by James Pigot  (1818)


Manchester is a large town in the hundred of Salford, and county of Lancaster, is seated on the banks of the river Irwell, which here receives the tributary streams of the Irk and Medlock, rivers comparatively small, yet eminently useful; the former being supposed to have more mill-seats upon it than any other stream of equal extent in the kingdom; while the latter, after filling the reservoirs of the Water Works Company, supplies various dye houses, &c. and feeds the navigable canal of the late Duke of Bridgewater. About one fifth of the town is built on the N. W. bank of the Irwell, and is called Salford, but the whole has the general appellation of Manchester. It is 184 miles distant from London, 36 from Liverpool, and 212 from Edinburgh. The manor of Manchester was given by William the Conqueror to Albert de Gresley. In 1301, we find his grandson Thomas, granting a charter to his free burgesses of Manchester, constituting their town a free borough. In 1422, Lord de la Warr, the last male heir of this family, founded and endowed the collegiate church, a circumstance tending to the increase and improvement of the town. In the reign of Elizabeth the manor was sold for £3.000, and twenty-one years after again sold, for £3.500, to Sir Nicholas Mosley. The present Lord of the manor is Sir Oswald Mosley. Manchester, as a manufacturing town, is deservedly distinguished above every other in the kingdom. At what period it first began to be noted for its manufactures is uncertain; but in the time of Edward VI, Manchester cottons, rugs, and friezes, are frequently mentioned in various acts of Parliament. In 1650, the inhabitants were reputed the most industrious people in the north of England, and the trade is described as " not inferior to that of many cities in the kingdom, chiefly consisting in woollen friezes, fustians, sack cloths, mingled stuffs, caps, inkles, points, tapes, &c. whereby not only the better sort of men are employed, but also the very children by their own labour can maintain themselves. There are, besides, all kind of foreign merchandise brought and returned by the merchants of the town, amounting to the sum of many thousand pounds ". It was not, however, till after the middle of the last century, that Manchester rose to a pre-eminent rank among our manufacturing towns. Previous to the year 1760, all the cotton yarn manufactured in the country was spun by hand, upon that well known domestic instrument called a one thread wheel. Shortly after this period, Mr. Hargrave invented a machine denominated a jenny, by which one person could spin from 20 to 40 threads at a time. These machines soon came into general use, and contributed materially to the extension of the cotton manufacture, till the year 1775, when Sir Richard Arkwright brought the improvement to still greater perfection. Manchester being the principal seat and centre of the spinning trade, the rapid increase of that branch produced a corresponding increase in the buildings and population of the town. Cotton goods of every description are manufactured here and calico printing, bleaching, dying, &c. carried on to a most amazing extent. The silk business seems rapidly advancing, and the manufacturing of hats forms also a considerable branch of trade. The manufacturers from all the neighbouring towns resort here to sell their goods, and purchase fresh supplies of cotton or other materials; so that very few cotton goods are disposed of, without having, in one stage or another, increased the wealth of the inhabitants of Manchester. The Collegiate Church was erected in the time of Henry VII, on the scite occupied by that built by Lord de la Warr, the materials of which were only wood. It is built in the rich Gothic style of architecture, which distinguishes the buildings of the fifteenth century. In the year 1635, Trinity Church, in Salford, was founded; but falling to decay, was re built in the year 1752. In the year 1712, St. Ann's was consecrated; and St. Mary's in 1756. Since which period, eight other churches have been erected in the town, and three chapels in the suburbs. Here are also places of worship for numerous classes of dissenters. The Manchester Commercial Building, or Exchange, was opened in 1809, and comprises

an exchange room, (containing an area of 4000 superficial square feet) in which the news

papers and other periodical publications are perused; a dining-room, ware-rooms, shops,

&c.; a set of rooms for the post-office; with extensive dellars under the whole. It is built 

 ef stone, and presents a simple, but classical facade, with demi-columns of the Grecian

Doric order. The Portico, in Mosley-street, is an elegant edifice of the Ionic order,

erected for the purpose of containing a public library and news-room, open to subscribers

and strangers introduced by them. This building also is of stone, and was completed in

