1836, Apr 21

Joseph Harrison’s son Nathan was secretary of the Staleybridge Total Abstinence Society.

1. The Star of Temperance, 1836.

1836, Jul 8

Article in the North Cheshire and Macclesfield Courier.
Notice to Mayor of Borough of Stockport signed by ratepayers requesting a public meeting to form an association called the Borough of Stockport Reform Association. Signed by John and Joseph Harrison and 200 others.1

1. North Cheshire & Macclesfield Chronicle, July 8, 1836.

1836, Jul 25

Joseph Harrison’s sons Peter and Massah are married at the Collegiate Church, Manchester.
Massah Harrison, occcupation schoolmaster of the Parish of Heap, married Ann Mallalieu, daughter of George Mallalieu, umbrella manufacturer of Middleton.1
Massah Harrison would later become an umbrella manufacturer at Bolton.2
Peter Harrison, occupation ivory turner, married Hannah Jones. Peter was in partnership with James Sharwin at Ainsworth’s Court, Long Millgate, Manchester. They were ivory turners and umbrella stick makers.3

1. IGI. 2. 1841 UK Census. 3. IGI; Pigot & Slater’s Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1841.


Harrison sent in the birth register of the Windmill-room Chapel to the G.R.O. Date of foundation – 1817, Dissolved in 1820, Present Minister – Joseph Harrison.1

1. The Sessional Papers of the House of Lords: Session 1837-8-38, Vol XLVI.

1837, Mar 29

Radical Meeting at Stockport.
‘On Wednesday evening last a public meeting of the working men of Stockport was held at the court-house, for the purpose of considering the propriety of petitioning Parliament for equal representation, universal suffrage, annual Parliaments, vote by ballet, no property qualifications for members of Parliament, and payment to members. At a little past eight o’clock there was a very respectable attendance of persons present, and Mr. Fisher Lynney was called to the chair… Mr. F. L. Fogg moved he following resolution:- “That this meeting is of the opinion, that so long as the working classes were not allowed to have any voice in making the laws, so long will those laws be made for the benefit of the few to the injury of the many.”…He also contended that the representation of boroughs is at present very unequal. For instance, Malton, where there a four thousand inhabitants, sends two members to Parliament, whilst Manchester, which contains upwards of 134,000 inhabitants, only two… Mr. John Buckley [one of the Reformers imprisoned with Harrison], in seconding the motion, said he was one of those who were disfranchised; and old as he was, he had never had a voice in making the laws… Mr. Joseph Harrison moved the second resolution, which was to the following effect:- “That we further believe that the only security against the corruption of the few, and the degradation of the many, is to give to give to the great body of the people equal political and social rights, in the exercise of which they will improve their condition, gradually acquire knowledge, and by experience learn wisdom. That to obtain their rights it is necessary that every male person above twenty-one years of age have the power to choose representatives without loss or injury, which can only be secured by voting in secret; that there should be equal representation, and that Parliament should be elected annually.” In supporting the motion, Mr. Harrison expressed his conviction that petitioning would be almost wholly useless. There was once a time when the petitions of the people were in some measure read, heard, and attended to; but now they were neither heard, read, or attended to. He thought that when they voted the Whigs into office they were voting a set of liberal men into office; but now the right of petition was almost taken away by a regulation of the House of Commons that no petition should be read when it was presented. Mr. Harrison read the letter of Col. Thompson, as published in the London Dispatch a few days ago. He contended that as the suffrage was not universal, the best mode would be for the people to endeavour, by their industry, to save about 40l. each, and then, by laying it out in purchasing land and houses, they would obtain fourty shillings a year, which would qualify them as voters for the country. Mr. Isaac Johnson seconded the motion, which passed. Mr. Thomas Lamb…contended, that as the people could not get universal suffrage, they had better adopt the means recommended by Mr. Harrison…[The labourers] had only to keep from the public-house and save their money for a few years in order to raise themselves from their present degraded condition… Mr. Pilling denied that the facts stated by Mr. Lamb were correct. The working people spent no such sum. It had been proved by Mr. Fielden that the earnings of the hand-loom weavers did not average more than twopence-halfpenny per head per day, the year round. It was, therefore, impossible to adopt Mr. Harrison’s plan. He (Mr. Pilling) advocated universal suffrage. The motion then passed. Thanks were voted to Mr. Winterbottom for the use of the room, and the proceedings terminated.’ 1

1. The London Dispatch and People’s Political and Social Reformer, April 2, 1837.

1838, Dec 14

Joseph Harrison’s younger brother – John Harrison died at Bury, Lancashire age 40. Occupation ironmonger.

