1874       

5th. January Monday
Mr. John Griffiths died January 5. He was born October 11, 1797, and was a hatter, in Deansgate. For nearly fifty years he was a superintendent of the Roby Sunday Schools. There is a memorial tablet in the Roby Chapel.(7)

19th. January Monday
Mr. James Whittle died at Douglas, Isle of Man, January 19. He was editor of the Manchester and Salford Advertiser, from 1830 to 1832; and author of an Address on the State of the Cotton Trade, Manchester, 1829; and other pamphlets.(7)

5th. February Thursday
The Parliamentary election for the city of Manchester and borough of Salford took place February 5. Messrs. Hugh Birley, W. R. Callender, and Sir Thomas Bazley were returned for Manchester, and Messrs. C. E. Cawley and W. T. Charley were returned for Salford. The numbers at the close of the poll were—Manchester: Mr. Birley 19,984, Mr. Callender 19,649, Sir Thomas Bazley 19,325, Mr. Jacob Bright 18,727. Salford: Mr. Cawley 7,003, Mr. Charley 6,987, Mr. Lee 6,827, Mr. Kay 6,709. The two gentlemen taking precedence in both boroughs represented the Conservative interest.(7)

6th. May Wednesday
A Synagogue for Spanish and Portuguese Jews, York Street, Cheetham, was consecrated May 6, by the chief Rabbi, the Rev. Dr. Artom, of London. The Mayor of Manchester and Sir Joseph Heron, town clerk, were among the strangers present on the occasion.(7)

13th. May Wednesday
The Rev. William Huntington, MA., rector of St. John’s Church, Deansgate, died May 13, aged 77 years. Mr. Huntington was born in Hull in 1797, and was one of the few remaining representatives of a family which had settled in Yorkshire several centuries ago, and whose ancestors had filled the honourable offices of mayors and sheriffs of their native town in the reigns of Henry VII. and Edward VI. He was appointed curate of St. John’s by the first rector, the Rev. John Clowes, in 1828. At his death, in 1831, Miss Byrom, the daughter of the founder of the church, presented him to the rectory; and these two clergymen have, between them, occupied the office of rector of St. John’s for 105 years. (Literary Club Papers, vol. v., p. 123.)(7)

15th. May Friday
Rev. Charles Richson, M.A., died at his residence Shakspere Street, Ardwick, May 15. He was born at Highgate, Middlesex, 1806, and was Rector of St. Andrew’s, Manchester, from 1844 till his death, and also senior Canon of the Cathedral. Canon Richson was author of pamphlets on educational, sanitary, and theological subjects, and of lesson books in drawing, writing, etc.(7)

20th. May Wednesday
St. James’s Church, Collyhurst, was consecrated by Bishop Fraser, May 20. This church is built on the site of Collyhurst Old Hall. The church is built in the Early English style of architecture, from plans by Mr. J. Lowe, of St. Ann’s Square. The tower and spire, at the north-west angle, have a total height of 168 feet, and above the belfry, visible from a considerable distance, is an illuminated clock, with four dials. The church affords accommodation for upwards of 800 worshippers, more than half of which is unappropriated. The land, church, and other buildings, were the gift of Mr. Charles P. Stewart, of the Atlas Works, Manchester, and cost £27,000.(7)

21st. May Thursday
The Manchester Aquarium, in Alexandra Road, Moss Side, opened May 21.
(7)

25th. May Monday
The number of children taking part in the annual procession of Church of England Sunday schools, May 25, was 14,519.(7)

4th. June Thursday
An accident occurred on the premises of Messrs. Wren and Hopkinson, millwrights and machinists, Temple Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, June 4. A travelling crane fell, killing one man and seriously injuring several others.(7)

11th. June Thursday
The foundation stone of the first Board School, Vine Street, Hulme, laid June 11, by Mr. Herbert Birley, chairman of the Manchester School Board.(7)

18th. June Thursday
A fire broke out at the carriage manufactory of Messrs. Cockshoot and Company, New Bridge Street, June 18. Owing to the inflammable nature of the materials used in the paint-room, the premises were soon reduced to a heap of ruins. The damage was estimated at between £30,000 and £35,000.(7)

20th. June Saturday
There was a great procession and demonstration of trade unionists at Pomona Gardens, June 20. This demonstration of unionism and co-operation was to express sympathy for, and extend practical assistance to, the “locked­ out” agricultural labourers of the south-eastern districts. About 15,000 took part in the procession, which was accompanied by bands of music and banners, and presented a gay and imposing appearance. After parading the principal streets of the city, a meeting on a gigantic scale was held in the Pomona Gardens, the numbers present being estimated at between 50,000 and 60,000. Six platforms were erected, and addresses delivered in advocacy of the prin­ciples of trade unionism by the members of the various branches of industry represented.
(7)

24th. June Wednesday
A violent thunderstorm, accompanied by an unusually heavy downpour of rain, broke over Manchester, June 24. During the height of the storm, which was about half-past eleven o’clock, the steeple of Christ Church, Salford, was struck by the lightning, and although not demolished, necessitated an entire restoration. The large chimney at the machine works of Messrs. Evan Leigh, Son, and Company, Miles Platting, was also struck by lightning. The chimney rises to a height of about 70 yards, and is surmounted by a coping of terracotta 40 feet in circumference. The lightning struck the coping of the chimney, and after breaking about half of it off, entered the chimney and escaped by making a breach about 12 yards from the top. This breach was about 12 yards long and four wide in the broadest part. The broken coping and bricks were hurled with great force in all directions, and some of them were afterwards found on the railway at a distance of 60 yards from the base of the chimney. A large portion of the roof was smashed in, and three men were injured by the falling slates and bricks.
(7)

29th. June Monday
St. Alban’s Church, Cheetwood, was consecrated by the Bishop of Manchester, June 29. This church was erected in 1864, at a cost of £7,000.(7)

1st. July Wednesday
Mr. W. E. Hodgkinson, councillor for St. Ann’s Ward, attended the meeting of the City Council on the Wednesday as usual, but on returning to his office he was seized with an apoplectic fit, and died next day. July 1.
(7)

19th. July Sunday
The Manchester Aquarium was opened on July 19 for the first time on Sunday. More than 800 visitors passed through the turnstiles, being the largest number of admissions on any day (Whitsun-week excepted) since the Aquarium had been open to the public.(7)

20th. July Monday
A Parliamentary return, issued July 20, showed that during the three years ending March 31st the number of forms and documents sent from Manchester to London for the purpose of being stamped was 6,521,900, as against 2,507,454 from Liverpool.(7)

23rd. July Thursday
At a meeting of the committee of the Hospital Sunday and Saturday Fund, on July 23, it was resolved to distribute £7,800 among the different charities.(7)

26th. July Sunday
Fifteen hundred people visited the Aquarium on Sunday, July 26, being 700 more than on the previous Sunday.
(7)

29th. July Wednesday
A private meeting, summoned by the Bishop, Dean, and Canons of Manchester, was held on July 29, to consider the advisability of providing a new Cathedral. Several objections were raised to any interference with the present Cathedral, it being the old Parish Church of Manchester; but ultimately a resolution was passed to the effect that it was desirable to erect a Cathedral for the diocese on a new site. Another resolution authorised the Bishop to appoint a committee in order to ascertain the feeling of the diocese, and to devise the best means for giving effect to the first resolution, the whole question as to design and site being left open. The Bishop appointed all the gentlemen present as a committee, with power to add to their number.(7)

July
During July a scheme was completed for the establishment of provident dispensaries, and it was decided to establish about six in different localities, preference being given to those which were furthest removed from the existing medical institutions. It was calculated that the alteration of premises, provision of appliances, and loss for first few years would cost about £150, and an appeal was therefore made for £500 and a guarantee fund of £1,000 for three years. Each member was to pay one penny per week during health and sickness, and twopence per family was to be the highest charge for any children under thirteen years of age.(7)

1st. August Saturday
Mr. Richard Hope, councillor for St. Luke’s Ward, died, August 1, after a protracted illness, aged 62. Entering the Council in March, 1866, as representative of Ardwick Ward, he held that position for three years, when he was successfully opposed on the ground of non-residence. In 1872, however, a vacancy occurred in St. Luke’s Ward, to fill which Mr. Hope was elected by a substantial majority, although he was absent on account of ill health. For some time also he was Poor Law Guardian, and subsequently Overseer for the township of Chorlton-on-Medlock.
(7)

3rd. August Monday
The Manchester and Salford Regatta was revived on August 3, 4, and 5.(7)

18th. August Tuesday
Sir William Fairbairn died, August 18, at Farnham, in Surrey. He was born February 19, 1789, at Kelso, and was apprenticed as a mechanical engineer at Percy Main Colliery. He was a hard student, and made the most of somewhat scanty opportunities. In 1813 be came to Manchester, and in 1816 married on an income of 30s. a week, and in 1817 began business on his own account. His success was very great, and the works in Ancoats and Millwall acquired a world-wide fame. His scientific labours were not unrecognised. The Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge gave him the degree of LL.D., and the Institute elected him a corresponding member. He had the Cross of the Legion of Honour from the French Emperor, and after declining a knighthood in 1861 he was made a baronet in 1869. His residence, the Polygon, Ardwick, during the last fifteen years of his life, was visited by many distinguished guests; amongst them were the Chevalier Bunsen, Sir David Brewster, Lord Rosse, Lord Brougham, Lord Granville, Lord Houghton, Lord Shaftesbury, the Earl of Derby, Sir E. Sabine, Mrs. Gaskell, &c. Fairbairn’s chief works are Useful information to Engineers, 1856-66; Iron, its History, &c., 1861; Mills and Millwork, 1863. He was buried at Prestwich Church, and the public funeral was attended by some 50,000 people. There is a statue of him in the Manchester Town Hall. Full details of his career are given in the Life of Sir William Fairbairn, by William Pole, F.R.S., London, 1877. Smith’s Centenary, p. 257, and Baker’s Memorials, p. 131, should also be consulted.(7)

25th. August Tuesday
A shocking murder and suicide was committed at the Prince’s Club, Chapel Walks, Manchester, August 25. The murderer was Mr. Herbert Barge, who deliberately, and without any apparent cause, shot Mr. Alexander Maclean with a revolver. He then put the weapon to his own head and shot himself. Both gentlemen were well known in commercial circles, and highly respected. Mr. Barge is supposed to have committed the deed during an access of insanity.(7)

26th. August Wednesday
£40,000 damage was estimated to have been caused by a fire in a timber yard in Trafford Street, Gaythorn, August 26.(7)

August
“The Roll Call,” by Miss Thompson, was exhibited in Manchester towards the end of August. A peculiar local interest attached to this picture on account of its being originally a commission from Mr. C. J. Galloway, of Manchester. Owing to the manner in which this picture was praised at the Royal Academy dinner by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, it attracted much public attention. Indeed, the Prince was anxious to purchase it of Mr. Galloway, who was, however, so well pleased with his bargain that he declined, but when the Queen expressed a wish to become the owner he could not help retiring in accordance with the etiquette in such matters. Mr. Galloway accordingly replaced the picture in Miss Thompson’s hands, and she let Her Majesty have it, at the same time agreeing that Mr. Galloway should have her next Academy picture.
(7)

2nd. September Wednesday
The Baptist Theological College, in Brighton Grove, Rusholme, was opened on September 2, the Rev. H. R. Dowson, principal of the institution, in the chair. The first attempt at founding this college was made at Chester, but when the proprietor found that they were Nonconformists and Baptists he refused to let them occupy the building. Chamber Hall, Bury, being available, a start was made there in October, 1866, with five students. The place falling into decay, however, they contemplated the plan of erecting a building better suited for the purpose. In migrating to Manchester they had the advantages of being near one of the most important cities of England, whilst being in the country; and an especial advantage was the convenient distance from the Owens College.(7)

13th. September Sunday
The foundation stone of a new church in Victoria Park was laid by Sir W. R. Anson, Bart., September 13. The building is in the Early English style of architecture, from designs of Mr. Redmayne, of Manchester. The church is dedicated to St. Chrysostom, and the cost estimated at £12,000.(7)

14th. September Monday
Mr. J. Ogden Fletcher, M.D., surgeon at the Manchester City Gaol, died on September 14. Prior to his appointment to the gaol, where he had been for about eight years, he was surgeon to the police force for sixteen years. Dr. Fletcher was author of several works, had been president of the Manchester Medical Society, and was formerly lecturer at the Chatham Street School of Medicine. He was also physician to the M. S. & L. Railway Co., and had an extensive private practice. He was in comparatively good health in the afternoon and evening, but was taken ill somewhat suddenly about 9 p.m., and expired before a medical man could arrive.
(7)

17th. September Thursday
Mr. R. J. Lowes, of Hulme, died September 17, aged 56. A native of Carlisle, and son of the eminent engraver, his business career began in the office of the Carlisle Journal, but coming to Manchester to extend his experience, he met with such encouragement that he stayed here. First in the employment of Messrs. Thomson, bookseller, then on the staff of the Manchester Times, he ultimately settled in a Manchester export house. He was one of the earliest founders of the Salford Lyceum, afterwards the Salford Mechanics’ Institution. It is said that to him mainly is the Saturday half holiday owing, and certainly his efforts for it were strenuous. As soon as his pecuniary circumstances would permit, he commenced the publication of the Manchester Argus, and a periodical called the Lancashire Witches, but unfortunately these ventures proved failures, and he was compelled to return to commerce. In 1868 Mr. Lowes was appointed hon. secretary to the committee for celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Saturday half-holiday, which closed its labours by handing a cheque for £4,000 to the Treasurer of the Manchester Warehousemen and Clerks’ Orphan School, thus freeing that institution of debt. Mr. Lowes was an earnest Liberal, and took an active part in the great Anti-Corn-Law League Bazaar, held in the old Theatre Royal, Fountain Street.(7)

19th. September Saturday
A railway collision took place between Victoria and Salford Stations on September 19. It occurred through a passenger train running into a goods train which was stationary (the signal being against it), and although no one was killed seven passengers and the guard were severely injured.
(7)

19th. September Saturday
The first annual meeting of the recently-enlarged Manchester and District Union of Elementary Teachers was held on September 19, in Lower Mosley Street Schools.(7)

22nd. September Tuesday
Mr. Charles Swain died at his residence, in Prestwich Park, September 22, aged 71 years. He was born at Manchester, January 4, 1803. His father was a native of Knutsford, and his mother of Amsterdam. He received his education from the Rev. William Johns, who conducted an academy of considerable repute in George Street. Mr. Swain left school at the age of fifteen, after receiving a very liberal education, and was placed in the dyeworks of Mr. Tavare, a maternal uncle, who was in partnership with Mr. Horrocks; and although the work must have been most disagreeable to him he continued at it for fourteen years. He subsequently commenced business as a bookseller, but after the lapse of two years he abandoned that trade for engraving, which from that time to his death he pursued with assiduity and success, interrupted only, as regards his personal attendance to it, by the decline of his health in old age. The business which he had so long possessed on his own account was originally a branch of that of Messrs. Lockett and Co., from whom he bought it, after having been for a time a member of their firm. Mr. Swain’s first contribution appeared in the pages of the Manchester Iris, on April 15, 1822, and was entitled To Thalia. In 1825 he contributed a poem—The Escaped Convict—to the Literary Gazette, and subsequently his name was attached to many pieces which appeared in the Monthly Magazine and other periodicals; and in 1827 he published a collection of his contributions under the title of Metrical Essays on Subjects of History and Imagination, which went through two editions In a short time. In 1830 he issued his Beauties of the Mind, which met with considerable success, and which, in 1832, he published in a revised and enlarged form, under the title of The Mind, and other Poems. In the same year he produced Dryburgh Abbey, in which he paid a graceful tribute to the memory of Sir Walter Scott, whose death had just occurred. In the following year Mr. Swain wrote a short and graceful prose memoir of his intimate friend Henry Liverseege, the artist, whose early death was so much lamented. Swain’s later works were Dramatic Chapters, which came out in 1847; English Melodies, in 1849; The Letters of Laura d’Auverne, and other Poems, in 1853; and Art and Fashion, in 1863. This last included poetical sketches of painters. All this time Swain’s poems had been contributed separately to the Annuals and other periodicals, with one of which—Jerdan’s Literary Gazette—he was thus connected for thirty years. His reputation will rest chiefly upon his lyrical pieces. Amongst those which have been favourites, when set to music, are The Betrothed, Past the Hour, Near Thee, and Passing thy Door. There was an unobtrusive though evident tone of religious feeling in his verses, which gave such beautiful little pieces as The Heart’s Music an additional claim to appreciation. His poem of The Mind was dedicated to Southey, the poet-laureate. Swain made his acquaintance about this time, when Southey was in Manchester visiting the Rev. James White (a brother of Kirke White), then at St. George’s, Oldham Road. Southey’s reported exclamation of delight at the poem has often been quoted: “If ever man was born to be a poet, Swain was; and if Manchester is not yet proud of him she will be.” An American edition of his poems was one proof of their popularity in the New World. Hawthorne, when invited to a public entertainment given to Mr. Swain, wrote in a letter of apology, that, among his countrymen, many of Swain’s songs were “household words.” Mr. Swain, some years ago, delivered a series of able lectures on poetry, at the Royal Institution and at the Manchester Athenæum. His style of speaking was very chaste and elegant, and he possessed much genial humour. He was married in 1827, and four daughters survived him. He is buried at Prestwich Church.(7)

