HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US   LINKS      
 

 
FRIEDRICH ENGELS IN SALFORD
 

From Salford Star issue 6 Winter 2007

"TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE YOU MUST BE ACTIVE, YOU MUST LIVE AND YOU MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO TASTE THE THRILL OF BEING YOUNG" Fred Engels 1840

Part 1

Fred Engels is the most famous person who ever breathed in Salford - but he's been totally forgotten. Fred wrote the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, and his words were used to inspire revolutions all over the world.

In the communist countries that perverted his theories, he was like a god and they used to parade his image everywhere – on stamps, coins, banners and statues…But the image was always of this dusty, beardy old git.

Yet when Fred came to Salford, age 22, he was on the ale every night, copping off with local girls and stirring up all sorts of trouble. He was the original angry young man, slagging off developers, the council, the capitalists and the conditions that working class people were living in... Hmmm, it seems Freddy Engels is so out, he's in.

Click here for a total Freddy Fest!

 



ENGELS COVER ENGELS STAMP
click image to enlarge

What do you want to be when you grow up sonny?
"I wanna change the world - and I mean it, right!"

EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT FRED ENGELS

Born in Barmen, Germany, in 1820, young Fred was a major trouble maker after he discovered politics, so his dad – a rich mill owner – packed him off to Salford when he was 22 to work for the family's joint owned Ermen and Engels' Victoria Mill in Weaste, which made sewing threads.

By this time Fred already spoke 25 languages, was a top horseman, swordsman, swimmer, skater, artist, journalist, composer and philosopher – well, there was no telly in those days. And he'd published loads of political articles, stirring it up in his home town and prompting his dad to write "I have a son at home who is like a scabby sheep in a flock…"

En route to Salford, Fred stopped off in Cologne where he met his future best mate, Karl Marx.

When Fred arrived in Salford in 1842, by day he worked at Victoria Mill in Weaste and in the company's office in Deansgate (now Kendals' perfume counter), and was an outwardly respectable business type. But at night he slummed it, spending all his time going around the working class areas observing the shocking conditions that working people were living in.

Fred had copped off with a young Irish girl called Mary Burns, who probably worked at his dad's mill, and she took him out at night in disguise so that he wouldn't get his German bourgeois head kicked in.

After twenty months Fred went home and wrote The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844 (published 1845). It was"dedicated to the working classes of Great Britain" but wasn't available in English until 1892. The explosive book described in intimate detail, street after street, the total squalor that working people were living in, based on what he'd seen in Salford and Manchester.

But he didn't just write about the conditions, and his hatred for the ruling class that allowed working people to live like that. Once back in Germany he got his sword out and took part in the revolutionary uprising against the Prussian army. It was after this, in 1848, that Fred and Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto urging a worldwide socialist revolution.

With the authorities after him, Fred took refuge in Switzerland before arriving back at his dad's factory in 1850, exiled in Salford. He stayed for 19 years. This time, Fred was under surveillance from the secret police, and had `official' homes and `unofficial homes' all over inner city Manchester where he lived with Mary under false names to confuse the cops.

While Fred was in Salford and Manchester, Karl Marx used to come and visit him at least once every year. They would sit for hours researching in Chetham's Library – and then go drinking for hours in pubs all over town – possibly the Crescent and The Grapes in Salford, and the Gold Cup and Coach and Horses in Manchester.

The prime reason why Fred worked at his dad's mill for 20 years was to get money to support Marx, so he could complete his masterwork, Das Kapital, which showed exactly how capitalism worked – basically the economic exploitation of the working class by the ruling class.

Fred `slaved' in Weaste until 1869 but most of what he was up to during his stay is up for speculation as he destroyed over 1500 letters between himself and Marx after his mate died, so as not to expose their secret life in the north west. In 1870 Fred left Salford and Manchester for London, and world infamy. He died in 1895.

 

WHAT FRED SAID...

