The Development ofStrangeways, 1768-1868

4

The New Suburb, 1823-1841.

Robert Hedderwick as agent to Lord Ducie.

Strangeways Unitarian Chapel.

 

Although the circumstances are not clear, it appears that LordDucie only gained full control of his estates towards the end of 1824and immediately stringent controls were placed on the administrationof all his estates, now that he himself was able to actindependently. Some relatives appear to have acted as trustees whichhamstrung development because of the delays it entailed. A new chiefsteward, John Morton, had been appointed in 1814, and had workedclosely with the young Lord Ducie in helping to manage all the familyestates. Now a new agent was appointed in Manchester, one RobertHedderwick, a native of Fife and kinsman of John Morton. New broomssweep clean, and when Robert Hedderwick assumed the agency of LordDucie's Manchester estates at Christmas, 1823, he made it quite clearin his very first letters to Lord Ducie that he intended to conductit in a thoroughly businesslike manner, writing fortnightly to keephim fully informed; indeed, it is Robert Hedderwick's papers whichform the bulk of the 19th century portion of the Ducie Muniments, andit is to be regretted only that his private papers have not survivedto give us a clearer insight into his private life.

One of the first problems inherited by Hedderwick was the CalebLea affair. Lea's lease had only been signed on the last day ofJohnson's agency, for whom Lea had done a great deal of carting.Unfortunately Lea at first wanted to build a public house, and latercottages, both of which inspired horror in Lord Ducie, who consideredthat those would detract from his new suburb. Coupled with this washis claim that he had not received full payment for the work he haddone for Johnson; altogether he was extremely unpopular.

Hedderwick made several suggestions for the improvement ofStrangeways, such as the proposal to widen Johnson Street from threeto five yards to improve its appearance from New Bridge Street. (43)Clauses were also included in leases to forbid the construction ofcottages. Indeed, it is quite clear the contrast in attitude betweenthe two agents, for Hedderwick made stipulations even on minormatters, regulating structural details of the houses, above all theirfrontages. As can be seen from the table on page 25, there was adistinct difference in frontage between houses on major streets andthose on less important streets out of the public view. There were agreat many sales too just after Robert Hedderwick became agent, whichcertainly assisted him in building up his reputation as a newcomer toManchester, and as a new employee of Lord Ducie. Indeed, theincreased number of sales led to a decision by John Morton to "get alease printed so as to save the expense to purchasers." (44) Thisdecision led to a complete rethinking of policy on sales as a resultof a letter from Lord Ducie's lawyer, namely:

 

Plot No Frontage 1st storey 2nd storey Street

11 7 yards 10 feet 9 feet York

15 11 9.5 9 ditto

45 6 10 9 Moreton

50 7 10 9 Great Ducie

73 7 10 9 ditto

76 6 10 9 Moreton

77 6 10 9 Julia

79 4.5 Berkeley

98 7 10 9 Great Ducie

 

(45) Map 5

 

"The following considerations are with deference submitted to LordDucie and his local agents at Manchester with a view to promote theprogress of building on his Lordship's land there. Having beendesired by his Lordship to consider the form of a lease to be printedfor general adoption as a building lease, the present seems a fitopportunity for reconsidering a point which appears to be ofimportance viz, whether these grants should be for a term of 99years, or perpetual grants on fee farm rents." (46)

Mr Tennant then lists eight points for consideration, and each ofthese points is further commented upon for Robert Hedderwick by JohnMorton. Tennant's first point was that "My own observations and theopinions of others conversant in the habits and practices ofManchester have inclined me to prefer the perpetual grant as morefavourable to improvement than any term of years however long." JohnMorton's comment is in contrast to Tennant's circumlocutions,trenchant and to the point.

"I have not the least doubt but the granting of perpetual leases... would not only be preferred by purchasers but nothing could tendmore to encourage building in Lord Ducie's estate in Manchester andStrangeways, his Lordship being the only landlord in Manchester whogrants leases for a term of 99 years, all others give perpetualleases on fee farm rent or sell the fee."

