The Irish in Manchester c. 1750–1921

Resistance, adaptation and identity

Author: Mervyn Busteed

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.

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