23rd. September Wednesday
In accordance with a memorial to the Secretary of State praying that the churchyard of St. John’s, Deansgate, might be closed and disused as a place of sepulture, an inquiry was held on September 23rd by Dr. Philip Holland, Government Inspector. Evidence was given to show that the statements in the memorial as to the burial-ground being full of bodies, and as to offensive smells, etc., were wrong, and that the burials were fast decreasing, having fallen from 200 three years before to 70 during 1873. The inspector said he should make his report in due course, but he did not think a new order would be made so long as the present one was obeyed, and the burials brought to a close as soon as possible.(7)

28th. September Monday
There was a great revival of the second part of Shakspere’s Henry IV. at the Prince’s Theatre, September 28, Mr. Phelps appearing as both the King and Justice Shallow. This part of Shakspere’s play, which is rarely represented, had not been seen in Manchester for at least 30 years, if ever before.(7)

September
During September the Commissioners of Inland Revenue established a branch stamping office in Manchester for the northern district, great delay and expense, with consequent inconvenience, having been caused by the previously necessary transmission of all documents to and from Somerset House. The building, in fourteenth century English Gothic style, is in a central position in Mount Street.
(7)

October
At the close of October the first of the six projected provident dispensaries was opened at Ardwick Green.(7)

2nd. October Friday
The medical school at the Owens College opened October 2, by Professor T. H. Huxley, F.R.S., who gave the inaugural address and distributed prizes to the students.(7)

7th. October Wednesday
Mr. John Mitchell died in Manchester, October 7. He was born in Montrose in 1803, and was author of Manual of Punctuation, Manchester, 1859. He was for some time librarian of the Ancoats Branch of the Manchester Free Libraries.(7)

23rd. October Friday
Mr. John Bowes died at Dundee, October 23. He was born at Swinside, Coverdale, Yorkshire, June 12, 1804, but passed the greater part of his life in Scotland. He was for a time resident in Manchester and Liverpool, and was for more than fifty years a preacher and chiefly an open-air evangelist. He had discussions with Lloyd Jones on Socialism, with Charles Southwell on Atheism, with G. J. Holyoake on Christianity, with T. H. Milner on Baptism. He wrote a number of books in exposition of his views. His autobiography (Dundee, 1872) contains many references to Manchester.(7)

6th. November Friday
The Owens College Shakespeare Society founded, November 6, the object being the study of Shakespeare and the language and literature of his period, by means of readings, papers, and discussions.(7)

24th. November Tuesday
A conference convened by the British Temperance League of ministers of all denominations was held November 24 and 25. There was an attendance of about 1,000 ministers.(7)

29th. December Tuesday
A destructive fire broke out about two o’clock on Tuesday morning, December 29, at Westhead’s mill, Brook Street. The damage was estimated at from £20,000 to £40,000. (7)

December
Mr. Pierre Boyer, an eminent French engineer, who was born in Manchester in 1794, and served under Stephenson, the two Fairbairns, Rennie, and others, died early in December.(7)

December
Mrs. Trafford Whitehead died at Manchester in December. She was the author of The Grahames of Bessbridge House; Dydborough, 1836; and Poems. (7)

1874
In 1786 there were but four Manchester firms engaged in the shipping trade, but these had risen to 53 in 1825; 123 in 1850; and a total of 430 in 1874.(7)

1874
The proceeds of the sales of real property in Manchester and neighbourhood during the year reached the large sum of £1,171,472, as compared with £904,080 in 1873 and £728,897 in 1872. The highest price per yard obtained during the year was in the case of three shops in the Market Place. Their site was 207 square yards, and the purchase money was £16,600, being at the rate of about £80 4s. per yard. (7)