Manchester in 1839
Manchester is located in the county of Lancaster, 168 miles north-west by north of London, direct distance, 187 miles by the present mail-coach road. The parish, which comprises several townships, had in 1773 a population of 13,786, and in 1831, 270,363, of which there were in the township of Manchester 142, 026. From 1801 to the last census in 1831, the population had more than doubled itself ; nor has the increase come to a stand. In Pigots Manchester and Salford Directory for 1829, were given 34,200 names of resident housekeepers, in that for 1839 above 44,000 ; in the former the number of streets was 2,740 ; in the latter 3,620. Under the Reform Act Manchester sends two members to parliament. In the first election (1832), contested by five candidates, there were given 9689 votes ; in the election in 1835 four candidates received 9636 votes.
Under the Municipal Act the borough has a commission of the peace, is divided into fifteen wards, has a mayor (Thomas Potter, Esq., the first mayor), sixteen aldermen, and forty-eight councillors, whom the act empowers to hold a Court of Record for the trial of civil actions, provided the sum or damages sought to be recovered do not exceed twenty pounds. Under the same act the borough has also a commission of the peace and the right of holding quarter-sessions.
The town is not distinguished for architectural beauty ; its chief streets are occupied with warehouses and shops, the more and the less opulent inhabitants, at a greater or less distance from the centre of the town, in dwellings separate from those in which they conduct their business, many of which are spacious and beautiful. There are, however, some objects of architectural interest in Manchester. Under the sanction of acts of parliament much has been done for the improvement of the town, both in convenience and appearance. Market-street, the chief mart for retail business, was not many years ago a mere lane : it is now a very handsome street. The improvement was completed in 1834, when the total outlay was £232,925. The Manchester Improvement Committee have also judiciously applied the profits of the gas-works, which are in the hands of the Commissioners of Police, to the improvement of the township; £20,057 were thus expended by them in 1835. Among the public buildings worthy of notice may be named the chaste portico of the Subscription Library, and the truly classic and handsome Royal Institution, both in Mosley-street, and the hall of the Museum in Peter Street. The Infirmary is a fine building, and has an advantage which is rare in Manchester, namely, that of being in a favourable situation. Several new churches have recently added to the appearance of the out-districts of the town, among which the churches at Pendleton and Hume deserve special mention : but even these are inferior to the beautiful church in the pointed style now (1839) being erected by Mr. Atkinson, architect, near Smedley-lane, Cheetham Hill.
Situation and Inland Communication:
Manchester stands on the south-east bank of the river Irwell, by which it has a communication with the Mersey, Liverpool, and the ocean. It is situated in a district which contains some of the best coal-strata of England, a circumstance to which the place is in no small degree indebted for its prosperity. The weekly consumption of coal in the town and neighbourhood is estimated at 26,000 tons, the charge of which is for the factories about 8 shillings per ton, for private houses 12 shillings per ton. In 1836, 913,991 tons were brought into Manchester.
The climate of Manchester is not so genial as that of the more southern districts of the kingdom ; but the unfavourable impression which prevails respecting it is much exaggerated. The following statements are made on the authority of Dr. Dalton (Memoirs of the Manchester Philosophical Society, second series, vol. iii, p. 483, et seq.). The mean height of the barometer at Manchester is 29.85. The mercury is higher in the summer months than in the winter. The general annual mean of temperature is nearly 49 degrees. The mean annual fall of rain is 36.14 inches ; while at Lancaster it is 39.714 inches, at Dumfries 36.14 inches, and at Kendal 53.944 inches. The first six months of the year must be considered as dry months, and the last six months as wet months. April is the driest month in the year, and the sixth after, namely October, is the wettest, or that in which the most rain falls, in a long continued series of years, in the immediate neighbourhood of Manchester.
Manchester has the credit of having given an impulse to our means of internal communication, and has reaped an ample reward. The achievements of Brindley were prompted by the desire which the duke of Bridgewater had of sending his coal from Worsley to Manchester at a small expense.
Manchester now possesses the means of water-communication with almost every part of the country. In the railroad enterprise Manchester has held a prominent station. It furnished its full share of the capital employed in the formation of the Manchester and Liverpool railway, the act for which was obtained in May, 1826 ; the road was completed by midsummer 1830, and formally opened on the 15th September of the same year in the presence of half a million of people assembled along the line. By the report of the directors, dated January 1839, declaring a dividend of £5 per cent. for the half year previous, it appears that the receipts within that period were as follows :- Coaching department , £79,277 ; merchandise, £54,215 ; coal, £3,201 ; total £136,693. The expenses were £80,978, leaving a balance for distribution among the proprietors of £55,714. The amount of expenditure in the construction of the way and works is stated at the enormous sum of £1,376,073 for a length of road only thirty miles. The Manchester and Bolton railroad was formally opened on the 26th May 1838. Its length is ten miles, and its cost £650,000. A continuation of the line to Preston and Lancaster is in progress. A dividend of £1 and 10 shillings per share was declared on the 9th January 1839. The Grand Junction railway connects Manchester with Birmingham and London : there are 10,918 shares in this railway, and the outlay was £1,512,150 ; it was opened in September 1837, and has paid on the first year £10 per share, on the last six months £12. The North Union connects Manchester with Wigan and Preston. There are also in course of formation lines to Leeds, direct to Birmingham, to Sheffield, &c.
