Historical and Archaeological Society
News and Views
|Remembering the Weavers’
27 April 1826 was one of those dates in the history of Chorley
when the town was “on the brink.” The country was in the midst
of an economic crisis. The cotton industry was depressed, and
there was unemployment and wage reductions. Lancashire handloom
weavers suffered more than most. A crowd of mainly handloom
weavers marched across the edge of the West Pennine Moors to
attack mills in Chorley.
The story is told in full in Jim
Heyes’s “A History of Chorley”(Pp 94-96) and put into its
Lancashire context in William Turner’s book “Riot! The Story of
the East Lancashire Loom-Breakers in 1826”. The day before the
attack on Chorley mills, troops had clashed with a group of 3000
protesters at Chatterton in Rossendale. Six men and women were
killed and many more were wounded. This was seven years after
Peterloo and the magistrate who read the Riot Act in Chorley,
was John Silvester, of Chorcliffe House, who had also read the
Riot Act at Peterloo.
1826 will be the 200th anniversary of
the Weavers’ Uprising. A Bicentennial Committee has been formed
and more information can be obtained at
blogs for the Open University: https://bit.ly/3bxke2y
Level Media documentary: https://youtu.be/wDXTYB0IZes
our recent Committee meeting we agreed that we should like to be
a part of activities which give recognition to, and a wider
understanding of, the 1826 Weavers Uprising. In particular, we
wish to promote wider knowledge of the events on 27 April 1826
and the context in which they occurred.
anniversary is almost four years away activities and events are
likely to start in advance, so, as they say, watch this space!
John E Harrison
Tue 09 Aug 2022
|Steve Halliwell– 'Moses Holden
(1777-1864) - Self-educated Genius'.
Steve made a very welcome return to
the Society to give his updated presentation 'Moses Holden
(1777-1864) - Self-educated Genius'. Since his previous visit in
Feb 2014 he has discovered many new facts and has updated his
book to publish the second edition of ‘Moses Holden Preston's
Pioneering Astronomer (1777-1864)’.
Moses began his life in Bolton in a
weaving family and moved to Preston at the age of 5. He was self
taught and fascinated by the work of the astronomer Jeremiah
Horrocks (1618-1641) who was known for the first observation of
the transit of Venus from Much Hoole near Preston 1639. Moses
vowed to commemorate the work of Horrocks some day and
eventually he did with a memorial in Toxteth.
An Orrery of the type that Moses
Holden made and used in his lectures.
Moses was a non-ordained minister and
eventually moved from Methodism to the Church of England. His
skills as an orator came in handy with his scientific and
astronomical lectures. Between 1815 and 1828 he toured the north
of England extensively, travelling mostly by canal. For one
series of lectures in Liverpool in 1844 he made a profit of
around £120, approximately £10,000 at today's prices. He married
in 1816 and had 3 children. He was involved in the creation of
the ‘Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge’ in 1828 and
that organisation has now evolved into UCLAN (University of
The Moses Holden telescope at
|Moses was also skilled in
optics and ground his own lenses for this telescope &
microscope. He also made an ‘Orrery’ and mechanised model of the
solar system that he used in his lectures. He also made his own
magic lantern to project onto large screens. Moses Holden died
at his home in Jordan Street, Preston on 3 June 1864, aged 86.
He is buried in Preston Cemetery off Blackpool Road. The UCLAN
Astronomical Observatory is at Alston near Longridge and in
recent years they have been provided with a new telescope with
assistance from a descendant of Moses Holden. The telescope has
been named after him.
The first Moses Holden book.
Moses Holden - 2nd edition.