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Middleton’s first MP after the 1885 Redistribution of Seats Act was mill owner and Liberal George Salis-Schwabe. His bust, as seen above, has pride of place in Middleton’s historic Old Grammar School.
The Liberal George Salis-Schwabe was elected as its first MP.
He was a partner in a calico printing firm which had premises in Rhodes and Manchester.
Before that he had been a soldier, becoming a Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 16th Lancers.
He fought in the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879, being mentioned in despatches and being awarded the medal with clasp.
Salis-Schwabe only held the seat until the following year, when he was defeated by Conservative Thomas Fielden.
George Salis-Schwabe (6 July 1843 – 13 June 1907) was a British army officer, calico printer and Liberal politician.
Salis-Schwabe was the son of Salis Schwabe of Rhodes, Middleton, and Glyn Garth, Anglesey and his wife Julia Schwabe. His parents had a wide circle of notable friends He was educated at University College School, London and London University . He joined the army and became Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 16th Lancers. He was Brigade Major of Cavalry at the Curragh and at Aldershot from 1873 to 1877. He served in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879 when he was mentioned in despatches and awarded Medal with Clasp. He was a partner in firm of Salis Schwabe & Co, Calico Printers, of Rhodes and Manchester.
At the 1885 general election Salis-Schwabe was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the new Middleton division of Lancashire. When the Liberals split over Home Rule for Ireland, he joined the breakaway Liberal Unionist Party, and did not stand again at the 1886 election.
George Salis Schwabe was Lieutenant Governor of the Chelsea Royal Hospital from 1898 to 1903, He died at the age of 63.
He married Mary Jaqueline James, daughter of Sir William Milbourne James, Lord Justice of Appeal in 1870. They had four children: Maurice Salis Schwabe (born 1871 in Easthampstead, Berkshire), Edgar William Salis Schwabe (born 1875 in Ireland), Gladys Mary Salis Schwabe (Born in Prestwich 11 March 1878) and Rhoda Jaqueline Salis Schwabe (born in Ireland 1885). Gladys married british businessman Paul Crompton and died with him and their six children in the 7 May, 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania