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Welcome to Cotton Threads !
This is the story of one generation of the Hutchinson family of Bury in 1848.

John Hutchinson lived at Broom Hall (on the exact spot where the Archives in Bury stand today), with his mother and sisters.The family owned Daisyfield a cotton spinning mill, but in 1848 the business was struggling. John Hutchinson decided to travel to America to buy cotton himself to ship back to Liverpool.

Underlying the story is what you might recognise as a modern dilemma. In 1848, slavery still existed in the USA, whereas Britain had abolished the slave trade in 1807. So, what motivated John to trade in slave-produced cotton? Did the difficulties his business faced at home outweigh his moral objections to slavery? Documents in the archives have helped us understand what the Hutchinsons were really like. Explore the pages of this website to come to your own conclusions:

Meet members of the family on the pedigree, or find out how John's sisters kept themselves busy in Broom Hall. Perhaps you would like to savour some Victorian recipes that the family tried and tested - however, be wary of the weird and wonderful remedies handed down through Hutchinson generations since the 1650s! Then maybe a visit to Daisyfield Mill to find out more about the cotton business, or join John as he crosses the Atlantic, detailing his journey to the USA in his journal and scrapbook. Finally, if all this inspires you to find out more about our archives collections visit the online catalogue.