YORKSHIRE PAST AND PRESENT.
THE HISTORY Of THE BOROUGH OF LEEDS.
HAVING traced the history of the ancient city of York, the capital of this county, from the British and Roman period to modern times, we next proceed to give an account of the other large towns of Yorkshire, which have come into existence, or grown up into wealth and influence, during that long period. We commence this part of our work with an account of the manufacturing towns of the West Riding, the chief seats of the woollen and worsted manufactures of England, and shall afterwards trace the rise of the other large Yorkshire towns, which owe their growth and prosperity to different sources of national industry and wealth.
The parliamentary and municipal borough of Leeds, the largest and most populous town in Yorkshire, containing upwards of a quarter of a million of inhabitants, is one of the oldest places in the north of England, having a history, founded on written or printed evidences, extending over a period of upwards of 1200 years. Thoresby, Gale, and other Yorkshire antiquaries suppose, that Leeds stands on the site of the ancient Roman or British town of Load or Caer Load Coit-the city of Load in the Forest, mentioned by Nennius, one of the earliest British writers, in a list which he gives of cities or fortresses erected by the Romans in Britain. This, if established, would carry back its existence at least 100 or 200 years further, and connect it with the Roman and British periods. Leeds, then Load or Loidis, is mentioned by the Venerable Bede, and by Alfred the Great, his illustrious translator, as the capital of a small British kingdom, about the year 616; and afterwards more fully, in their accounts of the events of the year 655 of the Christian era, as the chief place of a district of the same name, in the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. At that time the Angles and Saxons had few towns, except such as had been built by the Romans or the Britons; they being, themselves, chiefly accustomed to dwell in small villages or lone-built houses: and the mere fact of the existence of a town, of sufficient magnitude to give its name to even a small kingdom, at so early a period as that mentioned by Bede, in itself creates a presumption that the town so named was founded either by the Britons or the Romans. The close resemblance of the name of the Roman or British town of Load, spoken of by Nennius, to that of the Anglian town of Loidis, or Leeds, mentioned by Bede, renders it still more probable that they were one and the same place. The position also corresponds, for at that time, and for many succeeding ages, the greater part of what now forms the West Riding of Yorkshire, and of the adjoining counties, was covered with extensive forests, stretching from the banks of the rivers Aire and Calder as far south as the river Trent, and covering the strong clay soils of the coal-field of Yorkshire, Nottingham, and Derby. The old British word Coat, "a wood" or forest, was long retained in the name of Coat or Cad Besot, which originally meant Besot in the Forest; and the remains of ironworkers, believed to have been those of the Romans, have been found within the borough of Leeds.
On these grounds, as well as on account of the course and intersection of the Roman roads from Eboracum to Ribodunum, and from Legiolium to Olicana, which can be very clearly traced in the neighbourhood of Leeds, it has been supposed that the Romans had at least a summer station within the limits of the present town of Leeds, and that there was a Roman ford and passage across the river Aire, situated near the point at which it is now crossed by the old bridge of Leeds. In this district, which is intersected by so many rivers and large brooks, all of them much flooded after heavy rains, several of the towns seem to have derived their origin, and some of them their names, from the fords on which they stood; as, Bradford and Castleford. The main line of the chief street of Leeds, now Briggate, from its elevation and its comparative freedom from floods, must have afforded safe access to the ancient ford of the Aire, for travellers in their journeys north and south, even when other parts of the banks of the river were inaccessible.
The ancient town of Leeds, whenever built, seems to have stood between the ford which formerly crossed the river, near the site of the old bridge, and the point at which the stream of the Adel or Sheepscar beck enters the river Aire, from the north. Such, as we have already shown, were the favourite military positions of the Romans, at or near the junction or confluence of two streams, which together formed the sides of a natural fortification, easily completed by running a trench and wall from one to the other. This was the position of York at the junction of the Ouse and the Foss; of London, near that of the Thames and the Lea; of Mancunium, or Manchester, at the point of union of the Irwell, the Medlock, and the Irk; and of ancient Leeds, at the junction of Adel beck with the river Aire. The parish church of Leeds, erected in Anglian times, stood in this angle, perhaps on the ground originally occupied by the fortifications and the houses of the Britons and the Romans. Near this point there were in Thoresby's time (1657 to 1724) the remains of an ancient camp, either of Roman or Anglian origin, known by the name of Wallflat. The first part of this name he supposed to have been derived from the Roman word vallum. Of this ancient camp Thoresby says:-" Upon the ascent of the hill (called Quarry Hill) are the vestigia, or outlines, of a very large camp; the trenches, considering its nearness to the town, and the interposition of so many ages, are very deep. But whether it was a Roman or a Saxon camp I dare not positively assert, though from the single vallum, and the conveniency of the water (which the Romans always made sure of) at the foot of the hill, I suppose the former. At the head of this very beck, near Adel Mills, is a Roman camp, very entire to this day (1714); it being upon the moor, four miles distant from the town. Somewhat of the word vallum is yet retained in the name Wallflat, for, as the learned Mr. Sumner shows, the Romans pronounced the letter v as we pronounce the w, and Casaubon particularly notices this in vallum; the termination flat signifies area, a plot of ground, area belli; 'battle ground."' On this subject Dr. Whitaker, writing about the year 1816, observes:-"From the name, which evidently points at a Roman fortification, and from the site, on the turning brow of a smaller elevation and near a rivulet" (and, he might have added, a wide river), "I have no doubt that Thoresby's conjecture was right. I have carefully examined the ground, but though the central part remains, the lines of the trenches are almost wholly occupied by buildings."
But whatever may have been the works constructed by the Romans and the Britons in the neighbourhood of Leeds, our chief knowledge respecting the earlier history of the town belongs to the Anglian times; is derived from the first Anglian historian, the Venerable Bede; and relates to the events of the seventh century of the Christian era. At that time our Anglian ancestors, who had subdued the Britons in the plains, though not in the hills, adopted the Christian religion, under the teaching of Paulinus the first archbishop of Northumbria or York, whose diocese extended from the river Humber to the river Forth, and included nearly the whole of the north of England, and much of the southern part of Scotland. We have already described generally, in the first volume of this work, the various events that arose out of the adoption of the Christian religion by the people of Northumbria, and more especially the sanguinary wars, which the first three Christian kings of Northumbria, Eadwine, Oswald, and Oswy, had to wage with Penda, the fierce champion of the pagan race, whose dominions stretched southward from the Humber, and included the central districts of England, forming the middle Anglian kingdom of Mercia. In his third invasion, in the year 655, the formidable army of Penda advanced into the district of Leodis or Leeds, as it is named by Bede, supported by the forces of thirty other pagan chiefs; and it was in this district that the Christian king, Oswy of Northumbria, whose capital was York, gained that decisive victory which secured the complete triumph of the Christian religion in England, during the Anglian and Saxon times.
