Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1857 & 1869

Benjamin Lang (1806 - 1864)


Benjamin Lang was a Publican in Manchester and Salford. He set up Manchester's first Victorian Music Hall at the corner of Deansgate and Victoria Bridge. Shortly after he died, there was a disaster at the music hall when 23 people lost their lives.

He was born in Accrington, Lancashire on 2nd April 1806 and baptised on 11th May at St James's Church, there. His parents were William and Ann Lang of Accrington. In 1832 Benjamin married Mary Hunter at St James's Church, Accrington. Later in 1832 the electoral Register shows that Benjamin resided at Victoria Bridge, Manchester. They had three children: William (1) (born 1834 in Manchester, and died 1834 aged 14 months), Ann (born 1836 in Manchester who married John L Tinker in 1861) and William (2) (born 1838 in Manchester).

The Manchester Courier of 8th February 1840 records that Benjamin was the Landlord of the Trafford Arms, Victoria Bridge Street, Manchester. In 1841, Benjamin and Mary lived at Victoria Bridge. Manchester and both were aged 35. In 1846, the Manchester Guardian reports "Now exhibiting on board a vessel in the River Irwell at the back of Mr Benjamin Lang's Trafford Arms, Victoria Bridge, a Great Northern Borqual Whale, caught off Puffin Island, admission 3d." The Manchester Weekly Times of 22nd August 1846 referred to Mr Lang's entertainment License for his Music Hall which could hold up to 2,000 people. The Manchester Courier of 31st March 1849 shows that Benjamin Lang gave a donation of 10 shillings to the Manchester House of Recovery, Fever Wards. The Manchester Guardian of 12th October 1850 reported on the case of Benjamin's 36 feet long cutter which had been wrecked when in collision with a steam boat during the Manchester Regatta.

There is no census for 1851, but Manchester Rate Books show that Benjamin lived at 10 Victoria Buildings, Manchester. In January 1851 Benjamin was summonsed for unlawfully hosting a stage play at The Trafford Arms, without a License. In October 1851 the Manchester Courier described illumination and decorations for the visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and Benjamin displayed two life-size transparensies of the Queen and Prince Consort in their state robes. The Era newspaper of 20th August 1854 reported that Benjamin offered a £15 prize in the Manchester and Salford Regatta. In May 1856, the Manchester Courier advertised that Benjamin had acquired Ordsall Gardens on the bank of the River Irwell and will provide summer amusements and refreshments for the working classes.

On 25th October 1860, Benjamin's wife Mary, died at home in Ordsall Lane, aged 54 and was buried at A5/DISS/2 Vault, Weaste Cemetery on 29th October. The 1861 – 62 Electoral Roll showed Benjamin lived at Ordsall Lane, Salford. In 1862, Benjamin acquired the Custom House Tavern in Chapel Street, Salford, but as he was not allowed more than one license in Salford he had to sell it. He still kept the Ordsall Gardens, Salford and Trafford Arms/Music Hall in Manchester. However, Benjamin retired in August 1864 and sold the Ordsall Gardens. Three months later on 16th December 1864 he died of apoplexy (stroke) aged 58, and was buried in the family vault at Weaste Cemetery on 21st December 1864.