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Physical impairment in British coalmining, 1780–1880

This book sheds new light on the human cost of industrialisation by examining the lives and experiences of those disabled in an industry that was vital to Britain's economic growth. If disability has been largely absent from conventional histories of industrialisation, the Industrial Revolution has assumed great significance in disability studies. The book examines the economic and welfare responses to disease, injury and impairment among coal workers. It discusses experiences of disability within the context of social relations and the industrial politics of coalfield communities. The book provides the context for those that follow by providing an overview of the conditions of work in British coalmining between 1780 and 1880. It turns its attention to the principal causes of disablement in the nineteenth-century coal industry and the medical responses to them. The book then extends the discussion of responses to disability by examining the welfare provisions for miners with long-term restrictive health conditions. It also examines how miners and their families negotiated a 'mixed economy' of welfare, comprising family and community support, the Poor Law, and voluntary self-help as well as employer paternalism. The book shifts attention away from medicine and welfare towards the ways in which disability affected social relations within coalfield communities. Finally, it explores the place of disability in industrial politics and how fluctuating industrial relations affected the experiences of disabled people in the coalfields.

Peter Maw

7 Canals, transport and the Industrial Revolution in Manchester Manchester is closely associated with popular perceptions of the ‘first’ Industrial Revolution. Contemporaries had little doubt that Manchester underwent profound changes from the middle of the eighteenth century. Foreign merchants, including Americans, who came to Manchester in increasing numbers from the 1760s to expand their commercial contacts in the emerging emporium of the cotton trade were struck by the rapidity of industrial, commercial and urban advance. In 1776, for example, Philadelphia

in Transport and the industrial city
Cultural historical and osteoarchaeological perspectives
Sophie L. Newman
David M. Turner

Bringing together theoretical perspectives from disability studies, the history of ageing and osteoarchaeology, this chapter blends textual, cultural and skeletal evidence to examine the ways in which working bodies aged during Britain's industrial expansion of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. What can a combination of skeletal and documentary evidence tell us about experiences of ageing and living with bodily impairment in the early Industrial Revolution? What insights does the material body provide that are missing from

in The material body
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

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How animals shaped Georgian London

This book reveals the extraordinary contribution which horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and dogs made to London, the world’s first modern metropolis, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as well as the huge challenges which they posed. By the early 1800s, an estimated 31,000 horses were at work in and around the city, while a similar number of sheep and cattle were driven through its streets every week. No other settlement in Europe or North America had ever accommodated so many large four-legged animals, or felt their influence so profoundly. Following in their hoof- and paw-prints, this book offers a panoramic new perspective on Georgian London, challenging orthodox assumptions about its role in the agricultural, consumer and industrial revolutions, as well as reappraising key aspects of the city’s culture, social relations and physical development. In doing so, it argues for non-human animal agency and its integration into social and urban history. Moving away from the philosophical, fictional and humanitarian sources which have dominated English animal studies, this book focuses on evidence of tangible, dung-bespattered interactions between real people and animals drawn from legal, parish, commercial, newspaper and private records. As a result, it offers new insights into the lived experiences of Georgian Londoners, as well as the character and everyday workings of their city.

Manchester and the canal age, 1750–1850

This book is a study of canal transport during the British Industrial Revolution. Focusing on Manchester, it provides the first detailed regional history of canals, their trade and their economic impact during the first Industrial Revolution. Manchester provides an ideal case study for analysing the interplay between canals, transport and industrialisation. Manchester was the industrial and commercial hub of the British cotton industry and the most innovative and fastest-growing manufacturing centre. However, the town was also a pioneer developer of the new transport systems that carried the escalating local, national and international commodity flows generated by this period of significant industrial, commercial and urban development. The book provides a new look at the economic history of Manchester's canals in a way that is informed by T2M approaches. Three particular objectives can be specified. First, the book develops our knowledge of quantitative dimensions of the Manchester canal trade, drawing on a range of historical source materials to provide new estimates of the size and commodity configuration of Manchester's canals. Second, it evaluates the intermodality of transport provision in Manchester. The book emphasises the strengths and weaknesses of canals relative to rail and road transport, as well as the volumes of trades carried by particular carriers at particular periods. Third, it offers a new analysis of the impact of canals on the major processes of industrialisation, urbanisation and consumerism in Manchester.