Tennant's observation, that "The present state of the money marketis highly favourable to the progress of covering building ground insuch a place as Manchester" explains the upsurge in interest shown inland at that time, and the increased number of offers made. Anotherobservation, that "It has been found inconvenient in London to grantthe land until after the buildings have been erected" did not receiveJohn Morton's approbation.

"Years ago I thought this would be a good plan, but when Iexamined into the cause of the houses in Bath and Bristol remainingfor twenty or thirty years in an unfinished state I was informed thatthe proprietor entered into an engagement to give a lease after thehouse was completed, and that builders borrow money on the house assoon as he got it up near the roof and generally got more money onthem than he had expected he left the contract in the hands of theleaser and also left the houses as they now stand the lender notchoosing to finish it ...

Tennant's other proposals included a chapel of ease, withassistance under the Million Act and a local Act of Parliament forpaving, lighting and cleaning the Strangeways estates. At the timeonly New Bridge Street and Great Ducie Street were lighted bygaslight by subscription amongst the inhabitants, Lord Ducie alsosubscribing.

For over a year Hedderwick was becoming established, andfamiliarizing himself with the estate, its inhabitants and its manypeculiarities. Early in the following year plans began to materialisefor the erection of his house at the head of Park Place, a the centreof Strangeways Park below the pond, he living in rented accommodationat the time. Alterations were made in the plan at the same time; in aletter John Morton wrote, "With regard to your house it is at lastsettled as you wish and I have sent a plan showing where it is to beplaced. The nameless street is to be moved near to Carnarvon Streetand at right angles to York Road, and to cross Augustus Street, andyour house is to be placed so as to be seen from York Road, at thebottom of this street." (47) This was near a building known as theOctagon, though John Morton Commented "I do not think it will dojoined to the Octagon, do you? (48) In May Lord Ducie recommendedthat Hedderwick advertize for a contract to build the house, but whenan estimate was received from John Duckett for £902.1.1 1/2Ducie thought it "a great deal too much" and requested separateestimates adding "I have no doubt but you will save at least£100 with using all the old brick etc. you can get in Tipping'sCourt." John Morton told Hedderwick "I shall write Lord Ducie thatbuilding in Manchester or any great town where bricks are used cannotbe done for as little money as in Gloucestershire, where the stoneand work can be done for 2/- per 16 1/2 feet long by one foot high -you will not get so much done for less than 12/- or 16/-." (49) (50)Work must have proceeded fairly quickly after this, for by June,1825, Robert Hedderwick was installed in his new house. (51)

This episode illustrates clearly the interest shewn by Lord Ducieeven for the minutiae of estate management. His agent was treated asjust such: all decisions, even on quite minor issues, had to bereferred to Lord Ducie himself. Each year he would move northwards,sometimes as far as Manchester itself, or as far as the spa atBuxton, whither Hedderwick would travel to give a full account of theprevious year while his employer sought relief from the gout whichplagued him. He sponsored Bills concerning his estate, gave hissupport to parliamentary candidates - a brief mandate would be sentto Hedderwick - in the Manchester and Lancashire elections, sponsoredbridges, roads and, later, railways, in fact, did anything he couldto further the development of his estate. He had naturally aninterest in his estate, especially as he was anxious to pay off thecharge on the estate that he had inherited, but it still remains trueto say that he inherited the business acumen of his grandfather. Hewas, nevertheless, somewhat reactionary in his ideas: even though in1824 he agreed to change the leases from 99 years, it was to leasesof 999 years, Lord Ducie appearing to have had an irrationalopposition to the outright alienation of his land. He even refused tosell land for a chapel as he would not be able to bind it inperpetuity to be used for religious purposes. Lord Ducie wanted toeat his cake.