Note: John Harrison born 1798.

Ref: Bradford Observer, 20 Ddec 1838.

1839, Dec 9

Joseph Harrison’s son Nathan, occupation bookkeeper, married Mary Pilling, daughter of Isaac Pilling, at Mottram-In-Longendale, Cheshire.1

1. IGI; 1841 UK Census.

1840, Jun 30

‘Seventh Annual Conference of the British Association for the Promotion of Temperance.
The delegates…assembled together in the… temperance hall, Bolton on Tuesday…through to Friday. [The conference related] to the state and progress of the temperance cause and the means best calculated to promote its advancement.
Manchester delegate: Samuel Hague. : Rochedale delegates: Swift, Bright and Booth [Bright was politician] : Stockport delegate: Joseph Harrison.
Cash received for this journal during the month. Joseph Harrison, Stockport, £4 15s. [This was by far the greatest amount collected.]1

1. The British Temperance Advocate and Journal, August 15, 1840.

1841, Jun 2

Joseph Harrison’s son Thomas, occupation schoolmaster, married Elizabeth Collier, at Orchard-street Chapel, Stockport. The service was performed by the Rev. John Waddington, Independent Minister. Elizabeth was only 15 years of age.1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, June 26, 1841; 1841 UK Census.

1841, Jun 6

Joseph Harrison, schoolmaster, his wife Sally, son Thomas, schoolmaster, and daughter-inlaw Elizabeth were living at New School Place, Stockport (4 Mount Street).1
Mount Street was located between Lord and Duke Streets, almost directly opposite the Stockport Sunday School. The house and school would remain with the Harrison family until the death of Elizabeth in 1878.2

1. 1841 UK Census. 2. Will of Elizabeth Harrison.

1841, Jul 9-12

Tenth Annual Conference of the British Association for the Promotion of Temperance.
Held at Manchester July 9 – 12, 1841.
Stockport delegates: Rev. C. Baker and J. Harrison.1

1. The National Temperance Magazine, 1841.

1841, Aug 17

Joseph Harrison (Baptist) attended the “Conference of Ministers of all Denominations on the Corn Laws”, held in Manchester 17-20 August, 1841.1

1. Report of the Conference of ministers of all denominations on the corn laws, 1841.

1842, Aug 11

Beginning of the ‘Plug Plot’ Riots.

‘A mob consisting of from 10,000 to 20,000 persons entered the borough of Stockport, in a direction from Ashton and Hyde [under the leadership of Chartist, Richard Pilling], and turned out all the hands from the different mills; all the mills in Stockport ceased work, in consequence of the intimation of the mob. About one o’clock in the afternoon the mob attacked the Stockport Union Workhouse, and stole a large quantity of bread. The magistrates and military went to the spot, rescued the buildings from the hands of the mob, and took a number of prisoners. While there, there was an alarm that the mob was coming to rescue the prisoners. Leech, one of the deputation, said they would not be answerable for the consequences if they were not liberated. He was told they need not deceive themselves, as they could not rescue them. The Mayor said they were in the custody of the law, and must be returned by the law. The parties then withdrew and a large meeting was held at Waterloo Ground…’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, August 27,1842.

1842, Aug 13

‘On Saturday morning another meeting of the turn-outs was held on Waterloo Road as early as five o’clock; John Wright, a chartist, was called upon to preside. A number of speakers addressed the meeting, and a majority of them mixed up the charter with the question of the turn-out, and contended that if they obtained an advance in wages without the charter it would be no advantage to them, as the manufacturers would again reduce them. A resolution was proposed to the effect that they should not return to their labour till they obtained the wages paid in January, 1840, and the charter to protect them. Some objection was raised against the charter being at all introduced in the matter, but the motion was ultimately passed. During the day the shoemakers were compelled to leave off work, and they afterwards walked in procession through the town, and held a meeting in the chartist room, Bamber’s Brow. In the afternoon men were set to work to make a number of port-holes in the walls of the Policeoffice, next the Castle Yard, in order to command a range of the Castle Yard and the Market Place, should it be all necessary to fire upon any rioters. Men were also set to work to remove a quantity of paving stones from the Castle Yard, and also to pull down a wall which obstructed the range from the port-holes. A number of idlers assembled in the Castle Yard and stopped the men who had been set to work. The men were again employed, and were again stopped; when the police and special constables went and dispersed the crowd, who did not afterwards offer any opposition. On Saturday evening another meeting was held on Waterloo Road, but nothing definite was agreed upon, and the day passed off without any disturbance taking place.’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, August 20, 1842.