Resistance, adaptation and identity

Given its significance in the history of Britain as the pioneer city of the industrial revolution, it is surprising that until the 1990s there was little academic research on the Manchester Irish. This book examines the development of the Irish community in Manchester, one of the most dynamic cities of nineteenth-century Britain. It examines the process by which the Irish came to be blamed for all the ills of the Industrial Revolution and the ways in which they attempted to cope with a sometimes actively hostile environment. The book first traces the gradual development of links between Manchester and Ireland, largely through the build-up of commercial connections, but also noting the two-way movement of people across the Irish Sea. Then, it focuses on Angel Meadow, discussing the rapid build-up of the resident Irish population and the spatial distribution of the Irish in the network of streets. An account on the significance of the Catholic Church for the migrant Irish follows. The book also examines the evolution St Patrick's Day. Next, it discusses how Manchester's Irish related to the broader political concerns of the city during the period from the 1790s to the 1850s whilst retaining a keen interest in Irish affairs. The role of the Irish in the electoral politics of the city from the 1870s onwards is subsequently examined. After an analyses on the evolution of the commemoration rituals for the Manchester Martyrs, the book attempts to trace the hidden history of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in Manchester.


The towns of later medieval Italy were one of the high points of urban society and culture in Europe before the industrial revolution. This book provides more inclusive and balanced coverage of Italian urban life in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In looking for the chief features of Italian communal cities, it focuses on: the unity of city and dependent countryside, the stability of population, urban functions, the development of public spaces, social composition, the development of autonomous institutions, and civic culture. The book begins with three of these: Bonvesin da la Riva's innovative description of Milan, Giovanni da Nono's more conventional, but lively description of Padua, and an anonymous, verse description of Genoa. It also focuses on the buildings and their decoration, and urban 'social services'. The book then addresses Italian civic religion. It explores production and commerce: the effects of monetary affluence, the guilds and markets, government interventions to stimulate production, to regulate exchange, and to control the city's population. The book deals with social groups and social tensions: popolo against magnates, noble clans against each another, men against women, young men against city elders, Christians against Jews, freemen against slaves, food riots and tax revolts, acts of resistance and indecency. Finally, it examines the great variety of political regimes in late-medieval Italy: from consolidated communes such as Florence or Venice, to stable or unstable 'tyrannies' in Pisa, Ferrara or Verona.

North-west England, c.1700–60

Britain's industrial revolution is popularly seen as a watershed in the transition to a modern industrial society. This book involves five closely related objectives. The first is to explore the importance of early eighteenth-century processes of regional formation and spatial integration and set these alongside later developments in regionalisation established by Hudson and others. The second objective is to offer an integrated analysis that seeks to link the detailed empirical evidence of local and regional development with broader theoretical, historical and geographical concepts and debates. Third is the integration of social and spatial divisions of labour was central to regional formation and economic development during this period. The fourth objective is to explore thoroughly the relationship between specialisation and integration in a variety of key sectors and in the regional economy as a whole. The final objective is to provide a rounded picture of development in north-west England where industrial, trading, servicing and commercial leisure activities are treated as part of an holistic regional economy. With a range of theoretical perspectives on regional economic development, the book focuses on textile industries as an example of advanced organic and proto-industrial development. The differentiated nature of Britain's industrial regions is reflected in the development of an increasingly sophisticated mineral-based energy economy parallel to this organic textiles economy. The service industries and interstitial secondary centres are discussed. Specialisation and integration were mutually formative processes that shaped regional development in the early eighteenth century and throughout the industrial revolution.