1295

1295
Hugh of Mamcestre and William of Gaynesburgh were sent as ambassadors to the French King to vindicate the claim of Edward I. to the lands of Aquitaine. Hugh was a man of learning and distinction, and was professor and doctor of divinity, and Provincial of the Dominican Preachers in England. An impostor having claimed that miracles had been performed at the tomb of Henry III., Mamcestre detected the fraud and wrote an exposure of it, which he dedicated to Edward I., entitled "De Fanaticorum Deliriis" (or the Dotages of Fanatics). "I could wish," says Fuller, "some worthy divine would resume this subject." But it is doubtful if Hugh of Manchester belonged to Lancashire, and some regard him as a native of Warwickshire. The question is discussed in the second volume of the Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society.

Henry de Ancotes gives an acre of land and a messuage in Ancoats to Alexander le Tinctore [the dyer], of Manchester. Another deed, probably of the same date, mentions Robert, son of Robert son of Simon Tinctore. It is thus clear that dyeing was carried on in the town at least as early as the middle of the thirteenth century.  "What fabrics," asks Mr. Harland, "were then dyed in Manchester? The oldest textile fabric of England was woollen cloth; for even in the time of the Romans a manufactory of woollen cloths was estab­lished at Winchester for the use of the emperors. The English woollen manufacture is mentioned in 1185, but it was not extensive till 1331, when the weaving of cloth was introduced by John Kempe and other artisans from Flanders.  These were then called Kendal cloths and Halifax cloths; and blankets were first made in 1340. But it is stated that the art of dyeing woollens was first brought from the Low Countries to England in 1608, prior to which the English cloths were usually sent white to Holland, dyed there, and returned to England for sale. So late as the year 1625 two dyers of Exeter were flogged for teaching their art in the north of England. The old records now under consideration prove indisputably that the trade of a dyer was carried on in Manchester in the thirteenth century. As early as 1311 an inquisition post mortem specified a fulling mill at Colne; thus showing that the woollen manufacture had its seat in this county nearly thirty years before the introduction of the Flemish artizans by Edward III. It may be that the Manchester dyers of the thirteenth century operated upon linen cloths, which were first manufactured in England by Flemish weavers in 1253. However this may be, it is clear that the manufacture of woollens existed in Lancashire at the very early period when our dyers plied their trade in Manchester and Ancotes; and there seems some reason for supposing that every process in the manufacture of coloured woollens was carried on in this neighbourhood at the early period now under notice." (Collectarea.) There was a fulling mill on the Irk at least as early as 1282. By the Salford Charter no one could exercise the calling of fuller anywhere in the wapentake except in the town of Salford.   (7)