Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Marsland

From Graces Guide

of Manchester

Presumably successor to Samuel Marsland.

1833 'On Sunday a man named Roger Oakden, and two or three other persons, were employed to scour out a tunnel, which conveys the stagnant water from Mr. John Marsland's factory to the River Medlock. The men had to wade through water about four feet deep, and to keep it so low the engine was continued in constant operation. By some means the engine suddenly stopped when the men were fifty yards from the mouth of the tunnel. The water beginning to flow upon them they perceived their danger, and made an effort to escape, but when they reached within six yards of the entrance they were completely covered with water of the most nauseous description. At length they were rescued from their miserable, situation, but one poor fellow, into whose stomach some of the poisonous liquid had entered, expired in the course of the same day. An inquest was held upon his body, and a verdict of accidental death" returned. The jury, however, instructed the coroner to give the engineer a severe reprimand for his misconduct in the management of the engine.—Manchester Times.'[1]

1841 John Marsland listed as a cotton spinner and manufacturer of sewing cottons, Chester Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. House - Birch Hall, Rusholme [2]

1842 Advertisement: 'MACHINERY—TO BE SOLD by Private Contract, SIX FRAMES, double beams, spindles each, bobbin eight inches by four, by Sleddon; two ditto, single beams, 60 spindles, bobbin eight by four, by four, by Sleddon; sixteen roving frames, single beams, 48 spindles each, bobbin seven by three and a half, by Wren and Bennett — all the aboye driven by geer; three drawing frames, of two heads each, three deliveries to each head, four rows of rollers, with plunges attached, by Winterbottom; four drawing frames, of three heads each, double beams, two deliveries to the first and second head, and three to the last, by Jenkinson; 24 carding engines, 40 inches, clothed. The whole of the machinery is in good working condition, and the drawing frames are nearly new. They may be seen at work next week.—Apply to Mr. JOHN MARSLAND, at his factory, Chester-street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock.' [3]

1847 'Fatal Boiler Explosion. An inquest was held before Mr. Chapman, the borough coroner, at the Lord Stanley public-house, in Chester-street, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, on Saturday, on view of the body of Thomas Hodgkinson, labourer, of Allen-street, aged 41 years, who was so severely scalded on Thursday, at the mill of Mr. Marsland, cotton-spinner, in Chester-street, as to cause the poor fellow's death. From the evidence adduced before the coroner, the deceased's death appeared to be attributable to some oversight, the steam for an high pressure engine having been generated in boiler of insufficient strength, which caused some of the plates to give way, and thus scalded to death the deceased who was in the fire-hole.—Verdict accordingly.' [4]


1847 'Bursting of a Boiler.—About four o’clock on Thursday afternoon week, the persons on the premises of Mr. John Marsland, cotton-spinner, Chester-street, Hulme, heard a loud explosion from the boiler-house, and attempting to enter it were prevented from doing so by its being full of steam. The stoker, however, entered it through the coalhole, and after groping about found the engineer, named Thomas Hodgkinson, lying on the floor near the coal place, much scalded, and quite insensible: he died immediately afterwards. There were four boilers in use in the boilerhouse, three high-pressure boilers, and one low-pressure one, and it was found that the explosion had proceeded from the low-pressure boiler. — An inquest was held on the body on Saturday last, before Mr. Chapman, at the Lord Moseley, Chester-street, when it appeared that the engine had stopped about half-past three o’clock that afternoon, and could not be got to work again.— Mr. John Hick, of Bolton, said that he had examined the engine, and found that one of the valves leading into the cylinder of the high-pressure engine had got stopped, which would of course cause the engine to go slower. The engineer finding his engines going slower, and at length stopping, would raise the steam valve to ascertain the cause, thus opening a communication between the high and the low-pressure boilers. If the safety-valve was not (as this case it was not) adequate to carry on this excess of steam, an explosion must follow.— The jury returned a verdict of “ accidental death.”[5]


Bancks and Co's Plan of Manchester, 1831 shows Marsland's Cotton Mill to be a large building at the northeast corner of the junction of Cambridge Street and Chester Street. The building has been refurbished, and is now called 'Cambridge Mill'. The next block northwards along Cambridge Street is marked Birley's Cotton Mill on the Bancks map. On the north side of Chester Street were, heading eastwards, Runcorn's Cotton Mill, then Fairweather's Cotton Mill, then Oxford Road Mill.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Lancaster Gazette, Saturday 8th June 1833
  2. Pigot & Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1841
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 26th November 1842
  4. Manchester Times, Friday 16th April 1847
  5. Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 17 April 1847