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humble settlement at a free-school at Milnrow, near Rochdale, where himself and Mr. Pearson, a curate, jointly shared the salary of twenty pounds a year. Here he fancied himself independent, and this golden dream was almost verified in his imagination on the death of his partner, as Tim was then nominated sole master. He had previously kept an evening school, which was now reline quished; though from motives of saving prudence, he employed the Christmas and Whitsuntide vacations in teaching at Oldham, and some other places in the vicinity. He also began to study music and drawing, and pursued these facinating arts with such avidity and zeal, that he was soon enabled to instruct others in both. These acquirements not only proved amusing, but lucrative; and having succeeded in delineating some caricature heads, figures, and groups, he sold a great number of them to travellers, and even to the Liverpool merchants. Early in life he discovered some poetical talents, or rather an easy habit for humorous rhyme, with which he annoyed a few dull blockheads and arrogant coxcombs. Though these provoked the eninity of some, they procured him the friendship of others. The first regular poetical composition which he published, was styled the Blackbird, and intended to ridicule a Lancashire justice, who was more known for political zeal and ill-timed loyalty, than good sense and discretion. point of easy, regular versification, perhaps this was his best
specimen, and it also exhibited some strokes of true humour.” Marrying about this time, his domestic cares and expences increased, and to provide for the latter, he was obliged to be additionally industrious. Besides the duties of his school and teaching music, he repeatedly laboured at the easel, and painted altar-pieces for chapels, and signs for public-houses. Having a retentive memory, and associating a good deal with the unsoplisticated natives of the county, he had attended to, and treasured up all the local terins and phrases, with the vulgar and obsolete words used in common discourse by the lower classes. These at length he committed to the press in the form of dialogue, and published under the title of “ Tim Bobbin's Lancashire Dialect.” Its novelty and bumour
soon excited public curiosity, and not only rendered a second edition necessary, but provoked some mercenary publishers to pirate it. While the former gratified the moderate ambition of the author, the latter provoked his indignation and anger, and made him exclaim “that he did not believe there was one honest printer in Lancashire." In drawing up a preface to a subsequent edition, he jastly reproved and satirised those insidious offenders. His last literary production was entitled “Curious Remarks on the History of Manchester.” This small pamphlet of sixty-five pages, contains some sharp strictures on that learned and desultary book; and the author concludes by saying that the style of that work" appears to him to be affected, of a mongrel-py'd kind, produced by the dregs of Ossian, and the lofty fustian of a proud Oxonian.”
Mr. Collier died in the possession of his mental powers, at the advanced age of eighty, leaving three sons and two daughters.
ECCLES PARISH, to the west of Manchester, comprehends an area of about nine miles from east to west, and four from north to south. The church is a large ancient structure; and in the windows are the arms of the Booths. In the chancel is a curious monument to Richard Brereton, of Tatton, and Dorothea his wife, whose effigies are on the tomb. The vicarage is in the gift of the crown. It formerly belonged to Whalley-Abbey; but at the dissolution was made parochial. Two new chapels of ease have been built since 1775, at Pendleton and Swainton in this parish. The gradual and considerable increase of the population of which will best show its relative state at different periods. This will be taken at six distinct and distant times. In 1776 there were 8,723 persons; in 1780–9,147 persons; in 1785–10,522 persons; in 1790–12,430 persons; in 1793—14,265 persons; and in 1800 there were in Barton 6,197 ; in Clifton 812; in Pendlebury 437; in Pendleton 3,611; and in Worsley 5,062, all places within this parish, making together 16,119 inhabitants.
WORSLEY-HALL, in this parish, is a large, venerable, old brick mansion, now in the occupation of R. H. Bradshaw, Esq. in trust for the Bridgewater estate. Sir Elias de Workedesley, was lord
of this manor in the time of William the First, and this name was retained both by the place and family till the end of Edward the First's reign. The chief branch of the family is now settled at Horringhain, in Yorkshire; another branch had its seat and principal estates at Appuldurcombe, in the Isle of Wight. The coal-mines and canals here have been already referred to. The warehouses connected with which, are on a very extensive scale; and aipong
the manufactures of the place is that of blacklead-pencils, by Gilbert, Burgess, and Co.
