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Salford in 1841

SALFORD, a market-town in the parish of Manchester and hundred of Salford, is divided from Manchester by the river Irwell, over which there are five bridges from one place to the other. Till the passing of the Reform Act it was considered as little more than a suburb of Manchester, with which it is still intimately connected by commercial, social, and domestic relations. It is now however a large, populous, and improving town, having its own municipal government, and returning a member to parliament. Salford may be viewed either as a township in the parish of Manchester, or as a borough comprising three other town-ships.

In 1773-4 an enumeration of the houses and inhabitants in the town and parish of Manchester was taken from an actual survey, and deposited by Dr. John Whittaker, April 27, in the college library.


In 1801 the population of the township was 13,611 and in 1831 it had reached 40,786.

According to Whittaker, Salford signifies the Sal or Hall at the Ford, that is, the passage across the Irwell near which the mansion of the thane was situated. It gave its name to the hundred, of which originally it was the head. On the general partition of the country, the hundred was retained by the crown, and for this reason the town of Salford has ever been independent of the Lord of Manchester, and continues to the present time annexed to the duchy of Lancaster. In lieu of the provisions which the township of Salford originally supplied to the officers of the crown, in the reign of the Confessor it contributed to the Exchequer the annual sum of £37, 4 shillings, including the farmed profits of the hundred court, as well as the rents of the demesne lands. The town of Salford with the lands between the Ribble and the Mersey were purchased in the year 1227, from Roger de Maresey by Ranulph de Blundeville, earl of Chester, who in the 13th year of the reign of Henry III received a confirmation of his purchase, and thereupon granted a charter creating Salford a free borough. In consequence of this grant, the boroughreeve, constables, and burgesses of Salford determined, at a general meeting held on the 16th June, 1830, to adopt and use as a common seal for the borough of Salford, the arms of Ranulph de Blundeville. This charter is substantially the same as the Manchester charter, granted by Thomas de Grelley nearly a century afterwards, the principal difference consisting in a provision "that every burgess shall have one acre attached to his burgage, paying twelve pence for all rents belonging to that burgage."

Salford is under the government of a boroughreeve and constables. Anciently the duty of the boroughreeve was to collect the rents and tolls of the land for the lord, as his bailiff, and to be the chief pledge for the preservation of the peace. At present the duties of the boroughreeve are to convene and preside at public meetings, to correspond with public bodies, and to distribute certain charitable bequests. These officers are elected by a jury, summoned by the deputy-steward of the hundred, at the king's Michaelmas Leet of Salford hundred. By an act of parliament obtained in the year 1829, the police of Salford was separated from that of Manchester, and placed under a body of men nominated "the Commissioners for better cleansing, lighting, watching, and regulating the town of Salford," under whose control the township still remains. The commissioners are the boroughreeve and constables for the time being, and 120 persons occupiers of one or more tenements assessed at £20 a year clear, or persons rated below that amount but being owners of property producing £30 a year clear, to be elected commissioners by all persons assessed to the relief of the poor. The commissioners nominate the surveyors of highways. In 1820 Messrs. Appleby, Clay, and Fisher erected gas-works in Clowes Street, from which Salford was supplied by contract until December, 1831. The present gas-works are in Lamb Lane, near the centre of the township, and are the property of the lay-payers. They were erected in 1835, under an act of parliament; the profits are appropriated to the improvement of the town, the extension of the works, and the liquidation of the debt. The quantity of gas made in 1838 was twenty-six millions of cubic feet ; the price, 8 shillings per 1000 cubic feet. The works are managed by a Board of Directors chosen annually from the general body of commissioners. The expenditure of the commissioners of police, from June, 1839, to June, 1840, was £8,711. Within the same time £3,810 were expended by the "Improvement Committee."

Salford is rich in foundations for the relief of the poor, which materially diminish the poors' rate. Some of these charities would have been more productive, if they had been formerly as well managed as they are at present. In 1840 Salford came under the regulations of the New Poor Law. The following statements rest on the authority of one of the constables :-

The average number of paupers for Salford (the township) for the quarter ending December, l840

Receiving out-door relief : 790
Receiving in-door relief : 316

Average relief per head about 1 shilling and a ½ penny a week.

Assessments in Salford for the Poors' Rate, 1840.
£10 and upwards - 3,779 : Net rental £104,682
Under £10 - 7,827 : Net rental £47,030

The assessment is taken on the gross rental, allowing 5 per cent for repairs on property above £10, and 10 per cent on all under £10, and this forms the net rental and the assessments as above.

