Bolton is a town that lies in Greater Manchester which is in North West England. It started off as a small village. In the middle age, it mushroomed and became bigger and also gained importance. As such, it was made into a town in 1251. This was after it was granted a charter, which is a document that granted its occupants certain rights. For instance, they were permitted to hold a market.

Markets were important in these times because during the Middle Ages, there were seldom any shops and in order for one to sell or buy anything, they had to visit a market. For this reason, merchants and craftsmen moved in to Bolton in order to sell their wares in the market. Another right was that Bolton could have a fair. These were the equivalent of markets but were annual and only for a few days. During a fair, people would flock from the entire Lancashire to take part in the Bolton fair.

Bolton continued to blossom in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1516, the Bolton Grammar School was started and by the turn of the 17th century, a cotton weaving industry had been established in Bolton. By mid-17th century, Bolton was estimated to have a population of around 2,000 and it was growing in importance.

Civil War

Civil war sprung in 1642 between parliament and the king. The people of Bolton all supported parliament, a dissent from the rest of the population in Lancashire who supported the king. During this war period, the people in Bolton made earthwork defences all around the town and laid wait for the royalists to make an attack. The royalists made their attack in February 1643 but were defeated.

In a bid to protect the town, parliament sent out 3,000 men to fortify Bolton in January 1644. The royalists made another attack on Bolton in March 1644 but lost again. However, they succeeded in May 1644 when they attempted to capture the town. After a small siege, they overpowered the defences. When they gained entrance into the town, the royalists killed most of the parliamentary soldiers. As many as 1000 soldiers are thought to have died with around 700 taken as captives.

In 1649, Charles I got executed. In 1651, his son attempted to regain his throne by leading an uprising. This failed and as a result a man dubbed the Earl of Derby was captured and beheaded.

Cotton Industry

In 1779, Samuel Crompton, came up with the spinning mule. He went on to open a cotton mill in the following year. The cotton industry grew at a huge rate and dominated Bolton. It continued to flourish into the 19th century. Other industries in Bolton include paper making and bleaching. Coal mining also started in the Middle Ages but grew in the 19th Century.

​Written by Digitec Aerials of Bolton