1877       

18th. January Thursday
Mr. William Shore died at Buxton, January 18, aged 86 years. Mr. Shore was a stock and share broker. He was an accomplished musical composer, and for thirty or forty years was organist of Cross Street Chapel. He was a founder of the Gentleman's Glee Club and of the Manchester Madrigal Society, and was largely concerned in arranging the last Choral Festival held at the Collegiate Church in 1830.(7)

19th. January Friday
A lecture on the Arctic Expedition was delivered by Captain Markham, one of its leading officers, at the Athenĉum, January 19.(7)

29th. January Monday
The English Dialect Society was transferred from Cambridge to Manchester, and the first meeting under the new arrangement was held January 29.(7)

29th. January Monday
The Manchester Junior Conservative Club was opened January 29.(7)

31st. January Wednesday
The last monthly meeting of the City Council was held in the Old Town Hall, King Street, January 31. The public business in the hall commenced in 1825, and the first council was formed in 1838. Only one member of the original council was then alive, and that was Alderman Willert, who had been a member since 1838.(7)

21st. February Wednesday
A town's meeting was held on February 21, at the Town Hall, King Street, for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the desirability of devoting that building to the purposes of a Central Free Reference Library, and a resolution was passed approving of the plan.(7)

1st. March Thursday
Alderman Benjamin Nicholls died at his residence, York House, Oxford Street, on March 1. He was born in 1790, and in 1816 became a cotton manufacturer in Manchester, and in 1833 built the mill Chapel Street, where he conducted an extensive and profitable concern for over forty years. In November, 1845, Mr. Nicholls entered the Town Council as representative for St. Clement's Ward, and in 1855 became alderman for St. George's Ward. In 1853 he was Mayor of Manchester, and in 1855 became a J.P. for the city. He took a great interest in education, and by his will founded the Nicholls Hospital.(7)

27th. March Tuesday
John M'Kenna was executed at the county prison, Manchester, for the murder of his wife, March 27.(7)

March
Owing to the dangerous character of the Free Library building at Campfield, all the books were removed to rooms in the rear of the Old Town Hall during the last few days of March, pending the decision of the City Council as to their ultimate destination.(7)

25th. April Wednesday
At an adjourned meeting of the City Council, on April 25, it was resolved that the Reference Library should be temporarily located in the Old Town Hall, and that the Libraries Committee be requested to inquire after a suitable site in the centre of the city for the erection of a reference library worthy of the city.(7)

30th. April Monday
At a densely-crowded meeting, held at the Free Trade Hall, on April 30, the carpenters and joiners of Manchester, Salford, and neighbourhood resolved to strike in consequence of the employers refusing to grant an advance from 81/2d. to 10d. per hour in wages. The masters had offered 9d. an hour, but refused more. Accordingly, on the following Friday, about 4,500 men ceased work; 1,700 remaining on the books of the union, whilst others found work in neighbouring towns.(7)

10th. May Thursday
The foundation stone of the Knot Mill covered market was laid on May 10, by Councillor John Ashton, chairman of the Markets Committee. It is on the site of the Knot Mill fair ground.(7)

12th. May Saturday
The first annual May conference and public meeting of the Vegetarian Society was held on May 12, at the Roby Schools, under the presidency of Professor F. W. Newman.(7)

12th. May Saturday
The Albert Park, Broughton, containing sixteen acres of land, was opened by the Mayor of Salford on May 12, in the presence of a great concourse of people. A hope was expressed that the third park (at Ordsal) would be opened the following year, and then there would be one hundred acres of park land within the borough. Albert Park had cost about £6,000 for the land, and another £6,000 for laying it out.(7)

17th. May Thursday
The first line of tramways in Manchester and Salford was formally opened on May 17th, when thirteen cars were placed on the line and proceeded from the Woolpack, at Pendleton, to the Grove Inn, Higher Broughton, a distance of two miles and a half. The Tramways Committees of both Corporations occupied the foremost cars.(7)

21st. May Monday
The annual Whitsuntide Flower Show at the Botanical Gardens, Old Trafford, commenced on May 21st, when about 10,000 visitors, or nearly double the number in 1876, entered the gates, and throughout the week there was a large increase on previous years, with the agreeable result that the debt which had long hampered the committee was practically cleared off.(7)

23rd. May Wednesday
Mr. Philip Pearsall Carpenter, Ph.D., died at Montreal, May 23. He was born at Bristol, November 4, 1819, and was educated at Manchester New College. He was Unitarian minister at Stand 1841-46, and at Warrington 1846-58. He then visited America 1858-60, and returning to England was married October 1, 1860, at the German Church in Manchester, in which city, from 1862 to 1865, he gave much time during the cotton famine to teaching the unemployed operatives. In 1865 he settled at Montreal, where he died. The life of this singularly fine character has been told by his brother in the Memoirs of P. P. Carpenter, London, 1880. He was an ardent social reformer, and a man of great scientific ability, especially in the domain of conchology. He was a prolific writer on temperance, hygiene, morals, and science.(7)

23rd. May Wednesday
The first of the cocoa rooms or temperance taverns about to be started in Manchester was opened in Shudehill, May 23.(7)

24th. May Thursday
Mr. William Lloyd Garrison visited Manchester. This was the last visit to England of the great friend of the American slave. He died May 24, 1879.(7)

25th. May Friday
Mr. John Alexander Bremner, F.S.S., died at his residence Hilton House, Prestwich, May 25, 1877. He was educated at the Grammar School, and first appeared prominently before the public as one of the Executive Committee of the Education Aid Society, of which society he was, after the death of Mr. E. Brotherton, chosen honorary secretary, and he was often consulted by Mr. Forster when he was preparing the Education Bill of 1870. Mr. Bremner was a member of the Manchester Board of Guardians, a deputy-treasurer of the Royal Infirmary, and a J.P. for Lancashire and for the city of Manchester. He was also hon. sec. of the Spencer Society.(7)

25th. May Friday
Mr. Henry Ratcliffe, for twenty-nine years secretary to the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, died in Manchester, May 25. Admitted a member of the Order in 1833, he was three years later elected Provincial Grand Master. In addition to the onerous duties of this office, he had been entrusted with the compilation and publication of statistical tables and reports on the financial condition of the Unity, and other works of a similar character. In 1862, from data obtained between 1856 and 1860, Mr. Ratcliffe published his second series of observations on the rate of mortality and sickness existing amongst Friendly Societies; and in 1872 a third contribution to this subject from data obtained between 1866 and 1870. In 1871 he was instructed to prepare a valuation of the assets and liabilities of every lodge in the Unity, with the view to financial adjustment, and this great work was completed and published in 1873. He was appointed Treasury public valuer for England and Wales under the Friendly Societies Act, 1875, and also to certify annuities, which was a fitting tribute to his great talents as a statistician.(7)

26th. May Saturday
Sir James Philips Kay-Shuttleworth, Bart., died May 26. He was born in Rochdale, July 20, 1804, and became a physician in Manchester, and, as Dr. J. P. Kay, attained a high reputation in his profession. His extensive knowledge of educational statistics led to his being appointed Secretary to the Committee of Council of Education, on resigning which office, in 1849, he was created a baronet. Sir James was the author of Scarsdale, Ribblesdale, and also of some works on social politics. He was High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1864, and in 1870 received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from the University of Oxford. On February 24, 1842, Dr. Kay married Janet, only child and heiress of Robert Shuttleworth, of Gawthorpe Hall, and assumed by royal licence the additional surname of Shuttleworth.(7)

30th. May Wednesday
Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, ex-president of the United States visited Manchester on May 30, and besides accepting the usual address and luncheon from the Corporation, he visited the works of Sir Joseph Whitworth, Messrs. Watts's warehouse, and other objects of interest, remaining during the night at the Town Hall as the guest of the mayor.(7)

2nd. June Saturday
Mr. Hugh Birley, M.P., laid the foundation stone of the new Adult Deaf and Dumb Institution in Grosvenor Street, Oxford Street, on June 2.(7)

4th. June Monday
The Corporation obtained an injunction on June 4, in the Chancery of Lancashire, restraining a potato dealer from selling wholesale in a cellar in Shudehill, near the plaintiffs' market. The case,' 'The Mayor, &c., of Manchester v. Clarke," is reported in local papers.(7)

26th. June Tuesday
The new line from Manchester to Liverpool, in connection with the Cheshire Lines Committee, was opened on June 26 to its full extent.(7)

4th. July Wednesday
At a meeting of the shareholders of the Manchester Aquarium Company Limited, on July 4, it was resolved to wind up the same, as the receipts were less than the expenditure.(7)

4th. July Wednesday
At a meeting of the City Council, July 4, the scheme for supplying Manchester with water from Thirlmere was adopted.(7)

5th. July Thursday
The first meeting of the Council of the newly elected Liberal Association for Manchester was held at the Reform Club, July 5.(7)

9th. July Monday
The Central Station, Windmill Street, was opened for general traffic, July 9.(7)