Manchester, as its name shows, (Man, castra), was a Roman station, the Mancunium of the Antonine Itinerary. Aldport, the original name of Manchester, is supposed by the learned Whitaker to have taken its rise in the reign of Titus and during the continuance of the Romans in this island it was indebted to them for many of the germs of civilisation, and especially for an improvement in the woollen manufacture, a branch of trade which is said to have been introduced from Gaul before their invasion. Of the roads which were planned by Agricola, Manchester had four ; two running from east to west, and two from north to south : inferior stations, at places now known by the names of Singleton Brook, Prestwich, and Broughton, were connected with the Manchester camp. Under the Saxons Manchester became the abode of a Thane, who from his baronial hall dispensed a certain sort of justice, and furthered the improvement of the place. At an early period it had two churches, one of which, St. Michaels, is mentione in Domesday Book. In 870 the Danes got possession of Manchester. After the Norman conquest William gave the place to William of Poictou. The third baron of Manchester was concerned in wresting Magna Charta from King John. In the year 1301 Thomas de Grelley granted the Great Charter of Manchester. In 1307 the baron of Manchester was summoned to parliament, and appears to have been a favourite of Edward I, who made him a Knight of the Bath. From the Grelleys the barony descended to the family of De la Warre, and John, the first of the line, was called to parliament in the ninth year of Edward II. He and his successors distinguished themselves in the battle of Cressy, during the Wars of the Roses, and most of all at the period of the Reformation, the baron of Manchester being one of those who apprised the pope that hi continued resistance to Henrys wishes in regard to the divorce would lead to the extinction of his supremacy in England. At length the manorial rights vested in the family of Mossley of the Hough.
The dissensions excited by the Reformation were strongly experienced in this town. Collyer, the warden of the collegiate church, refused to acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of Henry VIII, and many of the great families in the neighbourhood remained for a long time attached to the see of Rome. In the civil wars Manchester ranged itself on the side of the parliament (Puritanism having gained an ascendancy in it), and sustained a siege conducted by Lord Strange. On the cessation of the contest, Presbyterianism replaced Episcopacy ; Heyrick, the warden of the collegiate church, being himself instrumental in bringing about the change. In 1646, when Lancashire was converted into an ecclesiastical province under the Presbyterian reforms, Manchester, with some neighbouring places, was constituted the first classical division of the county. Under Cromwell the electors chose a representative in the person first of Mr. Charles Worsley, and then of Mr. R. Ratcliffe. The Act of Uniformity under Charles compelled about seventy ministers to quit their livings in Lancashire, and among others, the Reverend H. Newcombe, who became minister of what is now called Cross-street chapel, and may be considered the father of non-conformity in a town which has from the first has been distinguished as possessing a greater dissenting population than most others in the kingdom. A strong Jacobinical feeling soon grew up, and the Rebellion of 1745 had many friends and supporters in Manchester, even among the leading inhabitants and the clergy of the collegiate church. Prince Charles himself was entertained in the town in the residence of Mr. Dickinson, in Market-street, a house subsequently known as an inn, under the title the Palace, and which has recently been pulled down to give place to warehouses. It was not till 1783 that the town had a nightly watch, nor did it possess a Police Act before 1791. The political strife which characterises the last half century, and by which great changes have been effected in the constitution of the country, displayed itself at a very early period in Manchester and was supported and extended by means of Reform Clubs and Church and King Clubs. In 1791 a Constitutional Club was formed. The threat of a French invasion excited indignation and much warlike display. Immediately after the peace in 1815, the desire for Reform began to manifest itself in Manchester in a very decided manner. By the Reform Act Manchester obtained in common with many other towns in the kingdom, the elective franchise.
Cotton is the chief article employed in the manufactures of Manchester. Of late the spinning and weaving of silk have been introduced, and it has manufactures of woollen, small wares, hats, umbrellas, and of machinery, which last has risen to great importance and perfection.
