Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Houldsworth

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Thomas Houldsworth, MP

Second son of Henry Houldsworth, yeoman, of Hagg Farm, Gonalston

Apprenticed to a stocking weaver

1793 he joined his brothers in a cotton spinning business at Manchester, establishing the large Newton Street Mills, Manchester. They branched out to Rocester (Staffordshire), Glasgow and Pontefract.

Purchased an estate in his native county and was a well known racehorse owner.

1818 he stepped into a vacuum at Pontefract, an open borough, and came second on the poll.

Before Houldsworth took his seat, there was trouble at his Manchester mill, where strikers intimidated the mother of a child employee. He had them charged under the Combination Acts.

Soon afterwards the strikers returned to work and Houldsworth "immediately set out for Pontefract to attend the races".

He remained an MP for 34 years

1825 Listed as Thomas Houldsworth M.P., cotton spinner, 50 Little Lever Street, house 2 Portland Place.[1]

1836 He extended his business interests by partnering with his brother Henry in the establishment of the Coltness Iron Works in Lanarkshire.

1852 He died on 1 Sept. 1852.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'History, Directory, and Gazeteer of the County of Lancaster', Vol 2, by Edward Baines and W. Parson
  • Biography of Thomas Houldsworth on History of Parliament online