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Manchester became an important centre for the manufacture and trade of woollens and linen, and by about 1540, had expanded to become, in John Leland's words, "The fairest, best builded, quickest, and most populous town of all Lancashire." During the English Civil War Manchester strongly favoured the Parliamentary interest.

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Manchester's unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, Manchester achieved city status in 1853.

The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and directly linking the city to the Irish Sea, 58 kilometres (36 mi) to the west.

Engineering firms initially made machines for the cotton trade, but diversified into general manufacture.

Similarly, the chemical industry started by producing bleaches and dyes, but expanded into other areas.

Charles Worsley, who sat for the city for only a year, was later appointed Major General for Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire during the Rule of the Major Generals.

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