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Taken altogether they reveal how the established church tried to cope not just with spiritual, but also with social and economic change on an unprecedented and massive scale.

Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives and uk have made available, online, a large collection of Church of England parish registers which span 1541 – 1930.

The collection includes over 6,000,000 names recorded during baptisms, marriages and burials at Anglican churches in the Diocese of Manchester.

Before the introduction of civil registration in 1837 the births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials recorded in parish registers were often the only official record of people’s lives.

Yet not all would-be couples were married, as the Cathedral's apparently unique series of banns books starting from the Georgian period shows.

These volumes provide unique insights for historians into the proportion of engagements that failed, what objections were raised, and by whom, as well as allowing detailed statistical analysis of residence and mobility in Victorian England.

The collection contains some fascinating and intriguing entries – the parish registers for Weaste, St Luke document the marriage of Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden).

Alongside the original College Buildings that now house Chetham's Library and part of Chetham's School of Music, it forms Manchester's medieval quarter.

An understanding of the history of the Cathedral is the key to developing an understanding of the early development and growth of Manchester itself.

Manchester is the birth place of the Academy Award winning actor Friedrich Robert Donat who starred in Goodbye, Mr. Samuel Bamford, a witness to the Peterloo Massacre and a radical politician who campaigned both for parliamentary reform and the repeal of the Corn Laws, was baptised in Middleton, St Leonard on 11 April 1788.

Chips, The Count of Monte Cristo and Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. The entry lists him as ‘Samuel son of cotton spinner’.

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