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Rochdale History 


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Rochdale History.

Rochdale History. 

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Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton, Northwest History.  
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History of Rochdale-Henry Fishwick 1889       with family trees, download source- link4life

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History of Rochdale.

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 Rochdale was an ecclesiastical parish of early-medieval origin in northern England, administered from the Church of St Chad, Rochdale. At its zenith, it occupied 58,620 acres (237 km2) of land amongst the South Pennines, and straddled the historic county boundary betweenLancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. To the north and north-west was the parish of Whalley; to the southwest was the parish of Bury; to the south was Middleton and Prestwich-cum-Oldham.


A Roman road, leading from Mamucium (Manchester) to (Eboracum) York, crossed the moors at Blackstone Edge.[7]

During the time of the Danelaw, Rochdale was subjected to incursions by the Danes on the Saxons. The castle that Castleton is named after, and of which no trace remains, was one of twelve Saxon forts possibly destroyed in frequent conflicts that occurred between the Saxons and Danes during the 10th and 11th centuries.[7]

Rochdale appears in the Domesday Book as Recedham. At the time of the Norman Conquest the manor was held by a Saxon thegn, Gamel. Before 1212 Henry II granted the manor to Roger de Lacy whose family retained it until it passed to the Dukes of Lancaster by marriage and then by 1399 to the Crown.[7][8] John Byron bought the manor in 1638 and it was sold by the poet, Lord Byron, in 1823, to the Deardens, who hold the title. Rochdale had no manor house but the "Orchard" built in 1702 and acquired in 1745 by Simon Dearden was the home of the lords of the manor after 1823. It was described as "a red-brick building of no architectural distinction, on the north side of the river opposite the town hall" and sometimes referred to as the Manor House. It was demolished in 1922.[9]

In medieval times, Rochdale was a market town, and weekly markets were held from 1250 when Edmund de Lacy obtained a grant for a market and an annual fair.[7] The market was held outside the parish church where there was an "Orator's Corner".

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Historically a part of Lancashire, Rochdale's recorded history begins with an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086 under Recedham Manor. The ancient parish of Rochdale was a division of the hundred of Salford and one of the largest ecclesiastical parishes in England comprising several townships. By 1251, Rochdale had become important enough to have been granted a Royal charter. Subsequently, Rochdale flourished into a centre of northern England's woollen trade, and by the early 18th century was described as being "remarkable for many wealthy merchants".[2]

Rochdale rose to prominence during the 19th century as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns.[3] The Rochdale Canal—one of the major navigable broad canals of the United Kingdom—was a highway of commerce during this time used for the haulage of cotton, wool, coal to and from the area. The socioeconomic change brought by the success of Rochdale's textile industry in the 19th century led to its rise to borough status and it remained a dominant settlement in its region.[3] However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.[3]

Rochdale today is a predominantly residential town. Rochdale Town Hall—a Grade I listed building—dates from 1871 and is one of the United Kingdom's finest examples of Victorian Gothic revival architecture.[4] Rochdale is the birthplace of the Co-operative Movement.[5] The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society, founded in 1844, was the first modern cooperative; the Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals for cooperatives.Toponymy

Rochdale seems to be named from its position on the River Roch but is recorded as Recedham in the Domesday Book. The name is derived from from Old English reced meaming "hall", and ham, a "homestead". Over time, the name changed to Rachedale and eventually Rochdale.[6] The river's name is a back-formation from the Old English name, its name is /'ro?t?/, with a long o. Rochdale however, is pronounced /'rotdel/, with a short o.

  Industrial Revolution

The manufacture of woollen cloth particularly baize, kerseys and flannels were important from the reign of Henry VIII. At this time the industry was rooted in the domestic system but towards the end of the 18th century mills powered by water were built. Water power was replaced by steam power in the 19th century and coal mines, mostly drift mines, were opened where coal from the lower coal measures outcropped around the town. The Deardens who were lords of the manor were among the local coal owners.[10] By the mid 1800s the woollen trade was declining and the cotton trade which took advantage of technological developments in spinning and weaving growing in importance.[11] Rochdale became one of the world's most productive cotton spinning towns when rose to prominence during the 19th century as a major mill town and centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns.[3] By the end of the 19th century there were woollen mills, silk manufacturers, bleachers and dyers but cotton spinning and weaving were the dominant industries in Rochdale.[12] The socioeconomic change brought by the success of Rochdale's textile industry in the 19th century led to its rise to borough status and it remained a dominant settlement in its region.[3] However, during the 20th century Rochdale's spinning capacity declined towards an eventual halt.[3]

John Bright. 

