by James Pigot  (1818)


Bolton is an ancient manufacturing town, of considerable consequence, in Lancashire, 11 miles from Manchester. The making of fustians was introduced here at a very early period, but has now given place to muslins, quiltings, &c. , During the civil war, in the reign of Charles I. Bolton was fortified and defended by the Parliamenterians; it was stormed by Prince Rupert and the Earl of Derby, when many of the inhabitants were killed; the Earl was afterwards taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester, brought to Bolton, and beheaded in the Market-place. Bolton enjoys a healthy situation, abounds with springs of the finest water, is surrounded by mines of excellent coal, and enjoys the advantage of a communication by canal with Manchester and Bury; to the former place a packet-boat sails every morning and evening. “The neighbourhood of Bolton,” observes the judicious Dr. Aikin, “has been distinguished for producing men of great talents in mechanical invention.” Here resided Sir Richard Arkwright, the inventor of the art of spinning cotton by water. Mr. Samuel Crompton, the sole inventor of mule spinning, also resided near Bolton; he gave his invention to the public in 1780, for £100. but has since been rewarded by Parliament with a donation of £5.000. At Halliwell, about a mile from the town, where (as well as at other places in the neighbourhood) the bleaching business is carried on upon a most extended scale, was first, brought to perfection the chemical method of whitening cotton cloth. The town has been ornamented, and the streets well lighted, by a judicious sale of 250 acres of land, on Bolton Moor, which now brings in the annual sum of £2.632.; which, after maintaining necessary roads, &c. goes in aid of the poor rates. The population is about 26.600. Market-day Monday. Fairs on the 14th. and 15th. September, and the 30th. and 31st. July. Bolton has two churches, besides places of worship for Dissenters. It has also a Free Grammar School, numerous Sunday Schools, an Auxiliary Bible Society, and other benevolent institutions.