16th. July Monday
The memorial stone of the new Church of St. Mary, in Palmerston Street, Bradford-cum-Beswick, was laid by Bishop Fraser, July 16.(7)

18th. July Wednesday
The opening recital on the organ erected by Mons. Cavaille-Coil, of Paris, in the New Town Hall was given by Mr W. T. Best, July 18.(7)

25th. July Wednesday
Mr. Joshua Procter Brown Westhead died, July 25. He was the son of Mr. Edward Westhead, a smallware and fringe manufacturer. He was born on April 15, 1807, in Faulkner Street, Manchester, and became a partner with his father. He was a promoter of the early railways, and in 1847, for his services, he was presented with a service of plate of the value of £2,400 by the shareholders of the Manchester and Birmingham Railway. In 1846 Mr. Westhead removed from Manchester to Lea Castle, near Wolverley, Worcestershire, and in 1847 was elected M.P. for Knaresborough, as a Liberal. At the contested election of 1850, all three candidates having received an equal number of votes, Mr. Westhead withdrew. In 1850 he assumed the surname of Brown before that of Westhead, and in 1861 became vice-chairman of the London and North-Western Railway. In 1857 he was elected M.P. for York, and sat till 1865, when he was defeated. In 1868 he was re-elected for York, but in 1870 he was compelled by ill-health to resign his seat, as also his office of vice-chairman of the London and North-Western Railway Company.(7)

7th. August Tuesday
The Congress of the British Medical Association was held in Manchester on August 7, 8, 9, and 10. The Association had twice previously visited this town-in 1836 and in 1854. On the first occasion it numbered 600 members, on the second, 2,900, while on this occasion it had increased to upwards of 7,000 of the leading practitioners spread over the kingdom.(7)

8th. August Wednesday
The first reception held in the new Town Hall took place on August 8, when the members of the British Medical Association and a number of local gentlemen were the guests of the Mayor and Corporation.(7)

21st. August Tuesday
At a town's meeting in the old Town Hall, on August 21, it was resolved to open a subscription on behalf of the sufferers by famine in Southern India.(7)

31st. August Friday
Dr. Vaughan, Bishop of Salford, having purchased the Manchester Aquarium for £6,950, a meeting of Roman Catholics of Manchester and Salford was held at the Aquarium, on August 31, to consider how it might be utilised. It was decided to form a board of management and carry it on as before for a few months, in order to judge whether the people of Manchester whished the aquarium to remain open to the public as such.(7)

1st. September Saturday
A great political demonstration by the Conservative and Constitutional Associations of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Staffordshire, was held at Belle Vue, September 1.(7)

5th. September Wednesday
At the meeting of the City Council, on September 5, Alderman Curtis presented the Corporation, on behalf of the subscribers, with a magnificent service of plate, costing six thousand guineas, the result of a subscription initiated and chiefly collected by Alderman Curtis during his second mayoralty, 1875-6. The service is of solid silver, parcel gilt, and weighing upwards of ten thousand ounces. It comprises one plateau, 15ft. long by 2ft. 7in. wide; two candelabra, 3ft. 4in. high, and each bearing thirteen lights; ten candelabra, 2ft. 10in, high, and each bearing nine lights; three centre pieces, oval in shape, fitted with dishes of ruby glass, to contain flowers; ten fruit stands, 12in. high, fitted with dishes of ruby glass; twenty-four compotiers, fitted with ruby glass dishes; twenty-four ice dishes; in all, a total of seventy-four pieces. Added to the service are two loving cups, specially presented by the Overseers. These are 18in. high by 91/2in. diameter of bowl, and each has three handles. The design of the service is Gothic, of the Early English period, with a free use of ornament based upon Byzantine examples; the intention of the designer and the architect being that the service should harmonise with the style of the building in which it is to be placed.(7)