There has been some discussion amongst local antiquaries as to the precise position of this memorable battle. According to the Venerable Bede it was fought in the district of Leeds (Leodis), on the banks of a flooded stream, in whose waters a large portion of the pagan army perished, after its defeat by the Angles under King Oswy. It has been supposed by Thoresby, and other writers, that the scene of the actual battle was Winmoor, or Whinmoor, a few miles to the north-east of the town of Leeds, and that the fugitives of the pagan army, after the defeat of their king, were swallowed up and drowned, in attempting to cross the river Aire, at Swillington, and the Calder and other Yorkshire streams further to the south. Bede states that at that time the rivers were flooded from heavy rains, and that more of the fugitives perished by the floods than by the sword. So far as the language of Bede enables us to fix the position of this great battle, it took place at Winweyd, which may be either the original name of the place at which it was fought, or may be a name derived from the Anglian words win- weyd, which mean the field or meadow of battle or of victory, in the Anglian language. If the latter is the meaning of the word, it may apply to any position or place; but the actual scene of the battlefield is very likely to have been on the high grounds, between the river Aire and the river Wharfe, of which the present Winmoor or Whinmoor forms a part. This is connected with the great Roman road, a few miles east, which ran through Yorkshire from south to north, and was the usual line of advance taken by invading armies. A Roman road, still distinct enough to be marked on the Ordnance Map, leads from the river Aire, at Swillington, to this, as well as to another line of Roman road running from Eboracum to Olicana, or Ilkley, in Wharfedale. It lies between York and Leeds, which were the two principal towns of the kingdom of Northumbria, and is at no great distance from a country mansion, or royal residence, which the kings of Northumbria erected in the district of Leodis, or Leeds, after a more ancient royal residence, standing in the neighbourhood of Campodunum, or Doncaster, had been destroyed by Penda and his hordes, subsequent to their victory over Eadwine, the first Christian king of Northumbria. Camden believed that the meaning of the word Winweyd was "the field of victory," and in support of that opinion quoted the authority of Ortelius, the geographer, who states that the Germans, from whom the Angles were descended, gave the name of Winfield, or the field of victory, to the battlefield in Westphalia, on which the Roman legions under Varus were defeated and destroyed, by Arminius or Herman, the great hero of the Germans.* On the other hand, it has been supposed that Winmoor, or Whinmoor, was so named from the circumstance of its being overgrown with gorse, known locally as whins. This may be so, though at that time all the moors of Yorkshire must have been covered with whins, so that the name would then be no distinction. It is much more probable, as suggested by Camden and Ortelius, that the Winweyd mentioned by Bede was named from the fact of its having been the site of that great victory. The position of Winmoor is naturally strong, its approaches being covered by the deep and (then) swollen stream of the river Aire, lying along the line of the Roman road from York to the neighbourhood of Leeds, on high ground, and having in its rear (on the north of the Wharfe) a steep and hilly country, affording many strong defensive positions, even if the first had been carried by the invaders. The position was so well chosen as to render victory highly probable, and defeat totally ruinous to the invading army.
Probable as it is that the Britons and the Romans occupied the site of the older part of Leeds as a military position, and with a view to the passage over the river Aire, there is every reason to believe, from the great preponderance of Anglian or Teutonic names of places, both in the town of Leeds and the neighbouring villages, that the Angles or early English were at least the restorers and second founders of the town, as they were the ancestors of the race who have so long occupied this part of England. They probably reclaimed it from the state of wildness into which it had again fallen during the period of upwards of 200 years, which were consumed in the wars between the Romanized Britons and the Germanic tribes who invaded Britain after the retirement of the Roman armies. Agriculture being the earliest and most necessary of the arts, and being all but impracticable without fixed limits and boundaries, both to public and to private lands, new names and limits were given by the Angles to the townships, the parishes, the marks, and the larger divisions of territory which they settled. These names have been transmitted from generation to generation, down to the present time, and still serve to show that the Anglian or Teutonic race were the dividers of the land into its present limits, and the chief founders and organizers of the earlier forms of industry and cultivation in this part of England.
The Anglian names of places in England, as we have already shown, are principally derived from a few natural and simple distinctions and features, which can be easily traced to their origin. The chief Anglian terminations of the names of places are ley or lea, meaning a field, and ton or town, which originally also meant an inclosure. Of the eleven townships included in the present parish of Leeds, the names of six terminate with the Anglian word ley, or "field," namely, Armley, Bramley, Farnley, Headingley-cum-Burley, and Wortley. Three of them end in ton or town, which is an Anglian termination; namely, Beeston, Chapel- Allerton, and Potternewton. Woodhouse is also a name of Anglian origin. The three remaining names are Hunslet, Holbeck, and Leeds. Leeds is either derived from the British name Load, or from the Anglian word leod, "the people," or "the populous place." The name Leod is also found slightly altered in Ludgate, or the people's gate, at London, and in Ledbury, or the people's borough, in Herefordshire, and is a very appropriate name for a populous town; Courtsleet were originally leod, or people's courts, and belong to a very early period of English history. Hunslet, according to Thoresby, is an Anglian name, meaning the hounds' or dogs' kennel, though we have some doubts as to the correctness of this derivation, and suspect that the name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon and Norse words hund and slot, meaning the camp of the hundred, as Hunmanby means the town of the hundred. Holbeck is probably a Norse or Scandinavian, rather than an Anglian name. The Angles occasionally used the word beck to describe a stream, although their usual name for a small stream was burn, as in Fairburn, and Sherburn. There is, however, a great preponderance of Anglian names in the townships forming the parish of Leeds, although there still remain a sufficient number of Norse or Scandinavian names, within the town and parish, to prove that the Danes long held a powerful position in this district.
The Danes captured the city of York in the year 867, and a few years later occupied and tilled the land of Yorkshire, and other parts of the kingdom of Northumbria. We find their names in the fertile valleys of the West Riding, though not often in the wilder or more barren parts. It was chiefly along rivers and navigable streams that they formed their settlements.
