Maclure, Edward Craig (DNB12)

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MACLURE, EDWARD CRAIG (1833–1906), dean of Manchester, born in Upper Brook Street, Manchester, on 10 June 1833, was eldest son of John Maclure, merchant, by his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of William Kearsley, also a merchant. Educated at Manchester grammar school (1844–50), he won a Hulmeian scholarship at Brasenose College, Oxford, and matriculated there on 28 Jan. 1852. He graduated B.A. in 1856 and proceeded M.A. in 1858, being created B.D. and D.D. in 1890. Taking holy orders, he was curate of St. John's, Ladywood, Birmingham (1857–61), of St. Pancras, London (1861–3), and vicar of Habergham Eaves, Burnley (1863–77). In the public life of Burnley he took a prominent part, becoming chairman of the school board. Dr. Fraser, bishop of Manchester, appointed him in 1877 to the important vicarage of Rochdale, in 1878 to an honorary canonry of Manchester, and in 1881 to the rural deanery of Rochdale. He carried out great improvements at Rochdale parish church, for which he raised 10,000l., as well as on the vicarage estate. In 1887 he acted as honorary secretary of the church congress at Manchester.

Designated archdeacon of Manchester in 1890, he was before his induction appointed dean of Manchester on the death of John Oakley [q. v.], being installed on 28 October. As dean Maclure won the goodwill of all classes by his broad sympathies, humour and love of fair play. Through his incessant care the daily service in the cathedral increased in dignity and beauty, and the Sunday evening services grew to be an important element in the religious life of the city. To his energy was due the rearrangement of the boundaries of the old churchyard and the building of the western annexe and the new vestries and library at the north-east corner of the cathedral.

Maclure largely devoted his abundant energy to promoting popular education of a religious kind. He was elected a member of the Manchester school board in 1891, and was unanimously appointed chairman. That position he held until the board was abolished in 1903 by the Education Act of the previous year. He was afterwards deputy-chairman of the education committee of the city council until his death, and was also a member of the Salford education committee. His practical knowledge of the details of the administration of education was recognised by government by his appointment in 1894 as a member of the royal commission on secondary education and in 1899 by Ins being placed on the consultative committee of the board of education. From 1895 to 1902 he was chairman of the School Board Association of England and Wales, He was also principal of the Scholæ Episcopi at Mancnester and a governor of Owens College, Manchester University, of Manchester grammar school, of Chetham Hospital, and of Hulme's Trust. He was made hon. LL.D. at the Victoria University, Manchester, in 1902.

Maclure died at Manchester on 8 May 1906, and was buried at Kersal church, near that city. A monumental brass is in the chancel of the cathedral, and another memorial is in the grammar school.

He married on 7 May 1863 Mary Anne (d. 17 Oct. 1905), daughter of Johnson Gedge of Bury St. Edmunds, and had three sons, of whom William Kenneth took holy orders, and three daughters.

His brother. Sir John Wiluam Maclure (1835-1901), born at Manchester on 22 April 1835, and educated at Manchester grammar school, engaged with success in commerce and financial enterprise. He came into prominence as honorary secretary to the committee of the Lancashire cotton relief fund, instituted in 1862 for the relief of the operatives thrown out of work through the stoppage of supplies of cotton during the American civil war. Over 1,750,000l. was raised for this object, and Maclure received a public testimonial. He was an enthusiastic volunteer, becoming major of the 40th Lancashire rifles. As churchwarden of Manchester (1881-96) he was instrumental in collecting large sums of money for a thorough restoration of the cathedral. A strong churchman, he was in politics a conservative, and was elected in 1886 M.P. for the Stretford division of Lancashire, which seat he retained until his death on 28 Jan. 1901. His cheery temperament made him popular in the House of Commons. On 7 April 1892 he and three other directors of the Cambrian railways were admonished by the speaker by direction of the house for a breach of privilege in dismissing a stationmaster on account of his evidence before the committee on the hours of railway servants. He was created a baronet on 1 Jan. 1898. There is a tablet to his memory in Manchester cathedral. He married on 13 Dec. 1859 Eleanor, second daughter of Thomas Nettleship of East Sheen, Surrey, by whom he had three sons and four daughters.

[Manchester Guardian, 9 May 1906 (with portrait); The Times, 9 May 1906; Manchester Courier, 14 May 1906; Guardian (London), 30 May 1906; C. H. Drant, Distinguished Churchmen (with portrait), 1902; Crockford's Directory, 1906; Ulula, the Manchester grammar school magazine, 1906, p. 69; Dod's Parliamentary Companion, 1900; Burke's Peerage, 1901; Axon's Annals of Manchester.]

C. W. S.