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Manchester Reform Club Archive

Date range: 1886–1988.

Manchester Reform Club was established in 1867 as a gentlemen’s club for Liberal politicians and supporters in the Manchester area.

In 1871 it moved into purpose-built premises on King Street, designed by the architect Edward Salomons.

The Club’s fortunes parallelled those of the national Liberal Party. For example, the Club’s membership was divided over Gladstone’s support for Irish Home Rule in 1886, and the splits between Asquithian Liberals and Lloyd George Coalition Liberals were reflected locally.

Faced with declining membership in the twentieth century, the Reform Club merged with the Engineers’ Club in 1967 to form the Manchester Club, which was eventually wound up in 1988.

Records include:

  • minute books of the Club’s many committees
  • financial papers
  • membership records
  • records relating to the building
  • cuttings books
  • a photograph album

As well as illuminating the history of the Club, the collection has wide significance for studies of nineteenth-century radicalism and the history of the Liberal movement in Manchester.

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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