Is a large town and parish, situated at the south-eastern extremity of the county. The former consists of several narrow streets, built on a high bank, which rises from the river Tame. It appears, from an ancient manuscript, now preserved at Royton, and containing several particulars concerning this estate, that Ashton was formerly a borough. The chief landed property of this town and parish belongs to the Earl of Stamford, into whose family it was conveyed by the marriage of Sir William Booth, Kt. of DunhamMassey, with Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Asheton. The family of Asheton were settled here at an early period, and are said to have possessed peculiar privileges and powers in this manor, among which was that of life and death over their tenantry. In commemoration of this privilege, and its having been sometimes exercised, a field near the old ball is still called Gallows-Meadow. An old building here also retains the name of the Dungeons; and to perpetuate the remembrance of some black act or tyrannical deed of Sir Ralph Asheton, who, in 1483, under the authority of being Vice-Constable of England", exercised great severity in this part of the kingdom, an annual custom, called riding the black lad, is celebrated every Easter Monday. The ceremony consists in making an effigy in the human form, of straw, which is placed on a horse, and exhibited through the streets. It is after-wards hung up at the cross in the market-place, and there shot at
in * The commission is preserved in Rhymer's Federa. VOL. IX.
in the midst of a large concourse of spectators. Formerly the figure was cased in a coat of armour, and a sum of money was advanced by the court towards defraying the expence of the effigy. A traditional account of the origin of this now absurd custom, states that Thomas Asheton, in the time of Edward the Third, was particularly distinguished in the battle of Neville's Cross *, and bore away the royal standard from the Scotch king's tent. For this act, king Edward, on his return from France, where he had obtained a great victory, conferred on Asheton the honour of knighthood, who, on his return to his manor, instituted the custom already described.
Ashton has a large old church, part of which appears to have been built by the lords of the manor, as their arms, impaling those of Stealy, are affixed in a shield on the south side of the steeple. In the church are some old carvings on the pews, or seats; and in the windows are some figures painted on the glass. Many of the Asheton family lie interred here, and their names were inscribed on the windows. Near the church is a curious ancient mansion, called the Old-Hall, the oldest parts of which are said to have been built in 1483. Adjoining this, is a pile resembling a prison, and was formerly used for that purpose. Its walls are thick, and at the extremities are two small round towers.
Connected with the town of Ashton are two hamlets, called Charlestown and Boston, from having been begun in the time of the deplorable American war. Manufactures of different kinds, a canal to Manchester, and an abundance of coal contiguous to the town, have conspired to render Ashton-and its vicinage extremely populous and flourishing. On the western side of the town is Ashton-Moss, which supplies the poor with peat-turf. This being dug away to about ten feet in depth, lays open a fine loam-soil, which, under cultivation, becomes good pasture. The diggers find many fir and oak-trees among
In the year 1775, the town of Ashton was estimated to contain 553 houses and 2859 inhabitants;
and *. See Beauties, &c. Vol. I. p. 228, and Vol. V. p. 199, for some parti. culars of this battle.
and the parish is stated in the population report to contain in 1800, 3,018 houses, and 15,632 persons.
About two miles east of Ashton is Staley-Bridge, a large populous hamlet, seated on the banks of the Tame river, over which is a substantial bridge. On an eminence is an octagon chapel, belonging to the church establishment. This place has long been noted for its woollen-cloth dyers, pressers, and weavers; but these branches of trade are more pursued in Yorkshire, and the cotton business is now more prevalent here. Near Ashton is
DUKINFIELD-LODGE, the seat and property of Francis Dukinfield Astley, Esq.* The house is a large irregular pile of building, occupying a broad terrace, near the top of a steep hill, which rises almost perpendicularly from the river Tame. The latter, being a mountain stream, forms in its progress several cascades; and immediately in front of the house, though not seen from it, sweeps round the base of the hill, and, with the overhanging woods, present some highly picturesque scenes. The views from the house and gardens are particularly romantic and grand. It has been already remarked in Vol. II. of this work, that Dukinfield contains several pictures; but one or two not there mentioned are entitled to notice, and to distinguished praise. These are, Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery, by TITIAN; a landscape by Both; and another by BARRET, are works of acknowledged merit.
Between Ashton and Manchester is FAIRFIELD, a place of particular note, as a settlement, or sort of colony, of a class of religious persons called Moravians t. These have congregated themselves here within the last thirty years, and during that time have erected a large chapel, with an organ, &c. and raised several houses, which now assume the appearance
a town. The chief U 2
* This gentleman has lately published a compendious little volume, entitled “ Hints to Planters," &c.
+ For some account of this singular sect, see an interesting work, improperly denominated a Novel, entitled “ Wanley Penson,"