GASKELL, William. b. Warrington, 24 July 1805; d. Manchester, 11 June 1884. He was born into a Unitarian family: his father was a sail-cloth manufacturer. He was educated privately and at the University of Glasgow (MA 1825), followed by theological training at Manchester College, at that time in York. In 1828 he was appointed assistant to a notable Unitarian minister, J.G. Robberds, at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester. In 1832, he married Elizabeth Stevenson (1810-1865), who became, with his encouragement, one of the greatest of Victorian novelists (always known, until recent years, as ‘Mrs Gaskell’). The Gaskells were at the centre of a distinguished intellectual society in Manchester...
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