 

Robert Hedderwick was, in Lord Ducie's eyes, a successful agent,and the improvements made during his lifetime would appear to bearout his judgement. John Morton came to Strangeways and stayed atRobert Hedderwick's house soon after he had removed there, andHedderwick wrote in his letter to Lord Ducie that:

"During Mr Morton's stay here, I shewed him what Improvements hadbeen made upon this property since I took the charge of it, andlikewise those which I proposed making, all of which he approved of."(52)

Having reported back to the Ducies at their seat inGloucestershire, John Morton was able to write back to RobertHedderwick that:

"... they said you are zealous and seem to enter heart and soulinto the business ... from what they said I could easily perceivethat they were not only highly pleased with every part of yourmanagement but had the utmost confidence in you." (53)

Indeed, they thought so highly of him that they requested that heshould stand for the surveyorship of the proposed new road to Bury,which post he in fact received. As early as 1824 John Morton hadwritten to him " ... the size you are breaking the stones is just thething as it is Lord Ducie's wish that you should make a good road atonce ... besides it will be to your advantage to show the Manchesterfolk how to make good roads." (54)

The construction of the new Bury road figures large in thecorrespondence of this period; discussions were already in progressto "convert the Strangeways road into a turnpike" when RobertHedderwick became agent. Hedderwick recommended that "no good wouldensue if the improvement did not begin at the top of Hunts Bank."(55) Negotiations continued over the next two years, mainly on asingle point, till Robert Hedderwick was able to write

"Mr Twyford has this day agreed, that should the purposed turnpikeroad through Strangeways take place, for the turnpike gate to beplaced out of Strangeways; this I consider to be a very importantpoint as it will give the land in Strangeways a great advantage overMr Clowes' land." (56)

Rivalry with the Rev. John Clowes was clearly high, especiallysince he had proposed a new road through his own property as long agoas 1816. (57) The following month, however, the scheme moved forwardwith the first public meeting, the one concerning which Lord Duciewrote to Hedderwick: " ... I wish you to attend the meeting ofgentlemen for the new road through Strangeways to Bury and put myname down for two thousand pounds. It would be a good thing if youcould be made manager of the new road." (58)

Robert Hedderwick was appointed manager, and work then proceededin obtaining parliamentary sanction for the turnpike. One CharlesBarrett wrote to Hedderwick in February 1826,

"The petition for our Turnpike Bill was presented to the house byMr Blackburn last Tuesday and yesterday I went through the committeeof standing orders. The Bill is now printing, and I shall see LordShaftesbury upon it in a few days. I have some hopes of getting himto consent to the protecting clause in favour of Lord Ducie's road...that no toll bar shall be erected in Strangeways without the consentof Lord Ducie or the person entitled to the freehold inheritance, bywhich we should have it in our power to place it in such a situationas would prevent Mr Taylor's property getting clear of it." (59)

Private interests were always fought for before the publicinterest was ever considered, and the problem of siting the toll barbrought this out clearly. Lord Ducie wrote to Hedderwick in March

"I have received a letter from Mr Clowes and one from Mr Barrettconcerning the removal of the toll bar. I have written to Mr Clowesto say I must decidedly object to the spot they propose. It hasoccurred to me since I wrote to him that the object might be obtainedby putting a toll bar on the Broughton road itself, which would takeall travellers from Broughton, Pendleton etc. and answer the purposewithout doing anything unfair to myself or tenants." (60)

Work started on the new road in the autumn, "giving relief tothose that are in want of work." (61) and proceeded well for twoyears, when the economic situation necessitated a temporary halt tothe construction of the road. Work was resumed in December 1829 butby then a new threat had appeared as Lord Ducie wrote to Hedderwick"I hope no rail road will be started in opposition to it." (62) Inaddition the problem of the toll bar continued, culminating in apetition to Lord Ducie from some of his tenants, claiming that as theoriginal Act had provided for a toll at the boundary of Cheetham andBroughton townships, "considerable purchases of land have been madein the faith that the aforesaid arrangement would have been adheredto." (63) The decision had in fact been made that the toll bar "befixed adjoining (but on the further side of) the gate leading to LordDucie's Print Works occupied by Mrs Lomas." This was the decision ofthe committee, though obviously not of Robert Hedderwick, who added"I never was an advocate for allowing the Bar to be placed inStrangeways, the effects of which will be seen on our building land."(64) (65)

