1840       

13th January Monday
An Anti-Corn Law Banquet held in the Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, January 13, being the first public meeting held in that building. About 4,000 persons attended. Mr. Daniel O’Connell, M.P., visited Manchester, and took part in the banquet.(7)

24th January Friday
The Irwell overflowed 24th January. Captain Sleigh, chief of police, finding that some cottages were surrounded by water, constructed a raft out of palings and a gate, and succeeded in rescuing the inhabitants. For this he received the medal of the Royal Humane Society.(7)

27th January Monday
A Conservative festival was held in Chorlton-upon-Medlock, January 27.(7)

3rd February Monday
The Operative Conservatives of Salford gave a dinner to Sir George Murray and Mr. William Garnett, February 3.(7)

7th February Friday
The first anniversary dinner of the Manchester Law Association was held at the Blackfriars Inn, February 7.(7)

14th February Friday
The Manchester petition for church extension, with 10,298 signatures attached, was forwarded for presentation by Sir Robert Inglis, February 14.(7)

25th February Tuesday
Mr. Jonathan Hatfield died, at Naples, 25th February. He was the son of Mr. Jonathan Hatfield, merchant, of Cheetham, and was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a lover of art, and resided in Italy for some years before his death, and presented to the Royal Institution casts from sculpture, which cost £2,000. (Baker’s Memorials, p. 104.)(7)

27th February Thursday
Mr Henry Wyatt an artist of distinguished excellence died February 27, aged 45. Mr. Wyatt was a native ot Thickbroome, near Leicester, and a pupil of Lawrence’s. From 1817 to November, 1819, he was painting portraits at Birmingham; he then removed to Liverpool and Manchester, where he continued till 1825, when he removed to London, but in 1837 he returned to Manchester to paint the portraits of a few friends, when he was seized with an illness which proved fatal His remains were interred at Prestwich, a locality to which he was particularly attached.(7)

27th February Thursday
Mr. Michael Wilson died, February 27, aged 77. He was a furniture broker, and the author of some of the songs in The Songs of the Wilsons.(7)

2nd March Monday
The Victoria Gallery of Science was opened for the exhibition of models and the delivery of lectures, March 2. (7)

4th March Wednesday
Messrs. Hilton and Bradshaigh and Messrs. Brookes and Dugdale’s warehouses, situate in Palace Street and Callendar Street, were destroyed by fire, March 4. The damage was reckoned at £7,100.(7)

9th March Monday
Rev William Nunn M.A., incumbent of St Clement’s Church died 9th March. He was a native of Colchester, and was born May 13, 1786. After several country curacies he came to Manchester, where the living of St Clement’s was purchased for him He was very active as a clergyman, and acquired great influence. Several of his sermons have been printed. His Memoirs edited by Rev R Pym, appeared in 1842.(7)

15th March Sunday
Mr James Bottomley died at Cheetwood March 15 aged 73. He had been a lieutenant in the 15th Foot, and was the engraver of a number of interesting local prints.(7)

25th March Wednesday
Mr. George Beswick, one of the 72nd, or Manchester Volunteers, who served at the siege of Gibraltar died at Bolton, March 25, aged 79.(7)

31st March Wednesday
A building situated in Little Lever Street, and occupied by Mr. Jones, Mr. Johnson, and Messrs. Elce and Co., as machine shops, was destroyed by fire, March 31. The damage was £6,000.(7)

3rd April Friday
3 Victoria, cap. 15. Act to enable the Manchester and Salford Junction Canal Company to raise a further sum of money, and to alter, amend, and enlarge some of the powers and provisions of the Act relating to the said canal. April 3.(7)

April
A poll took place for the election of churchwardens, there being two lists presented, one by Mr. George Clarke and the other by Mr. Richard Cobden, which terminated in favour of Mr. Clarke’s list by a majority of 4,178, the numbers being—for Mr. Clarke’s list, 9,942; for Mr. Cobden’s list, 5,764. April.(7)

3rd May Sunday
Messrs. Renshaw and Co.’s flax mill, Adeiphi, Salford, was destroyed by fire, May 3. The damage was estimated at £2,000.(7)

31st May Sunday
Mr. Adam Mort, of Davyhulme, one of the few surviving heroes of the 72nd, who served at the siege of Gibraltar, died May 31, aged 89.(7)

4th June Thursday
The Manchester and Birmingham Railway was opened to the public as far as Stockport, June 4.(7)

4th June Thursday
Rev. Thomas Calvert, D.D., warden of the Collegiate Church, died June 4, aged 65. He was born at Newsham, near Preston, and his father’s name was Jackson, but in 1819 he assumed the name of Calvert in consequence of a fortune left him by a friend of that name. Dr. Calvert was a pupil of Wilson at Clitheroe, and thence proceeded to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he was fourth wrangler. Lord Liverpool admired his preaching, and presented him to the rectory of Wilmslow, but the right of the Crown to this patronage was contested, and it was found to be vested in the family of Trafford of Trafford, who were Roman Catholics. When the wardenship fell vacant it was offered to him. Several of his sermons have been printed. Dr. Calvert succeeded to the wardenship upon the death of the late Dr. Blackburne in 1823. He was interred in the Collegiate Church, June 11.(7)

