1902 Encyclopedia > Manchester, England

Manchester
England




MANCHESTER, a city whose industries are famous throughout the civilized world, is situated in the south-eastern corner of Lancashire, and forms the centre of the towns and villages which constitute the great English cotton district.

The city of Manchester and the borough of Salford are about 180 miles north-west of London, and lie in 53° 29' N. lat., 2° 14' 23" W. long. The sister towns stand for the most part on a level plain, the rising ground being chiefly on the north side. The rivers are the Irwell, the Medlock, the Irk, and the Tib, the last entirely overarched and covered by streets and warehouses. The. Irwell, which separates Manchester from Salford, is crossed by a series of bridges; it has here an average width of 91 feet and an average depth of about 7 feet; and it discharges itself into the Mersey, which is about ten miles distant. The chief part of the district, before it was covered with the superficial drift of sand, gravel, and clay, consisted of upper New Red Sandstone with slight portions of lower New Red Sandstone, magnesian marls and upper red marls, hard sandstone and limestone rock, and cold clays and shales of contiguous coal-fields. The town, as its thousands of brick-built houses show, has been for the most part dug out of its own fields of clay. The parliamentary borough of Manchester has an area of 6349 acres; the municipal area is 4294 acres. The parliamentary and municipal bound-aries of Salford are identical, and have f>n area of 5208 acres.

Parks and Statues.—Of the parks and open spaces the principal is the Peel Park in Salford, containing an area of about 40 acres. In its centre is the building containing the Salford library, and also a valuable museum of natural history and a collection of paintings known as the Lang-worthy gallery (built and endowed by the late Mr E. R. Langwortli}', a wealthy Manchester merchant). Among the notable pictures may be named the Last Sleep of Argyll and the Execution of Montrose, by Mr E. M. Ward. Seedley Park, Ordsall Park, and Albert Park have been recently constructed, and are situated in Salford,—where also is the Kersal Moor, a bit of wild moorland, some 21 acres in extent, now under the care of the corporation of Salford. The moor has long been noted for the richness of its flora, about one-eighth of the English flowering plants having been gathered on its very limited area. It has also been the scene of an entomological incident of some interest—the capture of the CEcophara Woodiella, of which there is no other recorded habitat. The Queen's Park at Harpurhey is pleasantly situated, notwithstanding that it is now completely surrounded by cottages and manufactories. In the centre is a small museum, the chief interest of which depends upon a series of phrenological casts made by Gall and Spurzheim and completed by Bally. Philips Park is also attractive, not withstanding its close proximity to some of the densest portions of the town. The principal parks so far named were constructed from money obtained by a public subscription in 1846, but the Alexandra Park at Moss Side has been entirely paid for out of the public rates. It has very good ornamental grounds, but owing to the difficulties of the situation the construction has been some-what costly. In this connexion may be mentioned the Botanical Gardens, which are situated at Old Trafford, and, although intended chiefly for the subscribers, are open at certain times to the public on liberal terms.

Manchester is not remarkable for the number of its public memorials of the dead; but it possesses some which should not be passed unnoticed. In front of the infirmary are bronze statues of Wellington, Watt, Dalton, and Peel. A bronze statue of Cobden occupies a prominent position in St Ann's Square. The marble statue of the Prince Consort, covered by a Gothic canopy of stone, is placed in Albert Square, in proximity to the town-hall, the enormous proportions of which have the effect of dwarfing what would otherwise be a striking monument. The most picturesque is the bronze statue of Cromwell, on a huge block, of rough granite as pedestal. In the Peel Park are statues of Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, Sir Robert Peel, and Joseph Brotlierton.