"I once went into Manchester with a bourgeois and spoke to him of the bad, unwholesome method of building, the frightful conditions of the working people's quarters…The man listened quietly and said when we parted `And yet there is a great deal of money to be made here; good morning sir'

"All the conditions of life are measured by money, and what brings no money is nonsense, unpractical idealistic bosh !"

                                                           ********

"Urban authorities…almost everywhere in England are recognised centres of corruption of all kinds, nepotism and jobbery – the exploitation of public office to the private advantage of the official or his family." The Housing Question 1887

      ********

"If we cross the Irwell to Salford, we find…one large working men's quarter, penetrated by a single wide avenue…All Salford is built in courts or narrow lanes, so narrow, that they remind me of the narrowest I have ever seen, the little lanes of Genoa….The working men's dwellings between Oldfield Road and Cross Lane…vie with the dwellings of the Old Town in filth and overcrowding.

In this district I found a man, apparently about 60 years old, living in a cow stable...which had neither windows, floor, nor ceiling…and lived there, though the rain dripped through his rotten roof. This man was too old and weak for regular work, and supported himself by removing manure with a hand-cart; the dung heaps lay next door to his palace.

The working people live, almost all of them, in wretched, damp, filthy cottages…the streets which surround them are usually in the most miserable and filthy condition, laid out without the slightest reference to ventilation, with reference soley to the profit secured by the contractor…"

The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844

                                                                                ***********

"A class which bears all the disadvantages of the social order without enjoying its advantages…Who can demand that such a class respect this social order ?"

The Condition of the Working Class in England 1844

*************

"Exploitation is the basic evil which the social revolution strives to abolish, by abolishing the capitalist mode of production." Fred Engels 1887

                                                   *********

"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles…" Marx and Engels: Communist Manifesto

 ************

"Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win…Working Men of All Countries, Unite!" Marx and Engels: Communist Manifesto

                                                                        ***************

"To get the most out of life you must be active, you must live and you must have the courage to taste the thrill of being young…" Fred Engels 1840

See Fred Engels Part 2 here

See Fred Engels Part 3 here

See Fred Engels Part 4 here

Engels Trivia and limited edition poster here

Who was Mary Burns?

Nigel Thomas wrote
at 11:32:30 AM on Thursday, February 27, 2014
This doesn't mention his most important and influential sole-authored work, published after Marx died: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884). Something of a feminist as well as a socialist.
 
Rebecca Smith wrote
at 4:49:27 PM on Saturday, January 07, 2012
Cheers for that, I'm visiting there for maps next week and ill look it up!! xx
 
Salford Star wrote
at 2:35:08 PM on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Rebecca - The best ever book on Engels in Salford and Manchester was written by Ruth and Eddie Frow, who kept his memory alive when Salford Council was busy bulldozing world heritage ie his mill in Weaste. Think it's called Engels in Manchester and is available at the Working Class Movement Library on The Crescent - enjoy!
 
Rebecca Smith wrote
at 2:28:30 PM on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
love the way this is wrote, didn't know this about Engels. Come in handy for essay this will. Where can I reference the history of Engels living in Salford???
 
Liz wrote
at 8:07:02 AM on Saturday, February 20, 2010
Did Victoria mill become Winterbottoms?, over the step bridge.
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star
Cornerstone ad new
Salford Star T-shirt ad
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
Salford Star photo stories
Mary Burns Publishing
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD RESIDENTS EXCLUDED FROM PUBLIC PARK ATMOSFIELD STUDENT FESTIVAL
I shall be walking my 2 dogs that day as I do every day, let them dare try and stop me. Also as I live on riverside the letter we ... [more]
article: SALFORD RESIDENTS EXCLUDED FROM PUBLIC PARK ATMOSFIELD STUDENT FESTIVAL
Cllr Derek Antrobus sits on the Board of Governors for Salford University, ... He is head of Planning, and the University expands ... [more]
article: SALFORD CHARITY CHAMP WINS COMMUNITY AWARD
Ethan you never cease to amaze me with your sustained campaign to help others keep it up and you can look back in the years to com... [more]
article: UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STAFF TO STRIKE AGAIN OVER VIOLATION OF EMPLOYEES’ RIGHTS
I urge my Unison to continue the fight for work place rights and equality. Salford must be head above all in celebrating diversity... [more]
article: SALFORD RESIDENTS EXCLUDED FROM PUBLIC PARK ATMOSFIELD STUDENT FESTIVAL
What are they going to give away next they have got rid of the Lowerys now they are taking the land from our poor kids. ... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

