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Bust of Joseph Brotherton

Matthew Noble
19th Century

Marble bust of Joseph Brotherton by sculptor Matthew Noble.

Joseph Brotherton was a Salford mill owner, preacher and Member of Parliament.  At the age of 36, he retired from his cotton manufacturing business to devote his time to public service and the Bible Christian Church.  He was elected Salford’s first Member of Parliament in 1832 and remained so until his death in 1857.

Whilst an MP, Brotherton fought for the working man, woman and child.  He supported the Factory Act of 1847 limiting working hours in factories and worked towards an improvement in working class education. He was also at the forefront in getting the Public Libraries Act through Parliament in 1850 and encouraged Salford to establish the first unconditionally free public library.