The commercial spirit dates back to a very early period. It is enough however to mention, that in the time of Henry VIII and Edward VI the town was distinguished for its manufactures. The more rapid expansion of trade began in the seventeenth century, and one who is known as a benefactor to the town, Humphrey Chetham, was among its most eminent tradesmen. The enormities of the duke of Alva in the Netherlands, and subsequently the revocation of the edict of Nantes, brought many enterprising and skilful foreigners into the district, and gave energy and effect to the native commercial impulse. At first the woollen was the only branch of trade, but since the middle of the last century the cotton business has nearly superseded the ancient fabric. The natural advantages possessed by the town, together with the strength of character of the natives, was undoubtedly the original and the main cause of the growth of its trade and prosperity ; but the series of brilliant inventions and discoveries applied, improved, or originated in the district of Manchester, which comprise the steam-engine, the spinning-jenny, the mule-jenny, the fly-frame, the tube-frame, the mule, &c, have proved most effective instruments in aiding the development. The early series of inventions which gave energy to the cotton manufacture were completed about 1780. Before their introducion - namely until 1751 - the importation of raw cotton into this country had gone on increasing slowly ; the supply being in 170 1,985,868 pounds; and in 1751, 2,976,610 pounds ; but in 1780 it had increased to upwards of 6,700,000 pounds ; while in 1800 it reached 56,000,000 pounds. Equally striking is the official return of the export of cotton goods : in 1701 the value was £23,253 ; in 1800, £5,406,501. Again, in 1838, the following according to Burnd's Commercial Glance was the amount and value of manufactured cotton goods exported :-
In manufactured goods - 120,784,629 pounds weight - £11,746,475
In yarn - 113,753,387 pounds weight - £6,043,138
In thread - 2,361,984 pounds weight - £177,224
The value of the cotton trade to the country has been estimated at £34,000,000 annually; the capital employed at £20,000,000 ; the amount of wages annually paid, £17,000,000, and that 1,500,000 people depend on it for their subsistence. Till within the last year or two, the progress has been steady and rapid ; it is not however easy to affirm that it will continue as satisfactory ; at the moment we write, (March, 1839), numerous mills in Manchester and the neighbourhood have ceased working, in part or altogether.
The processes of throwing and weaving silk were extensively carried on at Macclesfield several years before they reached Manchester. The silk-mill of Mr. Vernon Royle, erected in 1819-20, was the first brought into operation the latter town. Since then the trade has rapidly increased. In 1819 there were in it about a thousand weavers of mixed silk and cotton, and fifty of pure silk goods ; in 1836 there were in the county (Manchester being the principal locality) twenty-two throwing-mills employing about four thousand persons. Printing is another branch of the silk business, chiefly, if not exclusively, carried on at Manchester. Dyeing of silk is also extensively pursued, and in fact the town is becoming the centre of transactions in the silk trade.
Property in Manchester has greatly increased in value, and the habits of the manufacturers have undergone an entire change. It is curious to contrast the picture which Aikin gives with what is now seen in the stupendous warehouses and the mansions and palaces which are found in Manchester and its vicinity. "An eminent manufacturer in that age (1695) used to be in his warehouse before six in the morning, accompanied by his children and apprentices. At seven they all came to breakfast, which consisted of one large dish of water-pottage, made of oat-meal, water, and little salt, boiled thick, and poured into a dish. At the side was a pan or basin of milk, and the master and apprentices, each with a wooden-spoon in his hand, without loss of time, dipped into the same dish and thence into the milk-pan, and as soon as it was finished they all returned to their work." "When the Manchester trade began to extend, the shopmen used to keep gangs of pack-horses and accompany them to the principal towns with goods in packs, which they opened and sold to shopkeepers, lodging what was unsold in small stores at the inns." In 1816 the annual value of property in the township of Manchester was £405,986 ; in 1835 it had reached £573,085. In the township of Ardwick property had in 1836 nearly doubled in the short space of 87 years : in that of Chorlton-on-Medlock, a town has within a few years been actually created through the erection of factories ; in 1801 its population was 675, in 1831 20,569 ; in 1815 the annual value of property was £84,844, and in 1835 £117,688. Nor need there be any surprise felt at this when it is known that mills of the first character require a outlay of from £50,000 to £100,000. In the reign of William and Mary the taxable property in Manchester was rated at £4,375 ; in the year 1828 the amount of assessed taxes charged was £25,420. The circulation of the branch Bank of England in Manchester, which in 1828 was £258,000 had risen to £1,520,000, in 1837, though in the interval several joint-stock banks had been established. In 1794 the poors-rate at five shillings in the pound produced £9,270, in 1834 it realised on a rate of half-a-crown £44,896. In 1790 it was mentioned as an extraordinary fact that Manchester paid in postages £11,000, being a larger amount than any other provincial town ; in 1838 this sum had risen to £69,232. In the single article of bricks the town paid to the excise in 1835 no less a sum than £44,770. The value of land has undergone a proportional increase, as may be judged of by the following sales made of land in the central parts of the town : in 1834, 71 square yards in King Street were bought for £354 ; 50 yards at the corner of Todd Street for £280 ; 250 yards in Smithy Door for £2,000 ; even £9, £10, £15, and yet higher sums have been given per square yard for land in situations eligible for those immense receptacles of goods, the larger warehouses. Land at the upper end of Market Street and Mosley Street, which 50 years ago was sold for 4 pence per square yard annual rent, has been sold for 20 shillings a yard annual rent.
