Golden Mummies : Bust of Jessie Haworth

Golden Mummies

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Born in Bolton in 1835, Jesse Haworth was the son of a manager in the textile industry. After attending Manchester Grammar School, he apprenticed in the firm James Dilworth and Sons, a textiles wholesaler and yarn agent based in Manchester, eventually becoming a partner there. Howarth, and his brother Abraham, went on to become among the longest-established members of the Manchester Royal Exchange, the hub of the Lancashire cotton industry.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Hawarth and several of his contemporaries were active nonconformist Protestant Christians, a group which emphasised conscience and effected considerable political power in Victorian Britain. There was an undoubted surge in interest from such Christian groups to find validation in Egyptian archaeology for aspects of Biblical scripture. It was through his church connections that Haworth met his wife Marianne, who belonged to another eminent Congregational family, the Armitages. They married in 1874. She was the sister of Rev. Elkanah Armitage (1844-1929), a nonconformist minister who was educated at Manchester’s Owens College and married Ella Sophia Bulley (1841-1931), a noted Anglo-Saxonist who received a degree and later taught History at Owens College - providing an important link to the College, which was the eventual destination of much of Haworth’s munificence. The Haworths and Armitages travelled to Egypt together in Winter 1880-1, having read Amelia Edwards’ popular 1877 travelogue ‘A Thousand Miles Up the Nile’ to prepare themselves.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Flinders Petrie visited Manchester in the Summer of 1887, and appears to have struck up a friendship with the Haworths. Later that same year, Amelia lectured in Manchester and personally made the acquaintance of the Haworths, as evidenced by the fact she inscribed a copy of ‘A Thousand Miles Up The Nile’ to the Haworths, dated 4th Nov. 1887.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Thanks to Amelia’s enterprising ways of enthusing wealthy benefacts, the Haworths, along with Martyn Kennard, were Petrie’s main sponsors when the temporarily broke with the Egypt Exploration Fund and excavated as sites like Lahun, Hawara, Coptos and Western Thebes between the 1880s and 1890s. Thanks to a generous system of ‘find division’, an important part of the material Petrie was permitted by the French-run Antiquities Service to export came to Manchester at this time, making it one of the most significant collections in the UK. Haworth partly funded an extension to Manchester Museum that still bears his name, opened in October 1912, the frontage of which now serves as the entrance of the Museum. After his death in 1920, his widow Marianne continued to fund expansions of the Museum for storage and laboratories.</p>

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