Amongst the most characteristic of the Norse or Scandinavian names found in the parish of Leeds are those of Holbeck, Burmantofts, Osmondthorp, Knowstrop, and Kirkstall. Toft is "a small field;" thorp, or trop, "a country house and estate;" and staller, "a station." The name of kirk, given to the church and to one of the older streets of Leeds, is also of Scandinavian origin. The church seems to have been known by the Scandinavian name of kirk from early times, and gave its name to Kirkgate, the street in which it stands. The use of the word gate, as applied to a street, also affords strong evidence of Scandinavian influence and residence. Street and lane are the principal Anglian names of what we still call streets and lanes; but gata, or gate, is the old Danish or Scandinavian name. This we find at Leeds in Kirkgate, Briggate, Swinegate or Sweyngate, Mabgate, and Lidgate (mentioned by Thoresby), all very old streets. The original name of Briggate seems to have been Broadgate, and the present word Briggate dates from the time of the building of the bridge, in or before the reign of Edward III. Two of the oldest names of streets in Leeds are Buhr Lane or Borough Lane, a purely Anglian name, strangely metamorphosed into Boar Lane, or even in some cases into Bore Lane, and Swinegate. Another ancient name is Call Lane, which is probably derived from calsey, the paved road formed in the middle of it. This name comes originally from the Latin word calx "a flint." It is the root of the English word causeway, as well as of the French chaussee, and may have been brought into England by the Normans, and not by the Romans.
Almost the only historical name among the older streets of Leeds is Sweyngate, corrupted into Swinegate, which was probably named from King Sweyn, the father of Canute the Great, and his predecessor in the power if not in the title of king of England. The name of this famous chief, who all but conquered England, and left it an easy prey to Canute, is found, in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, in many places. York was for many years the chief place in his English dominions, and there he died and was buried. The memory of his powerful fleets and armies is preserved in numerous harbours and headlands of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, as in Swine, Swinefleet, and Swinehead. The word sweyn means a "youth," generally a royal youth. Boar Lane and Swinegate serve, however, to keep each other in countenance.
At the time of the Norman conquest Leeds was a vill or small town, containing a few hundred inhabitants, but it was already the most populous and flourishing place in this district. In the great survey of England, known as Domesday, made in the reign of William the Conqueror (1084-86), the Leeds of that day, and the other manors and vills, now included in the borough, are thus described:-
LEEDS AT THE DOMESDAY SURVEY, A.D. 1084-86.
The following is a Survey of such of the townships in the borough of Leeds as are recorded in Domesday Book:-
Armley.-In Ristone and Ermelai, Morcar [or Morfar] and Archil had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three ploughs. Ligulf now has it of Ilbert [de Laci], and there are eight villeines there with three ploughs. Meadow, six acres. Wood pasture, half a mile long, and four quarentens broad. Value in King Edward [the Confessor's] time, twenty shillings; now ten shillings.
Beeston.-In Bestone, Turstan and Morfar had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be four ploughs. Ilbert [de Laci] now has it, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings. Wood pasture, half a mile long and half broad.
Bramley.-In Brameleia, Archil had four carucates of land to be taxed, there may be two ploughs there. Ilbert now has it, and it is waste. Wood pasture, half a mile long and half broad. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings.
Chapel--Allerton-In Alreton, Glenner had six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three ploughs. Ilbert now has it, and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time, forty shillings. Wood pasture, one mile long and half broad.
Headingley-cum-Burley.-In Hedingleia, seven carucates of land to be taxed. Land to three ploughs and a half. Two thanes held it for two manors. There are there two villeines, with one plough. It has been valued at forty shillings; now four pounds.
Holbeck.-Not mentioned, but is supposed to have been included with Leeds.
Hunslet.-In Hunslet, six carucates of land to be taxed, where there may be three ploughs. The soke [or lordship] is in Bestone. There are eight villeines there, having three ploughs, and six acres of meadow. Wood pasture, five quarentens long and four broad.
Leeds.-In Ledes, ten carucates of land and six oxgangs to be taxed. Land to six ploughs. Seven thanes held it in the time of King Edward [the Confessor] for seven manors. Twenty-seven villeines, and four sokemen, and four bordars, have now there fourteen ploughs. There is a priest and a church, and a mill of four shillings, and ten acres of meadow. It has been valued at six pounds; now seven pounds.
Seacroft-Part of. (Coldcotes.) In Coldecotes, two carucates. Temple-Newsam-Part of. (Osmondthorpe.) In Ossethorpe, four carucates.
It appears from the above statement that the land of Leeds was held in the time of King Edward the Confessor by seven thanes or gentlemen, for seven manors, in each of which the thane held his land under the Crown. The number of small farmers or bondagers, engaged in the cultivation of the soil, was twenty-seven, and in addition to these there were four sokemen, or tenants under the jurisdiction of the lord, and four bordars, or inhabitants of bords or cottages. There was also a priest and a church; and there was a mill, no doubt with millers to work and manage it. There were also ten acres of meadow land, which was very valuable at a time when natural hay-grass was the only kind of fodder available for the support of cattle in the winter months. What is remarkable is that the value of the property in Leeds had increased from six pounds to seven pounds between the reign of Edward the Confessor, and the time when the Domesday Survey was made, near the close of the reign of William the Conqueror. How the town of Leeds had escaped, in the political storms of that period, from the desolation which had fallen on so large a portion of the county of York, does not appear; but from some cause or other the value of the property of Leeds had advanced from six pounds in the money of that time to seven pounds - or supposing the currency of that age to have been worth fifteen times as much as the present value (as computed by T. Duffus Hardy), from about £90 to about £115. Probably William the Norman was a harder landlord than Edward the Confessor, who spent his life in hunting and hawking, and in building magnificent churches. This gives from forty-five to fifty heads of families in the Leeds township; and assuming the numbers to have been half as large in the other townships, some of which were waste, while the others were cultivated, this would give seventy to eighty families, or from 400 to 500 men, women, and children, for the population of the district included in the borough of Leeds, and now containing upwards of a quarter of a million of inhabitants. Dr. Whitaker estimates the number of the population at 270. In Edward the Confessor's time the population of the whole parish may probably have amounted to 800, 900, or even 1000 persons.
The Domesday Survey mentions a mill as existing at Leeds before the Norman conquest, and
Thoresby supposes that the villani, mentioned in Domesday, held their lands in Leeds on
condition of upholding the dam which supplied that mill with water-power from the river Aire.
