Manchester, originally called Manastoh and then Rocky Ridge, is located on the south bank of the James River. Manchester was incorporated as a town in 1769 and a city in 1874. It had an active port that shipped out tobacco, coal, and enslaved persons. Manchester was also a milling and manufacturing community and railway hub. By 1870, Manchester was politically important as the county seat of Chesterfield County but it failed to grow. In 1910 Manchester consolidated with the city of Richmond.
One of the founding fathers of Manchester was John Murchie (1750-1831), a native of Scotland who immigrated to Virginia in 1768, the year he won Manchester lots in William Byrd III’s lottery. He was one of the four trustees of the town of Rocky Ridge and a trustee of the Manchester Academy formed in 1807.