As to the intellectual and moral condition of the working classes, there has doubtless been great exaggeration, but it is equally true that in that condition there is much to deplore. The prevalence of the factory system has broken up the old domestic manufacture and thereby destroyed old domestic habits ; it has also called from every district of the kingdom, and especially from Ireland (there are at least 50,000 Irish in Manchester), masses of people heterogeneous in their character, yet all more or less ignorant and uncultivated, and not likely therefore to coalesce speedily into a compact form of civilised existence. Most of them have been much bettered in their circumstances without having found an equal increase of morally improving influences. Children by the amount of their wages have become independent of their parents ; girls have been sent into the mill before they have learnt the rudiments of domestic duty, and mothers, whose presence in their own houses is indispensable, work for twelve hours in the day amid a mass of people, young and old, with whom they have little or no connection, and from whom in consequence they can scarcely derive any improvement. It must also be said that the atmosphere of the factory is unnatural and consequently unhealthy, while the degree of heat tends to the premature development of the passions, and, as the least baneful consequence, to early, improper, and improvident marriages. The charges against the factories, of being the scenes of violence and cruelty to children, of extortion against the men, as destructive alike of life and morality, may be considered as gross extravagances or little better than falsehoods : but it is not the less true that neither their moral nor their physical atmosphere is favourable to the well-being of the work-people ; that, with some honourable exceptions, the masters are disregardful of the comforts and improvement of those whom they employ, and think exclusively of the wealth they can extract from their establishments, and that thus there has arisen on the part of the workmen a feeling of jealousy, of dislike, of sullen discontent, which, added to other depraving influences, makes their moral tone hard, disposed to violence, and almost reckless, while their congregating together in masses gives them opportunities of communicating their feelings one to another and of concentrating their power. The system has not been sufficiently long in general operation to afford accurate means of judging of its effect on health and life ; it has also been tried, in relation to these matters, under favourable circumstances, since there has been a continual influx of fresh population to the mills from rural districts or small towns, and therefore statistical tables cannot furnish any adequate means of forming an opinion ; but in relation to children the wonder is, that any one should have doubted of the injurious influence which it has upon their health and consequently on their character. As it is, the moral condition of the young, and of the homes whence they come, are in very many cases bad. When the mother is in the factory, the home must be in disorder. When parents subsist on the earnings of their children, as in many instances, the relations of domestic life are subverted ; the weak labour, the strong are idle, idleness begets vice, vice is the parent of discontent, and this leads to the use of intoxicating drinks ; the parent is moreover punished in the disobedience, if not insolence, which soon manifests itself on the part of the children, who are well aware how much the family depends on their earnings. Of 63,623 persons employed in mills, May, 1836, in the parish of Manchester, 35,283 were females ; 37,930 were above the age of 18 years, and 16,965 were a below the age of 15. The following table gives the average net weekly earnings of the different classes of operatives in the cotton factories of Manchester, Stockport, Duckinfield, Staley-bridge, Hyde, Tintwistle, Oldham, Bolton, &c. drawn from the Returns of 151 mills, employing 48,645 persons, in May, 1833.
1.Cleaning & spreading cotton
male & female adults & some non-adults - paid 3 shillings 8 pence per week net.
a. carders or overlookers - male adults - paid 23 shillings 6 pence per week net.
b. jack-frame tenters - principally female adults - paid 8 shillings per week net.
c. bobbin-frame tenters - principally female adults - paid 7 shillings 5 pence per week net.
d. drawing tenters - principally adult females - paid 7 shillings 5 pence per week net.
3. Mule Spinning
a. overlookers - male adults - paid 29 shillings 3 pence per week net.
b. spinners - male & female adults but principally male - paid 25 shillings 8 pence per week net.
c. piecers - male & female adults & non-adults, but principally non-adults - paid 5 shillings 4 pence per week net.
d. scavengers - male & female non-adults - paid 2 shillings 10 pence per week net.
4. Throstle Spinning
a. overlookers - male adults - paid 22 shillings 4 pence per week net.
b. spinners - female adults & non-adults - paid 7 shillings 9 pence per week net.
a. overlookers - male adults - paid 26 shillings 3 pence per week net.b. warpers - male & female adults - paid 12 shillings 3 pence per week net.
c. weavers - male & female adults, male & female non-adults, but chiefly females - paid 10 shillings 10 pence per week net.
d. dressers - male adults - paid 27 shillings 9 pence per week net.
6. Reeling - female adults & non-adults - paid 7 shillings 11 pence per week net.
7. Roller-covering - male & female adults - paid 12 shillings 1 penny per week net.
8. Attending the steam-engine & making machines - engineers, firemen, mechanics, &c. - male adults - paid 20 shillings per week net.