Assiduous as he was in the pursuit of his duties, RobertHedderwick's enthusiasm also made him at times unpopular, especiallyas he only considered Lord Ducie's interest, never that of thetenants. He never hesitated to serve notices to quit on tenants whowere tardy with their biannual payments, no matter what thecircumstances. Ill feelings came to a head at a meeting of the NewBury Road Trust in March, 1827, when John Greenwood, one of thetenants, interrupted to declare openly that

"You had been the means of raising and had at this moment at leasttwenty actions with Lord Ducie's tenants; that you were the worstagent Lord Ducie had ever had; and that Lord Ducie was losing£1,000 per annum by retaining you as agent." (66)

Robert Hedderwick had written about this not only to lawyerTennant, but also to his friend, colleague and relation John Mortonwho, sensing how deeply hurt and offended Robert Hedderwick felt as aresult of this public accusation replied,

"I have just received yours of the 14th inst. and I am very muchastonished at the account you have given of John Greenwood's conducttoward you ... with regard to the statements made by Greenwood whichyou mention I can say from my knowledge of all your transactions onLord Ducie's account that instead of it being a loss to Lord Ducie of£1,000 a year, I feel assured that ever since you became hislordship's agent in Manchester it has been a gain of at least£l,000 a year to his lordship; and as to you having raisedtwenty actions against Lord Ducie's tenants, I am not aware of one,for although I have several times by Lord Ducie's desire requestedyou to institute an action against a person of the name of Greenwoodfor the payment of rent due, yet you in your prudence always put itoff, thinking it might be settled without putting him to theexpense." (67) It is clear that a clash of personalities as to blamefor this distressing conflict but there seems to be a germ of truthin Greenwood's allegation - Hedderwick was certainly the worstpossible agent for lax tenants to have to deal with, and a plethoraof notices to quit issued regularly from Park Place.

 

Development of the estate after the change in policy in 1824continued with an initial upsurge of interest which rapidly diedaway, only one sale being made in the whole of 1825 . Most purchaserstook the 999 year lease, and set to building. Some were themselvesbuilders or stonemasons, others purchased as an investment, likeCanon Wray. Building was piecemeal, as might be inferred not onlyfrom the maps but from the statement made by William Evans, "I shalllikewise build one house immediately and one more each year until theland is all built upon." Evans also received special permission "tocarry on his business as a stonemason and to have a stone yard intoBerkeley Street which I think would be no inconvenience to theinhabitants. Should your lordship accept of his offer he wishes tocommence building next week." (68) It was at this time thatHedderwick made the suggestion that particular bricks be specified inthe leases, which received the support of John Morton.

"I think it highly proper in Ducie Street, Bridge Street, YorkStreet, Dutton Street, Carnarvon Street, Agent Street and in all theprincipal streets above as I fully expect that all the high groundwill in time be occupied by most respectable people. (69)

Another suggestion was also approved "I think it would be anexcellent plan to have a butcher's house, shop and stable, but whereis the situation most eligible for it? It would let well, this, orrather a market is what I was for years ago, but it never was put inexecution." (70)

The year 1826 saw a further decline in sales, in fact no saleswere made in that year, but this was a reflection of economicconditions in the country as a whole, and all

 

Sales by Robert Hedderwick, 1824-1826

Lessee Date of lease Term Area (square yards)

Henry Ripley 24.6.1824 999 1041

John Dickett 936

Edward Merryweather 1367

James Murray 946

ditto 1474

Thomas Shaw 396

Thomas Walker 396

John Pilling 392

Edward Chew 1179

Joseph Smith -

Rev. C. D. Wray 1570

James Adkin 583

John Heaton 1082

Henry Powell 1360

ditto 506

Edward Redfern 783

John Rowcroft 443

Thomas Woodward 726

Joseph Shaw 1003

ditto 504

John Duckett 29.9.1824 99 484

ditto ditto ditto ditto

Joseph Lodge 30.11.1824 ditto 2650

William Evans 10.12.1824 ditto 348

 

Extracted from J. R. P9

 

development fell into abeyance. John Morton wrote to RobertHedderwick

"What a distressed state the country is in at the present time, Ido not expect you will be able to make any sales this year, allspeculations are at an end for the present. Lord Ducie desires me tosay to you that he wishes you to discontinue all expenses, either inthe way of improvements preparing streets, or even finishing streetsthat are already begun." (71)

