Decorated initial T

he population, according to the census return of 1861, of the city of Manchester, is 367,979, and of the borough of Salford, 102,449. . . . Tho town on the whole is moderately healthy, but the mortality in certain districts is very heavy among children. In the Manchester registration district proper, including the so-called townships, with its sub-districts of Ancoats, St. George’s, Market-street, London-road, the population being, in 1841, 192,219, the number of births were 7,145, and of deaths 5,831; in 1851, population 228,435, births 9,118, deaths 7,020; in 1860, population 243,625, births 9,085, deaths 6,807. The total births in Manchester in 1862 were 4,033, against 3,828 deaths; in 1863, 4,555 births, 4,096 deaths. In Salford the births in 1862 were 2,196, against 1,337 deaths; in 1863 the births were 2,130, the deaths 1,461. But these returns would need to be slightly amended, the census and registrars districts being slightly different. The annual average rate of mortality, from all causes, to 1,000 persons living, 1851-60, in Manchester, would be 31, and in Salford 26, showing, with the exception of Liverpool (33), the largest death-rate in the country, and more than that of Bolton (27), Wigan (27), and Oldham (25), the towns which surround it—the diseases operating most malifically being scarlatina and diseases of the respiratory organs; consumption, diarrhoea, and measles standing next in order.

Against this the birth-rate for the entire counties of Lancaster and Chester was slightly above that of the average of the kingdom; and it is probable that the privations caused by what has been termed the “cotton famine” enhanced the mortality. The tables for the intermediate years show a considerable oscillation in the death rate, caused by deflections of temperature and these other causes which especially operate to the diminution of life in largo towns. Manchester retains many of the characteristics of a manufacturing town which has risen from a very humble beginning, in the squalid and narrow character of the streets, and the comparative narrowness of some of the principal theroughfares.

Till within the past few years a large proportion, nearly 10 per cent., of the population lived in cellars and in places absolutely unlit for human occupation—the returns for 1849 showing something like 5,000 cellars used as habitations, and a population of 20,399 resident in theso wretched and unwholesome abodes.—Till the commencement of the year 1800 and the outbreak of the American war, the city of Manchester showed a progressive, rapid, and continuous increase in its prosperity. Tho check to the supply of cotton, however, threw a large number of the labouring population its prosperity. The check to the supply of cotton, however, threw a large number of the labouring population out of employment, and necessitated an appeal to other sources of supply for the growth of the staple. But in spite of the depressing influences referred to, and the evils of non-employment and pauperism following in their train, the returns of mortality and sickness prove that the sanitary condition of the neighbourhood was not seriously impaired by the privations inflicted. A development of further supplies of cotton from other countries during the last three years, together with the happy conclusion of the American war, have again restored Manchester to something like its old prosperity; while the introduction of Indian, Surat, Egyptian, and Brazilian cottons has to some extent rendered the country independent of its former sources of supply.[764]


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland. Ed. N.E.S.A. Hamilton. London: Virtue [1868]. V, 102-08. HathiTrust online version of a copy in the University of Illinois Library. Web. 9 July 2022.

Last modified 9 July 2022