HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
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 7, 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
Salford Star contact
advertisement
Salford Star print
Tory Party Conference Oct 2015
Cornerstone ad new
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL £41MILLION CUTS TO HEAP MORE MISERY ON RESIDENTS
"Unprincipled chancers pulling the strings of power" it seems that we already have them in Salford,Michael,we have disagreed on va... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL £41MILLION CUTS TO HEAP MORE MISERY ON RESIDENTS
I've no idea who Ray is but he does make me chuckle and I'm sure many more do to. Mr Felse you are very much full of your own sel... [more]
article: NEW MEDIACITYUK PLANS SEE MORE SALFORD STERILISATION AND NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING
14,000 are on Salford social housing waiting lists, 130,000 across Greater Manchester waiting and we get this to rub in people's n... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL £41MILLION CUTS TO HEAP MORE MISERY ON RESIDENTS
Shocked, extremely shocked at the Ray comments. I know my condemnation of Labour has caused me to be on the Labour most hated list... [more]
article: SALFORD CITY COUNCIL £41MILLION CUTS TO HEAP MORE MISERY ON RESIDENTS
Michael, "Civil War?","Civil War?" Oh, do you mean the internecine knife fight currently going on in UKIP between street thug and ... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

NEW MEDIACITYUK PLANS SEE MORE SALFORD STERILISATION AND NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Star date: 24th August 2016

OVER 1,000 FLATS, 31 STOREY BLOCKS – NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING, NO SECTION 106 AND MORE PRIVATISED SPACES

Peel Holdings and its new partner, Legal and General Capital, will see plans for Phase 2 of MediaCityUK go to Salford City Council planning panel next week.

The plans include 1,395 flats with no affordable housing, huge office blocks up to thirty one storeys high, more private spaces and no Section 106 payments to the city. Peel calls it a `vibrant architectural environment' but it looks like more Salford Quays sterilisation.

Full details here...

SALFORD WOMEN LESS LIKELY TO BE PROMOTED AND GET EQUAL WAGES

Star date: 23rd August 2016

WOMEN'S WAGES 18% LOWER THAN MEN AND LESS LIKELY TO GET PROMOTED

Two studies out today show that women's wages and opportunities are still way behind those of men in the workplace.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies research shows that the hourly wages of female employees are currently about 18% lower than men's on average. Meanwhile, the Chartered Management Institute research shows that men are 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management roles and are paid on average £7,948 more than women.

Full details here...

SALFORD FLOOD ALERT DISGRACE

Star date: 22nd August 2016

NO FLOOD DEFENCES, NO FLOOD REPORT, NO-ONE CAME NEAR

As the Environment Agency issued a flood alert for Salford this morning, residents in Lower Broughton panicked, moving furniture and goods into higher places. Even though the flood didn't happen, the situation showed that since Boxing Day almost nothing has changed in the area.

"I think it's wrong that there's been no actual work done to protect the residents" said Mike Duddy of the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust. Meanwhile the report into the last flood still hasn't been published.

Full details here...

LOWER BROUGHTON FLOOD VICTIMS WIN KEY 103 HAPPY STREET PARTY

Star date: 21st August 2016

GORDON STREET THROWS A PARTY AS CASH FOR KIDS WINNERS

Despite bearing the brunt of the Boxing Day Flood, the incredible residents of Gordon Street in Lower Broughton raised over £3,000 for charity, winning the Key 103 Cash for Kids Happy Street competition. Today a huge party was thrown at River View Primary School fields to celebrate.

"I wanted to win it for Lower Broughton and Salford for the things that we've been through over the last eight months with the floods..." said local mum Keri Muldoon.

Full details here...

DOCTOR WHO MEETS BOND AT STARBURST FILM FESTIVAL WITH AN ECCLES TWINGE

Star date: 21st August 2016

KATY MANNING, MAD MAX, STAR WARS AND ECCLES COLLIDE AT CULT FILM FEST

Starburst International Film Festival
Friday 26th-Sunday 28th August
Manchester Metropolitan University

Doctor Who assistant Katy Manning, James Bond director, John Glen, and loads of luminaries from cult movies like Mad Max and Star Wars, come together this week at the Starburst International Film Festival at Manchester Met Student Union.

One of the organisers is Eccles based Star Wars fan Martin Unsworth who says "it is the communal spirit of the gathering that I am anticipating most..." With classics for kids and horror for freaks the Festival should be wild and weird.

Full details here...

 



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