The following is his account of the ancient mill and mill dam of Leeds:-
Bondman Dam.-"Of the dams upon the river Aire, in this part of the manor of Leeds, Bondman Dam ought especially to be mentioned, to excite our gratitude for abolishing the old bond law that related to terra nativa, whereby not only the lands and services, but the bodies of the natives and their children after them, were absolutely at the disposal of the lord, and were sold or given away by them at their arbitrary pleasure, till it was afterwards enacted, "that no buying or selling be used hereafter, in England, of men as of cattle." But to be a little more particular, however, the copyholds chargeable with the repairs of this, which to this day (1715) is called the Bondman's Dam, I take to be as ancient as the Conquest, if not before; and that they are the same with those that in Domesday Book were in the possession of the twenty-seven villeins. 'Ilbert de Laci,' we are told in Domesday, 'had in Leeds ten carucates of land, &c. Iba nunc 27 villani, says that ancient record. And it is very observable that after more than 600 years time, twenty-seven of them are expressed by name in a duchy bill, exhibited by Gerv. Neville, Esq., as liable by their tenure to repair the said dam. Now the bondmen were of two sorts in those ages. First, villeins in gross, who without any determined tenure of land were at the arbitrary pleasure of their lords, and receiving their wages and maintenance at the discretion of the lord, were no better than absolute slaves; both themselves and their children, with whatever they had, being alienable at their pleasure. Thus," says Thoresby," in the noble pedigree of the Gascoignes, curiously engrossed on sixteen large skins of parchment, and communicated to me by the courteous John Gascoigne of Parlington, Esq., it appears by an engrossed deed, that William, the son of John de Heaton, had sold unto Adam, the son of Benedict de Mirfeld, for a certain sum of money, William, the son of Roger Faber, of Potterheaton, "formerly my native or serf, with his descendants, born or to be born, and with all his chattels, moveable or immoveable." The other sort were of a superior degree, having some cottage and land assigned to them, for which they were obliged to perform some stated offices, as these here to the repair of Bondman Dam, in compensation whereof they and their successors, in that tenure, were hopper-free; that is, had the privilege of having their corn ground immediately on the emptying of the hopper, though there be never so many attending whose corn was brought to the mill before theirs. Yet even these villeins regardants, were conveyed as an appurtenance of the manor to every new lord, and had not power so much as to fell a tree in their gardens without the lord's leave. That their persons were conveyed along with their lands is evident, from the charter of Alice Lacy to Margaret Kirton, her damsel (damicille mee), or young lady, to whom she gave all the nativi of the said lands, with that toft of land that belongs to Radulf Brown, together with his body, his descendants, and his chattels, with the like of George of Saxton, with both body and land, &c.
By the grant of William the Conqueror, Leeds became a portion of the vast estates of Ilbert de Laci, one of the most powerful of the Norman warriors, whose possessions extended from Pontefract Castle, in the south of Yorkshire, as far north and west as Clitheroe Castle, on the borders of the Ribble, in Lancashire. By him this portion of his large estates was subinfeuded to Ralph Paganel, a Norman baron, whose family name is still found in the name of the village of Pannal, near Knaresborough; and in Newport Pagnal, in Buckinghamshire, where the Paganels had another estate. They were the lords of Leeds for many ages, and it was by one of them that the earliest charter was granted to the burgesses of Leeds. They were the owners, amongst other property or rights, of the patronage of the parish church; and so early as the year 1089, Ralph Paganel, who was the high-sheriff of Yorkshire, granted the advowson of the church of Leeds to the Priory of the Holy Trinity at York, which built and endowed. The original church of Leeds existed previous to the Norman conquest, probably from the time when King Oswy of Northumberland defeated the pagan armies of Penda on the banks of the river Aire, and founded twelve religious houses or minsters, in celebration of his victory, and of his escape from destruction. But it seems to have been more than once re-built, the church mentioned in the Domesday Survey not being the old parish church, which was pulled down in the year 1838, to give place to a much handsomer building, but a still earlier fabric.
Soon after the Conquest, the Paganels built a castle at Leeds, to which an extensive park was attached. The memory of this park is preserved in the names of Park Place, Park Row, Park Square, and Park Lane, all of which were built on lands originally belonging to the ancient park. No traces now remain of the ancient castle, but the line of the trench was discovered in 1836, on the banks of the river Aire, near the base of the rising ground long known by the name of Mill Hill. The King's Mills, as they were afterwards called, stood somewhat lower down the stream, but drew their supplies of water-power from the stream flowing through the stagnum or mill pond, which also served as a trench for the castle. The castle of Leeds passed in succession from the Paganel family to the Gaunts, the De Albinis, and to the earls of Chester, from them in a few years, back to the De Lacys, earls of Lincoln; from them to the Plantagenets, earls, and afterwards dukes, of Lancaster; and finally to the Crown, in the person of Henry of Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster, afterwards king of England by the title of Henry IV.
It is stated that the castle of Leeds, in Yorkshire, was one of the places in which Richard II. was confined, after he had been dethroned by the aspiring Bolingbroke, and before he was removed to the neighbouring castle of Pontefract, where he was soon afterwards cruelly murdered; but this cannot be correct, if it be true, as believed by Thoresby, that Leeds Bridge was built in the reign of Edward III., the grand-father of Richard, with stone taken from the castle of Leeds. But this is quite uncertain.
Amongst the most important owners of property in the town and neighbourhood of Leeds, in ancient times, were the Knights Templars, the members of the great military order formed for the recovery of the temple and city of Jerusalem from the Saracens, in the days of the Crusades. The first and most important grant in Yorkshire to this warlike order was that made by William de Villiers, of the manor of Newsham, near Leeds, confirmed by the superior lord, Robert de Laci, the founder of Kirkstall Abbey. The Templars built themselves a preceptory on their estate at Newsham, on the east side of the town, which house was thence- forward called after them, Temple Newsham. Their possessions extended to the town of Leeds, where a curious memorial of their power and privileges existed down to modern times. All their property, and that of their tenants, was free from the soke or feudal superiority of the ancient lords of the manor, and, amongst other feudal duties, from the obligation to grind their corn at the lord's or the king's mills, at which other inhabitants of the town of Leeds were compelled to grind. The houses built on the lands of the Templars had in front of them large iron crosses. This denoted their freedom from this obligation, which was only abolished as to the inhabitants generally a few years ago, by the purchase of the right for a large sum of money. Timble Bridge, a corruption of Temple Bridge, is supposed to have been named after the Knights Templars, having been built on a stream crossing the road from the preceptory at Temple Newsham to the town of Leeds.