If this table were combined with the relative numbers of each description of the hands, it would afford the absolute average of their earnings, but it is beyond a doubt that the average is not less than 10 shillings a week each person, young and old. It will be noticed that the lowest wages are given to the scavengers and piecers, who are generally young children. Out of a family of six persons there may be three, out of seven persons four employed at the factory, and when in a few years the children are become older, all may be so engaged. This will give for each of such families an average earning of 30 shillings or 40 shillings per week, when only three or four out of each family are employed which would be amply sufficient to provide all the necessaries of life. The splendid gin-palaces, the numerous beer-houses in Manchester, make it but too obvious where the superfluous means of many go, and point out a source of demoralization which is as frightful in its consequences as in its amount. But there are other signs which indicate anything but a want of means on the part of the great bulk of the population. The last Report of the Manchester and Salford District Provident Society shows that in 1837, though trade was not good, the amount received by its agents, who visit the houses of the work-people, and take their savings in very small deposits, was £4,735, while the Savings Bank received within the year ending November, 1838, no less a sum than £109,123. The following tables will furnish the reader with the means of judging how much of this came immediately from the operatives :-
Classification Of Depositors, November 20th 1838
Tradesmen, shopkeepers, artificers, publicans, or their wives - male 9206 - female 2568 - total 11,774
Persons employed in factories, warehouses, or as porters, &c. - male 4789 - female 845 - total 5634
Domestic servants - male 930 - female 5370 - total 6300
Widows - 997
Minors - male 2083 - females 1865 - total 3939
Weavers - male 1332 - female 389 - total 1721
Labourers - male 864 - females 0 - total 864
Farmers - male 473 - females 85 - total 551
Other descriptions not particularly specified - males 1382 - females 2468 - total 3850
SUB-TOTAL PERSONS : 34,637
Friendly societies - 77
Charitable societies - 189
GRAND TOTAL - 35,903
Not merely the factory hands, but generally all classes of working men have been in the receipt of wages sufficient, if well laid out, to procure all the necessaries and many of the comforts of life. Yet for want of the proper moral training, and by reason of the demoralising influence of Irish and other uneducated labourers, the abodes of a large proportion are wretched. Of 4,102 dwellings, of which the Manchester Statistical Society gave a Report in 1834, founded on personal inspection, 3,100 were houses, 752 cellars, 250 rooms ; of these there were comfortable 1,551, well furnished 689, not comfortable 2,551.
In 1838 the Society issued another Report of 28,186 dwellings examined :-
Persons occupying houses - 94,250
Persons occupying rooms of houses 9,351
Persons boarding with occupants of houses 9,671
Persons occupying cellars - 14,274
Person boarding with occupants of cellars - 686
Total number of persons resident in the dwellings examined - 128,232
Of the 28,186 dwellings, 14,042 are reported as ill-furnished, and 8,322 as not comfortable ; thus only 72 per cent. of the houses of the working population of Manchester and Salford are comfortable. The Report adds, As in many (perhaps in the majority of cases) there are only two beds to a family of five or six persons of both sexes, the incon-veniences and evils which must result are too obvious.'
The following is an extract from the Report for 1838 of the Manchester and Salford Town Mission, which, making allowance for the rhetoric of the style, affords a true picture of the condition of many 'Those who only visit occasion-ally the dwellings of the poor can have no idea of the state of ignorance, superstition, demoralisation, and infidelity which exists. This is only to be discovered by those who visit them constantly and regularly, as our missionaries do. Scenes most disgusting, and blasphemy, at which the mind shudders, are patiently borne and fearlessly met by the agency we employ. They (the town missionaries) have been stoned, threatened with death, surrounded with mobs, seriously bruised, and more than once they have narrowly escaped with their lives. And this in Manchester! Can it be supposed that the Christian public will suffer this state of things to exist without making a strenuous effort at once to meet the exigency of the case? Surely heathens at home should not be neglected.'
Schools and Scientific Institutions.
