William Hoyle

(1831—1886) temperance reformer

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William Hoyle was born in 1831 in Rossendale valley, Lancashire, into a poor family. He died on 26 February 1886, either at Tottington, Lancashire, or in Manchester. Hoyle's education seems to have included some elements of the ‘Protestant work ethic’ of hard work and thrift. Consequently, in 1851 he was able to start up a business as a cotton-spinner in partnership with his father at Brooksbottom near Bury, Lancashire. In 1859 he built a large mill at Tottington. By 1872 the Tottington mill had nine hundred looms and also had some spinning machines. William Hoyle & Co. owned both the Bottoms Hall spinning mill and another mill, known as Potter Factory. Hoyle married in 1859 upon his move to Tottington. The Hoyles brought in labour from impoverished agricultural areas, thus satisfying the laws of supply and demand. However, there were accusations that the company ruined the town because ‘outsiders’ who worked for less money were brought in and the Hoyles were able to lower wages to their employees.


From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.

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