It is situated on both sides of the river Calder, at the termination of the Rochdale canal.
Some of his first attempts in public speaking were at meetings which he convened at Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Rochdale and other adjacent towns, to advocate the establishment of British schools.
It was while on a mission for this purpose to Rochdale that he first formed the acquaintance of John Bright, who afterwards became his distinguished coadjutor in the freetrade agitation.
In November 1864 he went down to Rochdale and delivered a speech to his constituents - the last he ever delivered.
E of Bolton,6.5 m W of Rochdale, and 10 N.
JOHN BRIGHT (1811-1889), British statesman, was born at Rochdale on the 16th of November 1811.
His father, Jacob Bright, was a much-respected Quaker, who had started a cottonmill at Rochdale in 1809.
He married his employer's daughter, and settled with his two brothers-in-law at Rochdale in 1802, going into business for himself seven years later.
Two agitations were then going on in Rochdale - the first (in which Jacob Bright was a leader) in opposition to a local church rate, and the second for parliamentary reform, by which Rochdale successfully claimed to have a member allotted to it under the Reform Bill.
But it was as a member of the Rochdale Juvenile Temperance Band that he first learned public speaking.
He was one of the founders of the Rochdale Literary and Philosophical Society, took a leading part in its debates, and on returning from a holiday journey in the East, gave the society a lecture on his travels.
His first speech on the Corn Laws was made at Rochdale in 1838, and in the same year he joined the Manchester provisional committee which in 1839 founded the Anti-Corn Law League.
He was still only the local public man, taking part in all public movements, especially in opposition to John Feilden's proposed factory legislation, and to the Rochdale church-rate.
In 1840 he led a movement against the Rochdale church-rate, speaking from a tombstone in the churchyard, where it looks down on the town in the valley below.
A very happy married life at home contented him, and at the opening of the Free Trade hall in January 1840 he sat with the Rochdale deputation, undistinguished in the body of the meeting.
Wherever "John Bright of Rochdale" was announced to speak, vast crowds assembled.
Thus, an average below 4.4 is quoted for Rochdale, Halifax, Huddersfield, Yarmouth, Bradford and Stockport, while the average for London was 7.93, and for Gateshead, Newcastle-uponTyne and South Shields, in the northern industrial district of the Tyne, and for Devonport, the average exceeded 8.
Main line - Manchester, Rochdale, Tormorden, Wakefield and Normanton, with branches to Halifax, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield and other centres of the West Riding.
Ashton, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton and Wigan form a nearly confluent semicircle of great towns, their prosperity founded on the underlying coal and iron, maintained by imported cotton.
Bright publicly deprecated the popular tendency to regard Cobden and himself as the chief movers in the agitation, and Cobden told a Rochdale audience that he always stipulated that he should speak first, and Bright should follow.