Guided walk – Manchester and Slavery: abolitionists and manufacturers

Join us for this guided walk with Jonathan Schofield

mcconel company mills about 1820 manchester slavery links walking tour
This is a past event
Date and time
13 October 2023
2.30 pm
£12.00 (members)/£15.00 (non-members)


Explore the contradictions of the eighteenth and nineteenth century city of Manchester with regard to slavery.

This walking tour looks at how Manchester and the slave trade were linked – and complements the recent publication of the UCLan report, ‘The Manchester Lit & Phil and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1780-1865.

The tour passes sites associated with abolitionists determined to remove the stain of chattel slavery, and other locations where slave-picked cotton was used by manufacturers – some of whom were also abolitionists. It examines the contradictions of the eighteenth and nineteenth century city of Manchester with regard to slavery.

During the tour, stories of key individuals will be shared. These people include the Heywood and Gregg families, Thomas Clarkson, Thomas Percival (co-founder of the Lit & Phil), John Edward Taylor, John Bright, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Gaskell, Abel Heywood, William Andrew Jackson, amongst many others.

Key moments of the tour will include:

– the Thomas Clarkson speech which led to the first abolition petition from any British town or city in 1788

the foundation of the Manchester Guardian in 1821

– confusion over the ship on the Manchester coat of arms granted in 1842

the visit of Frederick Douglass in 1846

– the pro-Union city during the American Civil war in the early 1860s

Tour guide Jonathan Schofield’s commentary will be lively with a clear narrative, guaranteed.


Good to know: The walk will start at 2.30pm and finish around 4.30pm at the latest. We will meet outside Manchester Cathedral. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before the walk start time. The walk will finish at the Edwardian Hotel (formerly the Free Trade Hall).

jonathan schofield

Jonathan Schofield

Jonathan Schofield is a Guide, Writer, Broadcaster and Public Speaker. In 2021, Jonathan was awarded the Medal of Honour by the University of Manchester for services to the city and region. His award-winning tours have included Radical Manchester, Chetham’s Library and Medieval Buildings, Engels in Manchester, London Road Fire Station tours and many others.  He has been the official tour guide for the Manchester International Festival since 2015.

When he is not out leading groups on tours of the streets of Manchester, Jonathan is Editor-at-Large of Manchester Confidential the city’s largest independent magazine. He has also written a couple of books, including Manchester: the complete guide.

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