According to his obituary, John Scholes was a well known Manchester character who could often be found in the antiquarian bookshops of Manchester.

Using trade and street directories Scholes compiled this record which tells the story of Manchester as a magnet for textile merchants from all over the world.

Here you will find German, French, Spanish, Armenian, Turkish, Greek, Russian and Levant merchants and traders all living and working in Manchester. The growth of Manchester is clear to see, as you progress through the volume you can see the list of names and the diversity of nationalities growing with every turn of the page.

The arrival of one very notable historical figure can be traced through this volume – Friedrich Engels. The Ermen & Engels's cotton manufacturing firm can be found listed for the first time in 1839, when they set up business at Weaste, Salford.

Friedrich Engels didn’t join the British arm of his father’s business until 1842, aged 22. Shocked at the living conditions in the city, Engels wrote ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’, using Manchester as his case study.

Visit Archives+ to see the original and explore the many less well-known merchants from all over the world who made Manchester their home.

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