chapter  10
The Birth of Modern Manchester
WithD. A. Farnie, W. O. Henderson
Pages 19

In 1700-1750 Manchester stood on the threshold of a period of extraordinary expansion, which established the city almost as a rival to London in the determination of national fiscal policy. Improvement began, as far as the Manchester area was concerned, in the early eighteenth century. It is significant that the first road in Lancashire to be placed under the administration of a turnpike trust was the stretch from Manchester to Stockport, forming part of the Manchester to Buxton trust set up in 1725. The story of the third Duke of Bridgewater's canal, which brought his Worsley coal to Castlefield in the heart of Manchester by 1764, has frequently been told. In 1739 a historian of the town noted that the industrious and frugal Manchester textile dealers were always 'contriving and inventing something new to improve or sell off their goods'.