Manchester (Anc. Mancunian), the most important manufacturing city in Great Britain, situated in the 8. E. corner of Lancashire, on both sides of the river Irwell, 162 in. N. N. W. of London, and 31 in. E. by X. of Liverpool. It consists of Manchester proper, including several suburbs on the E. bank of the Irwell, and the borough of Salford on the W. bank; pop. in 1871, 475,990, of whom 351,189 were in Manchester city, and 124,801 in Salford (exclusive of suburban districts not lying within the municipal limits). The two towns, although having distinct municipal governments, constitute in all other respects one city. They are connected by eight bridges, among which are the Victoria, of a single arch, and Blackfriars, of three arches, of stone; the bridges of Strange-ways and Springfield Lane, of iron; and the iron suspension bridge of Broughton. The streets are intersected by numerous canals, crossed by bridges, and are generally well paved and lighted; but the site is low, and notwithstanding the recent improved drainage and the introduction of an abundant supply of pure water. Manchester is still one of the most unhealthy places in the kingdom, the annual death rate being about 3.2 per cent.
A portion of the place still presents an antiquated appearance, but there are many handsome streets, such as Market street, Portland place, Grosve-nor square, Mosley street. George street, King street. Ardwick green, Salford crescent, etc. There are several handsome public parks and gardens, of which the most important are the botanical and horticultural gardens; the Peel park, on the Irwell, with an area of 32 acre-; Victoria park, between London and Oxford roads, a space of 140 acres, covered with villas; the Queen's park, Phillips park, and Alexandra park, opened in 1870. The buildings devoted to business and manufactures have generally an imposing appearrance. A marked change has been made of late years in the architectural character of the city. New squares have been laid out, new streets opened, and commercial buildings of a more ornamental appearance have been erected. In Manchester proper in 1872, there were 168 places of worship, of which 8 were Baptist, 5 Church of England, 26 Independent, 45 Weslevan and other Methodist, 12 Roman Catholic, 9 Pres-byterian Unitarian; including Salford, the Hhole number exceeds 200. The parish church, commenced by Lord Delaware in 1422, and since 1847, when Manchester became a bishopric, the cathedral, is a highly ornamented Gothic structure, 216 ft. long and 120ft. wide; but being built of a soft and mouldering stone, many repairs have been necessary, which give the structure a modern appearance; it has within a few years been restored at a great expense, and a new tower has been added to replace the old one, which was found incapable of restoration.
There are several other handsome churches, among which are St. George's, in the suburb of llulme, and the Roman Catholic cathedral of St. John, in Salford. Trinity church in Salford, the oldest in the borough, has a fine Gothic tower, and is interesting from the antique aspect of the interior. The old town hall, in King street, is in the Grecian style, and contains a hall 130 ft. long by 38 ft. wide, having its walls and dome covered by allegorical frescoes; but having become inadequate to the needs of the city, anew town hall, commenced in 1868, has been completed at a cost of £250,000. The new exchange is an Italian edifice, with a porch Hanked by two towers, the great hall having a clear breadth of 120 ft. The corn exchange is an Ionic structure capable of holding 2,400 persons. The free-trade hall, somewhat irregular but large and effective, occupies the site of the old free-trade hall, and like it is noted in the history of Manchester as the place of several important political meetings. The new building, erected in 1856, occupies an area of 20,700 sq. ft.; it contains a hall 134 ft. long, 78 wide, and 52 high, and will hold 5,000 persons. The Salford town hall is one of the handsomest buildings in the town.
The new royal exchange has a handsome front with Corinthian columns; its great room is 207 ft. long, 193 wide, and 80 high; the roof is supported by two rows of pillars, with a span of nearly 100 ft. between them. The new assize courts were opened in 1864; the building is Gothic, 270 ft. long and 140 deep, with a tower 210 ft. high. The branch bank of England, opposite the town hall, is a fine structure, in the Grecian style, with a Doric colonnade. The royal infirmary, erected in 1755, is built on 93 three sides of a quadrangle, each with a portico supported by four tinted Ionic columns the whole surrounded with grass borders and walks, with a sheet of water in front- it Ins an income of £9,000, and annually relieves more than 20,000 patients. Among the other notable public buildings are the court halls the jails, and the asylum for the blind and the deaf and dumb. In front of the new town hall is the Albert memorial, including a statue of Prince Albert. Two statues of Richard Cobden were erected in 1867, one in St. Anne's square, the other in Peel park.
