1865       

2nd. January Monday
Mr. Richard Buxton died January 2. He was born at Prestwich, January 15, 1786, and was one of the most remarkable of the local self-taught botanists. He wrote a Guide to Flowering Plants near Manchester, 1849, of which a second edition appeared in 1859. Prefixed to it is an autobiographical sketch of great interest.(7)

1st. February Wednesday
A great Reform meeting was held in the Free Trade Hall, February 1. Mr. George Wilson presided.(7)

4th. February Saturday
Three thousand pounds worth of jewellery was stolen from Mr. Howard's shop in Market Street, February 4.(7)

13th. February Monday
Mr. John Cheetham was elected M.P. for Salford, February 13, in place of Mr. Massey, who had resigned. Mr. Massey was born in 1809, and first entered Parliament in 1852 as M.P. for Newport, Isle of Wight. After resigning his seat for Salford, he went to India as Finance Minister, but returned in 1868, and in 1872 became M.P. for Tiverton, a borough which he represented until his death, which occurred in London, October 25, 1881. He wrote a History of England during the Reign of George III, 4 vols., London, 1855-63.(7)

20th. February Monday
The Art Workmen's Exhibition was opened at the Royal Institution, February 20. Lord Houghton gave an address.(7)

2nd. April Sunday
Mr. John Cassell died at London, April 2. He was born at Manchester, January 23, 1817. He was one of the pioneers of temperance, as well as the founder of one of the greatest publishing firms in the United Kingdom. His early circumstances were so humble that his parents were too poor to give him anything beyond the most rudimentary school education, but, like many other Manchester worthies, he triumphed over circumstances. As a carpenter's apprentice, he saw much of the evil effects of drinking among his fellow-work- men; and after hearing one of the Preston advocates of temperance, Mr. Thomas Swindlehurst, he signed the pledge, which proved a stepping-stone to fame and fortune. Shortly afterwards, in 1835, Mr. Joseph Livesey visited Manchester, and, in his Autobiography, thus describes John Cassell: "I remember him well, when lecturing in Mr. Beardsall's Chapel, Oak Street, standing on the right just below, or on the steps, of the platform, in his working attire, with a fustian jacket and a white apron on. He was then an apprentice, and, without serving his time, he left Manchester, a raw, uncultivated youth." He left it in search of work, and eventually found his way to London. Here his earnestness as a speaker on the temperance platform secured him an engagement. He travelled for a number of years, chiefly through the southern counties, and was known as "the Manchester carpenter." Among his converts were the Rev. Charles Garrett and Mr. T. H. Barker, secretary of the United Kingdom Alliance. At the time Mr. Garrett heard him (1840) he is described as "long, thin, and cadaverous," but he appears to have been a most effective lecturer. His connection with the temperance movement laid the foundation for the establishment of an extensive business in tea and coffee; and the immense packet tea trade owes its first development to John Cassell. This business proving unprofitable, he confined his attention to the issue of cheap literature. He was introduced by Lord Brougham to the members of the Social Science Congress, at Bradford, "as one whose services to the cause of popular education entitled him to a place in the front rank of English philanthropists." John Cassell had an ambition to represent the people's cause in Parliament, but his mind was so burdened with the cares of his gigantic business that he had never had time for work other than temperance. In addition to his public advocacy, he published periodicals for the promotion of temperance. No biography of Mr. Cassell has yet appeared.(7)

2nd. April Sunday
Mr. Richard Cobden died April 2. He was born at Dunford, Midhurst, in 1804, but having entered a commercial career became a Manchester manufacturer. He took an active share in local work, and was appointed alderman on the formation of the Corporation. His chief mission was the repeal of the Corn Laws and the establishment of the principles of Free Trade. He was the central figure of the Anti-Corn Law League, and his speeches had greater effect than those of any one else, as Sir Robert Peel acknowledged, in convincing that statesman and the nation of the necessity of the change. Mr. Cobden was in Parliament from 1841 to 1857, when, like many other Liberals, he was defeated. He was, however, elected for Rochdale in 1859, and, after declining a seat in the Cabinet offered him by Lord Palmerston, he negotiated the commercial treaty with France in 1860. His Political Writings have been collected. There is an excellent Life of Cobden, by John Morley, and various other biographical sketches have appeared of the great apostle of Free Trade. After the repeal of the Corn Laws, a national testimonial amounting to over 60,000 was presented to Cobden.(7)

4th. April Tuesday
The Princess Imperial of Brazil and her husband visited Manchester, April 4.(7)

18th. April Tuesday
A meeting was held in the Town Hall, April 18, for the purpose of founding a Cobden memorial.(7)

1st. May Monday
The Cathedral was broken into and the mace and contents of three poor boxes stolen, May 1.(7)

4th. May Thursday
The fall of the Gaythorn Mill caused the death of three men, May 4.(7)

15th. May Monday
A National Reform Conference was held in the Free Trade Hall, May 15, Mr. George Wilson in the chair.(7)

5th. June Monday
The annual procession of the scholars of the Church of England Sunday Schools was held June 5. The scholars numbered 12,071.(7)

19th. June Monday
28 Victoria cap 90 Act for enabling the mayor aldermen and citizens of the city of Manchester to construct new streets, enlarge markets, improve the channel of the river Medlock, and to effect further improvements in the said city, and for other purposes. June 19.(7)

29th. June Thursday
28 and 29 Victoria cap. 145. Act for enabling the mayor, aldermen, and citizens of the city of Manchester to construct new works in connection with their waterworks, and for other purposes. June 29.(7)

12th. July Wednesday
Mr. John Cheetham was re-elected M.P. for Salford, without opposition, July 12.(7)

13th. July Thursday
At the general election, July 13, Mr. Bazley and Mr. Jacob Bright were the accepted Liberal candidates, but Mr. Edward James, Q.C., appeared as an independent Liberal and Mr. Abel Heywood as an advanced Liberal. Mr. Bazley and Mr. James were elected. At the close of the poll the figures stood as follows: Bazley, 7,909; James, 6,698; Bright, 5,562; Heywood, 4,242.(7)

18th. July Tuesday
The shop of Mr. McFerran, jeweller, was broken into July 18, and valuables to the amount of 13,000 stolen.(7)

July
Rev. William Birley, M.A., died at Salford, July. He was born February 16, 1813, and was curate of Singleton, and afterwards incumbent of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, and rector of St. Stephen's, Salford. He wrote a Letter on Manchester and Salford Education Bill, 1851.(7)

5th. August Saturday
St. Luke's Church, Weaste, was consecrated by Bishop Lee, August 5. Mr. G. G. Scott was the architect, and the cost of erection was 6,500.(7)

11th. August Friday
Sir Benjamin Heywood, Bart., F.R.S., died August 11, aged 71. He was the founder of the Manchester Mechanics' Institution. In 1831 he was elected M.P. for the county of Lancaster, and was created a baronet in 1838. There is a portrait of him, by William Bradley, in the Mechanics' Institution, (Baker's Memorials, p. 115.)(7)

8th. October Sunday
The Rev. Hugh Stowell, M.A., rector of Christ Church, Salford, and Canon of Manchester, died October 8, in the 68th year of his age. Mr. Stowell was born in 1799, at the Parsonage, Douglas, Isle of Man. He married, in 1828, the eldest daughter of Mr. Richard Ashworth, barrister, of Pendleton, by whom he had a family of three sons and six daughters. He was one of the most prominent leaders of the Evangelical party in England. He was the author of Pleasures of Religion, and other Poems, 1832, and various sermons and pamphlets. There is a Life of Stowell by J. B. Marsden. He is buried at Christ Church, Salford.(7)

10th. October Tuesday
Sir Sydney Cotton presented new colours to the regiment of the Scots Greys, stationed at Hulme Barracks, October 10.(7)

27th. October Friday
The Queen of the Sandwich Islands visited Manchester, October 27.(7)

8th. November Wednesday
The Manchester Committee for the Shakspere Tercentenary founded a scholarship of 40 in the Owens College, and two scholarships of 20 in the Free Grammar School, November 8.(7)

13th. November Monday
Mrs. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell died November 13. Her maiden name was Stevenson. She became the wife of the Rev. William Gaskell, M.A., the minister of Cross Street Chapel. In 1848, by the publishing of Mary Barton, she acquired a sure place as a writer of English fiction. Her other writings include North and South, Cranford, Lirzie Leigh, and Wives and Daughters. She also wrote the Life of Charlotte Bronte and some statements in the first edition led to its withdrawal amid considerable controversy. Mrs. Gaskell's home in Manchester was visited by numerous celebrities; and she gave her aid and influence to many good works. She is buried at Knutsford Presbyterian Chapel.(7)

25th. November Saturday
Mr. Felix John Vaughan Seddon died at Moorshedabad, November 25. He was born at Pendleton in 1798, and became professor of Oriental languages at King's College, London. He was the author of An Address on the Languages and Literature of Asia, 1835, and various Oriental works. (Manchester School Register, vol. ii., p. 244.)(7)

4th. December Monday
The final meeting of the Council of the Cotton Relief Fund was held December 4, under the presidency of the Earl of Derby, who not only subscribed 5,000 but gave his valuable time and influence to the work of the Relief Fund. The black days of the cotton famine will not readily be forgotten, though less of the distress was visible in Manchester than in the smaller towns. The war of the secession made it evident that the supply of the raw material for the staple industry of Lancashire would be precarious, but few anticipated the long continuance of the struggle, and the consequent sufferings of the unemployed. When Mr. Thomas Goadsby, as Mayor of Manchester, convened a meeting in the Town Hall, April 29, 1862, the situation was so little understood that it was decided not to take any action. Another meeting was called within a month, and adjourned for a week. In the interval a committee was formed with Mr. John William Maclure as its honorary secretary. Ten Manchester gentlemen gave 100 each, and the Rev. E. Walker, then incumbent of Cheltenham, but formerly of St. Jude's, Manchester, had collected 384, in his church, for relief purposes. On July 19, 1862, a meeting was held at Bridgewater House, London, of noblemen and members of Parliament connected with Lancashire, and a committee formed, which eventually collected 52,000. The Manchester Executive was enlarged, and the Bridgewater House committee and also the Liverpool committee sent their funds to it. The meetings of the general committee were now little more than formal, but at one of them, November 3, 1862, Mr Richard Cobden, M. P., spoke, and with a prophetic instinct urged the executive to bolder action, declaring that whilst the subscriptions had then only reached 80,000, a million would be needed to carry the operatives through the crisis. He therefore urged that an active canvass for subscriptions should be undertaken. This advice was adopted at a later date. The county meeting was summoned by the Earl of Sefton for December 2, and was a great and influential gathering. About 70,000 were promised at this meeting. In order to obviate difficulties as to "labour test," Mr. Thomas Evans-one of a workmen's deputation to the Manchester Guardians - suggested an education test, and this led ultimately to the establishment of the adult elementary schools throughout the district. In these schools might be three generations of the same family engaged in a common attempt to master the difficulties of the alphabet. To these were added sewing schools for the girls. The report of the Executive Committee, adopted at the final meeting, contained the following paragraph: "At the meeting of the general committee in March last, a hope was expressed that it might be possible, during the summer months, entirely to discontinue the distribution of relief through the local committees. This anticipation, the central executive committee is happy to state, has been fully realised, and since June 19 last no grants have been made to any district. Your committee trusts that it will not be necessary to resume the distribution of relief; but in the still exceptional state of the cotton trade, it is thought more prudent to defer the consideration of the disposal of the balance remaining in the treasurer's hands. It is with no little satisfaction that your committee contemplates the extraordinary crisis which has been passed through since 1862. There has actually been a diminution of crime under circumstances when, from compulsory idleness and poverty, an increase might have been expected. Notwithstanding the gloomy forebodings of those who, in the early part of the distress, expressed their opinion that the distribution of relief through exceptional channels would tend to a permanent increase of pauperism in the district, returns from twenty-eight unions prove that the pauperism of the cotton district has been reduced to the ordinary level. As the last week in November, 1862, was the time when almost the largest number of persons were in receipt of relief, returns have been obtained from the guardians for the corresponding week in November, 1865; and the following figures show the numbers relieved by them at that time in 1861 and 1865, and by the guardians and relief committees in 1862, 1863, and 1864:

