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Wadsworth Manuscripts

Date range: 18th–20th centuries.

The historical collections of Dr Alfred Powell Wadsworth, former editor of the Manchester Guardian and a governor of the John Rylands Library,  were presented by his daughter, Miss Janet Wadsworth.

In addition to Wadsworth’s own notebooks and papers concerning his researches into the textile industry, Manchester Sunday schools and the history of Rochdale, there are significant original materials collected by him. These include:

  • thirty-seven letters from Mrs Linnaeus Banks, author of The Manchester Man, 1882–95
  • a collection of papers relating to the Peterloo Massacre of 1819,  including original placards and notices
  • correspondence of Isaac Hawkins Browne, MP and essayist, 1788–1802
  • miscellaneous letters and papers of the Rev. William Robert Hay, vicar of Rochdale and a leading figure on the magistrates’ side in the Peterloo controversy, 1781–c.1836
  • a ‘minute book’ of William Hough of Chorley, Lancashire, attorney, 1783–1836
  • ledgers, stock books and inventories of Lancashire cotton manufacturers, Messrs Cardwell, Birley & Hornby of Blackburn, 1768–1858, Nathaniel Dugdale & Bros of Padiham, 1807–51, and Ashworth Cotton Mills at Eagley near Bolton, 1831–79

Finding aids

Catalogue available online via ELGAR (English MSS 1195-1207).


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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