A Brother’s Love of Horses

The Hutchinsons were a well-established and wealthy family of Bury. In the eighteenth century they had been wool merchants but the documents in our collection belonged to the branch of the family who built Daisyfield Mill, a cotton-spinning mill at Elton, Bury.


We are always eager to show off any records from The Hutchinson Family Collection and as our Christmas Card Display generated a lot of interest – particularly the cards sent to Francis, we thought we’d put together a further display showing just how mad keen Francis was of horses.


Francis Ormerod Hutchinson, along with his brothers and sister, lived at Elderslie, Prestwich. This was the last Bury home of the Hutchinson family and Francis remained there until his death in 1953. During the early 1900s, Francis was sent to board at Bilton Grange School in Rugby. It is while he was at Bilton Grange that he received many of his postcards from various members of the family including his two brothers, Ernest and Geoffrey, and his sister, Marjorie.


Postcard to Francis from Ernest

It is clear from the sheer amount sent to Francis (and subsequently kept by him) that he was an avid collector of postcards. His Cousin Dorothy confirms this and on one of the cards she writes, “I have sent you this as I heard you collect postcards”.  Another card has Ernest mentioning a ‘guvner’ who has ‘sent [Francis] a postcard too so [he’ll] be in clover’. But it wasn’t just any old postcard for Francis! It seems that he insisted that anything sent to him must feature a horse! Whether being ridden or fed, pulling a carriage or just being noble – a horse must appear somewhere on the card. Although we do not hold any of the replies from Francis he must have really appreciated his family taking the trouble to pick out these colourful, comic, artistic and thoughtful compositions for his collection.

Amongst the collection there may be a clue as to why Francis would have requested equine-themed postcards – and this was to perhaps remind him of his own horse, Prince, who was back home at Elderslie. Three of the postcards sent from Ernest even feature Francis with his beloved horse and comments made on them suggest Francis must have missed Prince very much; so much so that his sister Marjorie wrote some of her cards as if they were being written to Francis by the horse himself!


Postcard to Francis sent from Ernest featuring a picture of Francis with his horse, Prince.

Although there isn’t much space to write anything particularly meaningful on your standard postcard, this collection – through thoughtful words and pictures – manages to convey a sense of warmth, true feeling and friendship which we feel existed between the three siblings.


Preparing the Display

For more information on The Hutchinson Family please read our posting:


And have a look at our Projects Page to find out more about the Hutchinson’s Business and Social life during the Victorian era:





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