'WM. HARRISON AINSWORTH
BORN IN A HOUSE
ON THIS SITE'
This plaque commemorating William Harrison Ainsworth's birth is on the National Westminster Bank building, King Street, central Manchester.
His early 'Newdigate' novels (Rockwood (1834) and Jack Sheppard (1839)) romanticized highwaymen, and were satirized by William Thackeray in Catherine (1839–40). He wrote 39 (mainly historical) novels, among which the most noted perhaps are The Lancashire Witches (1848), Old St Paul's: A Tale of the Plague and the Fire (1841), and Windsor Castle (1843).