1842, Aug 15

‘On Monday, between six and seven o’clock, another meeting was held on Waterloo Road, when John Wright again presided. The meeting was addressed by a variety of speakers, and the resolution passed on Saturday morning was again brought forward. An amendment was proposed to the following effect:- “That this meeting recommends that no work be performed till we obtain the wages paid in January, 1840, and that they would do their utmost to preserve the peace of the borough.” This resolution met with strong opposition from the chartists, but nevertheless it was carried. A deputation was then appointed to wait upon the mayor and magistrates to request them to lead the operatives through the borough, and they (the operatives) would protect it; they also wished the magistrates to exert their influence with the manufacturers, and to induce them to give the same amount of wages as paid in January, 1840, also to sanction their public meetings. The magistrates refused to interfere between the manufacturers and operatives, and also declined the procession. As to the public meetings, the magistrates promised not to interfere if the peace was preserved. In the afternoon another meeting was held on the same ground to receive the report of the deputation referred to. After a few speeches on the propriety of confining the discussion solely to an advance of wages, Richard Pilling, of Ashton, rose and addressed the meeting in a violent style of language for some time. He avowed himself to be the sole originator of the present turn-out, and did not care what he suffered so that the point was carried. He considered the commencement of it to be a glorious day, and if any honour was due to any one he claimed that honour. He denied that the people of Stockport had turned out for an advance of wages. The people of Ashton had compelled them to leave their work, and if they went in the people of Ashton would visit them again, make them give up work, and give them a d—n good hiding in the bargain. The commencement of the turn-out was the proudest day of his life, as he had been instrumental in making them all ladies and gentlemen. This movement showed their power. It showed to the aristocracy of the country that they could annihilate them if they (the operatives) thought proper, and if they went in as they came out eternal damnation was their deserts. Their object was to obtain the same amount of wages that were paid in January, 1840, and if this was accomplished there was an end to the reductions. He went on at some length to warn them of the consequence of returning to work at the present price, and held out threats if they gave up the contest without victory. On the meeting separating, the various trades held meetings, and a chartist meeting was held in the evening.’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, August 20, 1842.

1842, Aug 16

In Stockport, ‘On Tuesday notice was given at the savings’ bank for the withdrawal of between 15,000l. and 16,000l.’1
Magistrates posted the following notice: ‘Whereas parties of lawless and disorderly persons have of late perambulated the districts in the neighbourhood of Stockport, and in large crowds solicited for, and under the pretence of intimidation and fear, obtained alms from the inhabitants. Now we, the undersigned, justices of the peace, acting in and for the division of Stockport…do hereby give notice, that all parties so offending, and through intimidation obtaining alms, are guilty of felony, and that it is our determination to suppress such proceeding, and to deal with the offenders according to the law…’ 2
‘Notices were also given for all pensioners residing within the borough to attend at the Courthouse, at nine in the morning, to be sworn in as special constables, and in case of refusal to incur a fine and loss of pension.’3
‘On Tuesday evening about 8,000 or 9,000 persons again assembled on Waterloo-road. The language of the speakers was moderate, and the meeting was orderly; no politics was introduced. A paper was read showing the average amount each trade had been reduced since January, 1840…It was determined that the wages of the various trades should be advanced the respective amounts above-mentioned before they resume work; and, as to the means of subsistence during the strike, it was said if they could not obtain food peaceably, they had far better lay down and die alone than work at the present rate of wages, which were not sufficient to provide food to keep body and soul together.’4
Abraham Longson (one of the Stockport police), witness examined by the Judge. ‘The JUDGE:- You did not hear that? No, my lord. Who addressed the meeting on the 16th? I cannot say who. You cannot say who? No, sir. What took place at that meeting? – Who was in the chair? I believe it was a person named Joseph Harrison – I cannot say now. Was Wright there? Yes. Well, tell us what took place in the meeting of the 16th? – Was there anybody appointed to anything? There was a certain number of delegates appointed. Did you know the names of any of the persons who were appointed delegates? I believe there were several meetings up and down the town to appoint the delegates. I am asking where you were – not where you were not. When you were present at these meetings, did any appointment of delegates take place? Yes, they appointed John Wright.’5

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, August 20, 1842. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid. 5. The Trial of Feargus O’Connor, esq. (barrister-at-law) and fifty-eight others at Lancaster on a charge of sedition, conspiracy tumult and riot, 1843.

