1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brierley, Benjamin

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BRIERLEY, BENJAMIN (1825-1896), English weaver and writer in Lancashire dialect, was born near Manchester, the son of humble parents, and started life in a textile factory, educating himself in his spare time. At about the age of thirty he began to contribute articles to local papers, and the republication of some of his sketches of Lancashire character in A Summer Day in Daisy Nook (1859) attracted attention. In 1863 he definitely took to journalism and literature as his work, publishing in 1863 his Chronicles of Waverlow, and in 1864 a long story called The Layrock of Langley Side (afterwards dramatized), followed by others. He started in 1869 Ben Brierley's Journal, a weekly, which continued till 1891, and he gave public readings from his own writings, visiting America in 1880 and 1884. His various Ab-o'-th'-Yate sketches (about America, London, &c.), and his pictures of Lancashire common life were very popular, and were collected after his death. In 1884 he lost his savings by the failure of a building society, and a fund was raised for his support. He died on the 18th of January 1896, and two years later a statue was erected to him in Queen's Park, Manchester.