1831       

1st January Saturday
The Voice of the People, No. 1, January 1, was printed by John Hampson.(7)

3rd January Saturday
The year opened with great apprehensions of a turn-out of the factory operatives, but although thirty thousand were on strike in the Ashton district the example was not followed in Manchester.A great sensation was caused by the murder of Mr. Thomas Ashton, of Werneth, who was found, January 3, dead by the roadside, having been shot through the breast. The murderers were not detected for three years, when one of them turned king’s evidence, and it was then found to be a trade outrage. Three men had been hired to shoot him, and received £10 for doing the deed. The motive was not private vengeance, for Mr. Ashton was an amiable young man, but a desire to intimidate the masters generally. The trial took place at the autumn assizes, Chester, 1834, and two men were sentenced to be hung, but owing to a dispute between the sheriffs of the city and of the county the execution was delayed. The two men were eventually hung in London some months later.(7)

20th January Thursday
Petitions for representatives in Parliament adopted January 20.(7)

22nd January Saturday
Mr. Louis Schwabe obtained a patent for certain processes and apparatus for preparing and beaming yarns of cotton, linen, &c., so that any design, device, &c., may be preserved when woven into cloth. January 22.(7)

27th February Sunday
Mr. William Massey, eldest son of the late Mr. John Massey, of this town, died at Tunis, February 27. He was a young man of considerable talent as a linguist.(7)

11th March Friday
1 William IV. cap. 7. Act for more effectually maintaining the road from Crossford Bridge to the town of Manchester, and for making a branch road to communicate therewith. March 11.(7)

14th March Monday
The body of Moses Ferneley, who was executed at Lancaster for the murder of his stepson at Hulme, was sent to the Manchester Infirmary for dissection, March 14.(7)

14th March Monday
Ashton Worrall and William Worrall were executed at Lancaster for the murder of Sarah M’Lellon, at Failsworth, March 14.(7)

15th March Tuesday
1 William IV. cap. 16. Act to authorise the raising of further monies for supplying the town of Manchester with gas. March 15.(7)

22nd March Tuesday
The Bazaar in Deansgate was erected, and opened March 22. It was pulled down in 1872 to make way for the Deansgate improvements; and upon the site fine shops have been erected, now (1886) in the occupation of Messrs. Kendal, Milne, and Co.(7)

28th March Monday
Hulme Dispensary was established, March 28.(7)

30th March Wednesday
The first concert of the Manchester Choral Society was held in the Exchange dining room, March 30.(7)

13th April Wednesday
Ram Mohun Roy visited Manchester, and was shown through various establishments, April 13.(7)

22nd April Friday
1 William IV. cap. 51. Act for amending and enlarging the powers and provisions of the several Acts relating to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. April 22.(7)

30th April Saturday
Rev. James Gatliff died at Gorton, and was buried in the chancel of Gorton Chapel, April 30. He was born at Manchester about 1763, and edited Wogan’s Essays on the Proper Lessons in the Liturgy of the Church of England, with a Life of Wogan, third edition, 1817,4 vols. (Manchester School Register, i. 184.)(7)

10th May Tuesday
Mr. Benjamin Heywood, of Manchester, returned as one of the representatives of the county, May 10.(7)

28th May Saturday
The Rev. John Clowes, M.A., died May 28, at Leamington, in his 88th year. He was for sixty-two years rector of St. John’s Church. Born on the 31st October, 1743, he was the fourth son of Mr. Joseph Clowes, barrister, and was educated at the Free Grammar School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was highly distinguished as a classical scholar, and became a fellow of the college. He was the first rector of St. John’s, and refused more than one offer of high preferment in the Church. In the spring of 1773 he became acquainted with the theological writings of Baron Emanuel Swedenborg, and from that time he dedicated all the energies of his powerful mind to the publication of those doctrines, both in the pulpit and by the press. During the latter part of his life he resided principally at Warwick. A full list of his writings would contain about two hundred entries. He has left an interesting autobiography, and a life of him by Mr. Theodore Crompton has also been published. Some interesting references to Mr. Clowes will be found in Hindmarsh’s Rise and Progress of the New Jerusalem Church. There is a memorial of him by Flaxman in St. John’s Church.(7)

May
A Socialist Congress was held in May for the purpose of establishing a community.(7)

17th June Friday
A dinner given to Mr. John Wilson Patten and Lord Stanley, the representatives of the county, at the Exchange Room, June 17.(7)

21st June Tuesday
The Botanical and Horticultural Gardens, Old Trafford, opened June 21. They cover a space of sixteen acres in extent.(7)

June
The payment from the gas profits to the Improvement Committee was £6,908 15s. 2d. June.(7)

June
Robert Bowker, who had been confined for many weeks in the New Bailey, on a charge of feloniously making use of money, to the extent of several thousand pounds, belonging to the churchwardens, was discharged on bail amounting to the sum of £800. June.(7)

June
The Rev. W. Huntington succeeded, in June, to the rectory of St. John’s, upon the death of the Rev. John Clowes.(7)

