After recently installing a glass cabinet in the main library area at Bury (to be used for promotional material and reading displays), we thought it might be a good idea for one of our first displays to feature a local author! And it’s no surprise we unanimously decided upon Bury’s most famous writer, Richmal Crompton. Her Just William series have delighted millions of children through several decades and although those readers are now all grown up, we hope that the younger generation might swap their ‘Horrid Henry’s’ for an alternative ‘naughty boy’ story from a different era!
Here are 10 facts surrounding Richmal Crompton’s life taken from various Local Studies sources:
- Richmal Crompton was born on 15th November 1890 at number 519 Manchester Rd, Bury.
- The name Richmal is derived from the names Richard and Mary and has been in the family since the early 1700s.
- Richmal’s father, Edward Lamburn, took up his first full-time teaching post at Bury Grammar school in 1876. In 1884 he was ordained deacon and obtained the curacy of Radcliffe Parish Church.
- Richmal’s maternal grandfather, John Battersby Crompton, owned a chemist shop on Stanley Street, Bury. In 1892 he took his own life by drinking prussic acid.
- Richmal’s younger sister, Phyllis, died prematurely in 1895 after contracting whooping cough at the age of 14 months.
- Richmal and her family moved to Malvern Villas, at Chesham Rd, Bury in 1896.
- Richmal left Bury at the age of 23 and lived most of the rest of her life in Kent.
- Richmal’s first volume of William stories Just William was published in 1922.
- Richmal wrote over 40 William books, the final one being completed after her death by her niece, Richmal Ashbee.
- Richmal Crompton died on 11th January 1969 following a heart attack.
Next time you pop into Bury Library, please take a look at our display and why not discover (or re-discover) the delights and escapades of William Brown by borrowing one of the novels?! Alternatively, browse our library catalogue for available titles and reserve your copies.