As already stated, Maurice Paganel, who lived in the reign of King John, granted a charter to his burgage tenants at Leeds, in the year 1207-8, the 9th John, by which they became entitled to the enjoyment of all the liberties and immunities usually granted in those ages, by kings and great lords, to the occupiers of burgage lands on their estates, but more especially to the rights which Roger de Laci, the chief lord, had granted to his burgesses of Pontefract. Tenancy in burgage was one of the freest and most secure kinds of occupancy existing in those times. In this charter it was provided that the burgesses were to be free, which was the most important of privileges, at a time when serfdom existed in most of the rural districts; when both male and female slaves were still sold in the public markets; and when there was little security for personal freedom, even in towns, unless that of the burgesses was guaranteed by a written charter, and by local officers empowered to enforce it. The charter of Maurice Paganel to the burgesses of Leeds further provided, that every burgess should have half an acre of land around his house, on payment to the lord of a burgage rent of sixteen pence, 1s. 4d., year for ever, which sum being equal to nearly 30s. an acre of modern money, was a very good rent according to the payments of those times. These burgage lands the tenants were free to sell to any one who might wish to purchase them, reserving the lord's rights, and the buyer and seller each paying one penny fine to the lord. It was further provided that the purchaser of a toft, or part of a toft held in burgage, should himself be free, and have all the rights of a burgess. The chief officer of the town, known as the praetor or mayor, was appointed yearly by the lord, and collected his rents and tolls. The office was usually let to the person, being a burgess of the town, who was willing to pay the highest sum for it. This charter also created a local court of justice, and freed the burgesses from the obligation to appear in any other courts, except at the county assizes, in pleas of the crown, that is, for murder and other atrocious crimes. Although these charters were very defective, they still afforded a considerable amount of freedom and security to the inhabitants of the boroughs which possessed them, in comparison with the general population of the kingdom; and out of them grew, in course of ages, that system of local and municipal government, which forms one of the most solid foundations of English freedom, and has, by teaching the people of England the art of local government, prepared them for that of national. None of the boroughs of the kingdom possessed the right of returning members to Parliament in the reign of King John; but the parliamentary system was introduced in the reign of his son, Henry III., by Simon de Montfort and the English barons, and was completely established, with a fair representation both of counties and boroughs, in the reign of Edward I., the son and successor of Henry III. But the borough of Leeds was not one of the Yorkshire boroughs which was summoned to return members to Parliament even in the time of Edward I., or his immediate successors; and though Leeds was represented by Captain Adam Baynes, under the Commonwealth, the borough did not obtain the right of returning members to Parliament until the reign of King William IV. Subsequent to the granting of the oldest charter of Leeds, by Maurice de Paganel, the manor of Leeds returned to the chief lords, the De Lacys, earls of Lincoln. The following is the charter of Maurice Paganel to his burgesses of Leeds, which we copy from that valuable work, Mr. James Wardell's "Municipal History of Leeds :"-
CHARTER OF MAURICE PAGANEL TO THE BURGESSES OF LEEDS (TRANSLATION), 9 TH KING JOHN, 11 TH NOVEMBER, 1208.
The Grants and Immunities of the Burgesses of Leeds.
-" Know all men, present and future, that I, Maurice Paganel, have given and granted, and by this present Charter have confirmed to my burgesses of Leeds, and their heirs, liberty and free burgage, and their tofts [or homesteads], and with each such toft half an acre of arable land, to hold of me and my heirs in fee and by inheritance, freely, peaceably, and honourably, to pay to me and [my] heirs, for each such toft and half acre, sixteen pence at Pentecost, and [the feast of] St. Martin. I have also granted [given and confirmed] to my aforesaid burgesses and their heirs, the same freedom and laws as the burgesses of Roger de Laci of Pontefract enjoy, which [are] these:-Any burgess may give or sell his land to whom he will, except for [anything set apart for] religion, [a monastery or other religious house], saving the lord's superiority; and by the charter of the covenant he shall render the land into the hand of the praetor, and shall give one penny on account of toll, and the praetor shall render the [same] land to the purchaser [as] from the bounty of the lord, secure from every one, and the purchaser shall pay one penny. Whosoever shall purchase any part of any such toft, and be seized as aforesaid, is as free as if he had purchased the whole toft. If any one have more houses than one in his toft, and have let them to any one, he shall be free to sell and purchase all kinds of merchandise; but he who shall dwell in the chief house [the landlord] shall give four pence to the praetor every year, and [be as] free as a burgess may be. Whoever has committed an offence within the aforesaid borough, wherever he be attached, he shall abide by the judgment of the court: but the aforesaid burgesses shall not [be compelled to] go out of their borough for any plea or for any complaint, save only for the pleasure of the crown [or perhaps the pleas of the crown].
"When the praetor shall account for the rent to the lord of the borough at Pentecost, the lord shall remove him and put in his place whomsoever he shall think proper; but the burgesses shall be more eligible, if only they be willing to give as much [as] others [who are not burgesses]. Whoever has impleaded any one for any offence before the praetor unjustly or without ground, and has committed an offence against him within the peace; and he [the other] shall deny the charge, and the unreasonable offence, and [being within the] peace, and whatever he has said against him, he hath given a good answer. Whoever shall not deny the charge or the unreasonable offence, and shall not be blameless as to any of these things, shall be judged at the mercy of the praetor, and by payment of the penalty shall regain his competency as a witness. Whosoever shall begin expressly to deny [his own previous] words in his reply, and shall not have expressly denied [them] all, shall lose his cause, payment of the forfeiture regain his competency as a witness. An offence of a burgess shall be decided by twelve lawful men, chosen for this purpose. If the praetor think proper to condemn any one, no burgess shall pay a fine for the first offence; but for the second, except he be able to extenuate the offence, [by paying] one half [of the adjudged penalty]. Any burgess may pledge himself, unless he have been impleaded by the crown of our lord the king, or have [previously] omitted to fulfil his pledge.
"If any one in the service of the praetor have accused a burgesss he, the burgess, shall not answer without [his accuser producing] a witness. If any burgess have been impleaded for a breach of peace, for shedding of blood, or for striking, and deny the same, he shall clear himself by the oath of seven compurgators; if [the offence be] not for shedding of blood, by three; if any burgess be impleaded by another burgess for the same, he shall clear himself by twelve. Every burgess is bound to answer to another without a witness, but not to one [living] beyond the limits [of the borough], except for an apparent fact, or for the debt of a burgess, unless he have been appeased by [receiving] an equivalent. If one living beyond [the borough] have accepted an oath from a burgess, he shall incur the heaviest forfeiture. If one living beyond [the borough] owe a debt to any burgess, it shall be lawful for him any day in the week, except on festivals, to distrain upon his goods, without leave of the praetor. If any burgess have received a distress upon his goods, he shall be adjudged to free the same on the first day at his own cost; otherwise, if he be unwilling to do so, the distress shall be allowed to proceed. He who has left unpaid the lord's toll, shall forfeit after this manner: for a farthing, five shillings and one farthing; for a half-penny, ten shillings and one half-penny; for three farthings, fifteen shillings and three farthings; for a penny, twenty shillings and one penny. [It is lawful for any one to erect on his land what shops he may think proper, to make up the lord's rent]. Whoever shall deny or allow any [other] thing than that for which he has been impleaded, he shall continue iable to the penalty. It shall be lawful for all burgesses to convey grain by land or by water, wheresoever they may think proper, and all other merchandise, without toll or other bar, unless they are forbidden by the lord or his bailiffs. They [the purchasers of any of our lands], shall not be held to be answerable to any one, as to [the title of] any of our tenements, of which we have been seized, or which we have held for a whole year and a whole day, without claim. If any one be cited in our pleas during the time that he be elsewhere on his own business, he shall be blameless for that day if [he] answer [to the charge] as soon as he returns. If any burgess be impleaded of larceny from another, we will judge him in our borough, with the help of the lord's servant, he making one compurgation for the first offence, with thirty-six compurgators. If he be impleaded a second time, he shall either purge himself by combat or by water. No woman shall pay toll in our borough who is to be sold for slavery.
