1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Accrington
ACCRINGTON, a market town and municipal borough in the Accrington parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 208 m. N.W. by N. from London, and 23 m. N. by W. from Manchester, on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. Pop. (1891) 38,603; (1901) 43,122. It lies in a deep valley on the Hindburn, a feeder of the Calder. Cotton spinning and printing works, cotton-mill machinery works, dye-works and chemical manufactures, and neighbouring collieries maintain the industrial population. The church of St James dates from 1763, and the other numerous places of worship and public buildings are all modern. The borough is under a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. Area 3427 acres.
Accrington (Akerenton, Alkerington, Akerington) was granted by Henry de Lacy to Hugh son of Leofwine in Henry II.’s reign, but came again into the hands of the Lacys, and was given by them about 1200 to the monks of Kirkstall, who converted it into a grange. It again returned, however, to the Lacys in 1287, was granted in parcels, and like their other lands became merged in the duchy of Lancaster. In 1553 the commissioners of chantries sold the chapel to the inhabitants to be continued as a place of divine service. In 1836 Old and New Accrington were merely straggling villages with about 5000 inhabitants. By 1861 the population had grown to 17,688, chiefly owing to its position as an important railway junction. A charter of incorporation was granted in 1878. The date of the original chapel is unknown, but it was probably an oratory which was an offshoot of Kirkstall Abbey. Ecclesiastically the place was dependent on Altham till after the middle of the 19th century.