« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
tion. Shooter's Brook has three bridges over it, and there is one of three arches over Shuderhill Pits, Not to notice more than twenty over the different canals, the grand aqueduct of Ashton canal over Shuter's Brook, in a diagonal direetion, is of siognlar construction, and is truly picturesque on the approach from Pic. cadilly. Neither must we omit the tunnel at Knot-mill, through which the Rochdale canal passes, to join the Duke of Bridgewater's below Castle-field; which tunnel passes under the street leading to Castle Quay, at each end of which are briiige-like battlements in Gaythorn Street and Castle-Field.
The conveniences for conveying goods both to the east and west, as well as to London, are almost incalculable. About forty years ago, only eight flats (vessels so called) were employed in the trade between this town and Liverpool; but now more than 120 are constantly in motion. The land-carriage also has increased, in the same period, more than in equal proportion. The canals, in like manner, are continually floating goods to Hull, &c, Waggons and carts are employed in abundance. Eighteen coaches leave Manchester daily, for London and different places, and eight others three times a week; whereas two only left this place twice a week, so late as in 1770, one of them to London, and the other to Liverpool. In 1754, the Flying Coach engaged to be ia Londop in four days and a half; now the mail coaches constantly run it in thirty hours; and the Defiance and Telegraph coaches reached Manchester, from London, on the peace in October, 1802, io less than twenty hours.
The MANU FACTURES of Manchester may be said to copstitute the very soul of the place, and the factories its body. Whilst the former give animatiog and spirit to the genius and energies of man, the latter are designed and executed by him to suit the progressive improvements of science, and as best a/lapted to the vastness of the concerns. To furnish a full and satisfactory account of all the operations and complicated parts of them would require several volumes; and the nature of this work will not al
low many pages. A few historical memoranda, and miscellaneous notices, must therefore suffice.
In the fifth and sixth years of the reign of Edward the Sixth, an act passed for the better manufacture of woollen cloth, wherein the Manchester-cottons, as then called, and Manchester-frizes, are directed to be made of a proper length and breadth, which cottons were certainly then made from wool. In the year 1557, another act passed, to amend the preceding; and recites, in the same terms, the Manchester and Lancashire manufactures. Another act, for the regulation of sealing the cloth by the Queen's Aulneger, passed in 1565. The trade of Manchester is described, in 1650, as not inferior to that of many cities in the kingdom, chiefly consisting in woollen-frizes, fustians, sack-cloths, mingled stuffs, caps, inkles, tapes, points, &c. whereby not only the better sort of men are employed, but also the very children, by their own labour, can maintain themselves. There are, besides, all kinds of foreign merchandize brought and returned, by the merchants of the town, amounting to the sum of many thousand pounds."
In a small treatise, written by Lewis Roberts, à merchant, and entitled, “ The Merchant's Map of Commerce," 1641, the author states, that “ the town of Manchester buys the linen yarn
of the Irish, in great quantity, and, weaving it, returns the same again to Ireland to sell," (which, says Mr. Macpherson *, might possibly and naturally give the first hint towards the Irish linen manufactures). “ Neither doth her industry rest here, for they buy cotton-wool in London, that comes first from Cyprus and Smyrna †, and work the same into fustians, vermillions, dimities, &c. which they returu to London, where they are sold; and from thence, not seldom, are sent into such foreign parts where the first materials may be more easily had for that manufacture.” Vol. IX.
* Annals of Commerce, Vol. II. p. 415.
+ It may be inferred from this, that no considerable quantity of cotton was as yet imported from the Wost-India-Islands.
Cotton goods, of English manufacture, appear to have been a novelty in the year 1774, when an act of parliament was passed, declaring, that stuffs made entirely of cotton spun in this kingdom, had lately been introduced, and the same were allowed to be used as a lawful and laudable manufacture. A duty of threepence per square yard was to be paid on every piece that was printed, painted, or stained *.
The author of a pamphlet, published in 1788 +, observes, that not above twenty years before that period, the whole annual value of the cotton manufactures of this kingdom was under 200,0001. and that not above 50,000 spindles were employed in spinning cotton-yarn ; but in 1787, that number was calculated to have augmented to 2,000,000, and muslins were then made in British looms, wbich rivalled those of India. The following table, shewing the progress of the cotton manufacture for seven years, will furnish the reader with some idea of the amazing increase of this business.
A writer, who investigated the subject of the cotton manufactures in 1787, estimates the supply aud expenditure of cotton in the following proportions :
+ Entitled, “ An important Crisis in the Calico und Muslin Manufactory in (reat Britain Explained.”.
Imported from Pounds Worked up in
Pounds. British West Indies.. 6,600,000 Candlewicks...... 1,500,000
French and Spanish } 6,000,000 Hosiery
1,500,000 Dutch ditto
Cotton goods mix
ed with silk, or 2,000,000 Portuguese ditto.... 2,500,000
linen East India, procur- ? ed from Ostend S 100,000 Fustians
6,000,000 Smyrna or Turkey.. 5,700,000 Calicoes & Muslins 11,600,000
At this time, the number of water-mills, or machines, for spinning twist cotton yarn for warps, as near as intelligence could be obtained, was as follows:
The whole cost of which was estimated at 715,0001. There were, at the same time, 550 mule-jennies, or machines of ninety spindles each, and 20,700 hand-jennies, of eighty spindles each, for spinning yarn for the shoot or weft; the cost of which, and of the auxiliary machinery, together with that of the buildings, is stated to have been at least 285,0001. making, together with the former sum, 1,000,0001. These establishments, when in full employment, were estimated to produce as much cotton yarn as could be spun by 1,000,000 persons on single wheels; and instead of diminishing the employment of the people, as was apprehended, they called out numbers from idleness to comfortable independance. At this time they were supposed to employ
26,000 31,000 53,000110,000 in the operations of spinning; 133,000 59,000 48,000 240,000 in the subsequent stages of
the manufacture; there being
in all 159,000190,000|101,000|350,000 persons employed in this most beneficial manufacture; and nearly one-half of them in the calico and muslin branches, wherein the value of the raw material is advanced, by industry and ingenuity acting upon capital and machinery, to from ten to fifty times the value of it, when purchased by the manufacturer. Such are the powers of machinery; and such are the benefits conferred upon this nation by the inventive genius, and persevering industry, of Sir Richard Arkwright.
Manchester has been long famed for its various and extensive manufactures. But the high rank it holds in the seale of commercial importance, may be attributed to the nature and extent of the improvements introduced into the cotton SPINNING trade, by which the production of all the articles essential to the mapufacture of cotton goods has been facilitated, and every competition, heretofore regarded as too formidable to be successfully opposed, has been most completely borne down. The spiuning concerns, in the town and neighbourhood, are