Nadin, Joseph (DNB00)

NADIN, JOSEPH (1765–1848), deputy-constable of Manchester, son of Joseph Nadin, a farmer, was born at Fairfield, Derbyshire, in 1765. At the age of twelve he began work at Stockport, and subsequently was successful in business as a cotton-spinner. During the time that the cotton operatives were making raids on cotton mills in Lancashire and elsewhere, for the purpose of destroying machinery, Nadin made himself conspicuous in detecting the plotters and bringing them to justice. He was prevailed upon in 1801 to take the office of deputy-constable of Manchester, and he thereby became chief executive officer to the governing body of the town, which was then under the court-leet of the manor.

His life as a public officer was eventful and dangerous, and he was a zealous, able, and courageous servant of the authorities. Some said that he was the real ruler of Manchester, and that the magistrates thought they exercised a wholesome authority when, at his suggestion, they sought to repress by every means of coercion the rising demand for political and social rights. The course he took with regard to Samuel Bamford [q. v.] and other reformers, as well as in the ‘Peterloo’ meeting in 1819, rendered him very unpopular; but he earned the gratitude of the ruling classes, by whom he was presented with costly testimonials. He figures as a sort of Jonathan Wild in Mrs. Banks's novel of ‘God's Providence House.’ He had a magnificent physique, as is shown both by his portraits and by a graphic passage in Bamford's ‘Life of a Radical,’ where, however, he is described as coarse, illiterate, and ill-mannered. He amassed considerable property, and on his retirement from office in 1821 he went to live on an estate which he possessed at Cheadle, in Cheshire. He died there on 4 March 1848, aged 83, and was buried in St. James's Church, Manchester. He married Mary Rowlinson in 1792, and left several children.

[Bamford's Life of a Radical, i. 82; Prentice's Manchester, 1851, p. 34; Manchester Notes and Queries, vol. i.; Trans. Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Soc. vol. xi.; information kindly supplied by Mr. W. S. Nadin.]

C. W. S.