1814       

8th February Tuesday
Miss Lavinia Robinson was found drowned in the Irwell, near the Mode Wheel, February 8. This young lady, who possessed superior mental accomplishments, as well as personal beauty, was engaged to Mr. Holroyd, a surgeon, but on the eve of her intended marriage she disappeared from her home in Bridge Street, December 6, and, owing to the long frost, her body remained under the the ice for a long period. It appears most probable that the rash act of the “Manchester Ophelia” was due to a quarrel in which her betrothed had repeated some slanderous statements made respecting her. There, was however strong suspicion that she had met with foul play. The slanders were shown to be baseless, and the feeling against Mr. Holroyd was so strong that he had to leave the town. (Procter’s Bygone Manchester, pp. 268, 269; City News Notes and Queries, vol i., p. 265.)(7)

1st March Tuesday
Mr Peter Cross, for many years master of the Portico, died March 1.(7)

18th April Monday
The successes of the British army on the Continent were celebrated by processions, balls, and illuminations, April 18.(7)

4th May Wednesday
54 George III. cap. 32. Act for rebuilding the Chapel of Newton, in the parish of Manchester. May 4.(7)

13th May Friday
Mr. John Vint died 13th May, aged 60 years. He was a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne and had been the editor and conductor of Harrop’s Manchester Mercury and British Volunteer newspapers.(7)

29th May Sunday
In connection with the Sunday school Whit-week festivities the Church Commission ordered “a number of cakes to be baked, at 1d., for the children,” to be eaten before starting in St. Ann’s Square. This is apparently the origin of ” buns and milk.” The excursions originated about this time from a desire to keep the young people away from Kersal Moor Races on Whit-Wednesday. (Bardsley’s Memorials, p. 127.)(7)

7th June Tuesday
The Society of Arts awarded to Miss Halstead, of Manchester, their gold medal for a painting of fruit and flowers, June 7. She was the daughter of a Manchester attorney.(7)

23rd June Thursday
Mr. John Leigh Phillips died June 23, aged 53. He was a liberal promoter of bibliography and the arts, and his collection of books, paintings, engravings, &c., was dispersed by auction at Manchester in 1815, and realised £5,474 15s. 3d. His natural history collection formed the basis of the Manchester Natural History Society’s Museum.(7)

14th July Thursday
54 George III. cap. 205. Act for amending two several Acts of the tenth and thirty-fifth years of the reign of His present Majesty, relating to the estates devised by William Hulme, Esquire, and to enable the trustees thereof to apply the trust monies in making an allowance to, and provision for, the Exhibitioners of certain Exhibitions founded by the testator, in Brasennose College, Oxford, and also in founding and supporting a Lecture in Divinity in the said College, and to incorporate the said trustees, and for other purposes therein mentioned. July 14.(7)

29th July Friday
Several houses and part of a soapery, at Hunt’s Bank, fell into the river Irwell, when three persons were drowned, July 29.(7)

5th August Friday
Mr. Cornelius Leigh died 5th August, aged 56. He was for upwards of half a century connected with Harrop’s Manchester Mercury and British Volunteer newspapers.(7)

10th August Wednesday
Mr. William Cowdroy died, Aug. 10, aged 62 years. He was proprietor and editor of the Manchester Gazette, a facile writer, with a certain graft of humour, and his wit was directed by public spirit and patriotism. As conductor of the Manchester Gazette, his light punning paragraphs were greatly appreciated, and his columns frequently supplied the newspapers with wit and humour on current topics. Many of his compositions, with changes of name and date, were often revived at intervals of five or six years. He left four sons, all printers, and two daughters.(7)

10th August Wednesday
Mr. Francis Duckinfield Astley, of Dukinfield Lodge, was installed Grand Master of the Masons for the counties of Lancaster and Chester, in the two orders of Knight Templars and Royal Arch Masons. The ceremony took place at the Dog Inn, Deansgate, August 10.(7)

29th August Monday
The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Brunswick Terrace, Pendleton, opened August 29.(7)

August
The Manchester branch of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge was instituted, August.(7)

23rd September Friday
Thomas Egerton, first Earl of Wilton, died at Heaton House, September 23, aged 65. He was elevated to the peerage May 15, 1784, by the title of Baron Grey de Wilton, of Wilton Castle, in the county of Hereford. His lordship married, in 1769, Eleanor, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Sir Ralph Assheton, baronet, by whom he had several children, but one only survived, namely, Eleanor, who married, in 1794, Robert Viscount Belgrave, afterwards Marquis of Westminster. In consequence of the decease of Lord Grey de Wilton’s elder children, his lordship obtained a new patent 26th of June, 1801, creating him Viscount Grey de Wilton and Earl of Wilton, with special remainder to the second, and to all the younger sons successively, of his daughter, by her then husband, or to her male issue by any future husband. He was succeeded in his title and estates by Thomas Egerton, second Earl of Wilton, second son of the Marquis of Westminster by the above marriage. His lordship was a liberal benefactor to the various charitable institutions in Manchester. He was buried in the family vault in Prestwich Church, Oct. 8.(7)

October
Thomas Hollingsworth died at Liverpool in October. He was an actor of good repute, and was styled the Father of the Manchester and Liverpool Theatres.(7)

October
The first watchman was appointed for Chorlton Row, now Chorlton-upon-Medlock, in October.(7)

9th December Friday
A panic occurred in the Methodist Chapel, Oldham Street, and occasioned the death of two females and the serious injury of others, December 9.(7)

December
Considerable damage was done by a violent storm in Manchester and the neighbourhood, December.(7)

1814
Rev. Timothy Priestley died, aged 80. He was the brother of the famous Joseph Priestley. He was for a time minister of the Congregational Church in Hunter’s Croft, now Cannon Street, but his relations with his congregation were not happy, and he finally left Manchester for London. He is buried in Bunhill Fields. (Jones’s Bunhill Memorials; Halley’s Lancashire, p. 520.)(7)

1814
The Ducie Bridge (so called in compliment to Lord Ducie, the proprietor of the land) was opened. A toll was taken until 1830, when it was removed upon payment of £800 by the Improvement Committee.(7)

1814
The Manchester Magazine; or, Chronicle of the Times, was published monthly by Joseph Hemingway and Martin Began, price 1s. Discontinued 1816.(7)