Public Buildings.—There are many fine public buildings in Manchester. Among them may briefly be noticed the royal infirmary, consisting of three sides of a quadrangle, one of which owes its existence to the benevolence of Jenny Lind, who gave two concerts in order to raise the necessary funds. The institution will accommodate about two hundred and sixty patients. The royal exchange is a fine specimen of Italian architecture, and was erected in 1869 ; the great meeting-hall is one of the largest rooms in England, the ceiling having a clear area, without supports, of 120 feet in width. The exchange is seen at its best on market days (Tuesday and Friday), when representatives from all parts of Lancashire, and indeed of the neighbour-ing counties, are' earnestly engaged in buying and selling. The assize courts were built in 1864 from designs by Waterhouse. The style is a mixture of Early English and Decorative, and a large amount of decorative art has been expended on the building. The cost was about £100,000. The New Bailey prison, intended for the criminals of Salford hundred, was built (1787) in accord-ance with the suggestions of Howard, the prison philan-thropist, but in 1868 the present structure, at the rear of the assize courts, was erected. The style of archi-tecture is Norman, and the building, which covers 9 acres, cost £1 70,000. The city jail is situated in Hyde Road. The old town-hall was bui't in 1832, in imitation of the Erectheum of Athens, at a cost of £40,000 ; it is now occupied by the town library. The business of the city is conducted in the new town-hall, probably beyond dispute the most important municipal building in the kingdom, if not in Europe. It was completed in 1877, from designs by Waterhouse, who selected as the style of architecture a form of Gothic, but treated it very freely as purposes of utility required. The edifice covers 8000 square yards, and includes more than two hundred and fifty rooms. The triangular or flat-iron form of the site was a great difficulty, but the architect has skilfully surmounted it. The building consists of continuous lines of corridors surrounding a central courtyard and connected by bridges. The principal tower is 260 feet high, and affords a view which extends over a large part of South Lancashire and Cheshire, and is bounded only by the hills of Derbyshire. It contains a remarkable peal of bells by Taylor of Loughborough, forming an almost perfect chromatic scale of twenty-one bells ; each bell has on it a line from section 105 of Tennyson's In Memoriam. The great hall is 100 feet long and 50 feet wide, and contains a magnificent organ built by Cavaille-Coll of Paris. The panels of this room are being filled with mural paintings illustrating the various incidents connected with the history and progress of the city. The total cost of the building has been £1,053,264, inclusive of £201,925 for interest. The branch Bank of England is a Doric building designed by Cockerell. The Salford town-hall is also Doric ; and there are besides separate town-halls for the townships of Ardwick, Choiiton, Hulme, Cheetham, Broughton, and Pendleton. The Free Trade hall is a fine structure in the Lombardo-Venetian style, and its great hall will accommo-date five thousand people. It is used for public meetings, concerts, &c, and was built by Walters. The young men's Christian association hall was originally used as a natural history museum. The Boyal Institution, built by Sir Charles Barry, is a proprietary institution intended for the encouragement chiefly of the fine arts. In the entrance hall are casts of the Elgin Marbles, given by George IV., and a statue of Dalton by Chantrey. There is a small permanent gallery, and periodical exhibitions of pictures are held and courses of lectures delivered. Arrangements have now (1882) been concluded by which the institution will become the pro-perty of the town and be managed by a joint committee of members of the town council and others interested in art and literature. The Athenaeum, also designed by Barry, was founded by Richard Cobden and others associated with him, for "the advancement and diffusion of know-ledge." The institution has, perhaps, not developed exactly on the lines contemplated by its promoters, but it has become one of the most useful in the town. All the advantages enjoyed by members of high-class social clubs, with the addition of facilities for educational classes and the use of an excellent news-room and a well-selected library of 18,000 volumes, are offered in return for a payment which does not amount to a penny a day. The mechanics' institution contains a library of 17,000 volumes, and has connected with it excellent day and evening schools, and classes for technical instruction. 'The Portico is a good specimen of the older proprietary libraries and news-rooms. It dates from 1806, and has a library of 20,000 volumes. The Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the memory of the Nonconformist ejected ministers of 1662.. The Unitarian home missionary board has here its library and rooms for the education of students; and the building is used for a variety of meetings, scientific, educational, musical, and religious. The inconvenience arising from inadequate provision for postal service is, after many years of hesitation, to be remedied by the erection, now (1882) in progress, of a commodious post-office.

Means of Communication.—The opening of the Man-chester and Liverpool Railway in 1830 marked an im-portant epoch in the history of modern industry, and since that time Manchester has gradually been connected by rail with every part of the kingdom. The enormous traffic by this means has not, however, entirely superseded the use of the canals, which formerly played so important a part in the cotton industry. The construction of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761 was an event second in importance only to that of the introduction of the railway system. There are three large railway stations, Victoria, London Road, and the Central, and several minor ones. The excellence of the omnibus system of the city was perhaps one principal cause for the somewhat tardy adoption of tramways; but these have now rapidly developed, and ensure facilities for transit between the different parts of the city and also for com-munication with the neighbouring towns and villages. The establishment of a ship canal to connect Manchester with the sea has been frequently suggested at intervals for the last sixty years, and a scheme of tidal navigation elaborated by Mr Hamilton Fulton is now (1882) being actively dis-cussed.