"Moreover I have given and granted to the said burgesses of Leeds, and their heirs, a release from all toll and custom throughout the whole of my lands belonging to the borough of Leeds. But the burgesses aforesaid shall continue to bake in my oven as they have been accustomed.
"And when our lord the king shall demand aid of the cities of England, my burgesses of Leeds aforesaid shall give unto my lord the king reasonable assistance.
"And that this my gift and grant may remain ratified and uninfringed to posterity, I have affixed my seal to the above-mentioned charter. [These men being] witnesses. Adam de Reinvile, Ivone de Lindesenses, Wilmot de Stapleton, Adam de Beiston, Hugo de Swillington, William Pictaviculus, [also] Radulph de Leeds, who wrote this charter and many other charters. Given at Leeds on the morning of Saint Martin, in the ninth year of the coronation of King John.
"Such," says Dr. Whitaker, "are the contents of this curious and valuable charter, which holds up a lively picture of municipal jurisprudence in the borough of Leeds in the beginning of the thirteenth century. On reflecting upon the representation which it contains, the following observations present themselves. It is evident that in the interval of about 120 years (between the Domesday Survey and the date of this charter in the 9th of King John), Leeds must have become a considerable town. This, I think, is implied by the grant of so small a portion of arable land as half an acre to every toft,* for the homesteads of houses containing curtileges (inclosures), gardens, offices, and all the necessary accommodations of a family; but such at the date of this charter had been the increase of the population, that some of these had been subdivided, and several dwelling-houses had been erected on the site of one original toft. This implies want of space and increasing population, its cause. But what was the principle of this increase ? and what the occupations of this increasing people ? For the first it was evidently the protection of a castle, and the security (besides their numerous immunities) which in times of turbulence and rapine was enjoyed by burgesses. With respect to the second the exported grain and other commodities (alia mercimonia) and what is very singular, exported them by water as well as by land, so that the Aire must even then have been navigable. This is an interesting discovery; but the produce of the half acre afforded no grain for exportation: the burgesses therefore must have rented corn and perhaps grazing farms, out of which wool, hides, tallow, &c., the alia mercimonia of this charter, might be conveyed down the Aire, and the first of these commodities for exportation to Flanders, whence by a very unprofitable commerce, which the enlightened patriotism of Edward III. afterwards extinguished, they received their own raw article in manufactured clothing."
Dr. Whitaker's views of political economy, as expressed in the latter part of the last sentence, have become somewhat antiquated since the year 1816, when this paragraph was written; which is not to be wondered at, seeing that much the greater part of the wool and other raw materials, now manufactured at Leeds and other places, is imported from foreign countries to be worked up there, and is sent back to those countries in a manufactured state. This is, in fact, the great trade of England at the present time, and a similar exchange of commodities was no doubt a good and profitable trade, at the time when Yorkshire wool was sent from Leeds to Flanders to be manufactured into cloth, which cloth was afterwards sold and used in England. As to what Dr. Whitaker says of the river Aire having been navigable in the reign, of King John, it is probable that it was so for very small vessels, and under favourable circumstances, for there must always have been seasons when there was abundance of water in the Aire, even when it was not flooded. But it was not made navigable for vessels of any considerable size until the reigns of William III. and Queen Anne (1697-1709). One of the most remarkable paragraphs in the above charter is that which provides that women should not pay custom in the borough of Leeds, when sold into slavery. This shows clearly that not merely serfdom, but personal slavery of the very worst kind, continued to exist in England down to the reign of King John, and that no more was then thought of the sale of women-and, no doubt, men and children- than of the sale of cattle. The common oven, commune furnum, with a soke annexed, which was at Kirkgate-end, continued several centuries after this time, but was ultimately abolished, probably when it became unprofitable to maintain it. "Another and very oppressive remnant of feudal dependence," says Dr. Whitaker, "yet remains in the king's mills," at which all the inhabitants of Leeds were compelled to grind their corn. This happily has also ceased to exist.
The connection of the Paganels with the borough of Leeds ceased, either in the latter years of the reign of King John or at the beginning of the reign of his son and successor, Henry III. We find that about that time the manor and borough of Leeds had become a part of the immense estates of Ranulph de Blondeville, the great earl of Chester, who held it to the time of his death. He was succeeded by his nephew, John the Scot, so named from his connection with the royal family of Scotland, who only held the earldom of Chester for two or three years, when he died, not leaving any issue. On his death, King Henry III. conferred the earldom of Chester and the principality of Wales on his own eldest son Edward, afterwards King Edward I.; but he divided a large portion of the estates of Ranulph de Blondeville amongst his four sisters and co-heirs. From one of them the estates passed to John de Laci, the first earl of Lincoln of that family, and already the chief lord. In the year 1251, 35th Henry III., Edmund de Laci the second earl of Lincoln of that house, obtained a charter of free warren, giving him the right of hawking, and of hunting all animals of warren in his demesne lands of Pontefract, Rowel (Rothwell), Leedes, Berwick, Secroft, Bradford, Alemanbury, Windlesford (Woodlesford), Oltone, Carltone, Lofthous, Slateburne, Castleford, Methley, Grinlington, Swillington, Farnlegh, and Backshelf, in the county of York. In the year 1311, the 4th Edward II., Alice, widow of the abovementioned Edmund de Laci, had assigned to her for her dowry the manors of Leedes, Rodwell, Burwick, Sladeburn, Grinleton, Bradford, &c. Alicia de Laci, the only daughter and heiress of Henry de Laci, the last earl of Lincoln of that family, married Thomas, earl of Lancaster; the nephew of King Henry III. By this marriage the manor of Leeds, with the other great possessions of the De Laci family, became united to the earldom of Lancaster, and ultimately passed to the duchy of Lancaster and to the crown, in the person of Henry of Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster, afterwards Henry IV. From this period the manor and borough of Leeds were vested in the crown, till after the decease of Anne of Denmark, queen of King James I. of England, a part of whose jointure it was. After that it was sold into private hands.
The River Aire.
