Thursday, 9 April 2015

Salford and the English Civil War


In the mid-seventeenth century, the River Irwell not only separated Manchester and Salford, it was a political fault line in the English Civil War (1642-1651). On one side lay Royalist Salford, on the other, Parliamentarian Manchester, at least as far as their powerful local gentry were concerned. In 1642, political tensions erupted into open bloodshed. During the conflict described below, the first casualty of the civil war occurred with the death of Richard Percival, a local linen weaver, from Kirkmanshulme.


Manchester Evening News 27 September 1975

click on images to enlarge

Defence of Manchester AD 1642
Manchester Murals

People mentioned in the text above:



Major John Byrom of Salford. He supported the Royalists, and was fined heavily by the Cromwellian Sequestration Committee. He was present at the festivities in Manchester marking the coronation of Charles II.

Major John Byrom
Source: University of Leicester Special Collections


Sir Alexander Radclyffe supported the Royalist cause. He fought at the Battle of Edgehill, was wounded, captured, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was the last Radclyffe to own Ordsall Hall.

Sir Alexander Radclyffe


Lord Strange (James Stanley, 7th Early of Derby) was the chief supporter of the Crown in Lancashire, and leader of the Royalist attempt to seize Manchester.

Lord Strange

Captain Thomas Standish of Duxbury, supporter of king, was killed on 29 September 1642, and buried at St. Laurence's Church, Chorley. He was shot by a marksman positioned in the tower of Manchester Cathedral. The rest of his family were Roundheads.

John Rosworm, German or Dutch mercenary and engineer serving the Parliamentarians. (Bygone Lancashire)

Lieutenant Colonel John Rosworm
Source: University of Leicester Special Collections


Victoria Bridge now stands on the site of the old Salford Bridge. Old Salford Bridge was built around 1365, and was subsequently rebuilt and widened. 

Old Salford Bridge

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