Water Supply.—This is under the control of the cor-poration, which supplies not only the citizens but the sur-rounding populations. The gathering-ground is a series of reservoirs in the valley of Longdendale, chiefly along the course of the river Etherow. Woodhead, the chief reservoir, 20 miles from Manchester, is 777 feet above sea-level, is 72 feet deep, covers an area of 155 acres, and has a capacity of 1,235,000,000 gallons. The present system of waterworks, including the portions now being constructed at Audenshaw and Denton, have an area of reservoirs of 854^ acres, and a capacity of holding 5,914,000,000 gallons. The average daily supply of water was in 1855 8,078,152 gallons; in 1881 it was 18,929,704 gallons. In 1877 the water committee announced that in view of the increased demand it would be necessary to obtain additional or fresh sources of supply. The proposal to utilize Thirlniere in Cumberland for this purpose was vehemently opposed, but the scheme was eventually sanctioned by parliament, and the works have been begun, but have not as yet made I rapid progress. Thirlmere is 533 feet above the sea, and it is proposed to raise it by an embankment to 584 feet above the sea. From this height it is estimated that a maximum quantity of 50,000,000 gallons might be with-drawn daily.

Lighting.—The corporation not only manufactures gas for the lighting of the city, but sells it to out-districts. The area of distribution amounts to 42 square miles, and the street mains for the gas supply are 597 miles long. The entire assets of the gas-works were valued in September 1881 at £1,386,942. The average quantity of gas transmitted daily was 2,425,630,000 cubic feet. The revenue from the sale of bye-products is about £90,000. Salford, which is supplied with water by Manchester, has its own gas-works, the property of the ratepayers, and managed by a committee of the town council.

Administration of Justice.—The city has a stipendiary magistrate who, in conjunction with lay magistrates, tries cases of summary jurisdiction in the police courts; these are held in a building erected for the purpose, and having some architectural pretensions. There are also quarter sessions, presided over by a recorder. Separate sessions are held for the Salford hundred. Salford has also a police court with a stipendiary magistrate. Certain sittings of the Court of Chancery for the duchy of Lancaster are held in Manchester. In addition to the county court, there is an ancient civil court known as the Salford Hundred Court of Record. Assizes have been held since 1866.

Churches.—The chief ecclesiastical building in Man-chester is the cathedral, which, however, hardly corre-sponds to the ideas usually associated with that word. It was indeed built simply as a parish church, and, although a fine specimen of Perpendicular Gothic, is by no means what might be expected as the cathedral of an important and wealthy diocese. Though there are remains of older work, the bulk of the building belongs to the early part of the loth century. The first warden was John Huntington, rector of Ashton, who built the choir. The building, which ivas noticed for its hard stone by Leland when he visited the town, did not stand time and weather well, and by 1845 some portions of it were rapidly decaying. This led to its restoration by Holden, which was not finished until 1868, when the tower was almost completely renovated in a more durable stone than that formerly used. The total length is 220 feet and the breadth 112 feet; the only parish church exceeding it in this last dimension is said to be that of Coventry. There are several stained-glass windows. In the Ely chapel is the altar tomb of Bishop Stanley, the father of the gallant Sir John Stanley, who fought at Flodden Field. In the stalls there are some curious miserere carvings. The tower is 139 feet high, and con-tains a peal of ten bells, chiefly from the foundry of the Rudhalls. There are two organs, one by Father Smith, and a new one erected at a cost of more than ¿£7000, and enclosed in an oak case designed by the late Sir G. Scott. The church endowments are considerable, and have been the subject of a special act of parliament, known as the Manchester Bectory Division Act of 1845, which provides ¿£1500 per annum for the dean, and ¿£600 to each of the four canons, and divides the residue among the incumbents of the new churches formed out of the old parish. There are about one hundred places of worship in Manchester belonging to the Church of England, but they are not especially remarkable. Of the Roman Catholic churches, the most important are the cathedral church of St John in Salford, of the earliest Decorative character, with a spire 240 feet in height, and the church of the Holy Name, which belongs to the Jesuits, and is remarkable for its costly decoration. Salford is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric, as Manchester is the seat of an Anglican one. Most of the Nonconformist bodies have churches in the city and its environs. The meeting-house of the Society of Friends is said to be the largest of the kind in the kingdom, and will seat twelve hundred persons.





Literature and Science.—Manchester possesses numerous associations for the cultivation of literature and science. The oldest of these, the Literary and Philosophical Society, founded in 1781, has a high reputation, and has numbered among its working members John Dalton, Eaton Hodg-kinson, William Fairbairn, J. P. Joule, H. E. Roscoe, and many other famous men of science. It has published a lengthy series of memoirs and proceedings. The Man-chester Literary Club was founded in 1862, and publishes an annual volume of papers. The Manchester Statistical Society was the first society of the kind established in the kingdom, and has issued Transactions containing many important papers. The Scientific Students' Association, the Field Naturalists' and Archaaologists' Society, the Microscopical Society, the Botanists' xlssociation, the Geo-logical Society, and the Science Association may also be named. Several printing clubs, the Chetham, Record, Holbein, and English Dialect societies, have their headquarters here. Nine daily papers are published, and the journalism of Manchester takes high rank. The periodicals issued are between fifty and sixty in number.

University and Schools.—There are many educational facilities in Manchester and Salford. The oldest school is the Manchester grammar school, which was founded in 1519 by Hugh Oldham, bishop of Exeter, who was a native of Crumpsall, one of the outskirts of the town. The foundation was done " out of the good mind he bore to the county of Lancashire, perceiving that the children thereof, having pregnant wits, were for the most part brought up rudely and idly; that knowledge might be advanced, and that the children might be better taught to love, honour, and dread God and His laws." The master and usher appointed by the good bishop were to teach freely every child and scholar coming to the school, " without any money or reward taken." Some mills were devised for the maintenance of the school, which was further endowed at both the universities by Sarah, duchess of Somerset, in 1692. The school has been reconstituted on a new basis within recent years, and has now two hundred and fifty free scholars, whilst other pupils are received on payment of low fees. Mr E. R. Langworthy bequeathed to it £10,000 as an endowment for scholarships. Among those educated at the grammar school may be mentioned Thomas De Quincey and the late Mr Harrison Ainsworth.

The Owens College was founded in 1846 by John Owens, who left nearly £100,000 to trustees for an institution in which should be taught "such branches of learning and science as were then and might be hereafter usually taught in English universities." The college was opened in 1851, in a house which had formerly been the residence of Cobden, but in 1872 it was removed to its present home, a hand-some Gothic building desigued by Waterhouse. An appeal made to the public in 1867 in behalf of the college was heartily responded to, and its capital funds now amount to over £400,000. The building is carefully adapted to its purposes; and the chemical laboratory, a separate struc-ture at the rear, is of the completest description. The first bishop of Manchester, Dr J. Prince Lee, who had an interesting library of some 6000 volumes, bequeathed it to the college, which has also received gifts of books and money from various other quarters, and thus has now the nucleus of an important collection. The Royal School of Medicine, which was founded in 1824, and had acquired the reputation of being one of the most successful of the provincial schools, has been amalgamated with the college. The Medical Society has, by an arrangement with the college authorities, deposited its valuable library of 22,000 volumes in the college rooms. The Manchester museum is now the property of the college, and contains the bulk of the specimens gathered by the Geological Society and by the now extinct Natural History Society. A suitable build-ing for the accommodation of the museum has long been a decided want, and is now (1882) about to be undertaken. The growing importance of the Owens College led to the project for a university charter. The proposal was not received without some opposition, but as the result of lengthy discussions and adjustments a scheme was evolved for a university to consist of affiliated colleges, situated in different towns, but having its centre in Manchester; and the charter of the Victoria University was granted in 1880, with full powers to grant degrees except in medicine—an exception which is to be removed. Among the other educational institutions of the district are the Lancashire Independent college, the Primitive Methodist college, the Baptist institute, the St Bede's college (Roman Catholic), the college for women, the Salford college for working men, the school of art, and many minor institutions. The elementary education is controlled by an elected school board. Salford has also a school board. Very nearly the oldest educational institution in the town is the Chetham hospital, a bluecoat school educating one hundred boys; and almost the latest addition to these institutions is a similar institution founded by the late Alderman Nicholls. The schools for the deaf and dumb are situated at Old Trafford, in a contiguous building of the same Gothic design as the blind asylum, to which Mr Thomas Henshaw left a bequest of £20,000. There is also an adult deaf and dumb institution, containing a news-room, lecture-hall, chapel, cfec, for the use of deaf mutes.

Libraries and Museums.—Manchester is well provided with libraries. The Chetham library is sometimes spoken of as the oldest free library in Europe, and certainly its doors have been open without let or hindrance for more than two centuries, and the building which it occupies is almost the only relic now left of ancient Manchester. What had once been the barons' hall, and afterwards the residence of the clergy, was purchased by the trustees of Humphrey Chetham, and by them applied to the purposes of a blue-coat school and library, provision for the foundation and maintenance of which he had made by will. The library, with its quiet and almost monastic corridors, forms a striking contrast to the busy streets without. The contents now amount to about 40,000 volumes, and include many rare manuscripts and curious books, the gem of the collec-tion undoubtedly being a copy of the historical compilation of Matthew Paris, with corrections in the author's hand-writing. There is a large collection of matter relating to the history and archaeology of Lancashire and Cheshire. A recent addition to its riches in this department is the ex-tensive series of Lancashire manuscripts bequeathed by the late Canon Raines. The collection of broadsides formed by Mr J. O. Halliwell-Phillips, and the library of John Byrom, rich in mystics and shorthand writers, should also be named. In addition to the library, Chetham left provision for the education of a number of poor boys, and the increase in the value of the endowments has raised the number to one hundred, who receive a good English education and are afterwards put to some useful trade or calling. An ad-ditional school has recently been erected from designs by Waterhouse, who has been successful in making the new building harmonize with the quaint and sober architecture of the hospital and library. The Manchester Free Libraries were founded by Sir John Potter, who was instrumental in promoting a public subscription from which a building was bought and stocked with books, and then handed over to the town, by whose municipal authorities the libraries have since been not only maintained but materially increased. There is now a reference library containing about 70,000 volumes, including an extensive series of English historical works and a remarkable collection of books of political economy and trade. The chief object has been to make a good working collection for the student and man of letters. But, although the collection of objects dear to the bibliomaniac has not been considered of first importance, the library now includes some literary curiosities of the first rank, among them specimens of the press of Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde. Affiliated to the central consulting library there are six lending libraries, the Hulme library having 17,000 volumes, Ancoats 15,000, Rochdale Road 15,000, Chorlton and Ardwick 17,000, Cheetham 12,000, and Deansgate 18,000. Each lending library has attached to it a commodious reading-room. There are also libraries in connexion with-the Athenaeum, the mechanics' institu-tion, the Portico, the Owens College, and other institu-tions. The sister borough of Salford has also adopted the free library system, and possesses at Peel Park a large reference and lending library, whilst additional lending libraries and news-rooms have been opened at Pendleton, Greengate, and Regent Road.





Recreation.—The city has always been noted for its love of theatrical amusements, and the German element in its population has in the last fifty years largely influenced the taste for music by which it is now distinguished. The theatre royal is a patent theatre, and was opened in 1845, its predecessor having been burned in the previous year. It ranks in size with the large metro-politan theatres, and has connected with it memories of nearly all the great actors of the present and past generation. The Prince's theatre was opened in 1864, and is an elegant and beautifully finished structure. The Queen's theatre is a substantial building with but small architectural pretensions. A theatre has recently been opened in Salford. The concert-hall will hold twelve hundred people. There are many musical societies ; and amongst other places of amusement may be mentioned the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, the Pomona Palace, and numerous music-halls, &c.

Population.—According to the census of 1881, the municipal borough of Manchester contains a population of 341,414 (163,475 males, 177,939 females), while the parliamentary borough has 393,585 (189,005 males, 204,580 females). Salford, on the same authority, has 176,235 (84,610 males, 91,625 females). These figures, however, hardly convey the actual facts of the case. Manchester and Salford are as closely joined as London and Southwark, and are surrounded by populous districts quite as much united as the component parts of what the registrar-general styles "Greater London." There has been a seeming decrease in the population of the city, which in 1871 was stated to contain 355,655 persons ; but this appearance is fallacious, for, wdiile the progress of city improvements has reduced the number of inhabited bouses in the centre, there has been a large influx into Salford, which has increased by 51,432 persons during the last ten years. The two boroughs, with the urban sanitary districts immediately contiguous, have a population of about 800,000 persons. In the Middle Ages there were in Manchester and Salford probably not more than two or three hundred burgesses and their dependants. In 1588 the population was estimated at 10,000, but the parish is here meant. In 1757 the two towns contained 19,839 persons, who by 1773 had increased to 27,246, and by 1783 to over 39,000. At the first census in 1801 Manchester had 75,275, and Salford 14,477. The last four census statements are :—

== TABLE ==

The increase in rateable value has been equally remarkable. In 1815 Manchester was rated at £357,778 ; in 1882 the estimate was £2,761,460. The corresponding values for Salford were £54,130 and £801,192.

