Hollingworth’s Mancuniensis

Or an History of the Towne of Manchester, written in the beginning of the Civil Wars

Mun. A.6.51; c 1656; English; paper; iii + 59 + i; pre-1850 ink foliation; 290mm x 180mm; white vellum binding, blind-tooled with the Chetham arms blind-stamped on the front and back boards, title on spine in gold on purple leather label: Hollingworth Mancuniensis.

View the pdf of Hollingworth’s Mancuniensis here.

Richard Hollingworth or Hollinworth, (1607-1656) was born at Manchester and baptised on 15 November 1607 at the Collegiate Church. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Magdalene College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1627, and proceeding MA in 1630.

Following his ordination he was appointed curate at Middleton, but moved to the newly established Trinity Chapel in Salford in 1636. He also became a fellow of Manchester Collegiate Church. Hollinworth was a staunch Presbyterian and was a vehement opponent of the idea of religious toleration and also of the Independents and Quakers in the Manchester region. He was held in high regard by his contemporaries – Henry Newcome, first minister of Cross Street Chapel still wrote fondly of Hollingworth into the 1670s – and he was one of the first feoffees appointed by Humphrey Chetham to oversee the setting up of the Hospital and Library in Manchester.

Hollinworth died suddenly in Manchester on 3 November 1656, aged forty-nine, and was buried two days later in Manchester collegiate church, Of his five children only one, Ann, survived him. His own father, however, lived to be over 100 and died in 1657.

Mancuniensis, a history of the town in which he had been born, is an unusual work and one that is not typical of his publications, which are almost all polemical works of church politics. The work details the activities of the leading commercial families – the Mosleys, Chethams, Nugents, and Holland with which Hollinworth was connected. The manuscript was unfinished at the time of his death in 1656; indeed the last reference of 11 Sept 1656 lists the author among a group of former fellows of the college who had been imprisoned for their beliefs.