Joseph Adshead (1800–1861) was an English merchant, reformer and pamphleteer from Manchester.
In 1835 he was part of the consortium developing Victoria Park, Manchester. He was declared bankrupt in 1839, described as a "wholesale hosier". In 1839 also, he went onto the Council of the Anti-Cornlaw League. In 1838 the Night Asylum, a homeless shelter in Henry Street, Manchester, was founded by Adshead and George Wilson of the League, and Adshead continued to act as its treasurer.
In 1840–1 Adshead was involved with the British India Society, and moved in abolitionist circles. He became secretary of a branch, the Northern Central British India Society, after a visit to Manchester by Joseph Pease. He had worked with George Thompson at the end of 1840 to see its journal The British Indian Advocate issued. He was in the US shortly afterwards, calling on James and Lucretia Mott in Philadelphia on 16 February 1841. In March he sailed back from Boston, where he knew William Lloyd Garrison, with a letter destined for Elizabeth Pease.
Adshead was one of the defendant directors in the landmark case Foss v Harbottle (1843) 67 ER 189, which established the precedent that where a wrong is alleged to have been done to a company, the proper claimant is the company itself.
Adshead became a member of Manchester Corporation, serving as Alderman for St. Anne's Ward. He also took up public causes in the health sector. He supported the Health of Towns Association, and homoeopathy. He advocated the rebuilding out of town of the Manchester Lunatic Asylum, in the early 1840s when its future was in play. At the end of his life he was lobbying for a convalescent hospital in the Manchester area. He died on 15 February 1861, at Withington. He was a correspondent of Florence Nightingale, a contact through Richard Cobden, and after his death she wrote in a letter that he was "my best pupil". The Bottle, George Cruikshank's set of eight temperance engravings, was dedicated to Adshead.
- Prison Discipline: The Fallacies of The Times (1844)
As a penal reformer, Adshead supported the system of Francis Lieber, and defended the separate system. In Prisons and Prisoners (1845), he described the Eastern State Penitentiary. This work also contained an attack on the views of prisons expressed by Charles Dickens. Adshead argued, influentially, that what Dickens had written in his American Notes (1842) on the "Pennsylvania system" was fiction, and could not be taken seriously as commentary. He also characterised the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Board of Managers of the Boston Prison Discipline Society (1843) on the matters at issue as a "flagrant instance of trickery". A sequel was Our Present Gaol System Deeply Depraving to the Prisoner and a Positive Evil to the Community: Some Remedies Proposed (1847). In it Adshead commented favourably on the positive effect of the separate system on prisoners who were then to be transported to Port Phillip in Australia.
On Juvenile Criminals, Reformatories, and the Means of Rendering the Perishing and Dangerous Classes serviceable to the State (1856), paper given to the Manchester Statistical Society. Adshead gave a further paper to the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science meeting in Liverpool in 1858 on "Reformatory and industrial schools, their comparative economy". He considered the finances of ten each of reformatories, ragged schools and industrial schools. Adshead was critical of Parkhurst, the prison for young offenders, though he did not take the same view of it as Mary Carpenter.
- A Circumstantial Narrative of the Wreck of the Rothsay Castle Steampacket: On Her Passage from Liverpool to Beaumaris, 17 August 1831 (1834) The Rothsay Castle was shipwrecked at the east end of the Menai Straits.
- Distress in Manchester (1842). This work contained a contribution from Richard Baron Howard on contagious disease. Adshead made a connection between prostitution and social change driven by industrial development.
- Twenty-Four Illustrated Maps of the Township of Manchester (1851); available online.
- The Progress of Religious Sentiment (1852)
- Paul A. Pickering; Alex Tyrell (13 September 2000). The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League. Bloomsbury. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-7185-0218-8.
- Alan Powers, 'Architects I Have Known': The Architectural Career of S. D. Adshead, Architectural History Vol. 24, (1981) , pp. 103–123, at p. 120 note 15. Published by: SAHGB Publications Limited. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1568402
- Maurice Spiers (1 January 1976). Victoria Park, Manchester: A Nineteenth-century Suburb in Its Social and Administrative Context. Manchester University Press. p. 13 note 1. ISBN 978-0-7190-1333-1.
- The Legal Observer, Or, Journal of Jurisprudence. J. Richards. 1839. p. 350.
- Paul A. Pickering; Alex Tyrell (13 September 2000). The People's Bread: A History of the Anti-Corn Law League. Bloomsbury. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-7185-0218-8.
- Maurice Spiers (1 January 1976). Victoria Park, Manchester: A Nineteenth-century Suburb in Its Social and Administrative Context. Manchester University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7190-1333-1.