1861 1862 1863 1864 1865
Ashton-under-Lyne 1,827 56,363 23,568 20,638 1,417
Barton-on-Irwell 663 3,910 1,230 1,220 896
Blackburn 4,110 38,104 9,457 10,012 4,083
Bolton 3,200 19,525 8,013 6,543 3,166
Burnley 1,503 17,502 13,046 16,948 1,557
Bury 1,782 29,926 10,048 15,113 2,932
Chorley 1,350 7,527 3,409 2,471 1,155
Chorlton 2,042 15,367 9,984 5,694 3,993
Clitheroe 624 1,379 976 1,138 547
Fylde (The) 633 1,282 1,086 771 699
Garstang 567 1,026 696 807 458
Glossop 221 7,605 6,752 3,263 195
Haslingden 946 17,346 3,340 7,108 1,243
Lancaster 903 1,129 1,025 901 789
Leigh 636 2,722 1,091 901 806
Macclesfield 2,158 5,609 2,775 2,429 2,310
Manchester 4,678 52,477 13,818 9,035 5,046
Oldham 1,622 28,851 8,371 9,164 1,892
Preston 4,805 49,171 17,489 13,226 2,377
Prestwich 601 4,794 1,958 1,078 593
Rochdale 2,060 24,961 8,132 6,243 1,789
Saddleworth 237 2,414 1,287 988 261
Salford 2,507 16,663 5,600 3,600 2,265
Skipton 1,902 2,635 1,856 2,030 1,354
Stockport 1,674 34,612 10,661 8,593 1,189
Todmorden 795 7,590 1,689 2,696 668
Warrington 1,131 1,992 1,416 1,458 1,220
Wigan 2,360 14,959 11,527 5,855 3,538
Total 47,537 458,441 170,268 149,923 48,267

Your committee cannot refrain from expressing at this opportunity its highest sense of the credit due to the local committees for the result it is now able to record; the self-denial, energy, and judgment which these bodies have brought to bear upon their labours cannot be over-estimated." The next table shows the progress of the work of relief.

Numbers Out of Work, Numbers Relieved, and Proportions of Persons Relieved to those entirely Out of Work.

1862 Out of Work Relieved
June 129,774
July 153,774
August 216,437
September 277,198
October 371,496
November 244,616 458,441 185 per cent.
December 247,230 485,434 196 per cent.
1863
January 228,992 451,343 197 per cent.
February 239,751 432,477 180 per cent.
March 240,466 420,243 174 per cent.
April 215,522 362,076 168 per cent.
May 191,199 289,975 151 per cent.
June 168,038 255,578 152 per cent.
July 178,205 213,444 129 per cent.
August 171,535 204,653 119 per cent.
September 160,835 184,136 114 per cent.
October 154,219 167,678 108 per cent.
November 159,117 170,268 107 per cent.
December 149,038 180,298 120 per cent.
1864
January 158,653 202,785 127 per cent.
February 153,864 203,168 132 per cent.
March 148,920 180,027 120 per cent.
April 124,828 147,280 117 per cent.
May 116,550 116,088 99 per cent.
June 105,161 100,671 95 per cent.
July 101,568 85,910 84 per cent.
August 102,090 83,063 81 per cent.
September 135,821 92,379 68 per cent.
October 171,568 136,268 78 per cent.
November 153,295 149,923 97 per cent.
December 126,977 130,397 102 per cent.
1865
January 114,488 119,544 104 per cent.
February 115,727 125,885 108 per cent.
March 113,794 111,008 97 per cent.
April 104,571 95,763 91 per cent.
May 86,001 75,784 88 per cent.

 

