1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Salford

SALFORD, a municipal, county-and parliamentary borough of Lancashire, England, 189 m. N.W. by N. of London and 31 m. E. by N. of Liverpool. Pop. (1908 estimate), 239,234. Salford also gives its name to the hundred of south-west Lancashire in which Manchester is situated; probably because when the district was divided into hundreds Manchester was in a ruinous condition from Danish ravages. The parliamentary and municipal boundaries of Salford are identical; area, 5170 acres. The parliamentary borough has three divisions, each returning a member. The borough, composed of three townships identical with the ancient manors of Salford, Pendleton and Broughton, is for the most part separated from Manchester by the river Irwell, which is crossed by a series of bridges. The valley of the Irwell, now largely occupied by factories, separates the higher ground of Broughton from that of Pendleton, and is flattest at the south where it joins the Manchester boundary. At the other extremity of Salford it joins the borough of Eccles. The chief railway station is Exchange station, which is in Salford, but has its main approach in Manchester. The Lancashire & Yorkshire and the London & North-Western railways serve the town.

Until 1634 Salford was entirely dependent upon Manchester in its ecclesiastical arrangements. In that year Sacred Trinity Church (“Salford Chapel”) was built and endowed under the will of Humphrey Booth the elder, who also founded charities which have grown greatly in value. The yearly income of more than £17,000 is disposed of in pensions and in hospital grants. His grandson, Humphrey Booth the younger, left money for the repair of the church and the residue is distributed amongst the poor. The yearly revenue is about £1400. Salford is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric, and its cathedral, St John’s, with its spire of 240 ft., is the most noteworthy ecclesiastical building in the borough. Salford has been to a large extent overshadowed by Manchester, and the two boroughs, in spite of their separate government, are so closely connected as to be one great urban area. Many of the institutions in Manchester are intended for the service also of Salford, which, however, has resisted all attempts at municipal amalgamation. The chief public buildings are the museum and art gallery at Peel Park, the technical school, the education offices and the Salford Hospital. The town hall, built in 1825, is no longer adequate for municipal needs. Broughton and Pendleton have each a separate town hall. The large and flourishing technical school was developed from a mechanics’ institution. Peel Park, bought by public subscription in 1846, was the first public recreation ground in the borough. In the grounds are Langworthy Gallery and a museum. In the ark are statues of Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, Sir Robert geel, Joseph Brotherton and Richard Cobden. The only other monument-a South African War memorial-is outside and almost opposite Peel Park. Other parks are at Seedley, Albert and Buile Hill; the last contains a museum, the contents of which have been transferred from Peel Park. There is also Kersal Moor, 2I acres of Moorland, crossed by a Roman road, which has been noticed for the variety of its flora, and for the capture of the Oecophara Woadiella, of which there is no other recorded habitat. The David Lewis recreation ground at Pendleton may also be named. Altogether Salford has thirty parks and open spaces having a total area of 217 acres. The corporation have also provided two cemeteries. I When the municipal museum was founded in 1849 a reference library formed part of the institution, and from this has developed a free library system in which there are also nine lending libraries. The commercial and industrial history of Salford is closely bound up with that of Manchester. It is the seat of extensive cotton, iron, chemical and allied industries. It owes its development to the steam-engine and the factory system, and in recent years has shared in the increase of trade owing to the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal, which has added greatly to its prosperity. This will be seen by an examination of the rateable value of the three townships now comprised in the borough. This in 1692 was £1404; in 1841, £244,853; in 1884, £734,220; in 1901, £967,727; in 1908–1909. £1,022,172.

The municipal government is in the hands of a town council consisting of 16 aldermen and 48 councillors elected in 16 wards. The water-supply is from Manchester. The corporation have an excellent tramway service. There are also municipal baths. Salford has a separate commission of the peace.

There are no certain figures as to the population before 1773, when at the instance of Dr Thomas Percival a census was taken of Manchester and Salford. The latter had then 4755 inhabitants. Census returns show that its population in 1801 was 14,477; in 1851, 63,850; and in 1901, 220,956. The death-rate in 1906 was 18.5 per thousand.

Within the present borough area there have been found neolithic implements and British urns, as Well as Roman coins. In 1851 traces of a Roman road were still visible. Domesday Book mentions Salford as held by Edward the Confessor and as having a forest three leagues long and the same broad. At the Conquest it was part of the domain granted to Roger of Poitou, but reverted to the crown in 1102. After successively belonging to the earls of Chester and of Derby it passed to Edward Crouchback, earl of Lancaster. It was erected into a duchy and county palatine in 1353, and when the house of Lancaster succeeded to the throne their Lancashire possessions were kept separate. Salford and Pendleton are still parts of the ancient duchy of Lancaster, belonging to the English crown. In 1231 Ranulf de Blundeville, earl of Chester, granted a charter constituting Salford a “free borough.” But the government notwithstanding was essentially manorial and not municipal. In the Civil Wars between Charles I. and the parliament, Salford was royalist, and the unsuccessful siege of Manchester was conducted from its side of the Irwell. Its later history is mainly identical with that of Manchester (q.v.). In 1844 it received a municipal charter and became a county borough in 1889.

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—There is no separate history of Salford; see publications named under MANCHESTER. The MS. records of the Portmote or Court Leet, 1597–1669, were edited by J. G. Mandley for the Chetham Society, but others still remain in manuscript in the State Paper Office. (W. E. A. A.)