15th June Monday
Mr. W. Clarke, bookseller, Market Place, died at his residence, Plymouth Grove, June 15.(7)

22nd June Monday
The Right Hon. Thomas Reynolds, Earl Ducie, F.R.S., F.S.A., died at his seat, Woodchester, near Cirencester, June 22, aged 65 years.(7)

9th July Thursday
The Hon. and Rev. William Herbert, LL.D., B.D., was installed into the wardenship of the Collegiate Church upon the death of Dr. Calvert, July 9.(7)

14th July Tuesday
Mr. W. S. Rutter, the coroner for the district, appeared at the Borough Court to answer a charge of assault upon Mr. Chapman, the coroner for the borough, and was held to bail to answer the charge at the sessions. July 14.(7)

20th July Monday
A meeting of Chartist delegates held 20th July, at which it was resolved to organise the “National Charter Association of Great Britain.” The Manchester delegate, William Tillman, was appointed secretary. (Gammage’s History of the Chartist Movement, p. 199)(7)

23rd July Thursday
3 and 4 Victoria, cap. 30. Act for the more equal assessment of police-rates in Manchester, Birmingham, and Bolton, and to make better provision for the police in Birmingham, for one year, and to the end of the then next session of Parliament. July 23.(7)

July
Two nephews of the King of Ashantee visited the town, and inspected the various manufacturing establishments and public buildings. July. (7)

11th August Tuesday
The title of the warden and fellows of the Collegiate Church of Manchester was, by an Act of Parliament, changed to that of dean and canons, August 11.(7)

22nd August Saturday
The Chartist leaders, Dr. Peter Murray MacDonall, and John Collins, on their release from Chester Castle Prison, entered Manchester in procession 22nd August, and were entertained at dinner in Carpenters’ Hall, under the chairmanship of the Rev. James Scholefield. (Gammage’s History of the Chartist Movement, p. 202.)(7)

28th August Friday
Mr. Thomas Jewsbury, the father of Miss M. J. Jewsbury (Mrs. Fletcher) and of Miss G. E. Jewsbury, died August 28, aged 79.(7)

August
The Old Quay Company commenced the deepening of the river Irwell up to Victoria Bridge, so as to enable vessels of 300 tons to come into the centre of the town, but the project was never fully carried out. August.(7)

7th September Monday
A new Post Office, under the Borough Court in Brown Street, was opened for public business, September 7.(7)

7th September Monday
Mr. Jeremiah Fielding died, September 7, aged 64. In 1812 he filled the office of boroughreeve of Manchester.(7)

23rd September Wednesday
The first stone of the Lancashire Independent College at Withington was laid by Rev. Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, September 23. A large scaffolding erected for the convenience of visitors gave way, and many ladies were severely bruised, but fortunately none were killed.(7)

30th September Wednesday
Mr. John Walton, for upwards of 50 years drawing master in this town, died at Croydon, in Surrey, September 30, aged 79.(7)

9th October Friday
The Manchester and Leeds Railway was opened from Leeds to Hebden Bridge, October 9.(7)

12th October Monday
The Mormon missionaries and disciples in Manchester claimed to possess “the gift of tongues,” and one of them was put to the test, 12th October. Elder James Mahon having declared to Mr. Thomas Taylor, of the Mason Street Sawmills, that he was willing to appear before anyone who might be selected, and convince them of his inspiration, a formal meeting was held. Some Hebrew was read to him, which he could not understand. He then spoke what he declared to be Hebrew, but the teacher of languages, who was the referee, declared that there was not a word of Hebrew in his jargon,—See An Account of the Complete Failure, &c,, by Thomas Taylor (Manchester, 1840).(7)

15th October Thursday
A large building, situated in Peter Street, belonging to Mr. Hobson, carrier, but occupied by various tenants, was destroyed by fire, October 15. The damage thus caused was between £4,000 and £5,000.(7)

18th October Sunday
Mr. David Bellhouse, builder, died October 18, aged 77.(7)

9th November Monday
Mr. William Neild elected to the mayoralty, being the second mayor, November 9.(7)

18th November Wednesday
All Souls’ Church, Ancoats, was consecrated November 18. It was erected at a cost of £4,000. The first stone was laid October 25, 1839. The first incumbent was the Rev. Samuel Warren, who had been expelled from the Wesleyan Connexion, as the result of the Fly-sheets controversy. He was the father of Mr. Samuel Warren Q.C., the novelist.(7)

20th December Sunday
The Union Carrying Company’s warehouses, Piccadilly, destroyed by fire, and the damage was estimated at £30,000. December 20.(7)

29th December Sunday
The first election of guardians under the new Poor Law took place Dec. 29.(7)

29th December Sunday
Mr. Charles Cudmore, professor of music, and composer of the Martyr of Antioch, an oratorio, died December 29, aged 53.(7)

1840
The marriage of Queen Victoria was celebrated by public dinners at various places in Manchester and Salford, and the several public and private institutions were thrown open to the public. In the evening there was a partial illumination.(7)

1840
The Derby Chapel, in the Collegiate Church, was repaired and new roofed at the expense of the Earl of Derby.(7)

1840
Mr. Thomas Potter received the honour of knighthood upon presenting an address of congratulation, adopted by the Town Council, to the Queen, on her escape from assassination by Oxford.(7)