1842, Aug 18

‘Another public meeting was held on Waterloo Road on Thursday morning, on which occasion Mr. [Joseph] Harrison, schoolmaster, was called upon to preside.- He wished them to be united , and recommended that if the operatives of other towns were determined to stand out for the charter, the same should be done in this town. He explained the principles of the charter, and considered that as the operatives had so long had low wages, and high priced provisions, they ought now to have one year’s food without working for it. – Other speakers dwelt upon the principles of the charter, and the necessity of standing out for a full measure of justice, namely, the charter…The authorities anticipating that an attempt would…be made to turn out the hands of Messrs. Gordon and Davies, they adopted prompt measures to defeat the attempt…two companies of the 72nd foot were in attendance at the Court House, along with about 200 pensioners, who had been sworn in special constables, while the yeomanry cavalry also held themselves in readiness…no attempt was made..the forces at the command of the authorities were not called into action…’1

[Another report] ‘Early this morning, a public meeting was held on Waterloo-road, for the purpose of determining whether the workpeople of any kind shall be allowed to return to their employment before the termination of the whole dispute, viz., the receipt of the wages of 1840. A person of the name of Harrison, a tee-totaller, presided, and the meeting was addressed by Messrs. Mitchell, Carter, and other Chartists. The result was their determination to meet force by force, and the destruction of the authorities. They agreed first to turn-out the hands employed at Messrs. Gordon and Davies’ foundry, Heaton Norris, the men there having applied to their masters to be allowed to resume their work, which was accordingly granted. One of the speakers said, that a correspondence was now going on with Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and that all the trades in those countries would be stopped in eight days. The people of the manufacturing districts would then challenge the bullets and the bayonets, for they were resolved to die or to posses their rights. At the conclusion of the meeting, which was near 9 o’clock, it was understood that they were to proceed five abreast to the foundry works in question, and drive out the hands, with violence if necessary.’2
‘At the meeting held last night, at which at least 10,000 persons assembled on Waterloo-road, it was expected the delegates, who had been to the trades conference at Manchester, would give an account of their proceedings. J. Wright, one of the delegates, requested them to be united, and they would gain their object. If they did not that time obtain their rights, they would be worse off than ever. He considered the operatives, generally speaking, more temperate and moral in their habits than their employers. In referring to the proceedings at the conference at Manchester, it appeared that but little business had been done, and it was adjourned till the following day. A delegate named Flanigan, complained of the uncourteous manner in which the Stockport delegates had been received at the conference; and considered that it was in consequence of the Stockport operatives having decided that the charter should not be mixed up with the question of wages. As soon as the Stockport delegates entered, the meeting was adjourned till the following day; consequently they (the delegates) had scarcely anything to report. He advised them to return to work as soon as they obtained the wages they were contending for, and not to stand out for the charter. It seemed to be the wish of the conference that they should stand out for the charter. A portion of the meeting disapproved of the advice of the speaker, as to returning to their work without the charter. The chairman [Harrison] said he had been informed that Messrs. Gordon and Davies’ (machine makers) hands had that day resumed work, and they ought to be stopped. At this shouts of “We’ll stop ’em, we’ll bring our sticks in the morning,” resounded from various parts of the meeting. A person in the meeting gave the chairman [Harrison] a note, which he read to the meeting, and which went on to say, that it was expected that Mr. Scott, iron-founder, would give them 1,000 loads of potatoes. This announcement of the expected bounty was received with three hearty cheers. About 200 special constables and 150 pensioners were instantly assembled at the Courthouse, and preparations made to protect the workpeople in question. The police, armed with cutlasses, headed by the mayor, are now forming themselves to proceed against the mob. The Yeomanry Cavalry are also called out, but…no collision had occurred…’3
1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, Aug 20, 1842. 2. The Times, August 20, 1842. 3. Ibid.

