Rochdale (Rotch-dale), a manufacturing town of Lancashire, a municipal, parliamentary, and county borough, on the Roche, 11 miles N. by E. of Manchester and 202 NNW. of London. St Chad's parish church, on an eminence approached by a flight of 122 steps, dates from the 12th century, but is mainly Perpendicular in style. It is a handsome edifice, on which £10,000 was expended in 1884-85. The town-hall (1866-71) is a very fine Domestic Gothic building. The town besides has an infirmary (1883), a free grammar-school, founded in 1565 by Archbishop Parker, and rebuilt in 1846, a free library (1884), a post-office (1875), public baths (1868), a bronze statue of John Bright (1891), and a public park of 12 acres. The trade in woollen goods dates from the days of Elizabeth, when cotton goods also were sold here, and coal-pits worked. It was not till 1795 that the first cotton-mill was built, in which in 1802 the father of John Bright began his career as a weaver. Flannels and calicoes are now the staple manufactures, but there are also cotton-mills, foundries, ironworks, machine-shops, etc. Rochdale is the birthplace of Cooperation, and the membership of its Equitable Pioneers' Society (1844) has increased from 28 to over 11,000, with an annual business representing more than a quarter million. Since 1832 Rochdale has returned one member to parliament, and in 1856 it became a municipal borough. The latter in 1872 was made coterminous with the parliamentary borough, whose boundary had been extended in 1867. The manor of Rochdale (Recedam in Domesday) was originally held by the Lacys of Pontefract, and through their descendants, the Dukes of Lancaster, passed to the crown. In 1628 it was sold to Sir John Byron, whose ancestors had been connected with it since 1462, and whose descendant, the poet Lord Byron, in 1823 sold it to Mr Dearden. Pop. of county borough (1901) as extended in 1900, 83,114; of parliamentary borough, 76,124. See Fishwick's History of the Parish of Rochdale (1889).