By Craig Thornber


This study arises from an adult education course Fine Arts and Society in the Late Georgian House, run at Knutsford by Lesley Edwards under the aegis of Keele University Department of Continuing Education. My project for 2000/2001 was to look at some of the Cheshire gentry families who were neighbours of Sir Peter Leicester and Sir John Fleming Leicester of Tabley house near Knutsford. The intention was to build up a picture of the intermarriages between local families and to identify interesting characters worthy of further study. The work to date comes under the heading:

East Cheshire Gentry in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Men of Property and Status

By way of contrast I am studying the philosophers, scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs of the late 18th century who lived and worked in the Midlands and North West. In particular I will be looking at the remarkable men associated with foundation of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and the Lunar Society, from the point of view of their social, educational and religious background. Major questions to be asked are why these men came from Manchester and Birmingham rather than London, and why they were frequently Dissenters, who were debarred from entry to the two English universities. This work, which is in an early stage, will be under the heading:

Industrial and Intellectual Revolution in the North West: Men of Ideas and Action


Other Topics   Look out for this book by Ann Thornber, published
in April 2003

Land ownership in Cheshire in 1873
A Short Bibliography of Cheshire History
East Cheshire Hundreds
Peter Holland, Surgeon of Knutsford   (Adobe Acrobat format)
Sir Henry Holland, born in Knutsford
Colonel Robert Dukinfield


A Discovery Guide to the Treasures and Oddities of the County
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Cheshire Antiquities
© Craig Thornber, Cheshire, England, UK.  Main Site Address:

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