1805. Here are also a Theatre, Minor Theatre, Assembly-rooms, Concert-rooms, &c. The

New Bayley Prison is well deserving attention, both on account of the extent of the edi

fice and the arrangement of its parts, and also for the order and cleanliness observed in

the interior. The entrance is a handsome rusticated stone building, over which is a large

room where the sessions are held; and adjoining it are several commodious rooms for the

magistrates, jurors, &c. An addition is now making, equal in extent, nearly, to the pre

sent building, which when completed, will render this one of the largest prisons in the

kingdom.—The buildings, in the new part, will be appropriated chiefly to cells and work

shops for the prisoners. -

Among the charitable institutions of this town, Chetham's Hospital is entitled to pre

cedence, by priority of establishment. It owes its existence and support to the munificent

bequest of Humphrey Chetham, Esq. of Clayton, whose will is dated 16th of December,

1651. The foundation was originally for 40 poor boys, who were to be clothed and edu

cated from the age of six to fourteen. The value of the estates increasing, their number

was, in 1780, augmented to eighty. The building is very ancient; in a large gallery, is a

public library, also established by Humphrey Cheetham. The Free School, in which

many of the clergy of the town and neighbourhood have been educated, owes its origin to

Hugh Oldham, bishop of Exeter. The Infirmary, a large, commodious and handsome

building, is situated at the highest point of the town, fronting to Piccadilly. This insti

tution originated in the year 1752, and in 1755, the present building was opened for the

reception of patients. Attached to it are a Dispensary, Lunatic Hospital, and Asylum.

“The inside of the building, is a model of useful design, economy and cleanliness

There appears everything which could be wanted in such a building for such a charity, but

nothing which could be spared.” The House of Recovery, or Fever Ward, is a large and

meat brick building, situate in Aytoun-street. The objects of this institution are “to

meliorate the condition of the poor; to prevent the generation of diseases; to obviate the

propagation of them by contagion; and to mitigate those which exist, by providing com

forts and accommodation for the sick.” The Lying-in Hospital was instituted in the year

1790, but not established in its present situation till 1796. The building is in Stanley

street, Salford, and well adapted to the purpose. Here are also three National Schools,

two on Dr. Bell's, and one (capable of containing a thousand scholars) on Lancaster's

system. Very numerous Sunday Schools; an auxiliary Bible Society, and various other

benevolent establishments. Two large Poor Houses have been erected; one in Manches

ter, in 1792, and the other in Salford, in 1793. In 1781, a Literary and Philosophical

Society was instituted in this town. In 1803 the Philological Society was established.

Here are also two extensive public Libraries; and an Agricultural Society was founded so

far back as 1767. - - -

The government of Manchester is vested in a Boroughreeve and two Constables. The

chief business of the first of these officers is to preside at public meetings, and to distribute.

certain charities, called Boroughreeve Charities, the judicial functions connected with the

police, being executed by the constables and their deputies. A court of request is esta

blished for the recovery of small debts; and a stipendiary magistrate attends at the New

Bailey, for the administration of justice in pleas of almost every description, whether civil

or criminal. Sessions are also held four times a year. The town is well lighted and

watched; the police vigilant; and such improvements are making in paving and flagging

the streets, as bid fair to make Manchester, in those respects, superior to any town in the

kingdom. Goods are conveyed from Manchester to Liverpool by the rivers Irwell and

Mersey, which form a junction about seven miles below Manchester, and have been made

navigable for vessels of 50 tons burthen. Also by the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, which

after joining the grand Trunk Navigation, falls into the Mersey at Runcorn. There are

also canals to Bolton and Bury, Ashton-under-Line, Stockport and the Peak Forest. To

Rochdale, Huddersfield, &c. opening a communication with the Humber, by means of

the Air and Calder Navigation. Four fairs are annually held here; the first on Easter

Monday and Tuesday, for folly and gingerbread; the second in Salford, on Whitmonday

and Tuesday, for horses, horned cattle, &c. also resorted to by the Yorkshire clothiers and

others, who have a handsome hall for their accommodation; the third is on the 1st and 2d

of October, for horses, cattle, pigs, &c. the last in Salford, on the 17th of November,"

for the same articles. Races are held in Whitsun week. The market days are Tuesday, .

Thursday, and Saturday. The first is the principal market for manufactured goods. The

population of Manchester, including Salford, is estimated at 110.500.  



 Needle Makers  1818


Peakman John                    (& needle & fish-hook) 31 London Road 


Needle Makers  1841


Grouse Mary                 73 London Road  

Johnson Richard & Brothers           25 and 27 Dale Street

Taylor John and Co.                             1 James Street 

Yoxall John                                   7 Lion Street  Chorlton on M  


Needle Makers  1911


Milward Henry & Sons           3  Spear Street

Morrall Abel Ltd               17 Cambrian buildings