William Marsden

The small park at the end of St. John's Street was once the church yard of St. John's Church.  The church was demolished in 1931 but a few rememberences of the church remain.  Among them is a plaque on a small cross that commemorates the fact that William Marsden was buried in that church yard. 

Marsden's claim to fame is that he originated the Saturday Half Holiday.  In a day when shops are open for trading 7 days a week and almost 365 days a year it is hard to appreciate that someone fought to get a half day off for workers on a Saturday.  The web site "Cotton Town" says of Marsden: "Manchester man William Marsden began a campaign for an early finish on Saturdays in the 1840s. It was stoutly resisted by mill owners, horrified at the thought of machinery lying idle. The campaign succeeded and Manchester operatives were the first to finish at noon on Saturday."

Close Window