How did money from slavery help develop Greater Manchester?

McConnel & Kennedy in Manchester

Cotton spinning Scots

The partnership of McConnel & Kennedy was founded in 1795 by James McConnel and John Kennedy, making cotton production machinery. They were two Scots who came from New Galloway in Kirkcudbright to Manchester. By the beginning of the 19th century the firm had moved into cotton spinning.

McConnel & Kennedy imported their raw cotton through Liverpool. They used Sea Island cotton, a high-quality slave-grown type of cotton, which was produced only in a small geographical area of the USA.

Industrial expansion

By 1816 the firm employed 1,020 people and was one of only four firms employing over 700 people in Manchester.

Henry McConnel (1786-1863) inherited the business from his father, enabling him to indulge his taste for contemporary art. He became a major art collector and a patron of Turner, donating many works to the Manchester Royal Institution which later became Manchester Art Gallery.