1842, Aug 19

‘Early in the morning an overwhelming force of special constables was in attendance at the Court House, and the yeomanry cavalry, and some of the 72d foot, held themselves in readiness, in expectation that a body of turn-outs from Hyde and neighbourhood would visit the town. At six o’clock in the morning another public meeting was held on Waterloo Road; Mr. Joseph Harrison, schoolmaster, again presided. In opening the meeting he said he did not hear that they had yet waited upon the masters to ascertain if they were prepared to give the wages the operatives were contending for. He understood the reduction in their wages since January, 1840, averaged from 2s. 6d. to 12s. 6d. per week; but in his class (the middle class) the wages, or rather the income, had been reduced from £5 to £1 per week. Such being the case, he would ask the shopkeepers if they would allow this state of things to continue? John Wright congratulated the meeting on the extensive and rapid progress of the movement. It appeared this movement was going on like wildfire. Some people said they did not know what they wanted; they only wanted a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. – The movement was progressing, and it was not in the power of police, soldiers, nor artillery to put them down. They only needed to be united to gain the object, but if they were divided they would be like a rope of sand. Mr. Pilling had said, that he was the cause of this movement; he was not so, although, no doubt, he had done something to bring it about. The cause of it was class legislation, and reduction of wages. – On the motion of Mr. Ellis, seconded by Mr. Carter, it was resolved that the operatives of Stockport act in accordance with the resolutions of the trades conference, now being held in Manchester. Mr. Ellison moved that an address which was read to the meeting[written by Harrison], the purport of which was to solicit assistance from the middles-classes, should be printed for distribution…Just before the meeting broke up, a person in the crowd began to complain that the chimney of Messrs. Christy’s hat shop Canal-street, was smoking, and that the hands having commenced work they ought to be stopped. Accordingly, the body of the meeting went to the spot. Upon Messrs. Christy’s workpeople seeing them advance, they hastened out of the premises with the utmost precipitation. – The mob afterwards visited Mr. Carrington and Messrs. Syke’s establishments; but the timely arrival of the soldiery and police prevented further mischief…’1
[Another report] ‘This morning another of these dangerous and seditious meetings was held in Waterloo-road, in the presence of some thousands of people. A teetotaller, named [Joseph] Harrison, was in the chair; and amongst the speakers were two violent politicians of the names of McWade and Carter. The language was strong, reserved, but well understood…They resolved to follow up the determination of the Manchester conference on Wednesday – to contend for the Charter…At the termination of the meeting, the people proceeded five a breast to the works of Messrs. Christy…and Messrs. Carrington, and succeeded in turning out the hands and forcing them to join the general body. They then essayed to proceed to Mr. Sykes’s, of Edgeley, and, whilst marching in that direction, information was dispatched to the public office, where a large number of special constables were assembled…in protection of those who were inclined to follow their employment…At about 10 o’clock three troops of the Cheshire Yeomanry…and two companies of the 72d. Highlanders…proceeded by the mayor and town-clerk on horseback, were despatched at full speed to give the rioters the meeting at Mr. Sykes’s; but, on their arrival, the mob had taken another direction, and whither could not be ascertained. It is believed, that on seeing such a strong force of soldiery, they had dispersed… All the firms alluded to have re-commenced working…’ The military and the police seem to be much fatigued with the excessive labours imposed on them, day and night, arising from the indecisive policy of the Executive…a large body of the influential inhabitants, at the principal inn [Warren Bulkeley Arms] the other evening, comment[ed] somewhat severely…when the mob were permitted to break into mills and turn out the workpeople provided they did not break the peace… Everything is at present quiet and the protective regulations are somewhat more vigorous this evening, as will be seen from the following placard…
“The magistrates of the borough of Stockport having observed with regret that the people assembled this morning on Waterloo-ground, and proceeded from the meeting in a riotous and tumultuous manner to turn out the hatters employed in Messrs. Christy’s works, do hereby give public notice, that all future assemblages of the people in or near to the borough of Stockport during the present disturbed state of this district are illegal; and that the magistrates are determined to suppress and put down the same, hereby cautioning all parties at their peril from attending any such meetings. WILLIAM NELSTROP, Mayor of Stockport. Court-house, Stockport, Aug. 19, 1842.”’2

‘This announcement naturally created a little ill feeling on the part of the operatives, and the following hand bill, issued the same night, did not at all tend to abate the excitement:
“Delegates’ resolution; passed unanimously, – That the conduct of the civil authorities of this borough, in suppressing public meetings, is calculated to excite ill feelings in the minds of the peaceable inhabitants. We, therefore approve the principle of clubs, societies, and others running upon the banks for gold, to provide the poor with bread until the rights of the people be established. JOHN WRIGHT, Chairman.’ August 19th, 1842. P.S. People of Stockport, be firm! be prudent! be determined! but be orderly!!”’3

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, Aug 20, 1842. 2. The Times, August 22, 1842. 3. The Manchester Times and Gazette, Aug 27, 1842.

