Richard Haworth and Co Ltd, cotton spinners, manufacturers and merchants 1876

Richard Haworth was born in Bury in 1820, the youngest of eight children. At the age of 12 he was sent to learn to weave fustians at Charles Openshaw and Co.'s mill in Bury. One day while brushing a working loom, his hand was caught in the machinery and badly injured, and this accident to some extent changed the future course of his life. When his hand healed he secured employment as a weft lad and attended night school in his spare time, where he showed a great aptitude for figures and finance. From a weft boy he advanced to the post of cloth looker in Openshaw's mill.

In 1838 he was employed by Rylands and Sons at their Ainsworth Mill near Bolton and in 1843 he was engaged by Thomas Clegg of Manchester as a bookkeeper. By 1876 he opened his own business of Richard Haworth and Co., a cotton spinning and manufacturing firm in Cannon Street, Manchester and also opened Tatton Mill in Salford. The company manufactured corset, cloths, cotton blankets, dress fabrics, drills, flannelettes, furnishing fabrics, gabardines, handkerchiefs, hollands, limbrics, linings, longcloths, pillow cases, rayon fabrics, sateens, sheetings, sheets, shirtings, and velveteens. They also produced cotton, canvases, ducks and linen alternatives for tents, wagon sheets, water-tank and sailcloth.

Richard Haworth died in 1883, and his two partners shortly after in 1886. Richard Haworth’s sons, G and J Haworth took over the business, which became a limited liability company.

In 1951 Richard Haworth and Co Ltd was advertised for sale. The business had evolved from a cotton spinning and weaving firm to one offering a whole range of cotton and rayon fabrics under the trademark ‘Spero’. By this time the company's head office was in Manchester, with mills and weaving sheds in Ordsall and Tatton. In 1953 the firm was sold to Vantona Textiles.

Today the company is part of the Ruia group that comprises a number of companies that import, supply and distribute household textiles and hosiery. Richard Haworth and Co. Ltd. supplies bed linen, table linen and terry towels manufactured at Kearsley Mill to the linen rental, hospital and hospitality markets.

The Company number is 00883804.