Charles Hindley (politician)

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Charles Hindley (25 June 1796–1 December 1857) was a cotton mill-owner and Radical politician who sat as Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire from 1835 until his death in 1857.


Family life[edit]

Hindley was the third son[1] of Ignatius (a considerable calico and muslin manufacturer) and Mary Hindley (maiden name Molly Ambler);[2] like them he was a member of the Moravian Church and remained so throughout his life . In about 1816, he became manager of his eldest brother John's small cotton mill in Dukinfield.[3] In 1821, after the death of his brother he married Hannah , sister of John's widow Mary and daughter of Nathaniel Buckley, a clothier of Saddleworth (formerly of Staley, and described as a cotton spinner of Duckinfield when John and Mary married).[a] Charles and Hannah had six children; one daughter (Hannah) survived to adulthood and married Henry Woods,[5] another daughter died aged twelve,[6] none of the other four children reached their second birthday. Hindley's first wife died in July 1837,[6] and he remarried (Jun 1839) Ann, the sister of John Fort of Read Hall.[7] Both Woods and Fort were Liberal MPs (Fort for Clitheroe, Woods for Wigan); both were active in the cotton industry. Hindley was in poor health in 1838 (from obstruction of the bile duct [8]); in 1849 his health was so poor that there was talk of his having to retire as an MP, but he recuperated considerably as a result of a tour he made of Egypt, Palestine and Greece in 1849-50. Hindley's second wife died just before Christmas in 1854,[6] his only surviving child died as a result of childbirth in July 1857:[5]


Hindley died in Westminster 30 November 1857, reportedly of heart disease.[9] Augustus Granville, Hindley's doctor, later alleged that Hindley had been suffering from delirium, hallucination, and inflammation of the brain , but had been recovering thanks to the treatments ordered by Granville (mustard plasters, bleeding, calomel, and antimony), which had been effective on four or five similar past episodes.[10] However, without consulting Granville, Hindley's son-in-law had called in Robert Bentley Todd, FRS, FRCS. The Dictionary of National Biography entry for Todd notes "Todd was the first to lay down definite principles for the treatment of specially serious cases of fever, such as influenza and rheumatic fever, besides inflammations associated with exhaustion in which life was in jeopardy. In these cases Todd proved from patient observation the desirability of a steady administering of alcoholic stimulants at short intervals, day and night, while the danger lasted. By this treatment not only was the strength maintained, but the period of convalescence was shortened."[11] According to Granville, Todd had taken a less sanguine view of Hindley's case than Granville and insisted that Hindley should take an ounce of brandy every half-hour, reducing this to half-an-ounce every half-hour on the representations of Granville, but soon reverting to the higher dosage. By the time Hindley died he had taken six pints of brandy in seventy-two hours; Granville alleged that although Hindley's death certificate gave the cause of death as 'cereberal affectation', Todd had caused Hindley's death by 'an obstinate adherence to one of the most pernicious practices ever palmed upon an ignorant public',[10] but Granville made no mention of this in the two years between Hindley's death and Todd's.[12] [b]


He was described in his early political life as a Durhamite Radical; he was a supporter of Parliamentary Reform, of disestablishment of the Church of England, and of Free Trade. He was prominent in the Peace Society and in the International Peace Congress movement. Many of his political views mirrored those of Richard Cobden, but unlike Manchester School Liberals he was an early supporter of the factory reform movement. J R Stephens a local Independent Methodist minister prominent in the Ten Hours and anti-poor law movements declared that he had first been made aware of the factory reform issue by Hindley.[14][c]

South Australia[edit]

Hindley was named as a director of the South Australian Company by October 1835[16] (although other advertisements in October 1835 omit him)[15] and hence one of the founding shareholders of the South Australia Company listed on the Deed of Settlement of January 1836: one of the principal streets in Adelaide, Hindley Street, was named after him.


  1. ^ In 1825 a partnership between 'John Wimpenny, Charles Hindley and Mary Hindley, cotton spinners Duckinfield' was dissolved.[4]probably because Wimpenny was retiring; he died 1827, probate about £5,000: he had married first Dorothy Charlesworth in 1789 and then another Mary Buckley (sister to Nathaniel) in 1803
  2. ^ A subsequent follower of Todd stated in 1870 that "Much objection was made to the amount of stimulant given ; but the arguments advanced against the system pursued have been satisfactorily answered" [13] ...: "In what appeared hopeless cases, as much brandy as the patient could be made to swallow (an ounce and a half to two ounces in an hour) has been given for several hours in succession, and then as much as thirty ounces a day for several days, not only without producing the slightest intoxication, vomiting, or headache, but the treatment has been followed by recovery." [13]
  3. ^ Hindley seems to have first had dealings with Stephens as an advocate of disestablishment; there must be some suspicion that Hindley's connection with South Australia is in some way connected with the prominence of three of J. R. Stephens' brothers in the early years of South Australia; one (Samuel) was the first Colonial Manager for the Company.[15]


  1. ^ LANCASHIRE: Fairfield, Parish of Droylsden (Moravian) : Births & Baptisms Archive reference TNA/RG/4/3122
  2. ^ "Leeds Monday December 14". Leeds Intelligencer. 15 December 1789. 
  3. ^ or so it was said half a century later : "A Glimpse of Ashton as it was Fifty Years Ago". The Ashton Weekly Reporter, and Stalybridge and Dukinfield Chronicle. 1 September 1866. 
  4. ^ "Partnerships Dissolved". Aris's Birmingham Gazette. 27 February 1826. 
  5. ^ a b "Deaths". Liverpool Mercury. 15 July 1857. 
  6. ^ a b c LONDON: Fetter Lane (Moravian): Burials Archive reference TNA/RG/4/4529
  7. ^ "Marriages". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 8 June 1839. 
  8. ^ "Court Circular". London Evening Standard. 28 February 1838. 
  9. ^ "Death of Charles Hindley, Esq, MP". London Standard. 3 December 1857. 
  10. ^ a b "Medical Account of the Late Charles Hindley's Illness and Death - Extaordinary Statements". The Ashton Weekly Reporter, and Stalybridge and Dukinfield Chronicle. 10 March 1860. 
  11. ^ Wikisource link to Todd, Robert Bentley (DNB00). Wikisource. 
  12. ^ "The Late Charles Hindley's Illness and Death". The Ashton Weekly Reporter, and Stalybridge and Dukinfield Chronicle. 17 March 1860. 
  13. ^ a b Beale, Lionel Smith (1870). On medical progress : in memoriam R.B. Todd : a lecture inaugural to the course of pathological anatomy, delivered at King's College, May 5th, 1870. London: J Churchill. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Meeting on the Ten Hours' Act". Preston Chronicle. 4 August 1849. 
  15. ^ a b (advertisement) "South Australian Company". Sheffield Iris. 20 October 1835. 
  16. ^ (advertisement) "South Australian Company". Staffordshire Advertiser. 31 October 1835. 


  • Nevell, Mike (1994). The People Who Made Tameside. Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council. ISBN 1-871324-12-2. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Williams
Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne
Succeeded by
Thomas Milner Gibson