Sir William Henry Houldsworth, 1st Baronet Ardwick, Manchester – 18 April 1917 in Kilmarnock) was a mill-owner in Reddish, Lancashire. He was Conservative MP for Manchester North West from 1883 to 1906, and sometime chairman of the Fine Cotton Spinners' Association. He was made a baronet in 1887.(20 August 1834 in
Sir William Henry Houldsworth
|Born||20 August 1834|
Ardwick, Manchester, England
|Died||18 April 1917 (aged 82)|
|Spouse(s)||Elisabeth Graham Crum|
Houldsworth bought farmland by the Stockport Branch Canal in Reddish in the 1860s and built Reddish Mill, then the largest cotton-spinning mill in the world (started 1863, completed 1865). Four members of the Houldsworth family were 60% shareholders in the Reddish Spinning Company Limited which built the North Mill (started 1870) and the Middle Mill (started 1874). An Institute (now Houldsworth working men's club) was completed in 1874. All the above were designed by the architect Abraham Stott. Houldsworth commissioned the architect Alfred Waterhouse to design St. Elisabeth's church, rectory and school. All the above buildings are still standing.
The start of a model village was also laid out, Houldsworth Model Village, with a variety of houses built in front of the mill. Some of the houses have been demolished, but those in Houldsworth Street and Liverpool Street remain.
He was created a baronet in 1887 as Sir William Henry Houldsworth, of Reddish, in the Parish of Manchester, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, and of Coodham in the Parish of Symington in the County of Ayr.
The City of Manchester made him a freeman in 1905, and the Victoria University of Manchester awarded him an honorary LLD. In later life, Houldsworth moved away from Reddish and Manchester, and concentrated on his estate, Coodham, Ayrshire in Scotland, where he built a domestic chapel designed by Alfred Waterhouse. 
Several features in Reddish are named after Houldsworth. A drinking fountain and four-faced clock, paid for by public subscription, was unveiled in Houldsworth Square on 11 September 1920.
- Cronin, Jill (2000). Images of England: Reddish. Stroud, Glos: Tempus Publishing. pp. 54–56. ISBN 0-7524-1878-5.
- Holden, Roger N (1977). Stott and Sons: Architects of the Lancashire Cotton Mills. Lancaster: Carnegie Publishing. ISBN 1-85936-047-5.
- Howe, A C (2004). "Houldsworth, Sir William Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 October 2006.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1969). The Buildings of England: South Lancashire. London: Penguin Books. pp. 371–372. ISBN 0-14-071036-1.
- "HOULDSWORTH CLOCK AND FOUNTAIN". Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project. 16 June 2003. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
- "Tour". St Elisabeth's. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Houldsworth.|
The aerial view at spinningtheweb shows Houldsworth's mill (to the left of the road running vertically), the canal (running horizontally) and the housing (in front of the mill). St Elisabeth's church with its tower is at the top of the picture (above the mill). The school is to the left of the church and the WMC is the large building to the right of the church. One of Reddish Spinning Co Ltd's mills is at the top-left of the picture. The mill to the right is Broadstone mill; the right-hand half of the structure, both chimneys and the engine house (at the centre) have been demolished.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Houldsworth