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Bolton Le Moors


1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

"BOLTON LE MOORS, a parish and market town, and municipal and parliamentary borough, in the hundred of Salford, in the county palatine of Lancaster, 10 miles to the N.W. of Manchester, and 200 miles from London. It is an important station on the London and North-Western, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire railways, and is connected by various lines with all the principal surrounding towns. The parish, which extends over 30,062 acres, is intersected by the small river Croal, a branch of the Irwell, and comprises the chapelries of Astley Bridge, Belmont, Blackrod, Bradshaw, Harwood, Little Lever, Lever Bridge, Rivington, Tonge, Turton, and Walmsley; the townships of Anglezarke, Breightmet, Darcy, Edge worth, Entwistle, Longworth, Lostock, Quarlton, and Sharples. The town consists of the two townships of Great Bolton and Little Bolton, separated by the Croal. The first fact of importance in the history of the growth of this important seat of manufacturing industry is the settlement of some Flemish emigrants here in the first half of the 14th century. The manufacture of woollen cloth, introduced by them, was the small beginning of the trading activity and prosperity of the town. Other refugees from the cruelty of continental despotism sought here in later time their bread, bringing with them the knowledge of various other branches of manufacture. Weavers from the Rhine introduced a mixed fabric of linen yarn and cotton. Cotton velvet goods were made here first about the year 1756; and mulleins, dimity, and quilting, somewhat later. Several of the most important inventions for the improvement of the cotton manufacture were made by residents in this town. To Richard Arkwright was owing the perfecting of the spinning-jenny and the water-frame, and to Samuel Crompton the invention of the "mule," a machine ingeniously combining the principles of the two former. The invention was made public in 1780, and gave an immense impetus to the trade. In 1812 the government acknowledged the services of the inventor, who had not enriched himself, by a grant of £6,000. Crompton resided near Bolton, in an old timbered house called the Hall-in-the-Wood-a name which was given at first to the mule. Factories were multiplied, but the steam-engine and the power-loom were needed to give full extension to the works and the trade. Bolton took the side of the parliament in the civil war of the 17th century, and the town was garrisoned and held by the popular forces till 1644. In that year an attempt to take it by storm was made by the royalists under Prince Rupert and the Earl of Derby. They were bravely repulsed by the garrison. But a second assault by the Earl of Derby, at the head of his tenantry and fresh forces, was successful, and the town remained in their possession for a short time. It was again surrendered to the parliament, and the brave earl, made prisoner after the fight at Worcester, was tried before a military tribunal at Chester, condemned, and beheaded in this town in 1651. The country surrounding Bolton is chiefly moory and sterile; but the barrenness of the surface is compensated by the abundance of coal. The town, partly old but chiefly of modern erection, contains several long and broad streets, which are paved and lighted with gas. It is well supplied with water by a company established in 1824, whose works cost £40,000. Considerable improvements have been made in the town under the Act for inclosing Bolton Moor, the rents for the inclosed lands being applied by the commissioners for that purpose. There are a townhall, an exchange (erected in 1825), a market-house, theatre, assembly rooms, temperance hall, cloth hall, barracks, water-works, &c. But the various manufactories form the great mass of the buildings of the town. The cotton factories are very numerous, and on a large scale. The chief productions at present are muslins, quiltings, and dimity. Here are also very extensive bleach-works, dye-works, numerous large, iron-foundries and steam-engine manufactories, and some print-works. Bolton was constituted a parliamentary borough under the Reform Act, and returns two members to parliament. It was made a municipal borough by a charter obtained in 1838, under which it is governed by a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 36 councillors. The borough revenue is about £6,500, and the number of inhabited houses 13,348. Besides the townships of Great Bolton and Little Bolton, the limits of the municipal and parliamentary boroughs, which are conterminous, include the villages of Horrocks Fold, Eagley Bank, and the township of Haulgh with Tonge. The population of this district, according to the census of 1861, is 70,396, against 61,171 in 1851, showing an increase of no less than 9,225 in the decennial period. Bolton is the seat of a Poor-law Union, the head of a County Court district, and a polling-place for the south division of the county. Petty sessions are held regularly. In the town are a dispensary and a savings-bank, and about 11 miles out of the town is the Union poorhouse, lately erected, a large, handsome building. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester, of the value of 3,350, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, an ancient edifice in the perpendicular style, with a low tower, is dedicated to St. Peter. Six other churches have been erected, the livings of which are all curacies:-St. George's, in Little Bolton, founded in 1796, is worth £168, and is in the patronage of the vicar; Holy Trinity Church, erected in 1825, is in the patronage of the bishop, and of the value of £150; Emmanuel Church, founded in 1838, value £150, is in the patronage of the vicar; Christ Church and St. John's, worth £150, are in the alternate patronage of the crown and the bishop; and All Saints', value £128, in the patronage of T. Tipping, Esq. There are seven chapels belonging to various sections of Wesleyans, three to the Roman Catholics, two each to the Independents and Baptists, and one each to the Quakers, Unitarians, and Swedenborgians. The charitable endowments of the parish are numerous and of considerable value, producing above £1,600 per annum. The principal of those belonging to the town are the following:-The free grammar school, founded in 1641, by Robert Lever, citizen of London, and afterwards united with a school of earlier origin: it has a revenue of about £486, including three exhibitions at the universities; the free school founded by Nathaniel Hulton in 1693 for 60 children of both sexes, with an income from endowment of £82; another free school, endowed by Thomas Marsden in 1714 with an income of £24, and numerous bequests for the benefit of the poor. Some almshouses have been recently established. There are National, British, and infant schools, a mechanics' institution, news and reading-rooms. Three weekly newspapers are published in the town, called the Bolton Chronicle, the Bolton Guardian, and the Bolton-Examiner, and one monthly, called the Bolton .Advertiser. Ainsworth, author of a Latin dictionary once in repute, was a pupil in the grammar school here, and afterwards rose to be master. Dr. Lempriere, author of the well-known Classical Dictionary, was also master of this school. Bolton is connected with Manchester by a canal 12 miles in length, and with Bury by one about 6 miles long. Among the seats in the vicinity are Bolton Lodge, Smithhills Hall, Lostock Hall, &c. Bradshaw Hall, 3 miles from Bolton, is said to have been the seat of John Bradshaw, president of the "High Court of Justice "constituted for the trial of Charles Y. Monday and Saturday are the market days. Fairs for the sale of lean cattle take place fortnightly from the 5th January to the 12th May. And fairs for cattle, horses, &c., are held on the 30th and 31st July, and the 13th and 14th October."