Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1880 & 89

Wright Turner JP (1810 - 1880)

Wright Turner was a Cotton manufacturer, Mayor of Salford for two terms (1864 to 1866) and one of the original members of the Anti Corn Law League.


Wright was born in Hayfield, Derbyshire on 10th October 1810. After leaving school he joined his father's cotton spinning business. He came to Salford in 1831 at the age of 21. He was an industrious worker with a small mill in Salford. Then by 1845 he was a "rope, twine and cotton band maker" at Brindle Heath and by the late 1840s Wright Turner had built a large cotton spinning mill alongside the railway line at Brindle Heath known as Kingston Mills. Here he specialised in cotton banding, then doubling and spinning. Later, his son would follow him in business. He was a well respected employer of a large number of workers. He was kind and generous to the poor and played a prominent part on the Cotton Famine Committee during the 1860s.


Wright Turner was one of the original members of the Anti-Corn Law League which was set up in 1838 to support free trade and to improve the country's economic situation. His entry into local politics was in 1851 when he won St. Thomas's Ward for the Liberals. He became Chair of the General Finance Committee and elected Mayor of Salford twice, in 1864 and 1865. During this period Wright was the driving force behind improving Salford's water supply. Upon the death of his famous Liberal ally Richard Cobden, (former MP for Stockport), he secured the erection of a statue in Peel Park to commemorate Cobden's free trade work.


As a respected businessman, Wright Turner became a Director of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, Director of Messrs A. Knowles and Sons (the Pendleton coal company) and chairman of Mutual Fire Insurance Company, (all had connections with his cotton business).


Wright Turner maintained links with his birthplace, Hayfield and was a benefactor to the poor there. In 1869 he became a JP for Lancashire and Manchester and shortly afterwards elected magistrate for the Borough of Salford.  In December 1875, Wright's wife Annie died at the age of 62. In 1878, he began experiencing heart trouble and it was on 12th June 1880 that he finally succumbed and died at his home, Holly Bank, Eccles Old Road, Pendleton, aged 69. His funeral service was read by the vicar of Hayfield, Rev. Ricketts, and he was re-united with his wife in the family vault in the Church of England part of Weaste Cemetery.