Conditions were so bad that Lord Ducie sent fifty pounds for therelief of the poor of Manchester, and the Strangeways Charity for theapprenticing of boys was revived, there being an accumulation ofmoney. (72)

There was always dissension in Strangeways between the twointerests, residential on the one hand, and of industry and commerceon the other. Nuisance was continually caused by the existingfactories, and by others erected in contravention of the terms of theleases. Messrs Coates were a major source of complaints; RobertHedderwick wrote to them in 1825 that "it is in contemplation by theinhabitants of Strangeways to raise an action against you, to compelthe burning of smoke upon the most improved principle." (73) Asimilar notice was served on the proprietors of Hole and Potter'sBrewery.

Four years later William Nightingale wrote to Robert Hedderwick tocomplain against Coates saying "I consider myself very ill used byMessrs Coates and Co. throwing down their ashes and other rubbish andfilth in the street opposite the end of my house in Briddon Street... the work people of Messrs Coates and Co. are in other respectsvery annoying, particularly the lads and lasses by their uproariousconduct and the very great noises they make in the neighbourhood."(74) Another nuisance was the practice of burning bricks, the rawmaterial of Manchester's physical expansion, on the "brickfieldswhich began at Elizabeth Street and spread their unlovely lengthsdown towards Strangeways, eating up Cheetwood, which graduallydisappeared." (75) By the time Map 6 was printed the whole ofStrangeways Park was covered with brickfields, leased from year toyear so that it could be recovered for building purposes at anytime.

Shops were always strictly controlled in Strangeways during thisperiod, there presence being considered a nuisance and undesirable ina residential area, but breaches of the covenant frequently occurredand had to be suppressed. Lord Ducie's butcher shop had existed fromearly days, and had been rebuilt in 1825, but in 1827 RobertHedderwick wrote to one of the tenants, Robert Pritchard, "OnSaturday last I observed on the land leased to you by Lord Ducie aButcher's Stall; when I questioned the owner of it whether or not youhad authorized him to sell butcher meat there I did not get asatisfactory answer." (76)

In 1832 Robert Hedderwick took stern action against Pritchard:"Concerning that the alterations you are about making in yourdwelling houses in Great Ducie Street are for the purpose of lettingthem as shops, I have this day given His Lordship's solicitorinstruction to commence an action against you." (77) The battle wasalready lost, however, and despite Hedderwick's attempts the numberof shops increased, so that when James Burton wrote to Lord Ducierequesting permission to build a cabinet maker's shop, he added, "Ibeg further to observe that there are no less than nine other shopsand two public houses in the same street." (78) Great Ducie Streetwas by its very design and situation eminently suitable fordevelopment with shops, and the attempt to ban them failed from thebeginning.

 

The first people to apply for land in Strangeways for religiouspurposes were in fact the Roman Catholics, and initial negotiationswith Lord Ducie were encouraging. They intended to build on a plotbounded by Great Ducie Street and New Bridge Street, a prominentsituation. John Morton commented that

"Lord Ducie has liberal principles with regard to all religions,and has always voted for the Catholic emancipation, and would notobject to a chapel for them, only you must be careful if you shouldlet them any ground for that purpose to enforce them to make thechapel front so as to make it an improvement to the neighbourhood,and that they should build a wall so high as not to let the burialground be seen from the street." (79)

It is surprizing that Lord Ducie was even able to contemplate aburial ground, even to the degree that "Augustus Street may be doneaway with and the burying ground may go back to the reservoir." (80)However, the plan proved abortive, and it was not till 1844 that afresh attempt was made by the Rev. John Worthy, who was told that"the style and appearance of a church or chapel on the land in YorkStreet will so completely rule the Earl of Ducie's decision" but bynow it was deemed that "burial vaults under the church would beobjectionable." (81) A new agent and a new Lord Ducie naturally haddifferent opinions to those of their predecessors, opinions that werestrengthened, so that the new agent wrote to Mr Worthy