MANCHESTER ANTI AUSTERITY PROTEST DRAWS THOUSANDS

Star date: 23rd May 2015

A LOUD AND CLEAR MESSAGE TO DAVID CAMERON FROM GREATER MANCHESTER

`I wish I was a dog and Cameron was a tree, I would cock my leg and let him know what I think of thee...'

Around two thousand people attended today's anti-austerity protest in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens, complete with speakers, songs, stalls and sunshine. With campaign groups ranging from the Manchester Homeless Camp to anti-Bedroom Tax, anti-TTIP, and anti-DevoManc there was one message that came across very clear – Tories and their cuts and their austerity policies are not welcome here...

Full details here...

UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD STAFF TO STRIKE AGAIN OVER VIOLATION OF EMPLOYEES’ RIGHTS

Star date: 23rd May 2015

HUGE STRIKES SET FOR SALFORD UNIVERSITY

"No institution should be allowed...violate its employees' rights in this way"

Staff at the University of Salford are set for more strikes over the sacking of two employees which the trade union, UCU, believes was related to their union activities. Following a recent one-day walkout, union members will take part in a four day strike next week, Tuesday 26th to Friday 29th May, and a week-long strike from 1st to 5th June.

"No institution should be allowed to ride roughshod over agreed procedures and violate its employees' rights in this way" says UCU regional official, Martyn Moss.

Full details here...

GREATER MANCHESTER PROTEST AGAINST AUSTERITY

Star date: 22nd May 2015

END AUSTERITY NOW!

Protest Against Austerity
Saturday 23rd May 12noon
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

A massive protest against austerity is set to take place, tomorrow, Saturday 23rd May in Piccadilly Gardens and those who would not normally go to a demo are being urged to attend. There's going to be live music, speakers and fun.

The demonstration and rally is being called by two blokes, Mike Atkinson and Liam Callacher, with the full backing of The People's Assembly... "No longer can we get on our hands and knees and beg the establishment for pittance" state the organisers "We as communities, we as people, must act together to combat these measures..."

Full details here...

SALFORD RESIDENTS EXCLUDED FROM PUBLIC PARK ATMOSFIELD STUDENT FESTIVAL

Star date: 21st May 2015

SALFORD UNIVERSITY PEEL PARK FESTIVAL EXCLUDES SALFORD PEOPLE

The Atmosfield music festival, to be held in Peel Park on May 30th by Salford University Students Union, is excluding Salford residents from attending. The student-only event, in the world's first public park, has been slated by Salford Music Festival organiser, Ed Blaney, who says: "It is typical to exclude the residents of Salford; music is for all, not just students visiting the city..."

Full details here...

STRESSED OUT SALFORD COUNCIL STAFF COULD FACE SACK UNDER NEW DRACONIAN RULES

Star date: 20th May 2015

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL STAFF CRACKING UP UNDER STRESS OF CUTS

A new Salford Council report shows that staff are cracking up with stress due to cuts related changes. Two thirds of staff are worried about job insecurity, a quarter found their job stressful and almost a third are experiencing `difficulties with their mental wellbeing' caused, in part, by increased workload and heavy handed managers.

Salford Council's solution?  A Workforce Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which includes draconian absence rules involving stricken staff having meetings with their managers, and the issuing of `notices to improve' that could lead to the sack.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx