Jane Beckett (born 1848 at Holm, Westmorland) at St Simon's Church Salford on 11th August 1867. Her parents were James Becket (born 1818) and Margaret Tanner (born 1821). On the marriage certificate, Thomas was aged 21, a Packer and lived at 96,Bury Street Salford. Mary Jane was 19 and lived at Bridgewater Street.

They had six children: Alice (born 1869) was a dress-maker in her younger days, then became a Music Hall vocalist and went under the stage name of Ailsa Douglas; James Edward (born 1870, married Lydia P Lowe in Salford by Registrar and died on 24th March 1911, aged 41); Martha (born 1875), who became a Drapers Assistant; Thomas (born 18th August 1877 and died 1st May 1887 aged 9); Samuel (born 1880, married Agnes Beatrice Bett in 1902 and died 18th November 1933). He was a Bell Fitter and became a Steeplejack. The last child was Margaret (born 1884 and married William Jones at Stowell Memorial Church in 1911).

In 1877, Thomas was a Police Sergeant and the Swindlehurst family lived at 8, Hatton Street. In 1887, the family was living at the Police Station on Great Cheetham Street East, Broughton. There is a family legend that Thomas was the first policeman on horseback to control a football match and when the horse died he had it stuffed and put on display! Thomas's wife Mary Jane died on 2nd December 1899 age 51. In 1902, when son Samuel was married, Thomas was a retired Policeman and lived at 26, Kent Street Salford. He used to help his daughter Alice in the theatre. However, in the same year (1902), Thomas married again to Annie Becket, who was his late wife's brother's widow. In 1909 he was described as a Beer Retailer of 32 Ellesmere Street (corner of Martha Street). The 1911 census reveals that Thomas was the Landlord of the Ellesmere Inn on Ellesmere Street, Salford.

Thomas Swindlehurst died at Ellesmere Street on 24th October 1926 aged 79. The funeral was held on 28th October and he was buried with his first wife Mary Jane, in plot 33 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery. Rev A.H. Kelloway officiated.

(We are very grateful to Glynis Hirst (nee Swindlehurst) for providing this information about her Great Grandfather).