1842, Aug 20

‘The magistrates order of last evening, prohibiting political meetings in the open air, has had the desired effect, and no congregation of thousands took place this morning…the town is therefore peaceable…John Wright, has just been apprehended…his examination is expected to take place in the course of the day… Placard…issued from the party conducting the turnouts…
ADDRESS OF THE WORKING CLASSES OF STOCKPORT, IN PUBLIC MEETING ASSEMBLED, TO THE SHOPKEEPERS AND MIDDLE CLASSES. Gentlemen – We conceive the time is come when every man of talent, wealth, or influence, should exercise his judgment to allay, satisfactorily to the great body of the working people, the deep and wide spreading discontent which so unfortunately reigns throughout the manufacturing and other districts of this great country. The first cause of this discontent and disorder is to be found in the wretchedness and misery of the manufacturing population, whose wages are not sufficient to supply their families with the common necessaries of life, and whose social condition has become so unbearable that many, very many, have been known to lift up their hands to the Most High, and beg that He would release them from their awful sufferings by calling them out of existence; and what have been the moral delinquencies of the people that they should be reduced to such a deplorable extremity? Are they habitually indolent? No, gentleman, their toil is proverbial through the civilized world, and there is no portion on the earth which has not reaped the advantages resulting from their zealous and habitual industry. We shall not now stop to inquire what party originated the present strike, but seek, by kindness and brotherly affection, to unite the good, the benevolent, and the wise of all classes, to adopt and abide by the resolutions of the delegates representing the trades of Manchester and surrounding districts, which are the perpetration of the present strike, so far as we re concerned, until the Charter becomes the law of the land, and the people’s wages properly advanced. Gentleman, – Let us not be told that we want to establish an ascendancy of labour; we want no such thing; we only want the laws of our country to recognize the right of the labour of the people to protection, equally with the right of property to protection, and we are convinced that this cannot be effected until the labouring classes be fully and fairly represented in the House of Commons. Gentleman, – We implore you to assist the working people, the producers of all wealth, in this important and momentous struggle; let every shopkeeper assist his starving fellow creatures in his own immediate vicinity, and when prosperity shall return to our heartstones, we will not forget their kindness. Signed, on behalf of the meeting, JOSEPH HARRISON, Chairman. Aug. 20’1

‘About half-past seven on Saturday morning John Wright, the chartists president, bellman, bill-poster, &c., was engaged in posting a copy of the [resolutions from the 19th] on the walls of the police office, when Mr. Sadler, superintendent of police, took him into custody. He was brought before a full bench of magistrates at the Court House, the same day, when a charge of conspiracy was preferred against him. [The conspiracy related to events that occurred with respect to the workhouse riot on 11th August]…[Sadler] said he had not seen him take any part with the mob on the 11th instant; but he considered his conduct since that time to be such as had a tendency to create a breach of the peace…[Wright] was one of the party apprehended in 1839 for the chartist disturbances, and was committed to Chester for sedition and conspiracy, and, being found guilty, was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment.[John Wright resided in Edward Street]…The magistrates…determined upon committing the prisoner to Chester for trial, on a charge of conspiracy. He was informed that he could be liberated on bail for his appearance at the Chester assizes. The amount required was himself in 200, and two sureties of 100 each…Prisoner stated he would not trouble himself about bail, as he could not maintain his wife and family if he was at home… Placards were posted in various parts of the borough, signed by nineteen millowners, announcing their intention of opening their mills on Monday morning, and promising protection to all parties who chose to resume their employment. Saturday passed off quietly.’2

1. The Times, August 22, 1842. 2. The Manchester Times and Gazette, August 27, 1842.

1842, Sep 16

‘A number of meetings have been held today by the hands of different mills, and in the majority of cases, they have agreed to give in; the rest seeing the hopelessness of the contest, will soon follow the example. A public meeting was held in the Chartist Association Room this forenoon, when the speakers admitted that the contest was at an end, and that further resistance was useless…The operatives of Stayley were denounced as traitors, for having in the first instance caused the turn-out, and then being the first in the district to resume work.’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, September 17, 1842.