The expenses for the relief of the poor and other charges, except those of county and parish highways, are as follows :-

1883-4 : £4,974 11s 4d
1834-5 : £4,391 17s 2d
1835-6 : £4,061 1s 8d
1836-7 : £4,367 5s 2d
1837-8 : £8,543 14s 0d (the last year before the Union)
Total in 5 years £26,346 9s 4d
Yearly average £5,269 5s 10d

Expenditure from 25th December, 1839, to 25th December, 1840 (being the first year
under the Union) £6,592 17s 9d
Paid for county and parish highway-rates for the 5 years previous to the Union £7,520 9s 4d
Yearly average £1,504 1s 10d
Paid last year £2,094 1s 1d

Making together an annual increase of £1,913 11s 2d

Salford Borough
By the Act For amending "the representation of England and Wales," Salford was constituted a parliamentary borough, with the privilege of sending one member to the House of Commons. The borough includes the townships of Salford, in the parish of Manchester, population in 1831, 40,876 ; of Broughton, in the parish of Manchester, population 1,589 ; of Pendleton, in the adjoining parish of Eccles, population 8,435 ; and Pendlebury, in Eccles also, population 1,556 : making in the whole a population of 52,456. Since 1831 the population has increased very much, as may be inferred from the increase of the parliamentary constituency. The total number of persons whose names stood at the first election in 1832 on the revised list was 1,498 ; in 1834 the number had risen to 2,165 ; in 1835 to 2,335 ; in 1836 to 2,638. In 1839, in consequence of bad times, it had fallen to 2,549, which number was diminished in 1840 to 2,443, showing an increase of about a thousand voters to the constituency in eight years, three of which were years of great commercial difficulty. The first election was 1832.

The rise in the value of property in Salford has been very great. In 1704 Thomas Dickinson gave for the use of the poor a house and land in Salford, which then produced £8, 10 shillings a year, but in 1798, £40 a year. In 1630 Humphrey Booth gave lands in Oldfield Lane and Gravel Lane for the repairs of Salford chapel and the surplus for the poor, value £44 annual rent, which in 1798 produced £232, 10 shillings, and in 1840 not less than £629. Of the township of Broughton, consisting of 1,004 statute acres, 870 are possessed by the Rev. John Clowes, an estate which, in the last five years, has more than doubled its rental, although little more than 200 acres have been sold in the whole.

The following table shows the extent to which manufactures are carried on in the borough :-

Steam and Water Power in the Borough of Salford, from a Report of The Manchester Statistical Society, June, 1837.

1. Spinning and Weaving
Salford 710 horsepower ; Pendleton 54 horsepower ; Broughton 0
2. Bleaching, Dying, and Printing
Salford 399 horsepower ; Pendleton 48 horsepower ; Broughton 136 horsepower
3. Foundry, and Machine making
Salford 228 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0
4. Silk
Salford 54 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 50 horsepower
5. Colliery
Salford 0 ; Pendleton 100 horsepower ; Broughton 0
6. Thread and Small Wares
Salford 36 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0
7. Flax
Salford 0 ; Pendleton 30 horsepower ; Broughton 40 horsepower
8. Breweries
Salford 56 horsepower ; Pendleton 6 horsepower ; Broughton 0
9. Fustian-shearing
Salford 34 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0
10. Woollen
Salford 22 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0
11. Chemical
Salford 11 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0
12. Sundries
Salford 46 horsepower ; Pendleton 0 ; Broughton 0

1. Cotton Manufactures
Salford 0 ; Pendleton 10 horsepower ; Broughton 0
2. Dyeing, Printing, and Bleaching
Salford 0 ; Pendleton 10 horsepower ; Broughton 0

The condition of the working classes was inquired into in the years 1834-5-6, by the Manchester Statistical Society, from whose published Report we take the following details :-
In Salford the proportion which the population examined bore to the total population (estimated at 55,000) was 74 per cent ; 72 per cent. of the houses are reported as comfortable ; 8 per cent of the working population resided in cellars - generally two rooms, one for sleeping, the other for all other purposes ; 1,108 single rooms constituted each a dwelling ; 9,538 dwellings, at an average weekly rent of 2 shillings 10 pence, give an annual rental of £70,263 ; 3,335 persons occupied cellars ; 5,991 children were receiving wages ; 13,529 children were under 12 years of age ; 6,888 above ; total 20,417 children : 10,220 children were stated by their parents to be in attendance at a Sunday or a day school ; 21,853 persons could write or read. The members of the Established Church amounted to 53 per cent of the whole. In many, perhaps in the majority of cases, there were only two beds to a family of five or six persons of both sexes.

Notwithstanding the pressure in the commercial worId which prevailed from 1836 to 1840, the Committee of the Manchester and Salford Bank for Savings reported a very considerable increase in the business of the Bank during 1840, which however they partly attribute to the adoption of certain improvements.

