Is your surname Bamford?

Research the Bamford family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Samuel Bamford

Birthplace: Middleton, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Death: April 13, 1872 (84)
Harpurhey, Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Daniel Bamford and Hannah Bamford
Husband of Jemima Bamford

Occupation: Weaver, Warehouseman, radical reformer and writer
Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Samuel Bamford

Samuel Bamford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Samuel Bamford (28 February 1788 – 13 April 1872), was an English radical reformer and writer born in Middleton, Lancashire. He wrote in and on dialect.


Bamford was one of five children born to Daniel Bamford (a muslin weaver and part-time teacher, and later master of the Salford workhouse), and his wife, Hannah. After his father withdrew him from Manchester Grammar School Bamford became a weaver, and then a warehouseman in Manchester. It was during this period that he made an accidental acquaintance with Homer's Iliad and with the poems of Milton, and his life was thenceforward marked with a passionate taste for poetry, which brought forth fruit in the shape of several crude productions of his own. In 1817 he was imprisoned in the New Bailey Prison in Salford on suspicion of high treason, on account of his political activities. From there he was taken to London and examined before the Privy Council presided over by Lord Sidmouth as home secretary. After promising future good behaviour, he was released and able to return to his cottage at Middleton with his wife Jemima.

In August 1819, he led a group from Middleton to St Peter's Fields for a meeting pressing for parliamentary reform and repeal of the Corn Laws. There they witnessed the Peterloo Massacre, and Bamford was arrested and charged with treason. Although no evidence showed that either he or any of his group had been involved in the violence, he was found guilty of inciting a riot and sentenced to a year in Lincoln gaol. The experience of the massacre made a deep impression on Bamford, convincing him that state power would always succeed against radical militancy. He came to be seen as a voice for radical reform, but opposed to any activism that involved physical force.

Bamford was the author of poetry mostly in standard English, but of those in dialect, several showing sympathy with the conditions of the working class became widely popular. His Passages in the Life of a Radical (1840–1844) is an authoritative history of the condition of the working classes in the years after the Battle of Waterloo. He also compiled The Dialect of South Lancashire (Manchester: John Heywood, 1850). In 1851 or thereabouts, Bamford obtained a comfortable situation — almost a sinecure – which raised him above the prospect of want — as a messenger for the Inland Revenue at Somerset House. He died at Harpurhey on 13 April 1872 and was given a public funeral, attended by thousands. A memorial obelisk was unveiled in Middleton Cemetery in 1877. Part of the inscription reads: "Bamford was a reformer when to be so was unsafe, and he suffered for his faith."


Bamford's publications include:

  • 1817: An Account of the Arrest and Imprisonment of Samuel Bamford, Middleton, on Suspicion of High Treason
  • 1819: The Weaver Boy, or Miscellaneous Poetry
  • 1843: Homely Rhymes
  • 1840–44 Passages in the Life of a Radical (published in parts with many later editions, includes a glossary of Lancashire words).
  • 1843: Poems
  • 1844: Walks in South Lancashire and on its Borders. With letters, descriptions, narratives and observations current and incidental
  • 1850: Tawk o'Seawth Lankeshur, by Samhul Beamfort]
  • 1853: Life of Amos Ogden
  • 1854: The Dialect of South Lancashire, or Tim Bobbin's Tummus and Meary, with his Rhymes, with Glossary
  • 1864: Homely Rhymes, Poems and Reminiscences
view all

Samuel Bamford's Timeline

February 28, 1788
Middleton, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
April 13, 1872
Age 84
Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom