1861       

1st. January Tuesday
On the first of January appeared The Dawn: a Journal of Social and Religious Progress, published by J. W. Farquhar, of New Corporation Street. It was discontinued with the 24th number, December 1, 1862. The writers were chiefly Mr. Thomas Robinson, of Newton Heath, and Mr. Edward Brotherton.(7)

10th. January Thursday
A fire at the Greengate cotton waste mill of Mr. Peter Andrew, January 10, caused damage to the amount of 7,000.(7)

11th. January Friday
The Bee Hive Cotton Mills, situate in Jersey Street and Bengal Street, were destroyed by fire, January 11. The damage was estimated at 25,000.(7)

31st. January Thursday
A conference on Indian affairs was held in the board room of the Chamber of Commerce, January 31.(7)

January
Mr. Charles Henry Timperley died at London, January. He was born at Manchester about 1795, and was a printer, who afterwards devoted himself to literature. He wrote a Dictionary of Printers, 1839; Annals of Manchester, 1839; Songs of the Press, 1845, &c. These show great industry and ability. (Procter's Streets, p. 186; Reliquary, vol. xiv. p. 143.)(7)

4th. February Monday
A boiler explosion happened at the paper works of Messrs. Dickinson, situate in Elm Street, Water Street, near Regent Road, February 4. Three persons died from injuries they received.(7)

8th. February Friday
A fire broke out amongst warehouses off High Street, February 8, doing damage to the amount of 10,000.(7)

15th. February Friday
Mr. Joseph Adshead died at Withington, Manchester, February 15. He was born in 1800, and was a member of the Manchester Corporation. He wrote The Wreck of the Rothesay Castle, 1831; Prisons and Prisoners, 1845; and a number of pamphlets on social and local politics.(7)

19th. February Tuesday
Representatives of the different Chambers of Commerce of Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, and other towns met at the Westminster Palace Hotel, February 19, to adopt a petition to Parliament, to amend the laws relating to land in India for the growth of cotton.(7)

9th. March Saturday
The foundation-stone of St. Paul's Church, Chorlton-on-Medlock, was laid by the Rev. E. Birch, March 9.(7)

23rd. March Saturday
Mrs. E. Hadfield died March 23. She was a Quakeress, and author of Sprays from the Hedgerows (poems), 1850.(7)

28th. March Thursday
A town's meeting was held in the Manchester Town Hall, March 28, when resolutions in favour of Parliamentary Reform were adopted.(7)

20th. May Monday
The annual Whitsuntide procession of the scholars of the Church of England Sunday Schools took place May 20. The number of scholars in the procession was 13,142.(7)

1st. June Saturday
The colours which formerly belonged to the first battalion of the Independent Manchester and Salford Volunteers of 1803, and which for a long time had been deposited in St. John's Church, were presented to the 5th or Press Company of the 3rd Manchester Rifle Volunteers, June 1.(7)

3rd. June Monday
The officers of the 2nd Regiment of Manchester Rifle Volunteers, and other friends of Lieutenant-Colonel Deakin, entertained that gentleman at dinner, at the Albion Hotel, June 3, and presented him with an equestrian portrait of himself, as a testimony of their esteem and regard.(7)

15th. June Saturday
A very extensive fire broke out at the works of Messrs. Parr, Curtis, and Madeley, Chapel Street, Great Ancoats, June 15, doing damage to the amount of about 80,000.(7)

18th. June Tuesday
Mr. Eaton Hodgkinson, F.R.S., died at Eaglesfield House, Higher Broughton, June 18. He was born Feb. 26, 1789, at Adderton, Great Budworth, where his father, a farmer, died when the boy was six years old. He was sent to the Northwich Grammar School, where the injudicious severity, not to say brutality, of the schoolmaster, produced a nervous tremor of the hands and speech which in after life was a serious disadvantage. In 1811 he persuaded his mother to embark in the pawnbroking business in Manchester. Here he found congenial society, and was able to pursue those scientific and mathematical studies which were the passion of his life. He was appointed Professor of the Mechanical Principles of Engineering at University College, London, and travelled a good deal on the Continent. His researches had chiefly reference to the strength of materials and allied subjects. He contributed largely to the transactions of learned societies, and was himself enrolled in the ranks of the Royal Society, the Geographical Society, the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Institute of British Architects, &c. A memoir of him by Mr. Robert Rawson appeared in the Memoirs of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, 3rd series, vol. ii. p. 145.(7)

25th. June Tuesday
Alfred, a patriotic play, by Martin Farquhar Tupper, was first acted at the Queen's Theatre, June 25. The leading part was taken by Walter Montgomery. The author was present on the first night. The play was printed for private circulation and afterwards published.(7)

28th. June Friday
24 and 25 Victoria, cap. 75. Act for the Manchester and Wilmslow Turnpike Roads. June 28.(7)

20th. July Saturday
Mr. William Willis, bookseller, died July 20, in his 54th year. He was of humble extraction, but for some years carried on a prosperous trade; but, although helped pecuniarily by his brother, he was not permanently successful. He was the publisher of several cheap books, such as Seacome's House of Stanley, Hollinworth's Mancuniensis, &c. At one time he was a staunch Radical and follower of Fergus O'Connor, and his shop was an arena for political discussion. In later years he joined the Church of Rome, and became a strong Conservative, but his new associates were not always able to prevent him from arguing in favour of his earlier views and against his later convictions. He was the stormy petrel of vestry meetings and on one occasion was appointed churchwarden of the Collegiate Church, but the election was invalid as he had not paid his rates. An account of this eccentric character written by Mr Joseph Johnson, appears in The Manchester Catalogue, December, 1883.(7)

23rd. July Tuesday
The friends and supporters of Mr John Cheetham held a meeting at the Free Trade Hall, July 23, to promote the election of that gentleman as M.P. for South Lancashire.(7)

30th. July Tuesday
Rev. Robert Cox Clifton, M.A., died at Somerton Rectory, July 30, aged 51. He was rector of Somerton and canon of Manchester, and wrote several pamphlets on matters connected with the ecclesiastical, educational, and sanitary affairs of the locality.(7)

7th. August Wednesday
At the meeting of the Salford Town Council, August 7, an agreement with Messrs. Greenwood and Haworth was sanctioned in relation to their laying down, on "Haworth's Patent Perambulating Principle," an iron tramway, for the passage thereon of omnibuses, to be moved by horse power upon and along the following roads and streets, commencing at a point near Cross Lane, and proceeding thence over Windsor Bridge, along the Crescent, Crescent Parade, Bank Parade, Whitecross Bank, Chapel Street, and New Bailey Street, towards and to Albert Bridge, in Salford.(7)

13th. August Tuesday
Mr. Thomas Witlam Atkinson, architect and traveller, died at Lower Walmer, August 13. He was a native of Yorkshire, and in early life was a stone carver, but settled in Manchester as an architect. He gave up his profession in order to travel, and was almost the first to open out the regions of Eastern Russia. He wrote Oriental and Western Siberia; Explorations, 1858; Travels in the Region of the Upper and Lower Amazon, 1860. His widow published Recollections of Tartar Steppes, 1863, and his daughter is the writer of Lives of the Queens of Prussia.(7)

17th. August Saturday
A fire broke out in the old Irk Cotton Mills, August 17, doing damage to the amount of several thousand pounds.(7)

20th. August Tuesday
A dramatic licence was granted to Mr. H. B. Peacock for the Free Trade Hall, August 20.(7)

29th. August Thursday
About 300 carters employed by the various carriers struck for an earlier cessation from labour, August 29.(7)

4th. September  Wednesday
The thirty-first meeting of the British Association was held in Manchester, beginning September 4. The President was Sir William Fairbairn.(7)

