Miscellaneous Manuscript Material

Scope and Content

This sub-fond contains a range of manuscript material of mixed and uncertain provenance, relating to the family, their history and activities, some of which had been gathered together for the purposes of exhibition prior to the donation of the collection. The contents are as follows: letters relating to Kersal Moor, 20 September 1750 - 15 September 1761; various notes and fragments, c.1640-c.1850; Byrom pedigrees, c.1776; paper cut-work fragments, 1721-c.174-?. The miscellaneous notes include items relating to Thomas Deacon and Thomas Syddall, the Manchester Jacobites condemned for their part in the 1745 rebellion.

Administrative / Biographical History

Some of the non-business related activities of the family are reflected in this sub-fond, including topical material of the period, ranging from horse-racing on Kersal Moor to Jacobite related items.

Byrom involvement in the government of the town began with the early Byroms holding various offices of the court leet; the first Edward Byrom was elected constable in 1638, and his son likewise, in 1663. The Byrom family first appeared in the County of Lancaster Heraldic Visitation in 1664, when three descents of the family, namely of Byrom, Salford and Manchester, were represented. The family coat-of-arms features a chevron between three hedgehogs, surmounted by a hedgehog crest, their motto being 'Frustra per plura'. The ancestral hall of the Byrom branch, Byrom Hall, situated in the parish of Winwick, near Wigan, was purchased by Joseph Byrom around the year 1710 for £1,200.

Kersal Moor had been a site for horse-racing since the last quarter of the 17th century. The Byrom family were opposed to this practice, as were other co-owners of the moor, as reflected in the series of surviving letters from Edward Chetham. John Byrom himself is credited as the author of a pamphlet on the subject, although it has been suggested that this was the work of his brother, Edward. Although no copy is contained amongst these papers, one can be found in the collection at Chetham's Library, where numerous volumes from John's own library, some listed in the manuscript catalogue folios in series TBY/4/2, can also be found. Originally at his home in Hanging Ditch, the library was removed to Kersal Cell following the death of his widow in 1778.

In 1745 a Jacobite army marched into Manchester, proclaiming James III at the market cross, close to the Byroms' Shambles shop. Although the family's reaction is not recorded in these papers, local sympathy is evident. Manchester's non-juring and high church congregations provided fertile ground for support, particularly that of Thomas Deacon, son of the non-juring Manchester clergyman of the same name. He, along with his brother, Charles, and fellow citizen, Thomas Syddall, joined the Jacobite forces, and were subsequently condemned for their part in the uprising.


As this sub-fonds contains a great deal of fragmentary material of diverse provenance, the items have been divided into three series, the first comprising miscellaneous fragments relating to different members of the family, whilst the two other series each reflect the two more distinct groupings, namely the Kersal Moor letters and the family pedigrees.