1906 - Swindells, Thomas - Manchester Streets and Manchester Men

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 1906
Author Swindells, Thomas
Title Manchester Streets and Manchester Men. First Series
Mentions Robin Hood chapbooks; Robin Hood
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Hanging Bridge, Manchester.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-03-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-17.


At the corner of Hanging Bridge, near to the church gate, was, for many years, the shop where the Swindells family carried on business as printers, and from whose press were issued chapbooks in an almost endless variety. The business was commenced by George Swindells, a native of Disley, who died in 1796; and was continued by his widow Alice, in conjunction with their eldest son, John. The family retained possession of the shop until 1846. A younger son, Henry, conducted business as a printer in Deansgate for many years. I have before me a collection of a dozen of the chapbooks issued from Hanging Bridge, which, although comparing unfavourably with the children's books of to-day, are exceedingly interesting. The subjects dealt with are Jane Shore, Robinson Crusoe, with a woodcut representing the adventurer fully equipped; Robin Hood, with nine illustrations; the Happy Cottagers, one of the illustrations representing a spinning wheel standing as high as the cottage; Blue Beard, [p. 56:] illustrated, and a number garland. With their poor paper, old type, and crude illustrations, they take us back to the days when books were scarce and dear. To prevent any possibility of confusion, I may say that I am in no way related to the family of printers.[1]

Source notes

IRHB's brackets.

IRHB comments

Hanging Bridge was a medieval bridge spanning the Hanging Ditch, which connected the rivers Irk and Irwell in Manchester. In the early 17th century, the bridge was buried and filled over, but 'Hanging Bridge' survived as the name of the area where it had stood.[2]




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