Sanitary Condition.—Manchester, like other towns, grew more rapidly than the provision for its wise government; but determined efforts have been made in the direction of sanitary improvement. The death-rate in 1840 was 34'3; in 1850, 29'6; in 1860, 28'0; in 1861, 30-4 ; in 1862, 30'3 ; in 1869, 28'9 ; in 1870, 26'52; in 1871, 29-8 ; in 1877, 25'4 ; in 1880, 24'7 ; and for nine months of 1881 it was 23'3. Whatever may be the causes of these fluctuations, it is clear that there is still ample room for further improve-ment. The air laden with the products of the combustion of coal, and the unspeakably filthy rivers, are urgently in need of energetic remedial action.

Manufactures and Commerce.—As has already been stated, Man-chester is the centre of the English cotton industry; but in the town itself of late years the tendency has been more and more in the direction of commerce. Owing to the enhanced value of land, many mills and workshops have been removed to the outskirts and to neighbouring villages and towns, so that the centre of Manchester and an ever-widening circle around is now chiefly devoted not so much to production as to the various offices of distribution. Large and handsome warehouses and shops abound, and there is every evidence of quick and opulent life. It would be a mistake, however, to regard Manchester as solely dependent upon the industries con-nected with cotton. There are other important manufactures which in another community would be described as gigantic. Wool and silk are manufactured on a considerable scale, though the latter industry has for some years been on the decline. The miscellaneous and multifarious articles grouptd under the designation of small-wares occupy many hands. Machinery and tools, using the term with its most comprehensive meaning so as to include alike philo-sophical instruments and steam-engines, are made in vast quanti-ties. The chemical industries of the city are also on a large scale. In short, there are but few important manufactures that are wholly unrepresented. The proximity of Manchester to the rich coal-fields of Lancashire has had a marked influence upon its prosperity ; but for this, indeed, the rapid expansion of its industries would have been impossible.

It would probably be difficult to find a community in any part of the world with which Manchester has no commercial relations. The enterprise of its merchants has kept pace with the energy of its manufacturers, and the products of its looms are to be found in every land, though doubtless the supremacy which its cotton goods have held in the markets of the world tends to become more and more abated by the gradually increasing foreign competition.

From figures laid before the Manchester Statistical Society, the money extent of trading operations at this centre has been calculated at about £207,000,000 in 1872 and £318,000,000 in 1881. These figures, though to be taken with certain reservations, indicate approximately the extent of the activity of the city.

The commercial institutions of Manchester are too numerous for detailed description. Its chamber of commerce has for more than sixty years held a position of much influence in regard to the trade of the district and of the nation. There are eleven joint-stock banks, seven of which have their head offices in the town ; these banks, besides numerous branches in the surrounding district, have sixteen branches in the town; and there are several private bankers.