13th. September Thursday
The new Town Hall of the City of Manchester, the first stone of which had been laid on October 26, 1868, and the top stone of the tower fixed on December 4, 1875, was opened by the Mayor (Alderman Abel Heywood) on September 13. The members of the Council assembled at the old Town Hall, and marched three abreast, with proper accompaniments of horse and foot soldiers, fire brigade, and policemen, to Albert Square, where Sir Joseph Heron presented the Mayor with a golden key, with which he opened he doors, and the Council proceeded straight to their chamber amidst a flourish of trumpets and the performance of the National Anthem. A meeting of the Council was then held under the presidency of the ex-Mayor (Alderman Curtis), and on the proposition of the two oldest aldermen, Messrs. Willert and Bake, an address for presentation to the Mayor was adopted, and afterwards presented in the banqueting-room. In the evening a banquet was given by the Mayor and Corporation in the large public room, the guests numbering four hundred, and including the Lord Chief Justice (Sir Alexander Cockburn), Bisbop Fraser, Lords Tollemache and Winmarleigh, Mr. Justice Hawkins, the Right Hon. John. Bright, M.P., and other members of the House of Commons; the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor of York, the Right Hon. the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and the mayors of the neighbouring towns; the members of the City Council, and representatives of the magistracy, members of the legal, medical, and clerical professions, and representatives of public bodies. On the same day the Mayor was presented with a richly-cut large glass goblet, bearing a beautifully-cut full front view of the Town Hall, manufactured and given by the men at the Prussia Street Flint Glass Works, Oldham Road. On the following day, September 14, the bakers of Manchester presented his worship with a beautifully-illuminated address, and the operative stonemasons' societies of Manchester, Salford, and Hulme presented him with an illuminated address in the shape of a book. In the evening the reception and ball took place in the large public room and was numerously attended, invitations having been issued to about three thousand people. The public celebrations were brought to a close on Saturday, September 15, when a great demonstration of trade and friendly societies took place. The huge procession, which was between five and six miles long and contained nearly 50,000 persons, started from the Infirmary en route for Albert Square about twelve o'clock. When several of the societies had reached the Square the bands played the National Anthem, followed by three cheers for the Mayor and Mayoress and John Bright; the bells then commenced playing, and the procession marched past. Sixty-nine societies took part, and afterwards went, some to Manley Park and Pomona Gardens, others to Alexandra Park, and others to Belle Vue. The total cost of the Town Hall building and fittings was about £480,000, and, including land, about £775,000. During one time more than 1,000 builders' men were engaged, and for more than twelve months between 600 and 700 masons were kept in constant employment, being fully 100 more than were ever engaged upon the Houses of Parliament at any one time. Of stone, 480,000 cubic feet were used; bricks, 16,500,000; roofing, two and a half acres; iron beams and girders, two miles; lead, 129 tons; tracery in windows, 9,000 superficial feet; stone columns and shafts in groins, 13,500 feet; bulls'-eyes in ornamental lead windows, 12,120; and gas burners, 3,000. The total number of rooms in the building is three hundred and fourteen. Messrs. Taylor, of Loughborough, considered that the peal of bells was the greatest undertaking of the kind previously attempted. They form an almost chromatic scale of twenty-one bells, reaching within half a note of two octaves. Ten of them are hung as a ringing peal, and are of the same weight as the famous Bow bells. The large bell, G, weighs 6 tons 9 cwt., and is believed to be the fourth largest in the country and the sixteenth in the world. Big Ben, at the Houses of Parliament, weighs 13 tons 11 cwt.; Peter of York, 10 tons 15 cwt.; and Tom of Oxford, 7 tons 12 cwt.; but Big Ben is cracked, and Tom cannot be used. Each of the twenty-one bells has on it the initials of a member of the Town Council (of that date) or Corporation official, and round the top of each there is also inscribed a line of Tennyson's well-known lyric from his "In Memoriam." The quotation begins with the last line in the second verse, and after giving two verses ipsissima verba, omits the next, and then adheres to the text in the other three verses.(7)

2nd. October Tuesday
The first number of Comus, issued October 2. No. 21, the last number, was issued February 21, 1878.(7)

3rd. October Wednesday
Mr. Charles Swallow died at his residence, Ardwick, on October 3, aged 70. He was born at Sterne Mills, Halifax, in 1807, and had lived in Manchester more than forty years. In 1854 he became agent for the Manchester Auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society, afterwards becoming Secretary of the Lancashire district for the parent society. A few years before his death he retired on a pension.(7)

3rd. October Wednesday
A house dinner was given on Wednesday, October 3, by the members of the Reform Club to the Mayor of Manchester (Alderman Abel Heywood).(7)

10th. October Wednesday
The corner-stone of the gasworks at Philips Park was laid by Alderman Hopkinson, October 10th.(7)

23rd. October Tuesday
The Church Club, at the corner of John Dalton Street and Deansgate, was formally opened by Bishop Fraser on October 23.(7)

29th. October Monday
The ceremony of blessing the foundation of the new Roman Catholic College of St. Bede, Alexandra Park, was performed by Dr. Vaughan, Bishop of Salford, October 29. The building was previously the home of the Manchester Aquarium.(7)

11th. December Tuesday
The first public meeting in the large room at the New Town Hall was held on December 11, when Sir Arthur Cotton and Mr. John Bright delivered addresses on the means to prevent the recurrence of famines in India.(7)