The education hitherto afforded to the working classes in Manchester has been very defective both in extent and quality. From the Report from the Select Committee on the Education of the Poorer Classes,' printed in 1838, much valuable information may be obtained. The Committee decided that daily education ought to be provided for one in eight of the population of a large town, and report that in Manchester only one in thirty-five is receiving an education likely to be useful. The numbers of children of the working-classes stated to be at daily-schools in the town are - at very indifferent day and dame schools, 11,336 ; other better schools, 5680 ; total, 17,100, on a population estimated at 200,000. The numbers attending Sunday-schools in Manchester under the Established Church, 10,284 ; under Dissenters, 19,032 ; Catholics, 3,812 : respecting Sunday-schools committee remark, They consider the instruction there given as of great advantage, by implanting feelings of religion and giving habits of order, but as imperfect without daily instruction also ; an opinion which will be thought not unfavourable by those who have personal experience of the workings, and therefore of the deficiencies, of these useful makeshifts, especially when they take into account the fact brought to light by Mr. J. Bentley by a personal examination, that in Manchester and Salford 1103 teachers 11,479 scholars come too late to school, and this in the case of instruction where, the same authority informs us, the following is on the average all the time employed each Sabbath, that is, each week, namely, in reading about one hour and fifty minutes ; in singing, fourteen minutes and twenty-one seconds ; in praying, seventeen minutes and thirty-four seconds : total about two hours and a quarter. The educational clauses in the last Factory Act have been of but small advantage. Dr. Kay stated before the Education Committee of 1838, that one cause of failure was that no means were given in the Act for compelling the erection or provision of schools ; and Mr. Ashworth stated from his own experience, 'If the manufacturer is desirous to make the most of the two hours, and give the children education, he may do some service in it, but a compulsory education affixed upon an employment is a stigma to the employment, and is very obnoxious to the employer, and, I think, generally, people laugh at it ; it is almost good for nothing.' In the report of Mr. L. Horner on these very clauses (February 1839), it is said - Some parents appreciate the advantage of the education), but most of them would much prefer their children working full time and earning a full rate of wages.' Under these circumstances it is easy to infer what good factory education confers. Indeed, Mr. Horner reports not more than eight mills in Manchester where the educational provisions have been best observed, which best he allows to be inferior to what primary education ought to be ; and it embraces only 352 boys and 177 girls. The school of Messrs. M'Connel he considers worthy of special notice, and deserving of being held up an example. He adds,' It is not at all an unusual thing to have certificates (of education) presented to us subscribed by the teacher with his or her mark. In the last quarter I had a school voucher presented to me with a mark, and when I called on the schoolmaster to read it before me, he could not ; I have had to reject the school voucher of the fireman (to the steam-engine), the children having been schooled in the coal-hole - in one case I actually found them there ; it occurred at factories where a large capital must be embarked.'
Dr. Kay, before the Education Committee, gave in a table in which he calculated that in Manchester there was a total of uneducated and very ill-educated children of 26,265 ; that the actual cost of providing a worthless or indifferent education by existing methods was £16,021 annually, and more than £19,500 of annual outlay would be required for education, by an efficient method, of children now un-educated or very ill-educated.
Meanwhile the diffusion of cheap literature and the operation of institutions for popular instruction are doing something to educate adults and youths, while the existence of a few good schools in Manchester for the children of the working classes will serve as models. In this way the Manchester Society for Promoting National Education' has rendered some service. It has at present three schools superintendence, with about 500 scholars.
Among the institutions in Manchester having an influence on the working classes there may be mentioned the Atheneum, the Mechanics Institution in Cooper Street, the Mechanics Institution in Miles-Platting, the Ancoats Lyceum, the Chorlton Lyceum, and the Parthenon. The Atheneum is designed for the benefit chiefly of clerk's and other upper servants connected with the trade of the town. The experiment has been very successful. The number of subscriptions for the first quarter (1839) is upwards of 900. Lectures on various topics are given by men of eminence. There is a French class, an Italian class, an Amateur Musical Society, an Essay and Discussion Society ; and concerts are occasionally given, which are very well attended. Connected with the Institution is a good library, a coffee-room, and a well-supplied news-room. Its expenditure is above £2,000 annually ; James Heywood, Esq., is the president. The Mechanics' Institution, in Cooper Street, under the presidentship of Sir B. Heywood, Bart., has conferred great benefits on a class below those to whom reference has been made. The disbursements of the Institution during 1838 were £2,177. The original cost of the building was £6,000, but as the institution had its resources mainly absorbed in defraying the annual charges, this sum has been increased by arrears of interest to £9,570, and, deducting dividends paid, a balance is still due of £8,195, to pay off which an effort is being made which gives promise of success.