In front of the royal infirmary is a statue of Dal-ton; and there are also statues of Watt, Wellington, and Peel. - Among scientific, literary, and art associations are the royal Manchester institution, occupying buildings which cost £40,000, and devoted to the exhibition of paintings, lectures, etc.; the mechanics' institution, founded in 1825, for which a new edifice was erected in 1856, established for the instruction of the working classes, male and female, in the principles of the arts they practise and in other branches of useful knowledge; and natural history, botanical, horticultural, geological, statistical, and medical societies. The royal school of medicine and surgery, founded in 1824, has 80 to 100 students. The literary and philosophical society, established in 1781, has numbered many distinguished members, and has issued several volumes of valuable transactions. The Chetham society, established in 1843, has published 22 volumes of historical and literarv remains. There are many public libraries. The free library, founded by voluntary subscription, and maintained by a municipal rate, has four branches, and is divided into two departments, reference and lending, each having about 40,000 volumes.
A free library of about 25.000 volumes is attached to Chetham's hospital, or the "College" as it is now simply called, an institution founded in 1651 by Humphrey Chetham, for the education of poor boys. Owens college was founded in 1846 by the munificence of a merchant of the city, who bequeathed for the purpose more than £100,000, which has of late been considerably enlarged by means of a fund rai>id by public subscription; it issues certificates to candidates for the degrees of bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws, to be conferred by the university of London. The Lancashire Independent college was established by the Independents as:t theological seminary, and will accommodate 50 students. Manchester New college, founded by the Unitarians, has a rain-able library. Besides the colleges, there are the free grammar school founded by Hugh Oldham, bishop of Exeter, in 1515-'25, and several national schools in which instruction is almost or quite gratuitous. The Jubilee school train- pupils for domestic service. - Manchester is -up-plied with water from a gathering ground." about 24 m. distant, of nearly 20,000 aci The reservoirs form a series of 10 artificial lakes of a capacity of 600,000,000 cubic ft.
The pure water only is supplied to the city, the turbid water being collected in separate reservoirs and used for mill purposes. The water is conveyed in aqueducts 12 m. to Godley, thence to two reservoirs at Denton, and thence 4 m. to Manchester. The works are capable of furnishing 40,000,000 gallons daily, and their cost was about £1,050,000. Manchester is the centre of a great Bystem of canals, and has railway communication with nearly all parts of England. The Liverpool and Manchester line was the first railway on which was attempted the practical application of steam power for the transportation of passengers. - The borough of Manchester, comprising besides the city itself the townships of Charlton-upon-Medlock, Hulme, Ardwick, and Chetham, with the extra-parochial district of Beswick (total pop. in 1871,379,374, was incorporated by royal charter in October, 1838. The management of its local affairs is intrusted to a town council of 64 members, styled respectively mayor, aldermen, and councillors, who appoint from their body committees for the transaction of public business, who report their proceedings for approval at the general meeting of the council.
This council have introduced many valuable improvements, notable among which are the water works; it is anticipated that when these are fully completed, the sale of water for the purposes of trade will be sufficient to defray the entire expense, leaving free that required for domestic purposes. The gas works are also under control of the council, and notwithstanding the price of gas has been frequently reduced, there is a profit of about £35,000 a year, which is expended in improving and widening the streets. In 1846 the town council purchased from Sir Oswald Mosley his manorial rights for £200,000, of which £195,000 was left on mortgage at an interest of 3f per cent.; the income from this property now amounts to £16,000 a year. The borough formerly returned two members to parliament, but by the reform act of 1867 the number was raided to three. The borough of Salford, constituted by the reform act of 1832, returns two members to parliament. It is governed by a mayor, 8 aldermen, and 24 councillors. - Manchester has from a very remote period been connected with industry and trade; but its present great importance is specially due to the magnitude of its cotton manufactures, the greatest in the world.