6th July Wednesday
Mr. Richard Bradley died at Bradford Colliery, July 6, aged 95. He was born at Stoneyhurst, and at the age of fifteen he came to Manchester, where he was taught to weave on the Dutch loom. He resided under the same roof and was in the same employ for seventy-one years.(7)

28th July Thursday
A Medical Vapour Bath Institution was opened July 28.(7)

28th July Thursday
Robert Bradbury, a celebrated clown, died July 28. He was originally a cabinet maker at Liverpool, and, under the management of Mr. Riley, the author of The Itinerant, then the lessee of the Liverpool Theatre, made his debût as clown. He was possessed of prodigious strength, and some of his feats were more calculated to terrify than amuse his auditors.(7)

1st August Monday
Mr. Nathaniel George Phillips, eldest son of Mr. John Leigh Phillips, of Mayfield, died August 1, at Childwall, near Liverpool. Mr. Phillips was an amateur artist of great taste and skill; he executed a considerable number of etchings, consisting principally of views of old halls, &c., in Lancashire and Cheshire, as well as many miscellaneous subjects.(7)

6th August Saturday
Messrs. Fairbairn and Lillie’s foundry and millwright establishment burnt down, August 6. The damage was estimated at £8,000.(7)

11th August Thursday
Lord Hill, Commander-in-Chief, reviewed upon Kersal Moor the various troops stationed in this district, amounting to upwards of 3,000 men. He was accompanied by Generals Sir H. Bouverie, Macdonald, and Sir Willoughby Gordon. August 11.(7)

23rd August Tuesday
1 and 2 William IV. cap. 59. Act for making a railway from Manchester to Sheffield. August 23.(7)

23rd August Tuesday
1 and 2 William IV. capt 60. Act to enable the Company of Proprietors of the Canal Navigation from Manchester to Bolton and to Bury to make and maintain a railway from Manchester to Bolton and to Bury upon or near the line of the said canal navigation, and to make and maintain a collateral branch to communicate therewith. August 23.(7)

8th September Thursday
The coronation of William IV. was celebrated by a procession of the various trades, and the Sunday school children of all denominations, amounting to upwards of 36,000. In the evening there were displays of fireworks. The day was rather unfavourable. September 8. (7)

6th October Thursday
St. Andrew’s Church, Travis Street, was consecrated October 6.(7)

13th October Thursday
The Chorlton-upon-Medlock Dispensary opened, October 13.(7)

October
Mr. Robert Southey came to the town in October on a visit to the Rev. James White, brother of Kirke White, then at St. George’s Church, Oldham Road. On this occasion he made the acquaintance of Mr. Charles Swain, with whose poems and individuality he was “much pleased.”(7)

16th November Wednesday
Mr. Ralph Wright, of Flixton, died November 16, aged 80. He was the senior magistrate of this division. His attempt to close up an ancient footpath led to considerable litigation, and was the immediate cause of the formation of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Footpaths. (Prentice’s Manchester, pp.290 and 292.)(7)

25th November Friday
Mr. Jacob Chatterton, of the Woolpack public house, Pendleton, died November 25. He was the first individual interred in the new burial-ground attached to St. Thomas’s Church.(7)

13th December Tuesday
Mr. Thomas Dean died at Shrewsbury, Dec. 13, aged 76. He was one of the celebrated Manchester Volunteers, or 72nd, which distinguished itself at Gibraltar.(7)

1831
Christ Church, Salford, was consecrated. It was enlarged in 1847.(7)

1831
Christ Church Sunday School, Hulme Street, was erected.(7)

1831
A turn-out of spinners, occasioned by low wages and a scarcity of provisions.(7)

1831
The Lancashire Co-operator, or Useful Classes Advocate. The editor was Mr. E. T. Craig, but the periodical did not live long. (Holyoake’s History of Co-operation, vol. i., p. 180.) The title was altered to Lancashire and Yorkshire Co-operator.(7)

1831
Mr. L. Harris was appointed singing-master at the Collegiate Church.(7)

1831
The suspension bridge at Broughton gave way at the time the 60th Rifle Corps were passing over it, forty or fifty of whom were precipitated into the river. No lives were lost, but six of the men were very seriously hurt.(7)

1831
The Cemetery in Irwell Street, Salford, was opened.(7)

1831
The Concert Hall, Peter Street, was opened.(7)

1831
Toll Lane, leading from Deansgate into St. Ann’s Square, widened.(7)

1831
The Rothesay Castle steamer was lost on Dutchman’s Bank, near Great Orme’s Head, on her passage from Liverpool to Beaumaris, and out of 105 persons only 21 were saved. Many families in this town and neighbourhood had to mourn the loss of their relatives.(7)

1831
Jonathan Dade and Isaac Holland were apprehended for forging Bank of England notes. They were two of an extensive gang that had been carrying on operations for years.(7)

1831
The population of Manchester, including Ardwick, Cheetham, Chorlton, and Hulme, at the fourth census was 181,768. The population of Salford, including Broughton, 42,375.(7)

1831
The Scotch Presbyterian Church founded in St. Peter’s Square.(7)