The number of subscribers on the 25th of December last was 1,161, of whom 51 were under fourteen years of age, and 446 between fourteen and twenty-one. Sixty five lectures were delivered during the last year, and were attended by 20,650 males, and 4,800 females. Two concerts were also given. There are 5,023 volume's in the library ; the delivery of book's to readers in the last year amounted to 42,451. The number of members in the respective classes were - grammar 128, German language 8, arithmetic 154, elocution and composition 28, mechanical drawing 64, landscape and figure drawing 46, music 24, writing 133, mathematics 18, French 25. Besides these there were the chemistry class, the mutual improvement society, and the natural history class. An exhibition of specimens of machinery, natural history, &c., on a very grand scale, to which 360 persons sent contributions, has been visited by nearly 100,000 persons, at the small charge of sixpence each. There is a reading-room, well furnished with literary and scientific periodicals. It is however to be regretted that the benefits of the establishment do not descend sufficiently low in the social scale, as the following classification of the numbers in 1837 will manifest:-
Principals, engaged as merchants, manufacturers, and mechanists 257
Mechanics, millwrights, and engineers 136
Overlookers, spinners, and other-mill hands 36
Building trades 104
Sundry trades, chiefly handicraft 132
Artists, architects, engravers, &c. 69
Professional men 7
Shopkeepers and their assistants 86
No profession 11
The knowledge of this fact, combined with a wish to reach the operative classes, has led to the establishment of the Lyceums in Ancoats and in Chorlton-on-Medlock, as well as of the Parthenon ; and if we may judge from the first Report of that at Ancoats, which has just been issued, it is reasonable to hope that these institutions will confer immediate benefit on those who are employed in the factories and on other hand-labourers. The subscription, is only two shillings a quarter, for which lectures, a library and reading-room, a selection of newspapers, education in classes, and other means of improvement, are provided. The education of females is made a prominent object. The news and reading rooms were opened on the 11th of October, 1838. From the library the average number of deliveries is 120 each evening. There are now on the book's 732 members, of whom 246 are below twenty-one years of age ; the 715 ordinary members are thus classified:-
Principals, engaged as merchants, manufacturers, and mechanists 10
Professional men 4
Shopkeepers, master-tradesmen, and their assistants 87
Warehousemen and bookkeepers 132
Mechanics, millwrights, engineers, moulders, and smiths 137
Engravers and pattern-designers 7
Spinners, weavers, and other mill-bands 102
Other trades connected with the manufactures of the town, as dyers, calico-printers, fustian-cutters, &c. 22
Building trades 37
Sundry handicraft trades 85
No profession 7
The Manchester Free Grammar-School
Founded by Hugh Oldham, bishop of Exeter. The foundation deed, bearing date 20th August, 1515, states the cause which in-fluenced the founder to be that 'the youth, particularly in the county of Lancaster, had for a long time been in want of instruction, as well on account of the poverty of their parents as for want of some person who should instruct them.' And one of the fundamental requirements is, The high-master for the time being shall always appoint one of his scholars to instruct and teach in the one end of the school all infants that shall come there to learn their ABC, primer, and sorts, till they begin grammar.' These quotations show that the school was designed to furnish elementary as well as grammatical learning to the poor and those in need of instruction. The income of this school is now above £5,000 a year ; and though its operations have been extended under a decree of the court of Chancery, and though the masters receive handsome salaries, the outlay must still leave an annual surplus. The instruction given comprehends the mathematics, the English and French, as well as the Greek and Latin languages ; but the school is far from effecting the good which its splendid resources might produce, and cannot be considered as administered in a manner conformable to the donor's intention.
Chetham's Hospital, or The College
Founded by charter 1665, Humphrey Chetham being the benefactor, who, having during his life fed and brought up fourteen boys of Manchester and Salford, and of Droylsden, ordered in his will that the number should be augmented by the addition of one from Droylsden, two from Crumpsall, four from Turton, and ten from Bolton, leaving the interest of £7,000 for their maintenance and instruction from six to fourteen years of age, at which period they were to he put out to some trade. The scholars are instructed in reading, writing, grammar, and arithmetic. They are clothed, fed, boarded, and lodged. The school is conducted in a convenient old building, which also contains the College Library, a fine collection of not less than 25,000 volumes, which have been accumulated out of the benefaction's of the same H. Chetham : among the books are many rare and most valuable works. The library is open to the use of the public ; books are not allowed to he taken out, but a convenient reading-room is provided. At present the good which this library does is but small, the delivery of books to readers not amounting to an average of twenty per day, a circumstance which may be explained by the fact of the library being only open at hours during the day when most persons are engaged.
Among the scientific institutions of the town, the Literary and Philosophical Society stands first in point of time (founded 1781). It has numbered among its members most of the distinguished natives of the vicinity, and many other persons of high reputation : it's utility has been fully proved by the publication of it's Transactions. The Royal Manchester Institution for the promotion of Literature, Science, and the Arts, formed mainly under the auspices of G. W. Wood, Esq., M.P. for Kendal, has been of service in furthering the diffusion of knowledge : above £30,000 were laid out in the erection of the building. The Manchester Museum, or Natural History Society, which has a handsome hall in Peter Street, ranks among the most useful and interesting institutions of the town, and offers to the public a collection of objects in nature with which few similar establishments can enter into comparison. The council is empowered to open the museum to ladies, strangers, resident non-subscribers, schools, and the working classes.
In its medical schools Manchester has a claim on public esteem, having been the first provincial town to provide a good elementary medical education; and in it's numerous and well-conducted medical institutions it possesses very superior advantages. The Infirmary is a school in itself. During the year 1838 it's expenditure was £8,125, 55 shillings and 8 pence ; from June, 1837, to June, 1838, it treated no less than 20,760 patients ; and since its foundation, 1752, it has extended its benefits to 629,348 cases. There were in the house and on the books, June 24th, 1838, 1,317 invalids. Of the cases treated in 1838, 13,254 were cured ; 3,584 were cases of accident. Messrs. Jordan and Turner have the honour of having taken the lead in the foundation of the medical schools, the one situated in Marsden Street, the other in Pine Street, in which about 140 pupils are conducted by able professors through a complete course of medical in-struction. Manchester has also the advantage of possessing an admirable botanical garden, zoological gardens (recently opened, and affording much promise), a school of design, an architectural society, concert hall, choral society, &c.