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). . Dictionary of National Biography. 62. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Thomas Austin Bullock (1857). Bradshaw's Illustrated Guide to Manchester. pp. 48–9.
- Anna M. Stoddart, Elizabeth Pease Nichol (1899), p. 111 and pp. 122–3; archive.org (1) and archive.org (2).
- Anna Davis Hallowell (ed.), James and Lucretia Mott: Life and Letters (1884), p. 194; archive.org.
- William Lloyd Garrison (1973). The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison: No Union with the Slaveholders, 1841–1849. Harvard University Press. pp. 16–. ISBN 978-0-674-52662-4.
- William E. A. Axon (ed.), The Annals of Manchester: a chronological record from the earliest times to the end of 1885 (1886)p. 283.
- John V. Pickstone (1 January 1985). Medicine and Industrial Society: A History of Hospital Development in Manchester and Its Region, 1752–1946. Manchester University Press. pp. 108–9. ISBN 978-0-7190-1809-1.
- John V. Pickstone (1 January 1985). Medicine and Industrial Society: A History of Hospital Development in Manchester and Its Region, 1752–1946. Manchester University Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-7190-1809-1.
- John V. Pickstone (1 January 1985). Medicine and Industrial Society: A History of Hospital Development in Manchester and Its Region, 1752–1946. Manchester University Press. pp. 135 note 34. ISBN 978-0-7190-1809-1.
- The Monthly (alphabetical) record of births, deaths, & marriages (and Alphabetical list of estates of deceased persons). p. 164.
- Edward Tyas Cook; Rosalind Nightingale Nash (1925). The Life of Florence Nightingale. Library of Alexandria. p. 478. ISBN 978-1-4655-3954-0.
- Wilfrid Hugh Chesson, George Cruikshank (1908), p. 256;archive.org.
- Joseph Adshead (1844). Prison Discipline: The Fallacies of The Times.
- Francis Lieber (2002). Like a Sponge Thrown into Water: Francis Lieber's European Travel Journal of 1844–1845: a Lively Tour Through England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, and Bohemia. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-57003-447-3.
- Paul Mason (13 May 2013). Captured by the Media. Routledge. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-134-00875-9.
- Joseph Adshead (1845). Prisons and Prisoners. Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longman.
- Randolph Shipley Klein (1 January 1986). Science and Society in Early America: Essays in Honor of Whitfield J. Bell, Jr. American Philosophical Society. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-87169-166-8.
- Charles Dickens (22 August 1974). The Pilgrim Edition of the Letters of Charles Dickens: Volume 3. 1842–1843. Oxford University Press. pp. 125 note. ISBN 978-0-19-812474-0.
- Michele Lise Tarter; Richard Bell (2012). Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America. University of Georgia Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-8203-4120-0.
- Charles Sumner (1870). The Works of Charles Sumner. Lee and Shepard. pp. 507–8.
- Joseph Adshead (1847). Our Present Gaol System Deeply Depraving to the Prisoner and a Positive Evil to the Community: Some Remedies Proposed.
- John Gascoigne (PhD) (7 June 2002). The Enlightenment and the Origins of European Australia. Cambridge University Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-521-80343-4.
- Manchester Statistical Society (Manchester, England) (1854). Transactions of the Manchester Statistical Society. Manchester Statistical Society. p. 67.
- The Literary and Educational Year Book. 1859. p. 173.
- Meliora. Partridge and Company. 1859. p. 115.
- Julius Carlebach (21 August 2013). Caring for Children in Trouble. Routledge. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-136-24914-3.
- Joseph Adshead (1834). A Circumstantial Narrative of the Wreck of the Rothsay Castle Steampacket: On Her Passage from Liverpool to Beaumaris, August 17, 1831 ... Hamilton, Adams, and Company. p. 310.
- Edited by Joseph Black; et al. Broadview Anthology of British Literature, The Concise Edition, Volume B. Broadview Press. pp. 1597–. GGKEY:1TFFGS4YFLT.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1891). . Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Ann Bermingham (1989). Landscape and Ideology: The English Rustic Tradition, 1740–1860. University of California Press. pp. 227 note 61. ISBN 978-0-520-06623-6.
- John R. Kellett (6 December 2012). The Impact of Railways on Victorian Cities. Routledge. p. 150 note. ISBN 978-1-135-68087-9.
- Joseph Adshead (1852). The Progress of Religious Sentiment. s.n.
- George Catlin; Joseph Adshead (1860). Steam Raft: Suggested as a Means of Security to Human Life Upon the Ocean. G. Falkner. p. 3.