Municipality.—The affairs of the town are regulated by a council consisting of sixty-four representatives of the fifteen wards into which the city is divided. The body corporate of sixteen aldermen and forty-eight councillors, who are presided over by the mayor, has shown much enterprise and public spirit in the energy with which it has prosecuted public improvements, and in the business ability with which it has managed the vast undertakings connected with the lighting and water supply of the town. The town council of Salford consists also of sixteen aldermen and forty-eight coun-cillors, and there are fourteen wards.
History.—Very little is known with certainty of the early history of Manchester. It has, indeed, been conjectured, and with some probability, that at Castlefield there was a British fortress, which was afterwards taken possession of by the soldiers of Agrieola. It is at all events certain that a Roman station of some importance existed in this locality, and a fragment of the wall still exists. In the last century considerable evidences of Roman occupation were still visible ; and from time to time, in the course of excavation (especially during the making of the Bridgewater Canal), Roman remains have been found. o The coins were chiefly those of Vespasian, Antoninus Pius, Trajan, Hadrian, Nero, Domitian, Vitelliiis, and ..Constantino. The period succeeding the Roman occupation is for some time legendary. As late as the 17th century there was a floating tradition that Tarquin, an enemy of King Arthur, kept the castle of Manchester, and was killed by Launcelot of the Lake. The mention of the town in authentic annals is very scanty. It was probably one of the scenes" of' the missionary preaching of Paulinus ; and it is said (though by a chronicler of comparatively bite date) to have been the residence of Ina, king of.Wessex, and his queen .Ethelberga, after he had defeated Ivor, somewhere about the year 689. Nearly the only point of certainty in its history before the Conquest is that it suffered greatly from the devastations of the Danes, and that in 923 Edward, who was then at Thelwall, near Warrington, sent a number of his Mercian troops to repair and garrison it. In Domesday Book Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, and Radclilfo are the only places named in South-East Lancashire, a district now covered by populous towns. Large por-tions of it were then forest, wood, and waste lands. Twenty-one thanes held the manor of Salford among them. The church of St Mary and the church of St Michael in Manchester are both named in Domesday, and some difficulty has arisen as to their proper identification. Most antiquaries have considered that the passage refers to the town only, whilst others think it relates to the parish, and that, while St Mary's is the present cathedral, St Michael's would be the present parish church of Ashton-under-Lyne. Man-chester and Salford are so closely allied that it is impossible to dis-associate their history. Salford received a charter from Ranulph de Blundeville, in the reign of Henry III., constituting it a free borough, and Manchester ill 1301 received a similar warrant of municipal liberties and privileges, from its baron, Thomas Gresley, : a descendant of one to . whom the manor . had been given by Roger of Poietou, wdio was created by William the Conqueror lord of all the land between the rivers Mersey' and Ribble. The Gresleys were succeeded by the De la Warres, the last _ of whom was educated for the priesthood, and became rector _of the town. To avoid the evil of a non-resident clergy,' he made considerable additions to the lands of the'church,' in order that it might be endowed as a collegiate institution.' A sacred guild was thus formed, whose members were bound to perform the necessary services at the parish church, and to whom the old baronial hall was granted as a place of residence. The manorial rights passed to Sir Reginald West, the son'of Joan Greslet, and he was summoned to parliament as Baron de la' Warre. The West family, in 1579, sold the manorial rights for £3000 to John Lacy, who, in 1596, resold them to Sir Nicholas Mosley, whose descend-ants enjoyed the emoluments and profits to be derived from them Until the middle of the present century (1845), when tliey were purchased by the present town council of Manchester for a' sum of £200,000. - The lord of the manor had the right to tax and toll all articles brought for sale into the market of the town. But, though the inhabitants were thus to a large extent taxed for the benefit of one individual, they bad a far greater amount of local self-govern-ment than might have been supposed, and the court' leet,' which was then the governing body of the town, had, though doubtless in a somewhat rudimentary form, nearly all the powers and functions now possessed by municipal corporations. This court had not only control over the watching and watering of the town, the regulation of the water supply, and the cleaning of the streets, but also had power, which at times was used freely, of interfering with what would now be considered the private liberty of their fellow-citizens. Some of the regulations adopted, and presumably enforced, sound grotescruely at the present day. Thus, no single woman was allowed to be a householder ; no person might employ other than the town musicians ; and the amount to be spent at weelding feasts and other festivities was carefully settled. Under the protection of the barons the town appears to have steadily increased in prosperity, and it early became an important seat of the textile manufactures. Full-ing mills were at work in the district in the 13th century; and documentary evidence exists to show that woollen manufactures were carried on in Ancoats at that period. In 1641 we hear of the Manchester people purchasing linen yarn from the Irish, weaving it, and returning it for sale in a finished state. They also brought cotton wool from Smyrna to work into fustians and dimities. An Act passed in the reign of Edward VI. regulates the length of cottons called Manchester, Lancashire, and Cheshire cottons. These, notwithstanding their name, were probably all woollen tex-tures. It is thought that some of the Flemish weavers who were introduced into England by Queen Philippa of Hainault were settled at Manchester ; and Fuller has given an exceedingly quaint and picturesque description of the manner in which these artisans were welcomed by the inhabitants of the country they were about to enrich with a new industry, one which in after centuries has become perhaps the most important industry of the country. The Flemish weavers were in all probability reinforced by religious refugees from the Low Countries. Leland, writing in 1638, describes Manchester as the " fairest, best builded, quickest, and most popu-lous town of Lancashire." The right of sanctuary had been granted to the town, but this was found so detrimental to its industrial pur-suits that after very brief experience the privilege was taken away. The college of Manchester was dissolved in 1547, but was refounded in Mary's reign. _ Under her successor the town became the head-quarters of the. commission for establishing the Reformed religion.

In the civil wars, the town was besieged by the Royalists under Lord Strange, but was successfully defended by the inhabitants under the commanel of a German soldier of fortune, Colonel Ros-worm, who complained with some bitterness of their ingratitude to him. An earlier affray between the Puritans and some of Lord Strange's followers is said to have occasioned the shedding of the first blood in the disastrous struggle between the king and parlia-ment. The year 1689 witnessed that strange episode, the trial of those concerned in the so-calleel Lancashire plot, which ended in the triumphant acquittal of the supposed Jacobites. That the dis-trict really contained many ardent sympathizers with the Stuarts was, however, shown in the rising of 1715, when the clergy ranged themselves to a large extent on the sitle of the Pretender, and was still more clearly shown in the rebellion of 1745, when the town was taken possession of by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, and a regiment, known afterwards as the Manchester regiment, was formed and placed under the command of Colonel Francis Townley. In the fatal retreat of the Stuart troops the Manchester contingent was left to garrison Carlisle, and surrendered to the duke of Cum-berland.' . The officers were taken to London, where they were tried for high treason and beheaded on Kennington Common.

