On this day

December 3, 1842

cover page of Manchester Times published on December 3, 1842

Manchester Times





Circulates through Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Congleton, Macclesfield, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Wigan, Warrington, Preston, Chorley, Blackburn, Burnley, Halifax, &c. Advocates reform, retrenchment, peace, free-trade; considers the corn laws injurious to commerce, without being of any benefit: contends for the equalization of sugar and coffee duty. Is not the organ of any sect, but is the advocate of religious liberty, and is opposed to all endowments for religious purposes. Has advocated the abolition of slavery, Roman Catholic emancipation, poor laws for Ireland, more liberal poor laws for Scotland, the establishment, on voluntary principles, of explanatory schools and schools for infants, reform of old educational institutions, sanitary improvements, &c. The Anti-Corn Law League has always had in this journal a firm and consistent supporter, and its value to that body cannot be overrated. The political editor, Mr. A. Prentice, is one of the select band from whom the great movement emanated (Mitchell, 1846).

Issued a supplement entitled Manchester Literary Times (q.v.), nos 1-36 (12 Feb 1848-28 Oct 1848).

The paper "criticised selfish aristocratic governments for the nation's distress: '. . . when laws are in operation to double the price of their food, to lower their wages by excluding the produce of their labour from foreign markets, and to carry off their hard-earned savings in taxes upon almost every necessary of life, it is not less inhumane to deny them, when it is required, a portion of that abundance which has been produced by their labour' " (Barker p. 199).

"Joined the cause" of parliamentary reform and consistently opposed the Corn Law (Barker, p.207, 219). Prentice was against Chartism. His programme, outlined in 1839, was "free trade (and especially the repeal of the corn laws); triennial parliaments, with one-third of the Members to be elected annually; secret ballot; a redistribution of seats; and a suffrage based on an education test" (Cranfield, p.197).

"In 1835, the young Richard Cobden wrote a series of letters to the Manchester Times urging that the town petition for local self government. The extent to which the press was increasingly used by significant political and economic groups was a testament to their realization that it presented an effective way of conveying a message...Prentice's Manchester Times never prospered because he was too pedagogic in trying to lead" (Black, p.173).

"The politics of the Manchester Times were too advanced to attract the regular readership of many of the Manchester manufacturers. They preferred the more cautious approach of the Manchester Guardian . Also, Prentice's manner was too pedagogic to appeal to many readers. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of his entry into local journalism he expressed the hope that those readers who had followed him 'with something of the personal attachment of a congregation to their affectionate pastor.' When addressing the working-classes Prentice's tone often became decidedly patronising. 'We have shown with respect to many subjects', he wrote in the Manchester Gazette in 1825, 'that we have the welfare of the working classes at heart.... In advocating the proposed enforcement of the Sabbath-laws, we trust they will see that we are actuated by the same friendly zeal for their good. We wish to see them weaned from courses which, in many instances, lead to the jail and to the gallows'" (Donald Read, Press and People ).

Source: The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals: 1800-1900.

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1828–29 The Manchester Times
  • 1831–48 The Manchester Times and Gazette
  • 1849–55 Manchester Examiner and Times
  • 1856–57 Manchester Weekly Examiner & Times
  • 1857–1906 Manchester Weekly Times and Examiner

This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in Manchester, Lancashire, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Nov 8, 2011 . The latest issues were added in Dec 13, 2022.