Antiquarian Collections


The Library has extensive collections of papers collected and compiled by local antiquarians and historians, many of whom were associated with the Chetham Society. These collections are of value because much of the material that was copied and transcribed by local historians is no longer available elsewhere, or is difficult to locate. Many of the collections contain large amounts of original documents in the form of deeds, letters and financial records. As such, the collections offer a wealth of information on the history of particular townships, parishes and families.

The list on the right does not include all of our antiquarian material, but is intended simply to draw attention to the range of material that the Library holds, and to highlight individual works and collections that may be of interest to historians. If you would like assistance with manuscript queries, please contact us.

John Eglington Bailey (1840-1888) Transcripts and notes often for Bailey’s own publications. Chiefly concerning sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Lancashire. Includes copies of the Protestation Returns. Over 300 deeds chiefly of Lancashire and Cheshire C13th-C19th and other original documents re. taxation in C17th. (C.7.9-43)
Thomas Barritt (1743-1820) Sixteen volumes of manuscripts, chiefly genealogical notes, drawings of coats of arms, memorial inscriptions and people and places in Manchester and Lancashire. Lancashire pedigrees. (A.1.15-16, A.1.25, A.4.70-80, E.8.19-20)
James Frederick Beever (fl.1850) Small miscellaneous collection chiefly relating to the first half of the 19th century. Includes printed broadsides. (C.7.46)
John Booker (1820-1895) Three boxes of miscellaneous notes including transcripts from parish registers and inquisitions. Chiefly grangerised and annotated copies of Booker’s publications on the ecclesiastical history of Manchester. (C.7.47-9)
James Crossley (1800-1883) Manuscripts chiefly concerning literature and the book trade. Also miscellaneous notes, correspondence and original documents. (A.7.37, E.3.3-6)
John Harland (1806-1868) Commonplace book, transcripts from printed books and manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, etc. (A.6.10)
Richard Kuerden (1623-1690?) Two volumes of his manuscript collection of material for a proposed history of Lancashire. (C.6.1-3)
John Palmer (1785-1846) Eight volumes of transcripts of local material. Copies of deeds, inquisitions post mortem, pedigrees, parish registers. (C.6.4-11, A.6.1 & A.6.12)
John Heaton Partington (fl. 1900) Ten manuscript histories chiefly of the manors and parishes in the Bolton area. (A.6.105-115)
Joseph James Phelps (1855-1928) Over twenty boxes of miscellaneous notes and correspondence, often for his own publications on the archaeology and early history of Manchester and neighbouring towns. Extensive cuttings and illustrations collection. (D.3.17)
John (1788-1854) and George John (1818-1872) Piccope 22 volumes of transcripts of civil and ecclesiastical documents. Includes copies of wills at Chester, parish registers and Lancashire pedigrees. (C.6.12-33)
Francis Robert Raines (1805-1878) Forty-four volumes of manuscripts known as the Lancashire Manuscripts. Chiefly transcripts of local material especially from the Rochdale and Manchester areas. Copies of deeds, pedigrees and drawings of local houses (C.6.34-80). Over 200 deeds, chiefly relating to Lancashire and Cheshire C13th-C19th, also other original documents, e.g. Muster Rolls. (E.4.6-12) Correspondence, especially re. the Chetham Society publications. (E.5.3-7)
William Asheton Tonge (1860-1936) Original deeds and papers chiefly relating to the Tonge family. (C.7.1-8) Over 40 volumes of transcripts, chiefly extracts from parish registers. (D.1-2)
Christopher Towneley (1604-1674) Thirteen volumes of transcripts of local material, chiefly copies, abstracts of deeds, evidences of Lancashire gentry. Index to manuscripts. (D.3.1-12)
William Thompson Watkin (1836-1888) Notes for publications on Roman Lancashire and Roman Cheshire, sketches and correspondence re. the archaeology of the North West. (E.6.2-9)

In addition to the large antiquarian collections, the Library has a number of local histories and small collections. A sample is listed below:

Richard Hollingworth (1607-1656) Mancuniensis. One of the earliest histories of Manchester compiled by the first rector of Trinity Chapel, Salford. (A.6.51)
John Whitaker (1735-1808) Correspondence and transcripts of his works on the history of Manchester. (A.6.93)
John Collier (1708-1786, alias Tim Bobbin) of Milnrow, Rochdale MS of More fruit from the same pannier, a work first published in 1773, attacking Whitaker’s history. (A.4.38)
John Greswell (c.1800) Collections relating to the towns of Manchester and Salford. (A.6.54)
Thomas Turner Wilkinson (1815-1875) Ancient mansions near Burnley. 3 volumes. (A.4.118)
R.J. Richardson (fl. 1900) Account of old Manchester, pen and ink sketches, cuttings, accounts of local persons and buildings. (A.0.12)