James Slade, Vicar of Bolton from 1817-1856, and his links with Breightmet


Source: ‘James Slade’ by Archdeacon H.O. Fielding, 1983


Slade deservedly remains an honoured name in Bolton, largely because of the secondary school named Canon Slade, in Bradshaw, Bolton, which continues his memory. However, the details and extent of his contributions to the growth of Bolton are little known. Atkinson’s "Memoirs of the Rev. Canon Slade", published in 1892, around 30 years after Slade’s death remains almost our sole source of information regarding James Slade.

James Slade was born in Northamptonshire in 1783, and educated by his father until going to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He graduated in Mathematics in 1804, and was ordained a priest in 1807. He became rooted in Bolton and virtually transplanted his whole family here. His brother William Slade, lived in Crompton Fold, Breightmet. During Canon Slade’s time in Bolton, poverty was endemic for many people in Bolton and he was conscious of it.

Breightmet Church (St James) was consecrated in 1855, and it was here that he was later buried. His funeral, in May 1860, attracted large crowds pressing along the roads to Breightmet Church where he was buried in the Slade and Bolling family plot.

James Slade’s gravestone can still be seen today in the southwest corner of St. James' churchyard, on the main lawn surrounding the church.

Grave of James' Slade