1878       

11th. January Friday
Mr. George Venables Vernon, F.R.A.S., died, January 11. There is a notice of his scientific work in the Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society, vol. xxxix., p. 238.(7)

12th. January Saturday
A presentation of two hundred guineas and an illuminated address was made in the Salford Town Hall, on January 12, to Mark Addy, as an acknowledgment for the rescue of many persons from drowning. Mr. W. T. Charley, M.P., made the presentation on behalf of the subscribers.(7)

14th. January Monday
A crowded town's meeting was held on January 15, to urge the Government to maintain strict neutrality in the Eastern Question. A resolution to the same effect was passed at a special meeting of the City Council on January 14.(7)

29th. January Tuesday
The Crown Prince of Austria visited Manchester on January 29, and inspected various objects of interest.(7)

4th. February Monday
George Piggott, who had been condemned to death for the murder of Florence Galloway, at Broughton, on December 5, 1877, was executed in the County Gaol, Strangeways, on February 4.(7)

11th. February Monday
The Cheetham Free Library, in York Street, was opened on February 11. The library was built at a cost of some 10,000, and possesses a reading-room of more than 90ft. in length. On the same date the Manchester Free Reference Library, in King street, which had previously been the Town Hall, was formally opened by the Mayor, Mr. Alderman Grundy. The Reference Library reading-room is one of the finest in the kingdom.(7)

26th. February Tuesday
Mr. John Stuart, of The Elms, Higher Broughton, died February 26. Mr. Stuart was born near Markethill, in Ireland, in 1798, where his father had a farm. At 26 years of age he emigrated to the United States, and in 1828 he founded, in Philadelphia, in partnership with his brother Joseph, the business house of Stuart and Brother. In 1831 he opened, in New York, a dry goods house, which afterwards gave place to the banking firm of J. and J. Stuart and Co. In 1834 he settled in Manchester, and in 1846 founded the banking house of John Stuart and Co. Mr. Stuart was the principal supporter of a refuge for fallen women in Manchester, and also took great interest in the Young Men's Christian Association. (7)

February
Mr. Joseph Gregory died in February. During the Free Trade agitation he was a prominent supporter of protection. He was author of a pamphlet entitled Look at Home: the Fallacies of Free Trade Exposed. He was an advocate of the Ten Hours Bill.(7)

7th. March Thursday
Momus, No. 1, was issued March 7. The last number October 5, 1882.(7)

9th. March Saturday
A vocal concert and choral competition by tonic-sol-fa choirs of Manchester and Salford was given at the Free Trade Hall, March 9.(7)

12th. March Tuesday
The Corporation Water Bill, of which the Thirlmere scheme was a prominent feature, came before a select committee of the House of Commons on March 12, and the preamble was declared to be passed (subject to the understanding that certain clauses were inserted) on March 26.(7)

19th. March Tuesday
The flower show of the Botanical and Horticultural Society was held in the New Town Hall, March 19.(7)

27th. March Wednesday
At a public meeting, held at the Memorial Hall, a memorial was adopted to be sent to the Councils of Manchester and Salford, asking for the opening of free libraries and museums on Sundays. March 27.(7)

March
Upwards of one thousand original sketches, drawings, and etchings, by the late George Cruikshank, were exhibited at the Royal Exchange during March.(7)

1st. April Monday
The Corporation obtained an injunction on April 1, in the Chancery of Lancashire, to restrain another potato dealer from selling wholesale at premises in Edge Street, close to the plaintiffs' market, without paying tolls to the plaintiffs. (" The Mayor, &c., of Manchester v. Fallows" reported in local papers. See June 4, 1877.)(7)

6th. April Saturday
Sir James Watts, Knight, died at Abney Hall, Cheshire, April 6. He was born in March 1804, and was in business in Manchester in partnership with his brothers Samuel and John. In 1848 he was elected councillor for St James's Ward, became mayor in 1855, was re-elected in 1856, and at the same time an alderman. On the occasion of the visit of the Queen to open the Art Treasures Exhibition, in 1857, she conferred the honour of knighthood upon Alderman Watts. Sir James was a J.P. for Manchester, and in 1871 served the office of High Sheriff of Cheshire.(7)

