Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Arbitrators 1859

When the Manchester & Salford Equitable Co-Operative was founded in 1859 they appointed a body of men called arbitrators. Don't know if they ever did any arbitration. But they were invited to the members' meetings and would have lent patronage to a newly founded commercial venture. Interesting five names from radical, non-conformist chapels all well known to the members of the Manchester and Salford co-operators. We are reading articulate middle class, mostly teetotal and vegetarians. They have an interest in democratic reform, free libraries and improvements for the working classes. Then there is Abel Heywood who was buried in the grounds of his home and has his statue in Albert Square.....

Samuel Pope
, barrister, aged 33. Secretary of the UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Traffic in all Intoxicating Liquors. This was a prohibitionist organisation and he stood on this ticket for Stoke 1857 and as Liberal in Bolton in 1859. Didn't win but was re-elected Councillor for Seedley Ward, Salford in November 1859. Henry Dow, one of the instigators of the "Maine Law" which made that state dry (alcohol banned) visited England in April 1857. He greeted him on arrival in Liverpool.

Rev. Thomas Gardner Lee, pastor, aged 59. His church was the New Windsor Chapel (Congregationalist), Cross Lane, Salford. He'd been preaching there since 1843. Responsible for publishing the second edition of Henry 'Box' Brown's Narrative in 1851  It describes Mr. Brown's escape from slavery to Philadelphia in 1849 by being posted in a wooden crate. Supporter of the Union & Emancipation Society in Manchester, the anti-slavery campaign which had two local co-operators J.C.Edwards and Edward Owen Greening as Secretaries.

William Harvey, Mayor of Salford, aged 70. President of the Vegetarian Society, it started in Salford. Active in the Bible Christian Church, Salford. Founder member of UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Traffic in all Intoxicating Liquors, the first meeting was at his house in Acton Square, Salford. Vice President  of the Anti-Tobacco Society. Campaigner for Parliamentary Reform.

Abel Heywood, publisher, bookseller and Mayor of Manchester. Aged 49, and best described as Mr. Manchester of the 19th Century. We know of his radical politics, a former Chartist and three convictions for defying the tax on knowledge - selling newspapers without stamp duty. More to come on Alderman Heywood and his support for co-operatives and connections with the M&SE Co-Op.

James Gaskill, aged 58, Bible Christian minister chapel at Queen Street, Hulme. Lived at 340 Stretford New Road. His occupation is listed as a Cotton Spinner, possibly a spinning business, but when elected to the Chorlton Board of Guardians he is described as a schoolmaster. Well he did this later with educational institutes set up by the Bible Christian Church. A director of the Manchester Mechanics' Institute. Also a teetotaler and vegetarian. Years earlier he presented a silver star and chain to Henry Anderton the teetotal poet in a ceremony in Manchester.

Thanks to Andrew Simpson at Chorltonhistory for help with this research. References to "A Guiltless Feast" by Derek Antrobus 1997 which is a good account of the Salford Bible Christian Church and the rise of the modern vegetarian movement.


Andrew Simpson said...

I had never fully made the connection between temperance and leading members of the co-operative movement, or for that matter their links with vegetarianism. Nice piece Lawrence.

lorenzo23 said...

Don't know enough about other Co-Op Societies but Manchester was pretty much a dry society for a long time. Tea drinking and tobacco were consumed. These were chapel folk - Congregationalist and Bible Christian.

You can email : coop AT biffadigital.org with any information that will help in the making of this history.