Date range: 1548-c.1961
Number of items:
A collection of papers relating to the Byrom family of Manchester, commencing with Edward Byrom (c.1595-1654), the first of six Byroms of that name. The best-known member of the family was the poet John Byrom (1692-1763), author of Christians Awake, who also devised a system of shorthand.
The archive comprises mainly title deeds and legal papers, with some personal material, examples of shorthand, and samples of paper cut-work silhouettes and art work by John Byrom’s daughter, Dorothy. The deeds and legal papers concern the acquisition and settlement of the family’s various properties over four generations, notably in Kersal and Salford and in the Market Place, Shambles and Deansgate areas of Manchester, from 1657 to 1778. There are numerous wills, notably several drafts of the will of Joseph Byrom (1659-1733).
The shorthand collection includes contemporary examples of written shorthand, cut-work examples of shorthand by Phebe and Dorothy Byrom, plus a small quantity of related material, including a printed copy of the act for securing John Byrom’s sole right of publishing his system. Remaining family papers comprise letters, notes and fragments, predominantly mid-17th- and 18th-century in date, pedigrees of various branches of the Byrom family, and letters from Edward Chetham regarding horse-racing on Kersal Moor, 1750-61.
The collection is significant for the social history of north-west England, particularly for the rise of the merchant classes in Manchester in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Catalogue available online via ELGAR.