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Sir John Hurley

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Sir John HurleyA Salute Sir John Hurley, the co-founder of the great marque itself.

HURLEY, John, KBE. b. 1864 d. 1943 Educated Eton [Pop], Trinity College Dublin. M. 1898 Frances de Vere Malmaison, 1 s. [Alaric Hurley q.v.]

John Hurley, the third son of a tin magnate from Looe, first made a name for himself in the cut-throat world of inherited wealth and entrenched privilege by the effortless ease with which he took on the running of the family enterprises after the mysterious deaths of his father and two elder brothers in a bizarre hunting accident. Always a lover of drama and the theatre, Sir John (as he became in 1917 as a result of the enormous, if unreliable output of the Hurley-Pugh munitions plants in Kaiserslautern, Salzburg and Smyrna) was renowned throughout his long life for the kind attention he paid to many young and promising actors.

A close confidant of Lord Alfred Douglas and Oscar Wilde during the Gay Nineties, Old J.H. never lost sight of the significance of his wealth and devoted his life to the ruthless pursuit of obscene riches. To this end, he was instrumental, after his resignation from the Freemasons proper, in founding the famous Faith, Hope and Riches Beyond The Dreams Of Avarice [666] Lodge of Instruction, Discipline and Correction, which pursued his own, personal [some would say, unique], interpretation of the ideals of Freemasonry. Many influential people were recruited into the lodge, thanks to the newly developed arts of photography and the fashioning of whole-body vulcanised rubber Lodge suits and proved the worth of their devotions by supporting Old J.H's drive for dominance.

Married to the boyishly slim Frances Malmaison in 1898 and the proud father of Alaric Hurley in 1906, Old J.H. devoted his life to the massive engineering conglomerate that grew from his efforts. His success in keeping his munitions plants operating in Axis territories from August 1914 until the last shot was fired [not, needless to say, with H-P ammunition] in 1918 was credited by the victorious Allies with having shortened the Great War by at least two years.

Old J.H's shining moment came when he met the young Alaric Pugh, at that time a slim, blonde apprentice in the Scunthorpe Thrunging Works. Taking young Pugh under his protection, having been struck by his cheerful boyish nature and keen native wit, Old J.H. provided the financial backing for the Hurley-Pugh Motor Bicycle Company, established in 1904 and producing Gentlemen's Motor-Velocipedes to original designs by Alaric Pugh [or 'Young Mr. Alaric' as he was affectionately known to all at the works].

Sadly, Old J.H's personal life took a dramatic turn for the worse during the dark days of the Thirties. Despite his blandishments, no interest was shown by the War Office in his offer to convert the H-P industrial empire into a vast munitions conglomerate, the Royal Air Force even wiping the Scunthorpe Works off the face of the map at the rumour that the Works were to start filling Government contracts and Old J.H was condemned to spending his last twenty years as a sad recluse, living in obscene luxury in Tangier and dying, at the age of ninety, in the arms of his devoted Berber valets, Miguel and Pietro, who both emigrated to England and carved out bright careers in the public service, thanks to the enduring influence of the many confirmed Masons-Bachelor of Lodge 666 still active.

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