22nd. April Monday
The tenth annual congress of the Co-operative Societies of Great Britain was held in the Co-operative Hall, Downing Street, April 22 and two following days. The Marquis of Ripon presided on the first day, the Bishop of Manchester on the second, and Dr. John Watts on the third.(7)

30th. April Tuesday
A conference, consisting of fifteen hundred delegates, to protest against this country entering into war, was held in the Free Trade Hall, on April 30, and in the evening a public meeting was addressed by the Right Hon. John Bright, M. P., to the same purpose.(7)

30th. April Tuesday
Rev Thomas Elford Poynting, minister of the Unitarian Church, Monton, and theological tutor of the Unitarian Home Missionary Board, died April 30. Of humble origin, he was a man of profound learning and philosophical spirit. He was the author of the History of Monton Chapel, and of various tracts and sermons.(7)

16th. May Thursday
An exhibition of art treasures, in aid of a fund for the erection of a new building for the School of Art, was opened by Alderman Grundy (mayor), at the Royal Institution, May 16. The departments comprised blue and white porcelain, enamels, arms and armour, Persian art, embroidery, ivory carvings, Wedgewood ware, and Oriental lacquer wood and porcelain.(7)

May
The strike of joiners in Manchester came to an end early in May, having lasted twelve months. Some eight hundred men went on strike, and it is calculated that they lost at least 50,000 in wages, although some 50,000 was received by them as strike pay.(7)

4th. June Tuesday
The Rev. William McKerrow, D.D., ex-moderator of the Presbyterian Church of England, died at Bowdon, June 4, aged 75 years. A native of Kilmarnock, he was educated at Glasgow University, was ordained in 1827, and became minister of Lloyd Street Presbyterian Chapel, in succession to the Rev. Dr. Jack. When this chapel was pulled down, in 1858, the congregation removed to Brunswick Street, where Dr. McKerrow ministered until a short time previous to his death. In 1876 he completed the fiftieth year of his ministry, and the jubilee was celebrated by the whole of the Presbyterian body, who presented him with a testimonial of the value of over 1,000 and an illuminated address, whilst a scholarship was also founded by subscription and established in connection with the Manchester School Board. He was one of the principal organisers of the United Kingdom Alliance, a member of the Manchester School Board from its formation, and took an active part in the agitation of the Anti-Corn-Law League.(7)

17th. June Monday
41 Victoria, cap. 55. Act to provide for the appointment and remuneration of separate stipendiary justices for the division of Manchester and for the borough of Salford, and for other purposes, June 17.(7)

17th. June Monday
St. Mary's Church, Beswick, consecrated by Bishop Fraser, June 17. Messrs. Paley and Austin were the architects, and the cost of erection 9,500.(7)

24th. June Monday
Mr. Charles James Mathews died at the Queen's Hotel, June 24. He was the son of Charles Mathews, the celebrated actor, and was born at Liverpool, December 26, 1803. He was intended for the Church, but was apprenticed to an architect. He afterwards adopted the stage as his profession, and was successively lessee and manager of the Olympic, Covent Garden, and Lyceum Theatres. He was author, of several comediettas, mostly adapted from the French. Mr. Mathews was recognised as a master of light and eccentric comedy.(7)

2nd. July Tuesday
41 and 42 Victoria, cap. 163. Act to confirm certain provisional orders made by the Board of Trade under the Tramways Act, 1870, relating to Cardiff tramways (extension), Manchester Corporation tramways, Manchester suburban tramways, and Oldham Borough tramways. July 2.(7)

4th. July Thursday
41 and 42 Victoria, cap. 141. Act for incorporating the Manchester Suburban Tramways Company, and for empowering them to construct tramways in the neighbourhood of Manchester, and for other purposes. July 4.(7)

6th. July Saturday
The annual exhibition promoted by the National Rose Society held at the Botanical Gardens, Old Trafford, July 6, being the first time that the society had held its exhibition out of London.(7)

2nd. August Friday
St. Bride's Church, Shrewsbury Street, Brooks's Bar, was consecrated by Bishop Fraser, August 2.(7)

14th. August Wednesday
The Langworthy wing of the Peel Park Museum, built from a bequest of Mr. Alderman Langworthy, was opened on August 14 by Mr. Alderman Walmsley. The wing is a handsome addition to the building, and consists of a reading-room and picture gallery, respectively 74 and 104 feet in length.(7)