The variations of political action in Manchester had been exceed-ingly marked. In the 16th century, although it produced both Catholic and Protestant martyrs, it was earnestly in favour of the Reformed faith, and in the succeeding century it became indeed a stronghold of Puritanism. Yet the descendants of the Roundheads who defeated the army of Charles I. were Jacobite in their sym-pathies,'and by the latter half of the 18th century had become imbued with the aggressive form of patriotic sentiment known as anti-Jacobinism, which showed itself chiefly in dislike of reform and reformers of every description. A change was, however, immi-nent. The distress caused by war and taxation, towards the end of the last and the beginning of the present century, led to bitter dis-content, and the anomalies existing in the parliamentary system of representation afforded only too fair an object of attack. While single individuals in some portions of the country had the power to return members of parliament for their pocket boroughs, great towns like Manchester were entirely without representation. The injudicious conduct of the authorities, also, led to an increase in the bitterness with which the working classes regarded the condition of society in wdiich they found themselves compelled to toil with very little profit to themselves. Their expressions of discontent, instead of being wisely regarded as symptoms of disease in the body politic, were looked upon as crimes, and the severest efforts were made to repress all expression of dissatisfaction. This foolish policy of the authorities reached its culmination in the affair of Peterloo, wdiich may be regarded as the starting point of the modern reform agitation. This was in 1819, when an immense crowd assembled on St Peter's Fields (now covered by the Free Trade hall and warehouses) to petition parliament for a redress of their grievances. The authorities had the Riot Act read, but in such a manner as to be quite unheard by the mass of the people ; and drunken yeomanry cavalry were then turned loose upon the unresisting mass of spectators. The yeomanry appear to have used their sabres somewhat freely ; several people were killed and many more injured ; and, although the magistrates received the thanks of the prince regent and the ministry, their conduct excited the deepest indignation throughout the entire country. Naturally enough, the Manchester politicians took an important part in the reform agitation, and when the Act of 1832 was passed, the town sent as its representatives the Right Hon. C. P. Thomson, vice-president of the Board of Trade, and Mr Mark Philips. With one notable exception, this was the first time that Manchester had been represented in parliament since its barons had seats in the House of Peers in the earlier centuries. In 1654 Mr Charles Worsley and Mr E. Eadcliffe were nominated to represent it in Cromwell's parliament. Worsley was a man of great ability, and must ever have a conspicuous place in history as the man who carried out the injunction of the Protector to " remove that bauble," the mace of the House of Commons. The agitation for the repeal of the corn laws had its headquarters at Manchester, and the success which attended it, not less than the active interest taken by its inhabitants in public questions, lias made the city the home of various projects of reform. The "United Kingdom Alliance for the suppression of the liquor traffic " was founded there in 1853, and during the continuance of the American War the adherents both of the North and of the South deemed it desir-able to have organizations to influence public opinion in favour of their respective causes. A charter of incorporation was granted in 1838 ; a bishop was appointeel in 1847 ; and the town became a city in 1853. The Lancashire cotton famine, caused by the civil war in America, produced much distress in the Manchester district, and led to a national movement to help the starving operatives. The relief operations then organized are amongst the most remark-able efforts of modern philanthropy.

Although several excellent books have been written on subjects connected with the town, there is no adequate modern history. The History of Manchester, by the Rev. John Whitaker, appeared in 1771; it is a mere fragment, and, though containing much important matter, requires to bo very discreetly used. The following may be recommended:—Reilly, History of Manchester, 1861; Procter, Manchester in Holiday Dress (1866), Memorials of Manchester Streets (1S74), Memorials of Byeyone Manchester, 18S0; Buxton, Botanical Guide to Manchester, &c, 2d ed., 185!); Axon, Handbook of the Public Libraries of Manchester and Salford, 1877: Grindon, Manchester Flora, 1850; Baines, History of Lancashire, 2d cd., 1868-70. (W. E. A. A.)



The above article was written by: W. E. A. Axon.



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