The Reverend Doctor Charles Burton Book

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The Rev Dr Charles Burton was born at Rhodes House near Middleton on 18th January 1793. During his lifetime he was one of Manchester’s most prominent clergymen but, since his death in 1866, he seems largely to have been forgotten. In this well-researched biography, Matthew Wells brings together many aspects of Burton’s life and is a must read for anyone who has an interest in the history of early to mid 19th century Manchester.

In 1812, when he was 19, Burton witnessed at first hand the infamous Middleton Luddite Riots that took place in and around his father’s cotton mill in Wood Street, Middleton. In his early twenties he tried his hand at writing serious poetry and in 1820 published “Middleton – An elegiac poem”, which he wrote in honour of his late father and as a memorial to Middleton as it was before the industrial revolution. This poem was followed up in 1823 by a poem entitled The Bardiad, a eulogy of all the great poets ancient and modern.

However, despite his passion for poetry, Burton’s lifetime vocation was to be the Church and in his mid twenties, having been brought up as a Methodist, he converted to the Church of England. In 1820, when he was 27, he borrowed sufficient money to build his own church, All Saints, on a large plot of land off Oxford Road, Manchester, now known as Grosvenor Square. The church was demolished soon after World War II.

Apart from the building of All Saints and his passion for poetry and the Middleton Riots of 1812, this biography explores many other aspects of Burton’s life, including the time he spent in London’s notorious Fleet Prison for Debtors, his interest in science (he was made a Fellow of the Linnaean Society in 1827), the social conditions of Chorlton Row that prevailed during his lifetime, and his prodigious output of religious writings, including sermons on the lessons to be learned from the execution of Joseph Dale in 1824 for murder, and the meaning of the passing of Donati’s comet in 1858. He even had time to write, in 1837, some advice for female servants, which makes for fascinating reading.

About the author:

Matthew Wells has had an interest in family history since first hearing his own family’s legends as a boy. He was inspired to write Rev Dr Charles Burton’s story after discovering that Charles’ grandson Charles Tertius Burton married his great aunt, Rebecca Wells, in 1888.

ISBN: 978-0-9927944-0-8

168 pages, 15 photographs and drawings, and 5 other illustrations

This product is dispatched directly from the author.


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