12th. September  Thursday
The Congregational Church, Chorlton Road, was opened September 12. The following statement of the history of the church was placed in a cavity in the foundation-stone which was laid July 7, 1860: "Cannon Street Chapel was built in 1756. The first minister was the Rev. Caleb Warhurst, who came here with the congregation from Cold House to one meeting north of Shudehill. He continued minister up to the time of his death on November 5, 1765. The second minister was the Rev. Timothy Priestley (brother of the philosopher of the same name), of Kipping, near Halifax, who sustained the pastorate for nineteen years, and afterwards removed to London. The Rev. David Bradbury, from Ramsgate, accepted the invitation of the church on the 14th of August, 1785, and resigned the same in 1795. He was succeeded by the Rev. William Roby, from Wigan, in September, 1795. Mr. Roby left for Grosvenor Street Chapel in December, 1807. The Rev. William Marsh, of Dukinfield, was the next pastor. He accepted the charge on the 3rd July, 1808, and resigned the same in September, 1812. The Rev. William Evans, of Aylesbury, undertook the charge on the 25th April, 1813, and held it until 29th September, 1817. The Church was without a pastor for nearly two years, when the Rev. Robert Allott, of Eastwood, Yorkshire, accepted the office on 25th July, 1819. He resigned on 2nd August, 1822. Again, for nearly two years, the church was without a pastor. In September, 1824, the Rev. John Whitridge. of Oswestry, accepted the pastorate, resigning on the 23rd September, 1827, On the 7th October, in the same year, the Rev. Samuel Bradley, from Mosley Street Chapel, entered on the pastorate, which he resigned on April 14th, 1844. On the 19th May of the same year, the Rev. James Dean, of Topsham, was invited to the pastorate, which he resigned on the 1st October, 1847. The Rev. William Parkes, of Lancashire Independent College, received and accepted an invitation from the church, and commenced his labours on the 9th July, 1848. He resigned the pastorate on the 23rd September, 1855. The Rev. James Bruce, of Bamford, became pastor in June, 1856, and resigned in September, 1859. In December of the same year, the Rev. Professor Newth, of Lancashire Independent College, consented to accept the office of preacher, which he holds at this time. Built in 1756, Cannon Street Chapel was rebuilt in 1828 at a cost of 1,800. In consequence of the prevailing tendency of the worshippers to reside in the suburbs, the congregation had been growing less for some years. The office-bearers have made attempts to devise some plan by which to meet the difficulty caused by this condition of matters, and eventually it was resolved to seek the benefit of the Charitable Trusts Act, the Commissioners under which, on the 11th November, 1856, gave power to sell the property. A sale was effected on 2nd March, 1860, when the property was disposed of for the sum of 2,800."(7)

19th. September  Thursday
A meeting of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Cotton Supply Association, and the Manchester Cotton Company Limited, was held in the Town Hall, September 19, for the purpose of meeting Rt. Hon. S. Laing, previous to his return to India as Finance Minister.(7)

September
There were 43,500 persons receiving parochial relief in the fourth week of September.(7)

3rd. October  Thursday
An alarming fire occurred in the waste warehouse situate in the Old Factory Yard, Miller Street, Shudehill, October 3. The damage was estimated at from 10,000 to 12,000.(7)

October
The cotton mills began to run short time in October.(7)

4th. November  Monday
Mr. Benjamin Dockray died, at Lancaster, November 4. He was born at Manchester in 1786, and was author of Remarks upon Catholic Emancipation, 1817, and Egeria, or Casual Thoughts and Suggestions, 1831-40.(7)

27th. November  Wednesday
Mr. John Hall, M.R.C.S., died at Congleton, November 27. He was a son of the Rev. Samuel Hall, of St. Ann's, and was born October 9, 1785. He was the father of Mr. Charles Radcliffe Hall, M.D.(7)

5th. December  Thursday
A dinner was given to the Hon. Captain Denman, at the Palatine Hotel, by the Rifle Volunteers, December 5.(7)

14th. December  Saturday
St. James's Church, Hope, was consecrated by Bishop Lee, December 14. Mr. W. Scott was the architect, and the cost of erection 8,500.(7)

23rd. December  Monday
There was a general cessation of business in the city on December 23, the day of the funeral of the Prince Consort.(7)

23rd. December  Monday
Mr. Absalom Watkin died December 23. He was born in London, June 27, 1787. He came to Manchester, at the end of the last century, to be a clerk with his uncle, Mr. John Watkin, a cotton broker. Thus began a career which was identified with the political, social, and commercial progress of Manchester. In conjunction with Mr. John Taylor. he wrote The Club, in the Manchester Iris, afterwards reprinted in a separate form. His letter to Mr. John Bright--and Mr. Bright's reply--in relation to the Crimean war, attracted universal attention. His son, Sir Edward Watkin, has printed the first part of a biography, Absalom Watkin, Fragments, No. 1, Manchester, 1868.(7)

1861
The population of Municipal Manchester at the seventh census was 338,722, and of the Parliamentary Borough 357,979. The population of Salford was 102,449, both for the Municipal and for the Parliamentary Boroughs.(7)