The Shock City – Manchester

Saddleworth newsSaddleworth Historical Society’s December lecture, ‘Manchester in the Eighteenth Century: Sex, Death and Politics in the Georgian Town’, promises to give a fresh perspective on what historian Asa Briggs once described as the ‘shock city’.

The talk will be given by Dr Craig Horner, senior lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan University. His doctoral thesis was on eighteenth-century Manchester society, and he has published on Manchester’s politics and society during this period.

Manchester is most famous for its nineteenth-century growth, squalor, industry, politics and cotton. Most histories of the town concentrate on this. But this talk will show how the town was fizzing with energy in the eighteenth century, and noted, for, well, exactly the same things, just on a smaller scale.
Dr Horner’s lecture will make reference to the diary of the Manchester wigmaker Edmund Harrold (1678–1721), written during the period 1712–15. With his four wives and ten children (nine of whom pre-deceased him), Harrold’s jottings give a candid snapshot of grubby everyday life in a town already nationally renowned.

The lecture will also look at Manchester’s highly politicised press of the 1740s, when the Young Pretender marched through the town on his ill-fated mission south to claim the throne for the Stuarts.

‘Manchester in the Eighteenth Century: Sex, Death and Politics in the Georgian Town’ is on Wednesday 6th December at 7:30pm at Saddleworth Museum, Uppermill, OL3 6HS. All are welcome. Members free, non-members £3.

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