Oldham Historical Research Group

Scan and page transcript from:
LANCASHIRE - Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes
by Leo H. Grindon
Pub. 1892

Oldham Historical Research Group - LANCASHIRE - Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes by by Leo H. Grindon  Pub. 1892

pages 66-67



FIRST in the long list of Lancashire manufacturing towns, by reason of its magnitude and wealth, comes Manchester. By and by we shall speak of this great city in particular. For the present the name must be taken in the broader sense, equally its own, which carries with it the idea of an immense district. Lancashire, east- wards from Warrington, upwards as far as Preston, is dotted over with little Manchesters, and these in turn often possess satellites. The idea of Manchester as a place of cotton factories covers also a portion of Cheshire, and extends even into Derbyshire and Yorkshire - Stockport, Hyde, Stalybridge, Dukinfield, Saddleworth, Glossop, essentially belong to it. To all these towns and villages Manchester stands in the relation of a Royal Exchange. It is the reservoir, at the same

The Cotton District                   67

time, into which they pour their various produce. Manchester acquired this distingushed position partly by accident, mainly through its very easy access to Liverpool. At one time it had powerful rivals in Blackburn and Bolton. Blackburn lost its chance through the frantic hostility of the lower orders towards machinery, inconsiderate men of property giving them countenance - excusably only under the law that mental delusions, like bodily ailments, are impartial in choice of victims. Bolton, on the other hand, though sensible, was too near to compete permanently, neither had it similar access to Liverpool. The old sale-rooms in Bolton, with their galleries and piazzas, now all gone, were ninety years ago a striking and singular feature of that busy hive of spinning and weaving bees.

Most of these little Manchesters are places of comparatively new growth. A century ago nearly all were insignificant villages or hamlets. Even the names of the greater portion were scarcely known beyond the boundaries of their respective parishes. How unimportant they were in earlier times is declared by the vast area of many of the latter, the parishes in Lancashire, as everywhere else, having been marked out according to the ability of the population to maintain a church and pastor

link to home page
Oldham in Gazetteers link
From the archives link
link to members' pages
link to News
link to miscellaneous pages
links page