"I find the neighbourhood is in arms against a Catholic churchbeing built on the ground in front of my house and I have beeninformed that a remonstrance will be immediately handed to me forforwarding to his lordship." (82)

It is interesting to note from this episode that the oppositionwas not on religious grounds but for social reasons:

"It appears that the crowds of wretchedly poor people hangingabout the streets during their festival days and almost every morningat prayers form the greatest objection." (83)

 

Strangeways UnitarianChapel

 

Unlike the Roman Catholics, the Unitarians of Manchester hadalways been associated with quite the opposite end of the socialspectrum. The chapel had its origins in a congregation of Unitarianswho began work in 1820 in Greengate, Salford, on the opposite bank toStrangeways. That chapel was opened on Christmas day, 1824, but in afew year it was decided to seek a better situation. Led by ThomasPotter, wealthy owner of Strangeways Brewery, and Richard Wilson,father of the more famous George Wilson, Chairman of the Anti-CornLaw League, who both lived in Strangeways, the choice of a site inStrangeways causes no surprise. First enquiries were made by GeorgeHeywood, member of another prominent Manchester Unitarian family, whowrote to Robert Hedderwick in August, 1835, enquiring "for theinformation of the chapel trustees if the land in Bridge StreetStrangeways is offered on a perpetual lease or for a term ... andfurther would not the owner of pews be free of toll to Salford?"(84)

Five days later Heywood sent a note to Hedderwick saying "I havecalled at the request of the Trustees of the Greengate Chapel to saythat they take the land in Bridge Street adjoining Mr Ashton'sbuildings." (85) Arrangements then commenced for the new chapel, butone or two legal minutiae caused delays. Lord Ducie wrote toHedderwick in August 1836

"With respect to the Unitarians and their chapel the conversationI had with Mr Philips was that I would make it freehold provided itwas never to be used for any other purpose than for a chapel. I sincefind that cannot be legally done as once made freehold no law canbind in futurity." (86)

The problem was smoothed over, and on October 26th, 1836, MrRobert Philips of the Park, Prestwich, laid the corner stone. (87)Dissensions now broke out, one section of the congregation electingto remain in Greengate with Mr Beard, the then minister, while theother section migrated to Strangeways. In September, 1837, theStrangeways Chapel Committee met to appoint members, now led byThomas Potter and Richard Wilson who, in consequence of the divisionhad written to Hedderwick requesting him to "please get the lease ofthe land for the chapel in Strangeways prepared and ready forexecution as early as possible and in our names only." (88) Now thatthe chapel was a-building, it was imperative to find a minister forthe opening of the chapel, if not before. (89) In December thedecision was taken to open the Sunday School as soon as would bepracticable, after it had been painted and furnished. Potter appearsto have been a progressive educationalist: he was responsible for theformation of the Girls' Day and Infant Schools in Strangeways in1832, the infant school being for children aged two to seven.(90)

Financial problems beset the early days of the chapel, and stepswere taken in the same December to borrow money for the completion ofthe chapel, but this at first failed. The heating apparatus was foundto be defective in the chapel, and especially in the school room.Attempts to find a minister failed; not till January 1839 was aminister found who was willing to take the post, and by then thecommittee was almost in despair. Plans had gone ahead during 1838 forthe opening of the chapel, the various fittings having been purchasedin May. Arrangements were made for "colouring the outside of thechapel and painting the rails" (91) and for the advertising of theopening, it being decided that

"two hundred posting bills and seven hundred circulars of theopening of the chapel be printed, and that the opening be advertizedin the Guardian of Wednesday next and the following Saturday, and inthe Times and Advertizer of the 9th of June." (92)

The opening sermon was preached by the rev. George Harris ofGlasgow on June 17th, 1838, two other persons at least havingdeclined the invitation. £103.13.0 was collected at the service,which no doubt inspired sufficient confidence for the £1,000loan that was made a week later. In September a flagon and chalicewere purchased, and the decision was taken that "the sacrament of theLord's Supper should be administered the first Sunday in everyalternate month." (93)

