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Caleb Wright (August 1, 1810 - April 28, 1898) was a mill owner and Liberal politician in Lancashire, north-west England.

Memorial to Caleb Wright, millowner and Liberal Member of Parliament

He was one of thirteen children of William Wright, bookmaker of Tyldesley, near Manchester.[1] At the age of nine he began work as a "piecer" in a local cotton mill. [2] The only education he received was by attending night schools. At the age of fifteen he became a spinner, and rose to become manager of the mill in 1830.[1] In 1841 he became manager of Ormerod and Hardcastles Mill, Bolton.[3]

In 1845 he established his own cotton-spinning business in partnership with Henry Barton. In 1855 the partnership was dissolved, and Caleb Wright and Company, Barnfield Mills, Tyldesley, established.[2]

Wright was a Unitarian, a member of the congregation at Chowbent Chapel where he succeeded his father as organist.[4]

Wright became involved in Liberal politics, and was chairman of Tyldesley Local Board and president of the local Mechanics Institute. In the 1885 general election Caleb Wright was invited to stand as the candidate for the newly created Leigh division by the Liberal party. His Tory opponent was Lees Knowles who polled 3,725 votes as against 4,261 for Wright.[5] He was elected as the first member of parliament for the new constituency of Leigh. He was re-elected at the next two general elections, before retiring from parliament in 1895.[6] Politically Wright was an advanced radical, and supported both Home Rule for Ireland and women's suffrage.[3] He was also a member of the Liberation Society which sought the disestablishment of the Church of England.[7]

Caleb Wright died at his home, Lower Oak, Shakerley near Tyldesley in 1898 aged 87. He was buried at Chowbent Unitarian Chapel.[3]


Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

  1. ^ a b Obituary, The Times, April 29, 1898, p. 10
  2. ^ a b Biographies of Candidates, The Times, June 29, 1892, p.4
  3. ^ a b c "Caleb Wright, mill owner of Tyldesley and MP, 1810-1898". Tyldesley and District Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  
  4. ^ Lunn (1953), p. 141.
  5. ^ Lunn (1953), p. 141.
  6. ^ News in Brief, The Times, April 11, 1894, p. 10
  7. ^ The Liberation Society, The Times, November 13, 1885, p.7
  • Lunn, John (1953), A short history of the Township of Tyldesley  
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
(new constituency)
Member of Parliament for Leigh
Succeeded by
Charles Prestwich Scott


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