"Where the bridge is now was of old," says Thoresby, "the ferry over the broad Aire, that celeberrimum et proestantissimum fluvial, as it is called in the survey made of the manor of Leeds, when it was part of the jointure of Queen Anne, consort of King James I." Dr. Whitaker says that "The bridge and chapel, as appeared by their foundation stones, 8th August, 1760, seem to have been built both together in or before King Edward III.'s time ;" but recent examinations render it almost certain that part of it was built in Norman times. The bridge was enlarged for double carriages in 1730, and further enlarged in 1760. Thoresby says the bridge was strong and robust, made of large square stones. On the west side of the bridge were stone stairs, built in the year 1583, with stone taken from Kirkstall Abbey. This appears from the churchwardens' accounts of that year. The labourers' wages paid for this work were at the rate of 6d. per day; which, allowing for the difference in the value of money, would still be 2s. 6d. or 3s. a day of our present money, if not more.
Chantry at Leeds Bridge.-In early times there was at Leeds Bridge a chantry, dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. This is shown by a deed, dated 5th of June, 1376. About 1515 this chantry owned three burgages, ten houses and cottages, and land called Saint Mary's Ings or Meadows, in Leeds; then valued at £4 6s. 8d. a year, equal to at least £40 to £50 of modern money.
The Earliest Notices of the Woollen Manufacture of Leeds. - The woollen manufacture is mentioned in the Pipe Roll, or high sheriff's account, as existing at Leeds in the reign of Henry III., in the year 1272. In the reign of King Edward III. we obtain positive evidence of the existence of a mill for the fulling of woollen cloth at Leeds. This appears by a record which sets forth that in the 47th Edward III., 1373, the fulling mills of Leeds were granted to Thomas Burgers:- "In the manor of Leeds. A fulling mill constructed in the water running from the King's Dam without the town, near the castle there, with nine acres of land, through the middle of which the aforesaid water runs. Granted to Thomas Burgers and his heirs, at 33s. 4d. per annum."* This deed not merely shows that there were fulling mills at Leeds in the reign of Edward III., but it also shows the existence of the castle at that time; and that the fulling mills were turned by a stream of water, originally derived from the river Aire, which encircled the castle, and served to fill its trench, before flowing down to the king's corn mills and the fulling mill.
We have scarcely any notices of the progress of Leeds during the next century, which may perhaps be accounted for by the wars and commotions that raged during the greater part of the fifteenth century. During that period the manor of Leeds belonged to the kings, first of the house of Lancaster, afterwards of the house of York, and ultimately to those of the house of Tudor. But there is reason to believe that the castle of Leeds, which, if still in existence, might have brought the contending armies into this part of Yorkshire, had been destroyed before the war began. Hence, in the conflicts between the adherents of the houses of York and Lancaster, though they approached as near to Leeds, on one side, as Wakefield (where the strong castle of Sandal became a great rallying point for the house of York), and the field of Towton on the other, where the house of Lancaster was totally defeated, they do not appear to have come to the neighbourhood of Leeds. Still the tumult and uncertainty which everywhere prevailed throughout the county must have interfered with the progress of industry in those times.
When Leland visited Leeds in the reign of King Henry VIII., about the year 1536, he found
that it was already a place of some trade. He says of Leeds, or as he spells it Leides:-
"Leidis, two miles lower than Crystal [Kirkstall] Abbey on the Ayre river, is a pretty market, having a parish church reasonably well builded, and is as large as Bradford, but not as quick [active] as it. The town standeth most by clothing." Camden wrote his account of Great Britain about the year 1590, the 33rd of Elizabeth. He speaks of Leeds as a town which had been rendered wealthy by the woollen manufacture, but says nothing more of it, except what relates to its ancient history. The whole passage, however, relating to Leeds is worth giving, and is as follows:-"When the Aire river has passed through Craven, it spreads itself widely over more fertile fields, and at length visits Leedes, in the Saxon language named Loydes, a town rendered wealthy by the woollen manufacture, where Oswy of Northumbria defeated Penda of Mercia; and with great advantage to both nations, as Bede observes, for he both freed his own nation from the hostile devastation of the Pagans, and converted the race of the Mercians to the Christian faith. The place in which the battle took place is called Winwid-field by historians, which name, I suspect, was given to it on account of the victory; as the place in Westphalia where Quintilius Varus with his legions was routed, in the German language, is called Winfield, or the field of victory, as has been observed by the most learned, and to me most warm friend, Abraham Ortelius." We have already referred to this passage, which derives a double interest from the greatness of the event which it describes, and from the learning and sagacity of the accomplished topographer by whom it is recorded.
A few years previous to the visit of Camden to this part of England, in the year 1574, the 16th of Queen Elizabeth, we begin to obtain some light as to the population of the parish of Leeds, from the registers of the parish church; and as no proper census of the population was taken either at Leeds or anywhere else in England, until the commencement of the present century, this is the only certain information we can obtain as to the progress of the population to the close of the eighteenth century. The following figures show the number of persons who were baptized, married, and buried in the parish church and the chapels of Leeds, yearly, at intervals from 1574, the 17th of Queen Elizabeth, to 1731, the 5th of King George II. The dates and numbers are as follows:-
-------------------------------------------------------- |Years.| Baptized | Married | Buried. | | 1574 | 133 | 32 | 78 | | 1630 | 384 | 78 | 403 | | 1666 | 329 | 89 | 382 | | 1731 | 638 | 181 | 533 |
"So that in 157 years, from 1574 to 1731," says Dr. Whitaker, "the parish of Leeds (including the chapels) increased in baptisms, 505; in marriages, 149; and in burials, 455. At the first of these periods, allowing, the parish to have been extremely healthy, it is difficult to conceive the whole population to have exceeded 4000 souls; the decrease in baptisms and burials between 1630 and 1666 is to be accounted for by the civil war, which swept off great numbers of males, and by the plague, which destroyed many more of both sexes; yet, in the meantime, the marriages increased, evidently because the young people born since the plague, which happened twenty-three years before, were beginning to intermarry."* In addition to the causes which affected population from the year 1630 we may add, that about that time the emigration of the English race to North America commenced, and caused a considerable drain of the adult population, which was much felt at a time when the population of England was increasing very slowly, and did not amount to the fifth part of what it is at present.
At the time of the Reformation, about the year 1538, the presentation to the parish church of Leeds was transferred from the hands of one of the religious houses to a number of the principal parishioners. The church of Leeds, however, acquired by the Paganels in the very short interval between the date of the Domesday Survey (1084-86) and the year 1089, was given by Ralph Paganel, who was for a time vicecomes or high sheriff of Yorkshire, to his new foundation, the priory of the Holy Trinity of York. It was afterwards made subordinate to the house of Saint Martin of Marmoutier in France, with which the Paganels were probably connected previous to the Norman conquest. This grant transfers the church of Leeds (Leddis), and whatever pertains to it, and the tithes of the hall (auloe), which Dr. Whitaker supposes to mean those of the demesne lands of the manor, together with half a carucate of land which the same Reginald de Paganel held, to the priory. Under this arrangement the prior and monks, by a private bargain with the presentee, assigned to him one-third of the tithes and altarage, reserving the other two-thirds to themselves.
