Rochdale and the Vale of Whitworth by William Robertson

Book Cover: Rochdale and the Vale of Whitworth by William Robertson
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2019: £ 16.99 GBP
ISBN: 9780244457808
Pages: 276

William Robertson (1834 - 1924) came to Rochdale in 1860 as a journalist for the Rochdale Observer and fell in love with the town and surrounding area. He devoted much of his time to creating popular histories of the town and its inhabitants. At the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Rochdale had gone through a huge transformation of growth, wealth and politics. On the whole his histories concentrate on life before the upheaval rather than the grind and poverty of factory life that his readers would be all too familiar with.

Rochdale and the Vale of Whitworth is a companion to Old and New Rochdale and takes us from Cronkeyshaw, on the northern edge of Rochdale, on a journey through the Vale towards Bacup via Shawclough, Whitworth, Facit and Shawforth, again concentrating on the humour and characters that existed in the oral history of the area.

Old and New Rochdale By William Robertson

Book Cover: Old and New Rochdale By William Robertson
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2018: £ 15.99 GBP
ISBN: 9780244422936
Pages: 256

William Robertson (1834 - 1924) came to Rochdale in 1860 as a journalist for the Rochdale Observer and fell in love with the town and surrounding area. He devoted much of his time to creating popular histories of the town and its inhabitants. At the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Rochdale had gone through a huge transformation of growth, wealth and politics. On the whole his histories concentrate on life before the upheaval rather than the grind and poverty of factory life that his readers would be all too familiar with.

Old and New Rochdale takes a meander through the town of Rochdale and some of its outlying areas (which have merged into the town in modern times) weaving a tale built up from the oral history and anecdotes of the area.

Robertson in part financed his books by persuading local businesses to place advertisements and these can be found at the back of the book giving further insight into the character of the town at this time.

Rochdale Past and Present By William Robertson

Rochdale Past and Present
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2018: £ 16.99 GBP
ISBN: 9780244118570
Pages: 308

William Robertson (1834 - 1924) came to Rochdale in 1860 as a journalist for the Rochdale Observer and fell in love with the town and surrounding area. He devoted much of his time to creating popular histories of the town and its inhabitants. At the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Rochdale had gone through a huge transformation of growth, wealth and politics. On the whole his histories concentrate on life before the upheaval rather than the grind and poverty of factory life that his readers would be all too familiar with.

Rochdale Past and Present is a more robust history than the following volumes concentrating more on the infrastructure of Rochdale and its rapid transformation as the industrial revolution brought new wealth to the town. A new charter of incorporation also brought rapid political change.

Robertson in part financed his books by persuading local businesses to place advertisements and these can be found at the back of the book giving further insight into the character of the town at this time.

The Life of George Stephenson and of his Son Robert Stephenson – Samuel Smiles

The Life of George Stephenson
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2018: £ 16.99 GBP
ISBN: 9780244998349
Pages: 384

George Stephenson (1781 – 1848) was a civil and mechanical engineer who, through his work constructing the first intercity railway line between Manchester and Liverpool and (along with his son Robert) designing the locomotive “Rocket” that was to win the Rainhill Trials, became known as the “Father of Railways”

Born in Northumberland he was illiterate until the age of 18, but realising the value of education he used his wages as an engineman at a local colliery to fund his studies at night school. In 1811 he offered to improve the pumping engine at High Pit, Killingworth which he did with such success that he was promoted to enginewright and in his new position became an expert in steam driven machinery

Self-Help By the People – The History of the Rochdale Pioneers by George Jacob Holyoake

Book Cover: Self-Help By the People – The History of the Rochdale Pioneers by George Jacob Holyoake
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2013: £ 12.99 GBP
ISBN: 9781291636598
Pages: 280

The history of the founding of the Co-operative movement

The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers (est. 1844) formed the basis for the principles on which co-operatives around the world operate to this day. On 21 December 1844, they opened their store with a very meager selection of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles. Within three months, they expanded their selection to include tea and tobacco, and they were soon known for providing high quality, unadulterated goods at a fair prices and honest weights. The profits from the shop were returned to the members as a dividend based on the amount each spent in the shop.

John Bright by Charles Anthony Vince

Book Cover: John Bright by Charles Anthony Vince
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2013: £ 8.00 GBP
ISBN: 9781291642278
Pages: 148

Biography of John Bright, British Radical and Liberal statesman, one of the greatest orators of his generation, In partnership with Richard Cobden, he founded the Anti-Corn Law League.

In 1843 Bright was the Free Trade candidate at a by-election at Durham. He was defeated, but his successful competitor was unseated on petition, and at the second contest Bright was returned. In the Anti-Corn Law movement the two speakers, Cobden and Bright, complemented of each other. Cobden did the reasoning, Bright supplied the declamation, but mingled argument with appeal. No orator of modern times rose more rapidly. From 1847 until 1857 he was MP for Manchester, but his unpopular opposition of the Crimean War lost him his seat but a few months later he was returned unopposed as one of the two MPs for Birmingham. Bright died at his home One Ash on 27 March 1889 and was buried in the graveyard of the meeting-house of the Religious Society of Friends in Rochdale.

The Life of Dr. John Dee (1527 – 1608) by Charlotte Fell Smith

Book Cover: The Life of Dr. John Dee (1527 – 1608) by Charlotte Fell Smith
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99 GBP
ISBN: 9781291940411
Pages: 214

Dr. John Dee, Elizabethan Scholar, Astrologer, Occultist  and Alchemist.

John Dee was a much respected mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, alchemist and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, but subsequently derided as a conjurer and a trickster.

Dee became Queen Elizabeth’s trusted advisor on astrological and scientific matters, choosing her coronation date himself. From the 1550s through the 1570s, he served as an advisor to England’s voyages of discovery, providing technical assistance in navigation and ideological backing in the creation of a “British Empire”

Dee’s library, at 4000 volumes, was the largest philosophical and scientific library collection in Elizabethan England.

Queen Elizabeth finally made him Warden of Christ’s College, Manchester, in 1595.

Three Accounts of Peterloo and The Story of Peterloo by Francis Archibald Bruton

Book Cover: Three Accounts of Peterloo and The Story of Peterloo by Francis Archibald Bruton
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 7.99 GBP
ISBN: 9781291949940
Pages: 120

A peaceful demonstration in 1819 turned to carnage when the authorities made a bungled attempt to disperse the crowd.

The Peterloo Massacre occurred at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Shortly after the meeting began local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people (including women and children) were killed and hundreds were injured.

Within this volume are published three eyewitness reports of the event which F. A. Burton thought worthy of publication along with his “Story of Peterloo.”

Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 1: Early Days

Book Cover: Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 1: Early Days
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99 GBP
ISBN: 9781291951394
Pages: 183

Samuel Bamford (28 February 1788 – 13 April 1872, was an English radical and writer, who was born in Middleton, Lancashire.

In August 1819, Bamford led a group from Middleton to St Peter’s Fields, to attend a meeting pressing for parliamentary reform, where they witnessed the Peterloo Massacre.

Bamford was arrested and charged with treason. Although the evidence showed that he had not been involved in the violence, he was nevertheless found guilty of inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in Lincoln gaol.

The experience of the massacre made a deep impression on Bamford, and convinced him that the state’s power would always succeed against radical militancy. He came to be seen as a voice for radical reform, but opposed to any activism that involved physical force.

Bamford was the author of poetry (mostly in standard English)but of those in dialect several showing sympathy with the conditions of the working class became widely popular.

“Early Days” covers Samuel’s life from 1788 – 1812

Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 2: Passages in the Life of a Radical

Book Cover: Samuel Bamford’s Autobiography, Volume 2: Passages in the Life of a Radical
Editions:Paperback - FolkCustoms 2014: £ 9.99 GBP
ISBN: 9781291951417
Pages: 262

Samuel Bamford (28 February 1788 – 13 April 1872, was an English radical and writer, who was born in Middleton, Lancashire.

In August 1819, Bamford led a group from Middleton to St Peter’s Fields, to attend a meeting pressing for parliamentary reform, where they witnessed the Peterloo Massacre.

Bamford was arrested and charged with treason. Although the evidence showed that he had not been involved in the violence, he was nevertheless found guilty of inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in Lincoln gaol.

The experience of the massacre made a deep impression on Bamford, and convinced him that the state’s power would always succeed against radical militancy. He came to be seen as a voice for radical reform, but opposed to any activism that involved physical force.

Bamford was the author of poetry (mostly in standard English)but of those in dialect several showing sympathy with the conditions of the working class became widely popular.

“Passages in the Life of a Radical” covers Samuel’s life from 1815 to 1821 and his introduction into the politics that lead to his being arrested as one of the leaders of the reformers at Peterloo.