1842, Sep 24

Report in the Stockport Advertiser in respect to the turnouts (Loyalist Paper).
‘Those seditious demagogues who are continually poisoning the ears of the better disposed must be weeded out; that pestilential lazar house in Bamber’s Brow (the chartist meeting room) must be vigourously cleansed, and the working classes protected from such fatal infections. How can we expect a resumption of labour while those idlers – the refuse of socialism, chartism, and anti-corn-lawism – are allowed hourly to hold their infernal orgies, and with impunity to preach the deadliest and most dangerous treason?’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, September 24, 1842.

1843, Jun 4

Joseph Harrison performed baptisms in the river Mersey.

‘STOCKPORT, CHESHIRE.- On Lord’s day June 4, we assembled, at seven A.M., on the banks of the river Mersey, and whilst singing, we were soon surrounded by a multitude of spectators, many of whom were professing christians of other denominations, who listened with marked attention to the pointed address of our esteemed brother Harrison, (based on the Lord’s commission,) after which he descended into the water, and baptized two individuals on a profession of their faith in Christ- the only saviour of mankind, and lawgiver to the Church. It was a cheering day to many of us, and we hope – after the dark clouds which have long been hanging over us – that these are as drops before the shower; and may the Great Head of the Church grant that our hopes may be realized, and add unto us such as shall be saved. W.P.’1

1. The General Baptist Repository and Missionary Observer, Vol 4, 1843, p247.

1844, Jan 13

Joseph Harrison and others campaigned for public baths in Stockport.
‘PUBLIC BATHS IN STOCKPORT. On Wednesday evening a meeting was held in the Court Room, to devise measures for the establishing public baths for the working classes of Stockport. Mr. James Bradshaw presided and the meeting was addressed by Mr. John Hamer…Mr. Joseph Harrison…Mr. L. P. Fogg and others, in defence of the necessity of public baths in densely – populated towns like this, and in advocacy of the health and cleanliness of bathing and swimming…Resolutions be signed by the chairman on behalf of the meeting to the mayor and corporation, requesting them to carry their resolutions into effect. But if they cannot, we pledge ourselves to persevere until baths are erected, either by voluntary subscriptions or a company of shareholders.’1

1. The Manchester Times and Gazette, January 13, 1844.

1844, Feb 22

Stockport.- The Youths’ Total Abstinence Society had a very interesting tea-party on Feb. 22, when about 300 persons were present. After tea, Mr. Bancroft took the chair; and the meeting was addressed by the Rev. Jabez Harris (Wesleyan Association), the Rev. Joseph Harrison (Baptist), Mr. Wm. Higginbottom, Mr. Wm. Bradley, and others. The cause is progressing rapidly here.’1

1. National Temperance Advocate, 1844.

1844, Jul 14

The Twelfth Conference of the British Association for the Promotion of Temperance. Held at Bradford, on Tuesday the 14th of July, and two succeeding days.
Stockport delegate: Joseph Harrison.1

1. National Temperance Advocate, 1844.

1845, Nov 11

Joseph Harrison’s son Nathan who was a member of the church of Christ debated J.D. Ross of the Latter-day Saints, at Staleybridge, Manchester.

‘Mormonism has so much truth blended with its delusion, that it stands in our way here. And so we are obliged to buckle on our armour in the strength of the Lord. The discussion was fixed to commence on Lord’s day evening last, between J.D. Ross, of Scotland, president of the Conference of Latter-day Saints, held in Manchester, and Nathan Harrison, one of our brethren…J.D. Ross affirmed the necessity of Apostolical succession, Nathan Harrison denied. I need not attempt to give you any outline of the discussion, as I am aware you have met with Mormons in your travels, and a re familiar with their meshes. Ross is a man who speaks fluently, and has a powerful voice. He has likewise read his Bible, but reading it with Mormon glasses on, he has seen many strange things there. Our brother Harrison is a plain matter-offact man, slow in speech, but sound and sure, has extensive acquaintance with the Word of God and the history of the world. The truth found in him an able advocate, and we all trust that much good will be the result. R. ANDERSON’1

