chapter  VII
31 Pages

The Second Manchester Period

THE second period of the College in Manchester was the shortest in the whole record, lasting only thirteen years, a period of determined effort and eager hope, only too soon disappointed. It was a time of very stirring life in the great industrial community. In the fifty-four years since the founding of the College the population of Manchester had increased enormously. From 75,000 at the beginning of the century, it had grown in 1832, the year of the Reform Bill, when Mark Philips was elected one of the first members for the newly enfranchised borough, to 181,768, and in 1851 to 303,382, with Salford added, 405,831. Two years later, at the end of the period, Manchester was advanced to the the dignity of a city. The diocese of Manchester, with a bishop of its own, dated from 1847. It was a time of much social unrest, of vehement Chartist agitation; it saw the foundation of the Anti-Corn Law League, the establishment of the Manchester Free Library and much earnest endeavour after social betterment. In 1 846 John Owens died and his great benefaction was announced, for the founding of a College, free from all religious tests. The work of Owens College began in 185 1, but was still in a very rudimentary state when Manchester College was moved to London. The condition of the industrial population at that time was vividly pictured by Mrs. Gaskell in her Mary Barton, which first appeared anonymously in 1848, while her husband, William Gaskell, one of the ministers of Cross Street Chapel, was Professor of English Literature in the College. Rllth and Cranford were both published in the last year of the College in Manchester. Something of what the students

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