HYDE, a town, and a township, in the parish and union of Stockport, hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 7½ miles (E. S. E.) from Manchester; containing 10,151 inhabitants. So early as the reign of John, a part of the manor of Hyde was held by a family of the same name, of which the great Lord Chancellor Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, was a descendant; the remaining portion was acquired by them in the reign of Edward III. Half the township is now the property of the Clarke family, by the marriage of George Clarke, Esq., lieutenant-governor of New York, with Anne, one of the daughters and eventually sole heiress of Edward Hyde, Esq. The township remained until of late years a mere agricultural district, thinly inhabited; but has now become a rapidly improving place by the establishment of the cotton manufacture, for which there are some of the largest spinning and power-loom factories in the kingdom, employing more than 5000 hands. The township is on the Manchester and Mottram turnpike-road, and comprises 890 acres, whereof 731 are arable and pasture, 33 woodland, and 126 in roads, streets, buildings, &c.; it contains extensive coal-mines, the property of Edward Hyde Clarke, Esq., and stone is also wrought. The river Tame separates Hyde from Haughton, in Lancashire. Water conveyance to Manchester is had by the Peak-Forest canal, which passes through the township, and unites with the Ashton canal; and the Sheffield and Manchester railway passes within a quarter of a mile of Hyde: a proposed branch from this railway will be made through the town, and thence to Whaley-Bridge.
Hyde is a flourishing place with many good streets and handsome shops; the inhabitants are supplied with water from reservoirs situated at Werneth Lowe, about a mile distant. A literary and scientific institution, and a mechanics' institute, have been established. A market is held on Saturday, and is numerously attended by the residents of the populous districts around. The magistrates of the division of Hyde hold a session every Monday, at the court-room in the town, where is also a police-office for the district. The police officers are appointed by the magistrates, under a constabulary act for Cheshire (that county being excepted from the general Rural-Police act for England and Wales); the common township constables are appointed at the court leet of the Queen's forest and manor of Macclesfield. A court baron is held at Hyde Hall on the first Wednesday after the 21st of November. The powers of the county debtcourt of Hyde, established in 1847, extend over part of the two registration-districts of Stockport and Ashtonunder-Lyne. St. George's church, here, for which the site was given by Mr. Clarke, was erected in 1832, at a cost of £4310, raised by parliamentary grant and local subscriptions; it is in the early English style, with a tower. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £170; patron, the Rector of Stockport, whose tithes in the township have been commuted for £12. A church district named St. Thomas's has been formed by the Ecclesiastical Commission: the living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Chester, alternately. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians: the last recently erected a new meetinghouse of great beauty, in the pointed style, at Gee-Cross, in the township, in lieu of that built there in 1708.