The amount deposited in the year ending Nov 20, 1840, was £116,048 12 shillings 8 pence
Amount withdrawn was £92,461 11 shillings 0½ pence
Amount remaining due to Depositors £366,423 18shillings 1½ pence
Number of Accounts remaining open 13,453
Number of Deposits made 23,811 (of these 9,462 did not exceed £1 1 shillings ; and 8,656 were from £1 1 shilling to £5, the entire number of single deposits in 1840 was 23,811)

Education in Salford
Education has of late years made rapid progress, but is still inadequate to the wants of the population. From the Parochial Returns made to the Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed to inquire into the education of the poor, Session 1818, it appears that then there were two "national schools for 300 boys and as many girls ; also three Sunday-schools, two of which are attached the church, of about 400, and one of 200 or 300, conducted by Methodists ; besides which there are three schools for adults." The population is reported as 19,114. The Returns add, "the minister of Salford supposes all may learn to read who desire." This extraordinary statement is attested by the signature, ‘Saml. Booth, minister.' In 1835 the Statistical Society of Manchester caused an inquiry to be made into the state of education in the borough Salford, when it appeared that in a population of 50,810 (census 1831) the numbers attending the various schools the borough were 12,885, of whom :-

3,131 or 5.7 per cent of the population, attended day and evening schools only.
3,410 or 6.2 per cent attended both day and Sunday schools.
6,344 or 11.5 per cent attended Sunday schools only.

Total 12,885 or 23.4 per cent of the population.

Of these about 2,235 were found to be either under 5 or above 15 years of age, leaving about 10,650 children between the ages of 5 and 15 under instruction ; the total number of children between these ages being computed at 13,750, thus leaving 3,100 or 22½ per cent of the whole without any education. Above one-quarter of the number receiving daily instruction were found in the dame-schools, very few of which possessed more than fragments of books ; in many cases no books at all were to be seen, the mistress not having the means and the parents being without the ability or the inclination to procure them. Order and cleanliness were little regarded, and the children were for the most part crowded in close and dirty rooms, in which the whole business of the school was carried on, and where the family slept. Some of the teachers followed another occupation, such as shop-keeping, sewing, washing, and the generality of them were wholly incompetent to the task of instruction, and betrayed lamentable ignorance on the most common topics.

Charities and Educational Institutions
The Salford Mechanics' Institution was founded at a general meeting held in the town-hall, Salford, on Monday, the 28th May 1838. "The object of the institution is to instruct the operative in the principles of his trade or employment, and in other departments of really useful knowledge, that he may be enabled to understand those fundamental laws which are the key to the various branches of our arts and manufactures ; so that whilst he acquires a greater degree of skill in the practice of his business, and consequently becomes more valuable to his employers, he may be better enabled to secure to himself and his family the means of comfort and rational enjoyment." The principal means for carrying this desirable object into effect are classes, lectures, a library, and reading-room. The Salford Mechanics' Institution follows the general practice of similar establishments in excluding "party politics and controversial theology," subjects of the deepest and most pressing interest to the people, by which in reality they have given their minds most of the discipline they have received, and which the people ought to be taught to treat and discuss in a proper spirit.

The subscription to the institution is the payment of sixteen shillings annually in advance. The government is vested in a board of directors, consisting of a president, six vice-presidents, a treasurer, and twenty directors, to be chosen annually by the members out of their own body. Immediately on its establishment the institution began to fulfil the hopes of its friends. The reading-room was furnished with five weekly, ten monthly, and four quarterly periodicals ; classes were formed, and began to study in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, grammar, writing, architectural drawing, ornamental drawing, perspective drawing, mechanical drawing, French, and elocution. A society was also formed for 'mutual improvement.' The foundation of a museum was laid. A library was commenced. Several courses of lectures, amounting in all to 50, were delivered. The Report for the year 1840 states the number of members as 310, and that the library contained 1,159 volumes and 59 pamphlets, the average number of daily deliveries for the year being 32 volumes, and the total number of deliveries 9,524 volumes.

In this year a new means of usefulness was devised, which deserves special notice, and may be advantageously imitated in other parts of the kingdom ; namely, an exhibition of works of art, manufactures, models of machinery, curiosities, and antiquities, with a view to the general improvement of the people, and to aid the funds of the institution. Among other things, the visitor saw in actual operation the planing-machine, card-making machine, carding, roving, spinning of cotton, glass-engraving, &c, all at work by steam-power. Lectures were delivered on the polarization of light, chemistry, bleaching, and the chromatic fire-cloud. Ninety thousand persons passed through the exhibition.