15th. August Thursday
Mr. James Mudie Spence died at Herne Bay, August 15. He was born in 1836, and was the son of Mr. Peter Spence, F.C.S. He spent much of his life in travel in Norway, California, and South America. He wrote The land or Bolivar, 1878, which is an account of his residence in Venezuela, where he made the ascent of the Pico de Naiguata, 9,430 feet high. Amongst the plants then gathered is one named after him, Chusquea Spencei. He was a member of the Alpine Club, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is buried in the Salford Cemetery.(7)

9th. September Monday
The Manchester Free Libraries were first opened to the public on Sundays on September 9.(7)

14th. September Saturday
St. Clement's Church, Ordsal, was consecrated by Bishop Fraser, September 14. Paley and Austin were the architects, and the cost of erection was 9,000.(7)

9th. October Wednesday
Mr. Joseph Kay, Q.C., died October 9, at Fredley, Dorking. Mr. Kay who was a younger brother of Sir J. P. Kay-Shuttleworth, was born at Ordsal Cottage, Salford, in the year 1821. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, when he graduated with honours. He was called to the Bar in 1848, and went the Northern Circuit; was made a Q.C. June 23,1869, and was elected a Bencher of the Inner Temple in May, 1870. Mr. Kay was Judge of the Salford Court of Record, and was also Solicitor-General for the County Palatine of Durham. Mr. Kay unsuccessfully contested Salford in the Liberal interest in 1874 and in 1877. He was the author of Education in England and Europe, 1850, Poor Children in English and German Towns, and other writings.(7)

17th. October Thursday
Rev. Francis R. Raines, M.A., F.S.A., Hon. Canon of Manchester, died October 17, at Scarborough. Canon Raines was born at Whitby, February 22, 1805. He was originally designed for the' medical profession, but, changing his intentions, went to St. Bees' College and Queen's College, Cambridge, to prepare for the ministry. In 1828 he took Deacon's orders, and in 1829 was admitted to Priest's orders by the Bishop of Chester. In 1832 he was appointed Vicar of Milnrow, near Rochdale, where he remained until his death. From 1846 to 1877 he was Rural Dean of Rochdale, and in 1849 was made Honorary Canon of Manchester Cathedral. The Archbishop of Canterbury conferred upon him the degree of M.A. in 1845, and he was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. As a member of the Chetham Society he edited or compiled several volumes for that body, including Bishop Gastrell's Notitia Cestriensis, History of the Lancashire Chantries, Wardens of Manchester, The Vicars of Rochdale &c. At his death he bequeathed to the Chetham College Library all his antiquarian manuscripts amounting to more than forty folio volumes, of exceeding value to historians. He was interred at Milnrow.(7)

7th. November Thursday
The new bridge over the Irwell at Old Trafford was opened by the Mayor of Salford, Mr. Alderman F.H. Walmsley, November 7.(7)

24th. November Sunday
A visit was paid to the Reference Library by the United Field Naturalists on Sunday, November 24. Mr. W. E. A. Axon gave an address on the botanical books, which was afterwards printed. This was the first occasion of the sort.(7)

19th. December Thursday
Mr. George Hanson died at Bradford, Yorkshire, December 19. He was a native of Manchester, and educated at the Grammar School, but removed to Wilsden, Yorkshire, where he took an active part in public affairs. He was treasurer of the Airedale College. (Manchester City News Notes and Queries, vol. ii., p. 3.)(7)

21st. December Saturday
The Free Lance, a Manchester weekly periodical, ceased to be published on December 21. The first number was published in December, 1866.(7)

1878
Mr. Joseph Smith, founder of the Social Institution, died at his residence at the Maple Spring Hotel, of Wissahicken, Pennsylvania. Of this benevolent but somewhat eccentric person, Mr. Holyoake has given an amusing account in his History of Co-operation (vol. 1., p. 364, vol ii., pp. 362, 374, 435.) He was at Peterloo, and afterwards joined the Blanketeers, and, when a Socialist, was known as the "sheepmaker," because he would not allow audiences to leave a meeting until they had subscribed money for a sheep for the benefit of the Queenwood community. There is an interesting account of his work as a wood-carver in Holyoake's Among the Americans, London, 1881.(7)