1. The Christian Messenger and Family Magazine, 1845.

1846, Sep

Death of Sir Charles Wolseley, Bart.1

1. The Times, October 6, 1846.

1847, August

Stockport – This large borough, which has a population of 85,000, contains only two baptist churches, one a General, and the other a Particular. Both churches number less than 150 members. There were formerly three churches, but one which was in connection with Mr. Gadsby’s body has, since his death, ceased to be. They occupied a neat and comfortable chapel in a central situation, capable of seating nearly 400 people. This place of worship has been for some time closed, and worship discontinued. Mr. C. De Valmont, member of the legion of honour, Paris, upon whom Napoleon conferred a life annuity, and who was formerly pastor of a baptist church in France, and for many years travelling agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Swizerland and France, having permanently settled in Stockport, and become tutor to some of the most wealthy and influential families, and being anxious that the chapel should not remain closed, has taken it on his own responsibility, and is intending to re-open it and use his best endeavours to collect a congregation, and to form a church. We hear that he is likely to succeed. The literary attainments of Mr. Valmont are said to be of the highest order, and he is universally esteemed and respected in the town. We wish him success. J. H.  (The Baptist Reporter, August 1847.)

[Note: Rev. Charles Emile de Valmont. — On his first appearance in Stockport with his wife, he opened a school, and she is said to have been an intelligent and well – educated lady; afterwards he was appointed chaplain to the Stockport Borough Cemetery. He is said to have been an officer in the French army under Napoleon, and to have accompanied the army in the expedition to Russia in 1812; he possessed when in Stockport the decoration of the Legion of Honour. His wife died in 1851 and is buried here…” (Stockport Notes and Queries 1882).]

1847, Sep 6

Letter from Harrison to James Wallis, editor of the Christian Messenger.

‘DEAR SIR, – Recently we were a church consisting of about twenty-seven members,
denominated General Baptists. About eight or nine of us objected to that name, and we were anxious to acknowledge no other name than Jesus Christ, as the head and centre of the church, and also to baptize into his name for the remission of sins any that make a good confession. Eight or ten others were determined to stick to the sectarian name, and denounced “baptism for the remission of sins” as an error; the remaining eight or nine were neutral. On the 15th of August one of the deacons (without consulting the church) gave notice for the members to meet on the Thursday evening following, and provided two General Baptist ministers to attend, which they did accordingly, when the above charges were gravely made against us; one of the ministers departed early, apparently disgusted with the frivolous proceedings, the other staid to the last and helped them through with the division, and the General Baptists of course left us to ourselves. We were not aware of their intention, but it appears that their plan was secretly pre-concerted, as another meeting room was engaged previous to the meeting. Whatever they laid claim to we permitted them to take away, in fact they took everything belonging to the church, though we had as good a right to it as themselves. There are two things which in their opinion have aggravated our guilt, viz., a few of us went to hear Mr. [Alexander] Campbell’s lectures at Manchester, and broke bread with a few Christian friends there the Sabbath but one following. Our view of the gospel is, that it requires the subjection of the whole man to Christ, spirit, soul, and body; hence the intellectual part, or spirit, is engaged in believing the testimony concerning Christ, the affections and passions, or soul, in repentance, the tongue in confession, and the whole body in baptism, and remission and salvation are connected with all these, on entering the Christian profession. Christian morality and the cultivation of Christian virtues are enjoined, divine aid is secured in the diligent use of the means, that the believer may be fruitful here, and prepare for a better world above. Thus our King not only requires faith, but the obedience of faith. These are our views, and if we are wrong we shall be glad to be set right. JOSEPH HARRISON.’1

1. The Christian Messenger and Family Magazine, 1847.

1847, Oct 4

The Stockport Election.

‘It appears nineteen members of the Temperance Society voted, in the recent election for their borough, as follows:
FOR COBDEN AND KERSHAW … Joseph Harrison, Mount street; a Baptist.’1

1. Patriot, October 4, 1847.

1847, Sep

Joseph Harrison’s son Peter was president of the church of Christ at Mount-street Stockport.1

1. The British Millennial Harbinger, 1847.

1847, Nov 10

The small church assembling in Mount-street, in this town, is composed of twelve members, with little prospect of increase, at present. Trade is in such a state, and the poverty of the people so great, they seem not disposed to hearken to the word of life. JOSEPH HARRISON’1

1. The Christian Messenger and Family Magazine, 1847.

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