The cost of building the chapel was considerable, and as it wasonly half paid for it remained a considerable burden on thecongregation. The bill for carpenters' and joiners' work formed byfar the largest single item, at £1,435.13.6, and it isinteresting to note the many smaller bills. Financing the chapel wasa great headache, especially after the division of the congregation,and in May, 1840, an attempt was made to secure a further £500loan. In October the minister, the rev. William Mountford, intimatedhis concern about "the difficulties pervading the chapel affairs" andthis was followed closely by a letter on February 15th announcing hisresignation. (94) At a special meeting held four days later MrMountford recommended the Rev. George Harris as a successor, andPotter, by now Sir Thomas Potter, wrote to him, but met with a politerefusal; nobody wished to accept the responsibility of a chapel thatappeared to be floundering. He continued to write to various peoplewho all courteously declined, and in the meantime the chapel wasserved by various preachers who came on invitation, including thefamous William Gaskell of the Cross Street Chapel, Manchester. DrGordon, one of the people invited, replied, "I take a deep interestin the success of your new congregation, embracing, as I know itdoes, some of the best friends of civil and religious liberty." (95)At a meeting held on September 28th there was the equivalent of avote of confidence: "It was resolved unanimously ... that furtherefforts should be made to carry on the chapel." At a special meetingthe following month a presentation was made to Mr Mountford of "avery elegant and

 

Building Account for Strangeways Unitarian Chapel, 1839

 

Debit

Labourers' wages 2 7 11

Brickwork 612 1 0

Masonry and excavating 464 13 6

Carpenter and joiners' work 1435 13 6

Plasterer and painter 354 1 6

Plumber and glazier 176 6 6

Slaters' work 83 1 0

Palisades 80 0 0

Pulpit, cabinet and upholsterers' work 117 10 6

Gas fittings 78 0 0

Heating apparatus 35 0 0

Insurance 7 8 0

Clerk of Works 40 0 0

Expenses of laying corner stone 16 14 0

Law expenses, lease and mortgage deed 74 1 0

Expenses connected with sale of Greengate 31 11 0

chapel

Ditto Strangeways chapel estate 44 9 0

Chief Rent to time of opening 62 1 8

Removing, altering and fixing organ 10 6 6

Water rent 17 6

Ironmonger's bill 18 11 0

Doormats and matting 8 16 6

Front lamp frames etc. 9 12 6

Coals 9 9 10

Gas Rent 1 17 2

Cleaning before opening 2 7 1

Printing and Stationery 14 12 6

Candle lamps 1 7 6

John Langley for attendance 3 10 0

Mrs Scofield 7 0 0

Expenses of preaching at opening of chapel 14 14 6

Sundries 2 6 0

Balance of interest 55 0 4

Pulpit cushion, tassels etc. 2 18 4

Engraving labels 1 4 0

£3879 1 4

 

Credit

Subscriptions 1151 13 4

Trustees of Greengate Chapel 987 5 0

Amount from Bazaar Fund for various items 110 14 0

in fitting up schools

Collected at opening of chapel 103 13 0

Loan 1000 0 0

 

Balance 525 16 0

 

£3879 1 4

 

massive silver inkstand with taper stand etc. value £17.17.0leaving a balance of £60 in sovereigns for presentation in apurse." (97) Hope appeared by then to be dwindling for thecontinuance of the chapel, at a meeting on 11th November 1841

"It appearing that the expenses of carrying on the chapel would beso great that the necessary revenue to meet it could not be raised MrCharlton suggested that an offer should be made to the Greengatecongregation to take the chapel estate at £l,870, they returningto the Strangeways congregation the £300 which they had latelypaid to them, and if they declined to take it, to sell it." (98)

The organist resigned his post, the chapel was closed for divineservice, and a last effort was made to keep the infants' and girls'day schools open for four months further. By April only the infantschool could be kept open, and at an extraordinary general meeting onJuly 31st the dissolution of the Unitarian Chapel was ratified andconfirmed. (99)

This was, however, not the end of the congregation, for havingeaten humble pie they found it expedient to make up their differenceswith the Greengate Chapel and were henceforth united. Dr Beard becamepastor of the united congregations and his chapel in Greengate wasfinally closed, he remaining as minister at Strangeway till heretired in 1864. The chapel flourished for many years, drawing itscongregation not only from Strangeways but from many milesaround.