These are too numerous to allow of more than a bare mention of some which are the most useful. The School for the Deaf and Dumb was founded in the year 1825. A new and handsome building for it has just been opened, situated near the botanical gardens, on the Stretford road, a part of which will be appropriated to a blind asylum also, under the will of Mr. Henshaw of Oldham who bequeathed £20,000 to be applied to the maintenance of an asylum for the blind, so soon as the inhabitants should furnish a suitable building. The Jubilee, or Ladies Female Charity School, founded in 1806, is conducted in the house in Ducie-road, and educates forty girls for the duties of domestic service. The Manchester and Salford District Provident Society is designed to meet, by a special effort, the special wants of the poor. Following the impulse which Boston (U.S.), under the auspices of Dr. Tuckerman of that city, had given, the society sends forth visitors into all parts of the town (most of them are gratuitous labourers) to visit the poor at their own homes, aid them with advice, encourage them by sympathy, and receive their little savings in order to deposit them in the savings' bank. For this purpose the town is divided into districts and sections, in all 919, of which however 236 only are supplied with visitors. Its mendicity department effects no little good. Three thousand cases were examined by its stipendiary visitors in 1838, whereof 1,285 received tickets to the various medical societies, 741 were referred to the relief board of the society, and 942 were found to be cases in which the society could not interfere. Besides these, 413 cases were sent for inquiry only, of which number 248 were reported as unworthy, a powerful argument against indiscriminate alms-giving. Work was found for 14 persons, and 98 new cases of gross imposition were detected and exposed. The ministry to the poor, which commenced Jan. 1833, under the patronage of three Unitarian congregations, namely, Cross Street, Mosley Street, and Greengate (Salford), is designed for a similar purpose with the Provident Society. It employs a paid agent, the Rev. C. Buckland, whose duties are not sectarian, but purely benevolent. His visits to the poor average per month about 340, and he has 500 families under his superintendence. Of a similar character is the Town Mission, whose motto is, 'Not to Proselyte, but to Evangelise.' Its expenditure during the last year was £1,513, and the following is the result of the first year's exertions:- Seventeen thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven hours have been spent by our missionaries in promoting the above objects. They have held eleven hundred and eighty-one meetings. They have paid forty-three thousand three three hundred and sixty-seven visits ; have lent six hundred and twenty-five Testaments, and distributed in their districts sixty-three thousand one hundred and sixty-two religious tracts. It is estimated that the number of individuals now under their care are at least sixty thousand. The number of visits paid to the sick are four thousand four hundred and eighty-three.' At present it occupies forty-two districts under a superintending missionary and three assistants. These districts contain from five to eight hundred families ; about one-fifth of whom reside in cellars, and more than two-thirds of the whole seldom or never think of going to any place of worship. In several of the districts there are not quite twenty families for each house that is licensed for the sale of strong drink ; and many of the districts have no place of worship of any kind save those in which the missionaries hold their meetings. It is a fact, well ascertained, that in many districts there are nearly as many reputed brothels as there are houses for the sale of strong drink.
Places of Worship
The collegiate church is a noble Gothic building. The warden and four fellows have the ecclesiastical patronage of the parish. Their corporate income cannot be accurately stated, as they refused to give answers to a return of the value of their property, ordered by the House of Commons, but the ecclesiastical commissioners report the gross yearly income to be £4,650. The new see of Manchester will be in the province of York. In 1795, Aikin tells us, the number of churches and chapels of the Establishment in Manchester and Salford, actually built or building, amounted to twelve, and about as many places of worship for different sects of dissenters. There are now twenty-five places of worship in connexion with the Establishment, and above sixty in connexion with the dissenters in Manchester and Salford, of which the Wesleyan Methodists have twelve, the Independents eight, the Unitarians five, and the Roman Catholics four. The members of the Establishment in Manchester and Salford amount to 53 per cent. of the whole population. There are three cemeteries in Manchester, each of which has an officiating minister, one in Rusholme Lane, another at Ardwick, and the third at Collyhurst.
Hugh Oldham, bishop of Exeter ; John Bradford, put to death by Mary for heresy ; Doctor John Dee, the astrologer ; John Byrom, author of Byrom's shorthand and of many small poems ; Dr. Thomas Percival, an enlightened and benevolent physician ; Dr. Henry, and the duke of Bridgewater, though not natives, are too much connected with the town to be passed without notice ; and Dr. Dalton still survives to give lustre to a place on which he has conferred signal benefits. William Crabtree, a native, ought be mentioned.