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front pinnacles, which marked the stails of the two former centuries, and a flat horizontal cornice (though much enriched) which surmou...ts the whole. The town (probably the church) of Mauchester was originally a plate of sanctuary, and one of the eight places to which this privilege was confirmed by the statute of 32 Henry the Eighth, in 1540-1. But the privilege was transferred to Chester in the following year, as it had been found to operate to the prejudice of the wealth, credit, and good order of the place. . On the alarm created by the Spanish armada, when every town in the kingdom, or at least of the maritime counties, was called to contribute its quota of defence, Manchester furnished only thirtyeight men for harquebusiers, the same number for archers, and 144 men for bills and pikes; and in 1599, on raising men to suppress the rebellion in Ireland, the magistrates were cautioned not to send any vagabonds or disorderly persons, but men of good character, and particularly young men, who were skilled in the use of the hand-gun. In 1605, a pestilence here carried off 1000 persons; and we know little more of the general history of Manchester until 1642, when, in the dispute between Charles the First and his parliament, it took side with the latter, and the town was occupied by the county militia. In September of that year the Earl of Derby besieged it in vain, retiring, after several days, with considerable loss: the ends of the streets were then only fortified; but it was better garrisoned and defended in the course of the next year. A violent pestilenee broke out here in 1645, when collections were made in all the churches of London and Westminster. The fortifications of the town were dismantled in 1652. Notwithstanding the resolute opposition of this town to King Charles the First, the coronation of Charles the Second, on the 23d of April, 1661, appears to have been honoured with particular distinction. In 1708, an act was obtained for building St. Ann's church, the site of which, with the square, was formerly a cornfield, and so remembered to be, by the name of Acre's Field, by an old man who died in or about the year 1780. St. Mary's church * Was
was built by act of parliament in 1753; and in 1757, an act was obtained to exonerate the town from the obligation of grinding corn at the free-school mills. In 1776, another act was passed for widening the streets. In 1791, an act was obtained for lighting, watching, and cleansing the town, on which occasion a watchhouse was established; and in 1792, the centre of the town was farther improved by taking down the Exchange. In this account of Manchester, it will be expected that some of the public buildings be noticed; but this must necessarily be concise. The INFIRMARY, DISPENSARY, LUNATIC Hospit AL, and Asylu M, are all included in one spacious building, in the highest part of the town. The foundation for the first edifice was laid in 1753, when only 250l. had been subscribed towards it. The plan for receiving forty patients, was afterwards extended to eighty; but 160 beds are now appropriated for the use of patients; and in 1792, a Dispensary was added, and a suitable building annexed, collections for which were made at the different places of religious worship, to the amount of more than 4,000l. Perhaps it should be added, that benefactions and legacies for the support of the Infirmary and Dispensary, prior to the 24th of June, 1803, amounted to more than 32,600l. and the annual subscriptions to more than 68,500l.-The Lunatic Hospital and Asylum was opened in 1766*. A poor-house also was opened in 1792, and another at Salford in 1793; in both the paupers are employed, according to their respective ages, ability, and capacities, in the various parts of the cotton manufactures, such as warping, weaving, &c. and in such other branches of business as they are respectively qualified for. The Sunday-Schools also form a distinguishing feature of this town; one of these for children whose parents belong to the established church, and the other for those of other denominations. At first, both were under one direction; but a division, which afterwards,
* The regulations for governing these institutions are peculiarly judicious. See Manchester Guide.
afterwards, with much propriety, succeeded, has been productive of advantage to both. The PUBLIC-BATHs, which are situated at the entrance of the Infirmary Walks, consists of hot, tepid, vapour, and cold baths, to which are attached very comfortable dressing-rooms, that are regulated with the strictest order and propriety; we feel doubly called upon to express our approbation of the terms of admission, which are moderate, and the application of the profits to the support of the Infirmary. The LYINGIN Hospital, at Salford, instituted in 1790, not only provides professional aid and domestic accommodation for pregnant women who are received into it, but for the delivery of poor married women at their own houses, with proper advice, and suitable medicines. The House of Recovery is an appendage to the Infirmary, and intended to accommodate 100 patients, with proper offices. This originated in 1796, and is calculated for persons in contagious fevers; but persons having scarlet and epidemical fevers, in particular, are completely shut out from the rest of the house; the apartments being ventilated in the best possible manner, to lessen the predominant effluvia, and prevent the circulation of the morbid matter. The STRANGERs' FRIEND SoCIETY, instituted in 1791, distributes cloaths, beds, and blankets, and whatever may be found necessary for the comfort of poor strangers, who have been industriously sought out, when sinking under the pressure of poverty and disease; and it should not be unnoticed, that people of every religious persuasion are subscribers to it, and that the methodists, with whom it first originated, invariably exclude their own poor from its benefits. The BoRoughREEve's CHARITY arises from lands and moneys, left for distribution to poor, aged, and impotent inhabitants in Manchester. These are provided with linen cloth, coats, gowns, or money, at discretion, according to their respective wants; but the lands have been lately sold for building on, and the value of that part of the property is augmented in more than a quadruple proportion. The cloth given on this occasion, is so marked as to prevent its being either pawned or sold. - - Societies Societies for the propagation of knowledge, and dissemination of useful and valuable discoveries, are numerous in Manehester.— The GRAMMAR School has been already mentioned; besides which there are many private schools, both here and in Salford.The LITERARY AND PHILosophical Society, established in 1781, of which the late Dr. Thomas Percival, a native of Warrington, was long president, is the most noted. It has published several volumes of its memoirs, some of which have been translated into the French and German languages. The society's meetings are every Friday fortnight, from October to April, inclusive; and, on admission by ballot, each member pays an entrance of two guineas, and an annual subscription of one guinea.—The PHILoloGICAL SOCIETY was instituted in 1803, on the model of a similar society in Liverpool. Its professed object is, “to cultivate hiterature and science in general, Polemic politics, and Polemic divinity only excepted.”—The MANCHESTER CIRCULATING LIBRARY, instituted in 1757, is the joint property of about 370 subscribers; the price of an admission ticket being five guineas. The price of an admission and proprietary ticket, which is transferable by sale or legacy, is now five guineas, and each member pays fifteen shillings yearly.—The MANCHESTER New CIRCULATING LIBRARY was instituted in 1792, and is supported by an advanced sum, and annual subscription from the members. The library contains nearly 3000 volumes. A new building in Mosley Street, called the Portico, has been erected for a hibrary, news-room, &c. This has been built, and its expences are defrayed by a number of proprietors, who paid thirteen guineas” in advance, and an annual subscription of two guineas. This building is large and handsome, and contains a coffee or news-room, sixty-five feet long, by forty-five feet wide, and forty-four feet in height to the top of the dome. Besides these, there are other reading and literary societies in this town.
* This sum has been since raised to twenty guineas; and when the number amounts to 400, the price of admission will be advanced to thirty guineas.
The MANCHESTER AGRICULTURAL Society, instituted for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the useful arts and sciences of life, was established in 1767, and since that period has distributed many premiums for valuable discoveries. One object of this society cannot be too warmly recommended, nor can it be too much imitatod;—that of granting premiums to cottagers who support their families without parochial aid, Honest and good servants are also rewarded by honorary presents. The REPository is an institution adapted to encourage and reward industrious females. At this repository, the necessitous may send, with a ticket and price, any article of fancy-work, or useful contrivance, which is exposed for sale, and, when sold, the money is paid over to the owner, who pays one penny in a shilling for commission. This very important establishment has proved eminently serviceable to many individuals, and is entitled to liberal and careful support. Though most of the public buildings be devoted to business and religion, yet, in so populous a place, we may justly expect to meet with some appropriated to amusement. Of these, the THEATRE is the most prominent. A new building, on a large scale, has very recently been erected, and was first opened in 1807. The present manager and proprietor is Mr. Macready, who is also propietor of the Birmingham, and some other smaller prowincial theatres. The Assem BLY Rooms are contained in a plain building, which was erected by a subseription of 100 persons, at 50l. each. The first public assembly occurred in September, 1792. The ball-room is eighty-seven feet long, by thirty-four feet broad: and is decorated with three elegant pendant, and twelve mural glass chandeliers. In the tea-room is a full length portrait of the late Loop STRANGE, father to the present Earl of Derby. An inscription on it states, that the former nobleman procured the repeal of an act for imposing a duty on linen-yarn. This picture was painted by “Edward Penny, professor of painting to the Royal Academy, 1773.” - A CONCERT