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A Rose by any Other Name

09 June 2024

Manchester street names have changed on many occasions. Sometimes it is to remove the ambiguity of having two streets with the same name within a district and sometimes it can be the result of streets being extended through lesser thoroughfares (for example Pool Fold in the city centre becoming part of Cross Street). Then there is Anita Street...

The Ancoats Artist (3)

28 May 2024

By 1831 Henry Liverseege had made three visits to London, where he received some instruction and made connections with some prominent artists. His work was now gaining wider attention and was generally well-received. His failing health, however, would cut this promising career short.

The Ancoats Artist (2)

28 May 2024

At the end of the last blog we left Henry Liverseege at the point where he had abandoned portrait painting and turned to "dramatic" subjects. His first paintings, exhibited at the Royal Manchester Institution, had been well-received, even if slow to sell. Henry now saw the next step in his artistic development would mean spending time in London.

The Ancoats Artist (1)

28 May 2024

Even if you are interested in art, it is unlikely you will have heard the name Henry Liverseege; yet in his day he was well-known in artistic circles and spoken of alongside artists such as Bonington, Girtin and Wilkie. In this three part blog, we will look at his upbringing, his career and his early death and subsequent drift into obscurity.

I'm Reviewing the Situation

13 April 2024

Recently I was watching my youngest daughter perform in the musical Oliver! at her local am-dram society.  As I watched the troop belt out ‘Food Glorious Food’ I realised that my current family history research had already brought me right into this Dickens novel.

When did you start your first job?

14 March 2024

How old were you when you started your first job? Fifteen? Eighteen? Twenty-one? Older? If you were working in a cotton mill in 1819 your answer would more likely be "about seven".

Child labour was widely accepted, but 1819 would be a pivotal year the year in which the first moves would be made towards removing children from the workforce.

Mad as a Hatter?

27 February 2024

The first reference to someone being "as mad as a hatter" was in use at least as early as 1827, when a report in the Belfast Commercial Chronicle of 18 June, when referring to Lord Norbury, comments: the vulgar say "he is as mad as a hatter". But were hatters mad?

Hatters frequently displayed symptoms of mental fragility, but they were simply victims of the trade by which they earned their living.

Catholic FHS: A Legacy Preserved

24 January 2024

As 2023 drew to a close, one of the sadder notes was the closure of the Catholic Family History Society. Founded in 1983 the society's objective was to encourage those with Catholic ancestry to research their family history in England, Wales and Scotland. During its 40 year history, the society accumulated a substantial collection of research material. Read on to find out what has become of this valuable collection.