John Bright statue broadfield park Rochdale


Born16 November 1811
Died27 March 1889 (aged 77)
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)(1) Elizabeth Priestman
(d. 1841)
(2) Margaret Leatham

 Civic history

The coat of arms of the former Municipal, and later County Borough of Rochdale council, granted 20 February 1857. The arms incorporate references to Rochdale's early industries and lords.[15]

Lying within the historic county boundaries of Lancashire since the early 12th century, Rochdale was recorded in 1066 as held by Gamel, one of the twenty-one thegns of the Hundred of Salfordshire.[8]

The ancient ecclesiastical parish of Rochdale was divided in to four townships: Butterworth, Castleton, Hundersfield and Spotland. Hundersfield was later divided into four townships: Blatchinworth, Calderbrook, Wardleworth and Wuerdle and Wardle. Excluding the large chapelry of Saddleworth, which lay entirely in Yorkshire, the parish of Rochdale had an area of 65.4 square miles (169.4 km2).[8]

In 1825 commissioners for the social and economic improvement of the town were established. The town became part of a parliamentary borough in 1832. Under the terms of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 Rochdale became the head of Rochdale Poor Law Union which was established on 15 February 1837 despite considerable local opposition.[16] In 1856 Rochdale was incorporated as a municipal borough, giving it borough status in the United Kingdom and after 1858 it obtained the powers of the improvement commissioners.[1] In 1872 the remaining area of Wardleworth township and parts of Castleton, Wuerdle and Wardle, Spotland and Butterworth townships were added to the borough.[1]

When the administrative county of Lancashire was created by the Local Government Act 1888, Rochdale was elevated to become the County Borough of Rochdale and was effectively a unitary authority area exempt from the administration of Lancashire County Council. In 1900 most of Castleton Urban District was added to the borough; this urban district included parts of Castleton, Hopwood and Thornham townships. In 1933 parts of Norden Urban District and Birtle with Bamford civil parish were added to the borough.[1] Under the Local Government Act 1972, the town's autonomous county borough status was abolished. The municipal boroughs of Middleton and Heywood and Littleborough, Milnrow and Wardle urban districts are now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, one of the ten metropolitan boroughs in Greater Manchester.[1]

Since 1953, Rochdale has been twinned with Bielefeld in Germany and since 1956 with Tourcoing in France, as well as Sahiwal in Pakistan since 1988.[17]

Parliamentary representation

The Rochdale constituency was created by the Reform Act of 1832. The constituency was held for two decades during the 20th century by Cyril Smith, first of the Liberal Party and then of the Liberal Democrats.[18] Following the 2010 General Election, the town is represented by Simon Danczuk MP, a member of the Labour Party.


Further information: Geography of Greater Manchester

Bright was born at Rochdale, in Lancashire, England — one of the early centres of the Industrial Revolution. His father, Jacob Bright, was a much-respected Quaker, who had started a cotton mill at Rochdale in 1809.  In Rochdale, Jacob Bright was a leader of the opposition to a local church-rate. Rochdale was also prominent in the movement for parliamentary reform,      

He first met Richard Cobden in 1836 or 1837. Cobden was an alderman of the newly formed Manchester Corporation, and Bright went to ask him to speak at an education meeting in Rochdale. Cobden consented, and at the meeting was much struck by Bright's short speech, and urged him to speak against the Corn Laws. His first speech on the Corn Laws was made at Rochdale in 1838, and in the same year he joined the Manchester provisional committee which in 1839 founded the Anti-Corn Law League He was still only the local public man, taking part in all public movements, especially in opposition to John Feilden's proposed factory legislation, and to the Rochdale church-rate. In 1839 he built the house which he called "One Ash", and married Elizabeth, daughter of Jonathan Priestman ofNewcastle-upon-Tyne.

 The Corn Laws were trade laws designed to protect cereal producers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland against competition from less expensive foreign imports between 1815 and 1846.[1] More simply, to ensure that British landowners reaped all the financial profits from farming, the corn laws (which imposed steep import duties) made it too expensive for anyone to import grain from other countries, even when the people of Great Britain and Ireland needed the food (as in times of famine). Corn Laws Raised the cost of such items as bread and Flour to such a high price the poor could not afford to eat , the repeal of the corn law, saved, many poor from starvation. John Bright was a staunch supporter of the Repeal, and fair trade.

The Rochdale Pioneers opened the first Cooperative shop in Toad Lane in 1844.[13] The reformer and Member of Parliament, John Bright (1811–1889), was born in Rochdale and gained a reputation as a leader of political dissent and supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League.[14]

Rochdale Art and History Museum 

Touchstones Museum


Extensive local history museum,  Esplanade Rochdale

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