The following excellent summary is quoted from Dr. Watts: "The books of the Central Executive show thirty-nine thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight separate entries of subscriptions up to the end of December, 1864, conveyed in eighty-six thousand seven hundred and sixty-four letters, which letters, in December 1862, and January 1863, came to hand at the rate of eight hundred per day. The letters despatched up to the end of December, 1864, were one hundred and fifty-five thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, besides five hundred and eighty-two printed documents, which numbered one hundred and sixty-five thousand seven hundred and twenty-four copies. The total sum dealt with in the balance sheet of December 31, 1864, is 931,398 1s., of which amount 13,510 7s. is set forth as "promised but not collectable." In some instances the donors have themselves, after partial payment, fallen victims to the crisis; in others, payment is probably refused upon the plea that money is not needed; and we hope that the men whose conscience will allow them to enjoy the reputation of having given, whilst the money is still in their own purses, are very few indeed. The total sum distributed in relief by the central executive through the various committees was 841,809. To this the Mansion House committee added 419,692, besides sending 53,531 to committees in Ashton-under-Lyne district, which were not recognised by the central executive; and the various committees themselves made local collections amounting to 297,008, and received direct from other sources 49,650. To the amount of local subscriptions is to be added about 80,000 collected in Manchester, and paid direct by the collecting committee into the funds of the general committee. Thus the total sum of money distributed by committees was 1,661,679, in addition to which there passed, in food and clothing, through the hands of the central executive, sixteen thousand five hundred barrels of flour, nine hundred and ninety-seven barrels of beef, bacon, &c., five hundred barrels of biscuits, four hundred and ten cases of fish, two hundred and twenty-eight sacks of potatoes, carrots, turnips, &c., two hundred and twenty-five deer, with many hundreds of pheasants, hares, rabbits, &c., twenty eight chests of tea, two and a half pipes and one hundred and eight dozen of wine, eleven thousand five hundred and nineteen tons of coal, and eight hundred and ninety-three bales of clothing, blankets, and clothing materials. The whole of these contributions in kind were valued at 111,968, making the total amount of public subscriptions 1,773,647. Large contributions of clothing and materials for clothing passed also through the Mansion House committee, but of the value of these no accurate estimate seems to have been made. The balance sheet of the central executive to December 31, 1864, shows the receipt of twenty-five thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine separate individual donations, amounting to 242,865 12s. 8d.; collections at three thousand and ninety-three churches and chapels, 53,265 6s. 9d.; collections from five thousand four hundred and three parishes, 65,517 8s. 2d.; collections amongst the workpeople of one thousand four hundred and eighty-four firms, 15,715 0s. 4d. Collecting committees were organised in one thousand two hundred and forty-one places in connection with the central committee in Manchester, exclusive of the committees in connection with the Mansion House fund; and the exertions of those who remitted to Manchester resulted in the sum of 497,782 15s. 1d. So that, deducting from the individual donations the above-named 80,000 paid in by the Manchester collecting committee, we find that about three-fifths of the fund resulted from regular organisation and sustained effort, one-sixth from spontaneous individual benevolence, one-seventh from collections in places of worship, and about one-sixtieth from the working people employed by various firms. Looking to the localities from which the subscriptions came, we find every quarter of the globe represented, illustrating at once the immense field covered by the Anglo-Saxon race, and how impossible it is for either space or time to separate man from home sympathies or home interests." Much fear and some anger was expressed by the newspapers from time to time that Lancashire was not doing its duty. The returns of the honorary secretary, compared with the balance sheet, show that the collections by local committees, including the Manchester collecting committee, were equal to forty-one per cent of the whole central fund, and to twenty-four per cent of the total sum, including the amount distributed by the Mansion House committee. The reader will form his own conclusions as to whether a district containing about ten per cent of the population of England and Wales, whilst suffering under such a paralysis as the cotton famine, which destroyed one-half of its principal industry and inflicted a large extra burden of poor-rates, did its duty by finding twenty-four per cent of the relief fund, in addition to the immense amount which is known to have been distributed in private charity, but which cannot be reduced into statistical shape. During the continuance of the cotton famine the death rate actually decreased. The good conduct of the operatives was the theme of general praise, and was only broken by the riots at Stalybridge, due largely to injudicious treatment of a local committee. This outbreak, on March 19, was not quelled until the arrival of a company of Hussars from Manchester. The disturbances were renewed on March 21 and spread to Ashton, where it was promptly suppressed by the authorities. The Public Works Act was passed in 1862, and about 1,000,000 was expended under it in the cotton district. At the final meeting of the general committee thanks were voted to Lord Derby, the president, to Sir J. P. Kay-Shuttleworth, and to Mr. J. W. Maclure, the honorary secretary of the fund; and it was decided to present a handsome testimonial to Mr. Maclure. The principal sources of information respecting the distress in Lancashire are The Facts of the Cotton Famine, by Dr. John Watts, 1866; Home Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk in the Cotton Famine, by Edwin Waugh, 1867; History of the Cotton Famine, by Arthur Arnold, 1864; and the official publications of the Relief Fund.(7)

1865
St. Mark's Church, Gorton, was built.(7)