Seventy-nine years after their last attempt, members of theHartley family resumed their claim to the Strangeways estate with theunexpected publication of a poster by a Joseph Hartley in September,1829. (100) Progress was very slow, and it was not till 1835 that thecase began to draw any attention, and Robert Hedderwick had beengiven the task of attending to the impending trial, as it wasdescribed. A person named Cuthbert who claimed to possess evidencevital to the Hartley's case, offered it to Lord Ducie, expecting afinancial reward. He wrote to Lord Ducie:

"Since that part of the Hartley family who are now coming forwardhave obtained the patronage of a few wealthy men, together with othermarks of independent support, they entirely rejected all the femaledescent as claimants, and by this means they were only desirous ofpossessing themselves of all that I had, as they knew that nopedigree could be produced supported by Church register (as by Courtrequired) except I gave up what I now hold." (101)

Hedderwick visited Cuthbert, whose material was peremptorilyrejected, much to his humiliation. Lord Ducie apparently had no fearof losing his estate to an upstart. A Mrs Hewitt was the chiefwitness to break the peaceable possession of sixty years, and anaction by writ of right was to be resorted to, an action in which theHartleys felt "confident of a partial success." (102)

Declarations of Ejectment were served on Lord Ducie's tenants inNovember 1836, and caused something of a flurry amongst theinhabitants, but the case did not come to court until the Spring Of1847, when Lord Ducie's lawyer wrote to Hedderwick that "Hartley'sbill was laughed out of court, but he will begin again." (103)

Robert Hedderwick was an important influence in the development ofStrangeways, for his power was sufficient to completely alter thecourse of its growth. He was a model agent, devoting himself to hiswork, but the unhealthy atmosphere of Manchester took it toll of hishealth, and already in 1833 there were signs of his fatal illnesswhen John Morton wrote to him "I am sorry to hear that you have notgot quit of the pain in your side; you must take great care ofyourself and try to get quit of this as soon as you can. (104) It wasprobably because of this that in March he had desire to relinquishthe management of the New Bury Road, but this had been opposed byLord Ducie, with an eye to his financial returns.

 

Despite his illness Hedderwick continued to work satisfactorily,so that when the Christmas rental was shown to Lord Ducie at thebeginning of 1834, John Morton was able to report that Lord Ducie"... is very much pleased with them; I never saw him better satisfiedat anything than he is at the state of the property under yourguidance." (105) But Hedderwick's health continued to deteriorate, somuch so that by the following winter he had to take to his bed, andJohn Morton wrote to him in February "I hope you have got quitestrong and able to get out"

The half-yearly accounts for 1835 again elicited admiration andcontentment from Lord Ducie, and John Morton reported once againthat

"they are very satisfactory and I have no doubt that under yourmanagement a fulfilment of my prediction will take place, that therental of the Manchester property will amount to £l0,000; if youhad come to Manchester in '16 when Johnson took the management itwould have been £10,000 by this time." (106)

John Morton appears not to have comprehended the gravity ofHedderwick's illness, even though he remarked in the same letter thathe was glad he was to get a horse: "you ought to have had one longago." Its acquisition now must have been a necessity forHedderwick.

Confinement to his home for the winter months was now automatic,and the decline continued. In 1840 John Morton wrote

"I am sorry to hear from Catherine's letter and Mr Stewart's thatyou are so poorly. I hope you will soon be able to get about. WouldJohn or Thomas [his sons] be of any use to you, if so I wouldsend one of them immediately." (107)

Two months later, shortly after the death of Lord Ducie,Hedderwick removed to Matlock to take the waters, and in Octoberstayed at Woodchester en route for Cheltenham where he intended towinter. Unfortunately these remedies came far too late, and RobertHedderwick died in January, 1841. Funeral expenses were paid by thenew Lord Ducie, and the widow received an annual pension of£50.

 
 1Introduction 2Industrial Revolution 3The New Strangeways 4The New Suburb 5The Mature Suburb 6Decline ReferencesMaps

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