Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.68 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972.
Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2). It is landlocked and borders Cheshire (to the south-west and south), Derbyshire (to the south-east), West Yorkshire (to the north-east), Lancashire (to the north) and Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban. It has a focused central business district, formed by Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs. The Greater Manchester Urban Area is the third most populous conurbation in the UK, and spans across most of the county's territory.
For the 12 years following 1974 the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) effectively became unitary authority areas. However, the metropolitan county has continued to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a ceremonial county, has a Lord Lieutenant and a High Sheriff. Several county-wide services were co-ordinated through the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities up until April 2011, when the Greater Manchester Combined Authority was established as the strategic county-wide authority for Greater Manchester, taking on functions and responsibilities for economic development, regeneration and transport.
Shaw and Crompton is a town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, in Greater Manchester, and is regularly referred to as Shaw. Crompton (as it was originally known) has provided evidence of ancient British and Anglian activity in the area. During the Middle Ages, Crompton formed a small township with weak local lordship, and so it failed to emerge as a manor with its own lord and court. Farming was the main industry of this area, with locals supplementing their incomes by hand-loom woollen weaving in the domestic system.
The introduction of textile manufacture initiated a process of rapid and unplanned urbanisation. A building boom began in Crompton during the mid-19th century, when suitable land in Oldham was becoming scarce. By the late-19th century Crompton had emerged as a densely populated mill town. At its spinning zenith, Shaw and Crompton was reported to have had more millionaires per capita than any other town in the world. Imports of foreign cotton goods began the decline in the region's textile industry during the mid-20th century; Shaw and Crompton's last mill closed in 1989. Today, Shaw and Crompton is a predominantly residential area of mixed affluence with a population of 21,721.
Hannah Beswick (1688 – February 1758), of Birchin Bower, Hollinwood, England, was a woman with a pathological fear of premature burial. Following her death in 1758 her body was embalmed and kept above ground, to be periodically checked for signs of life. Beswick's mummified body was eventually bequeathed to the Museum of the Manchester Natural History Society, where she was put on display and acquired the soubriquet of the Manchester Mummy, or the Mummy of Birchin Bower.
The museum was subsequently transferred to Manchester University, when it was decided, with the permission of the Bishop of Manchester, that Beswick should finally be buried. Her burial took place at Harpurhey cemetery on 22 July 1868; her grave is unmarked.