It is mentioned as having maintained a trade with the Greeks of Massilia Marseilles). In 1552 an act was passed for the better manufacture of "Manchester cottons;" and in 1650 its manufactures ranked among the first in extent and importance, and its people were described as " the most industrious in the northern parts of the kingdom." The inadequate supply of cotton goods about the middlu of the last century stimulated efforts for increasing the means of production; and the machines successively invented by Leigh, Hughes, Arkwnght, Hargreaves, and others, had their efficiency vastly increased by the steam engine of Watt. The value o,f the exerts of the cotton industry in 1780 was £355,-069; it rose in 1781 to £1,101,457, and in 1856 it had reached upward of £38,000,000. The imports of raw cotton in 1751 were to the amount of 2,976,610 lbs.; in 1780, upward of 6,700,000; in 1800, 56,000,000; and in 1860, 1,115,890,608. In 1857 an advance in the price of American cotton caused the formation in Manchester of the cotton supply association, to procure the staple from other countries. After the outbreak of the civil war in the United States, Manchester suffered severely from the cotton famine, and in 1862 more than one third of the operatives were thrown out of employment.
At the close of the war there was a renewal of activity, though the import of United States cotton in 1870 was but little more than half the supply from the same source in 1860. Sole reliance, however, is not now placed on the American supply. During the war the machinery of many of the mills was altered to adapt it to the fibre from India and Egypt, and these mills still continue to use to a large extent the cotton from those countries. Connected with the cotton manufacture are many important and extensive branches of industry, such as bleaching, printing, and dyeing works, manufactures of the various materials employed in those processes, and particularly the great establishments for the construction of steam engines and machinery. It is also the chief market in the world for cotton yarn or thread, the supply of which passes through the hands of numerous resident foreign merchants, who export it to their respective countries, giving to Manchester in this respect a character quite unique among inland cities. The manufacture of silk and silk goods, and of mixed cotton and silk fabrics, is also largely carried on.
The following table, furnished by the inspector of factories, presents the statistics of the manufacturing industry in 1871:
Royal Exchange, Manchester.
The Assize Courts, Manchester.
No. of works.
Total No. of persons employed.
Textile fabrics and clothing:
Worsted " ........
Silk " ......
Bleaching and dyeing works...
Calendering and finishing works
Millinery, mantle, stay, corset, and dress making...........
Tailors and clothiers.........
Manufacture of machinery.....
Manufactures connected with food ..................................
No. of works.
Total No. of persons employed.
Manufactures connected with building, etc.:
Cabinet and furniture makers..
The site of Manchester is mentioned as a chief station of the druids, who had there an altar called Meyne. In A. D. 500 it was an unfrequented woodland. In 620 it was taken by Edwin, king of Northumbria, and shortly after occupied by a colony of Angles. It then passed to the Danes, who about 920 were expelled by the king of Mercia. The charter conferring the privileges of a borough was granted in 1301. Manchester cotton is first mentioned in 1352, by which was meant, however, a coarse woollen cloth woven from unprepared fleece. In 1579 the manor was sold to John Lacye, a London cloth-worker, for £3,000, and resold in 1596 to Sir Nicholas Mosley for £3,500. At the time of the civil war it was distinguished for active industry, and suffered much from both parties. On Jan. 8, 1819, a great radical meeting was held at St. Peter's field; and another great meeting, attended by 60,000 persons, on Aug. 16 of the same year, was dispersed by the yeomanry cavalry, eight persons being killed. In 1857 an exhibition was held from May to October for the display of the art treasures of the kingdom.
Among the objects exhibited were 1,115 paintings, 969 water-color drawings, 160 specimens of modern sculpture, 260 original sketches and drawings by the old masters, and a museum of ornamental art comprising 17,000 choice specimens.