Development of Marple

Samuel Oldknow



Probably the one man who has most influenced the development of Marple.

Author: Tom Oldham.

Published: Marple Local History Society, 1990.

A5 booklet, 24 pages, 13 illustrations.

Price: £3.00


Discovery of Documents

It was due to amazing good fortune that so much has come to light about Samuel Oldknow and his enterprises.

Some of the small buildings around Mellor Mill were untouched by the fire that destroyed the main building in 1892, and it was in the upper room of what had been a coach house and stables that a vast collection of papers, letters, account books and weavers' tickets were discovered in 1921, scattered about the floor under inches of debris and dust. Mr. Arthur Hulme, a local resident, had his attention drawn to these old papers and books, which must have been there for a great many years, and he and Mr. George Unwin recovered and sifted through this industrial archaeological treasure love.

The outcome of a lengthy and laborious task resulted in the writing of the book Samuel Oldknow and the Arkwrights'', by George Unwin. It is from this book that most of the information contained in this short account of Samuel Oldknow has been obtained.

This biography relates his early life, his entry into the cotton industry in Stockport and then his development of a large-scale factory in Marple. It explores his relationship with Richard Arkwright, the creator of the modern factory system. He played a bigger role in the development of Marple than any other individual and this is discussed in detail, including his bringing the canal system through the town.