The Salford Lyceum is one of a class of institutions pre-eminently fitted to benefit the working and the poorer classes. It was established in January, 1839, and has for its design "to provide a system of juvenile and adult education for both sexes of the most numerous portion of the community, and to extend more widely the taste and means for moral and intellectual cultivation." The Salford Lyceum embraces, in addition to the ordinary purposes of mechanics' institutions, the following fundamental objects - female instruction - evening classes are held for instruction in branches of knowledge most suited for females in the manufacturing district ; the newspaper press - a news-room is supplied with journals of all political opinions ; useful recreation - there are classes for vocal and instrumental music, concerts and musical meetings, and social and festive parties ; cheapness - the subscription is only two shillings a quarter. From the Report for 1840 it appears the number of 2,017 subscriptions had been received from the 24th of January, 1839, to the 24th March, 1840, which are classed as follows :-

Merchants, manufacturers, and professional men 48
Bookkeepers, clerks, salesmen, and warehouse-men 253
Mechanics, engineers, founders, and mill-hands 838
Engravers, pattern-designers, and calico-printers 285
Joiners, plumbers, carvers and gilders, masons, and painters 179
Butchers, bakers, and brewers 27
Shopkeepers, tailors, drapers, and shoemakers 113
Letter-press printers and bookbinders 53
Hairdressers 11
Boys and females undescribed 169
Undescribed males 41

Total 2,017

The library consisted of about 1,500 volumes ; the number of deliveries averaged about 70 each evening, and there were generally above 400 volumes in circulation at one time. The following classes for males were in operation :-
Reading, weekly average attendance 50 pupils ; arithmetic and writing, 163 pupils ; grammar and geography, 40 pupils ; elocution, 20 pupils. Classes were also held for females in reading, writing, arithmetic, sewing, and embroidery ; classes for vocal and instrumental music met every week. An essay and discussion society, of 30 members, had its meetings each alternate Thursday. The directors, ever aiming at affording rational amusement to the working classes, held several tea-parties, making for admission a small extra charge, which, though sufficiently moderate to occasion the assembling of considerable numbers, was found equal to defray the expenses incurred ; the amusements consisted of glees, songs, recitations, musical promenades, accompanied by an instrumental band. During the year, 32 lectures were delivered on various subjects, as astronomy, oratory, comic literature and ballads, geology, natural theology, anatomy ; 21 of these lectures were given gratuitously. The directors state that they have full confidence that "the subscription, under judicious management, will to a very great extent meet the current expenditure, although to do this the union of large numbers is indispensably necessary." The 'Financial Statement' for 1839-40 shows a small balance in favour of the institution, the total outlay being about £500.

Previous to the year 1827 the working classes of Salford and the suburbs were dependent on the public institutions of Manchester for gratuitous medical relief. The rapidly increasing population rendering it absolutely necessary that some additional assistance should be provided, a public meeting was held on the 2nd of May, 1827, at which the immediate establishment of a public dispensary was resolved upon. A building was taken in a central situation ; and on the 10th of September the dispensary was opened for the admission of patients. But the wants of the poor were soon found so pressing as to require a larger building. Measures were accordingly taken, and a new edifice, designated the Salford and Pendleton Royal Dispensary, was completed early in 1831, at an expense of £2,546 ; and on the 25th of March, 1831, the business of the charity was removed to it. The government of the Institution is vested in a committee. It is supported by the voluntary subscriptions of the inhabitants.

The following table gives the relative number of patients admitted since the opening of the establishment, and the expenditure for each year. The out-patients are those capable of attending at the dispensary; and the home, those whose complaints require them to be visited at their own residence. Accidents constitute a large proportion of the whole number of cases, many of which are caused by the machinery in the numerous mills end manufactories in the vicinity of the Institution


The Public Buildings in Salford are not distinguished for architectural beauty. The oldest place of worship, Trinity chapel, was founded (1635) by Humphrey Booth, a prosperous merchant of Salford, and was rebuilt in 1752. The town-hall, situated in Chapel Street, is a neat building of stone, of modern date, after a design by Mr. Lane. The Salford police-office occupies one portion of the building ; other parts are occupied by the officers of the guardians of the poor, the clerks of the police commissioners, &c. It contains a large room used for public meetings, concerts, lectures, &c. The Zoological Gardens in Higher Broughton were opened May 31st, 1838. They occupy nearly 16 acres of land, laid out in the best style of landscape gardening. They have a fine collection of animals, and are recommended by their locality, as well as by the taste and skill displayed in laying out the land and erecting the buildings.

Eminent Individuals
Dr. Clarke, professor of history, geography, and experimental philosophy at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, was born at Salford in 1743. John Byrom, of the ancient family of Byrom of Kersall, in the borough of Salford, inventor of a system of shorthand, and a respectable poet, was born at Kersall in 1691. William Crabtree was born at Broughton in the borough of Salford, in 1610 ; baptized in the Collegiate church, Manchester, July 29 ; educated at Cambridge ; married September, 1633 ; and was buried in the Collegiate church, August 1, 1644. By observation made on Kersall Moor, he found that the planet Venus would pass the sun's disk, which phenomenon took place Nov. 14, 1639. The only persons who appear to have any knowledge of it were Crabtree and his friend Horrocks, to whom he had communicated the fact.