1. Brief history

    At the end of the eighteenth century, German merchants and their families formed one of Manchester's biggest foreign communities.

  2. What's available

    A useful starting point is the article by Su Coates, 'Manchester's German Gentlemen: Immigrant Institutions in a Provincial City 1840-1920' (Manchester Region History Review, vol. 5, no. 2, 1991-92 - pdf file). This refers to the 'Annual Reports of the German Evangelical Church and School in Manchester', which are held by us for the years 1855, 1856, 1860, 1867 to 1872 and 1875.

    Coates's article also alludes to the 'indeterminate origins' of the pamphlet by Curt Friese, 'Some thoughts on the history of the Germans and their church communities in Manchester, especially in the 19th century'. In the later 20th century, the main German Lutheran Church moved out of the city to Park Road in Stretford.

    The Schiller Anstalt was central to the communal activities of Germans in the city from 1859 to its closure in 1911, and the Local Studies information index has a number of references. One of the members of the Schiller Anstalt was Friedrich Engels, who had earlier produced 'The Condition of the Working Class in England' based on his experiences in the city, while employed as an agent in his father's Manchester factory. There is a wealth of literature about Engels, including his collaboration with Karl Marx.

    Coates's article also refers to the Society for the Relief of Really Deserving Distressed Foreigners, founded in 1847. She states that this was mainly supported by, and gave aid to Germans, who were the largest immigrant nationality at the time. The original minutes and reports for the Society, covering the period 1847 to 1927 (ref GB127.M294), can be viewed at Central Library. 

  3. How to access

    Resources marked GB are available in the search room, please make an appointment.

    Library members can find and reserve the other resources mentioned by following the links to our library catalogue.

  4. Photographs

    See photos and more of our albums on Flickr.

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