Blackburn with Darwen

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Blackburn with Darwen

(där`wĭn, dăr`ĕn), borough and unitary authority (2001 pop. 109,564), NW England. It was formed as Blackburn in 1974 by the amalgamation of the towns of Blackburn, Darwen, and neighboring areas, and acquired its present name in 1997. Blackburn was formerly a great cotton-weaving center, noted especially for calicoes. Textiles are still produced; other industries produce engineering equipment, electronic components, beer, felt, and carpets. Darwen also was a textile producer. Both Blackburn and Darwen are market towns.

The textile industry started very early—Blackburn checks (a linen product made of Irish flax) were well known about the middle of the 17th cent. When James HargreavesHargreaves, James
, 1720?–1778, English engineer. In 1762 he made an unsuccessful attempt to develop a machine for carding, a process preparatory to spinning, and in 1764 he invented the spinning jenny, which resulted in doubling production in the carding process.
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 invented (c.1765) the spinning jenny nearby, the manufacture of cotton goods received a new impetus. The completion of the Leeds-Blackburn-Liverpool Canal in 1816 substantially aided 19th-century economic growth. The English statesman John MorleyMorley, John, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn,
1838–1923, English statesman and man of letters. Educated at Oxford, he made his reputation as a journalist in London and served (1867–82) as editor of the
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 was born in Blackburn.

Blackburn with Darwen

a unitary authority in NW England, in Lancashire. Pop.: 139 800 (2003 est.). Area: 137 sq. km (53 sq. miles)