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Richmal Mangnall by John Downman, 1814. National Portrait Gallery, London.Richmal Mangnall (1769–1820)

Richmal Mangnall was an English schoolmistress and writer of a famous schoolbook, Historical and Miscellaneous Questions for the Use of Young People (1798).
The book became generally known as Mangnall's Questions.
■ Read an extract from the 84th edition. Adapted for the U.S.A. by Mrs. Julia Lawrence, 3rd edition, revised.

Richmal was born on 7 March 1769, probably in London. She was one of seven children of James Mangnall of Hollinhurst, Lancashire, and London,
and Richmal, daughter of John Kay of Manchester to survive infancy. One brother, James, became a London solicitor, another, Kay, died in the East Indies in 1801.
Her parents died about 1781, when she was adopted by an uncle, also John Kay, a Manchester solicitor.

Richmal was sent to Mrs. Wilson's school at Crofon, staying on as a teacher and, eventually taking over the school when Mrs. Wilson retired, around 1808, and she supported two unmarried sisters from her highly successful school and publishing earnings.

She continued to head it until her death there on 1 May 1820 "after a severe illness, which was borne with the utmost Christian resignation."
She was buried in the churchyard of All Saints' Church, Crofton, Wakefield. (1)
Portrait used under licence granted by the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Click to enlarge,Richmal Mangnall (1769–1820)
Monumental inscription at All Saints' Church, Crofton, near Wakefield. [2017]

The Inscription
Sacred to the Memory of RICHMAL MANGNALL of Crofton Hall.
who departed this life on Mayday, 1820.
Ah, when shall Spring visit the mouldering Urn of Virtue; Knowledge; Friendship;
naught remains save her blest soul, now fled to Realms of Bliss.

Click to enlargeThe site of Richmal Mangnall's school..
[2017]

Across the High Street from the church, the Old Hall was once the home of the Ireland Family. Adjacent to the hall was once Richmal Mangnall's boarding school for girls.
The site was also, over the years, a youth club, Crofton Secondary School, National Coal Board Offices, an annexe for Bretton College
and offices for the High School (now Crofton Academy). (2)

The Young People's Centre now occupies part of the old school's site.
[2017]

The original Old Hall was once owned by the Wilson family, although they never lived there. It was bought by William Hurst in 1872, who built the present building. (3)

Richmal Mangnall, blue plaque, Crofton.The Brontës at Crofton

In 1823 Maria and Elizabeth Brontë were sent to the girls' boarding school Crofton Hall by their father, the Reverend Peter Brontë.

The fees were high, however, and their father's stipend would not stretch to providing the same education for all five girls.
An opportunity to educate the girls for a lower fees presented itself with the opening, in 1823, of the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge,
some 40 miles north of Haworth. Maria and Elizabeth arrived at Cowan Bridge on July 21, 1824, Charlotte joined them six weeks later, and Emily in the autumn of the same year.

Maria died on 6th May 1825 in her eleventh year of consumption (tuberculosis, TB). Her sister Elizabeth also died of the condition a month later, she was just 10 years of age.

 

Click to enlarge.
Richmal Mangnall's entry in the Dictionary of National Biography,
edited by Sidney Lee, 1893.
Article by Charles William Sutton.

Click to enlarge.
Crofton Old Hall, High Street.
[2011]

Click to enlarge.
The monumental inscription for Richmal Mangnall is on the wall of the transept.
[2017]

Click to enlarge.
Richmal Mangnall
after John Downman
stipple and line engraving, early 19th century
NPG D4980
© National Portrait Gallery, London

Click to enlarge.
A Compendium of Geography by Richmal Mangnall.
With Geographic Exercises. Second Edition, 1822.

 


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