Genealogy, history and memories of Blackley, Manchester, UK

The Ryder family history

The Ryder family in the 18th century as told by a descendent, Stephen Paterson. Thank you to Stephen for sharing this history - if you have any further details connected with this family, please contact us.

My family originates from Blackley and became prominent there in the eighteenth century as 'whitsters' - later known as bleachers - of wool and later cotton. Their name - 'Ryder' - was my mother's maiden name. My 6xgreat grandfather, John Ryder, was based in Crab Lane. We know from his 1782 will that he leased his land in Blackley from Sir Ashton Lever, a well-known eccentric.

In 1780 my 5xgt grandfather, Robert Ryder, leased land in Bradford - now in Manchester but then an independent township like Blackley - to start his own bleachworks. The land included a pub known as The Plough which had fallen into disuse. Robert brought it back into use and it was renamed the Grey Mare, after the horse upon which he commuted between Crab Lane, Blackley and Bradford. In fullness of time, Bradford Lane was renamed Grey Mare Lane after the pub, which was on the corner of Bradford Lane and Ashton Road (now Ashton Old Road). And, of course, the lane subsequently gave its name to Grey Mare Lane market. And though a Ryder Street has come and gone in Bradford in intervening years, it's the lane named after that Blackley horse that lives on and has become famous!

I'm afraid Robert's father John was not known for his generosity (see this post on the Rootsweb forum) but his son Josiah was active in trying to start the first school in Blackley. John's father was almost certainly another Robert Ryder who appears to have moved into Blackley by 1717 with his wife Alice and children - we know not from whence they came. Both parents died in 1729 and Robert's burial record at St Peter's, as well as showing a difference in the spelling of the surname, bears the strange inscription 'Starv'd p Haworth'.  You can see a copy of the relevant page of the St Peter's burial register for 1729 here.