The above arrangement was naturally very unsatisfactory to the parishioners, and also to the archbishops of York; and successive appropriations were made by Thomas, Roger, and Geoffrey Plantagenet, successive archbishops of York, for the support of the parish church of Leeds, from the tithes and altarage of the living. All these continued to give great dissatisfaction, till at length Walter Gray,; a decisive and resolute metropolitan, put an end to the dispute by ordaining a vicarage in the parish church of Leeds. The next transaction relating to this church, after the ordination of the vicarage by Walter Gray, is a release from Alice de Laci, widow of Edmund earl of Lincoln, to the prior and convent of the Holy Trinity at York, of the advowson of the church of Leeds. At the time of the Reformation, A.D. 1538, this priory of the Holy Trinity at York was dissolved by Henry VIII. On this occasion, as appears from a MS. return in the Augmentation Office, dated October 1, 30th Henry VIII., the patronage of the vicarage of Leeds had been assigned by that king to his new-erected cathedral church of Christ Church, in Oxford, together with a pension of £10, payable annually by the vicar of Leeds for the time being, and heretofore paid to the said prior and convent.
For some reason not explained, King Henry VIII., who did pretty much as he liked in these and other matters, granted the advowson of the parish church of St. Peter, in Leeds, to Thomas Culpepper, Esq., on the 15th of March, in the year 1538, the 30th of his reign. The advowson thus granted by Henry VIII. was sold by Alexander Culpepper, son of the purchaser, to Roland Cowick, of London, Gent., who in the 5th Elizabeth disposed of it to Thomas Preston, of London, draper; and he, in the 11th of the same reign, sold it to Edmund Darnby, of London, haberdasher.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth a portion of the parishioners opposed these grants and sales as illegal, when the case was brought before the famous Lord Bacon, then lord keeper. The result of these proceedings was that Lord Bacon decided that Birkhead, who had obtained the living under the grant of King Henry VIII., with his co-feoffees, should assign over the inheritance and fee simple of the said advowson to Sir John Savile, of Howley Hall, and others, for the benefit of the parishioners and their successors. This was the Sir John Savile who was afterwards created first Lord Savile, of Howley, and also the first alderman of Leeds, under the charter granted by Charles I. to that borough. The other trustees were Sir Philip Carey, Kt., Sir Arthur Ingram, Kt., Christopher Danby, Esq., Robert Savile, Gent., Seth Skelton, Gent., William Boynton, Gent., Richard Sykes, Matthew Cooper, Ralph Cooke, William Kaye, William Marshall, John Lambert, Thomas Pendey, John Sykes, John Watson, Peter Jackson, John Smith, William Pulleyne, Roger Oddey, George Hargreaves, Walter Laycock, John Jefferson, and William Scoles-in all, twenty-five. These trustees confirmed Alexander Cooke as vicar, "as a man most fitted to the said place, and collated thereto at the request of the best and most religiously affected of the parishioners." Dr. Whitaker doubts the strict legality of this decision; but it seems to have met the justice of the case, and to have been generally acceptable to the parishioners.
Five clergymen in the neighbourhood were appointed as assistants or advisers to the assignees and patrons, on the next avoidance of the vicarage. These were Dr. John Favour, vicar of Halifax; Mr. William Lister, vicar of Wakefield; Mr. Robert Moore, rector of Guiseley; Mr. William Pullyane, rector of Ripley; and Mr. William Stock, rector of Kirk-Heaton-all memorable in their generation for learning and piety, and probably recommended to the lord keeper, by Mathews, archbishop of York, on that account.
The following is an official return of the value of the tithes of the whole of the parish of Leeds, at the time of the Reformation, 1536. Supposing this to represent the real value of the tenth part of the produce of the parish, we must take the total produce at £480. But at that time money was at least four times as valuable as it is now, the ordinary price of a quarter of wheat being ten to twelve shillings. In money of the present time, the value of the produce of the parish of Leeds would be at least £2000 a year, in the reign of Henry VIII.
TITHES OF THE PARISH OF LEEDS, IN THE YEAR 1538, THE 30TH HENRY VIII.
Armley, Ricote Grange (in Armley), Wethergrange (Wither) £ s d Chapeltown, Moortown, Bramley, Gledhowe, and Allerton Grange, in the tenure of the Abbot and Convent of Kirkstall, 10 11 8 Burley, Headingley, Bargrange, and Moor Grange, 3 6 8 Leeds, Woodhouse, and two Closes called Lekys,. 3 6 8 Kirkbeston and Cottingley, 3 6 8 Knowesthorpe, 3 6 8 Potter Newton, 3 0 0 Wyrteley, 1 13 4 Skelton 12s., Armley Hall 20s, Gipton 20s., 2 12 0 Colcotes 20s., Osmondthorpe 13s. 4d., 1 13 4 Hunslite as Woodhouse (Hill), 4 13 4 Cad (Coit) Beston 10s., two Farnleys £2 10s.,. 3 0 0 Northhall and two Sheepcars, 2 10 0 Tithe Hay within Leeds parish,. 3 0 0 Holbeck 15s., Leeds Water Mills £1 6s. 8d., 2 1 8 Total,.. £48 2 0
Sale of the King's Mills at Leeds. On the 29th of May, 1609, the seventh James I.,
that improvident king, or his more improvident ministers, sold a large portion of the royal
mills and other properties to Edward Ferrers of London, mercer, and Francis Phelips of London,
gentleman, their heirs and assigns for small sums. The property sold at Leeds was thus described:-
" Also all that fulling mill of Leedes, in our said county of York, lying and being within the lordship of Leedes, with the whole soke and suit to the same mill belonging or appertaining, of the yearly rent of three pounds, eleven shillings, and eight pence. Also those our two corn mills of Leedes, under one roof within the lordship of Leedes aforesaid, with all houses, and all soke and suit to the said corn mills belonging or appertaining, within Leedes aforesaid, Leedes, Kirkgate, and Leedes-Main- Riding, in our said county of York, by a particular thereof of the yearly rent or value of thirteen pounds, eight shillings, and eight pence."
The First Royal Charter of Leeds. The first charter from the crown granted to the
borough of Leeds was given by King Charles I., in the year 1626.
CHARTER OF INCORPORATION OF THE BOROUGH OF LEEDS (TRANSLATION) 2 ND CHARLES I., 13TH JULY, 1626.
"The king to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas our town of Leedes in our county of York is an ancient and populous town, and the inhabitants of the town and parish of Leedes aforesaid, for many years past have had, and skilfully exercised in the said town and parish, the art or mystery of making and working woollen cloths, commonly called in English "northern dozens," to their perpetual praise, and great increase of the revenue of the crown of England for the custom of the same cloths. And whereas we are informed by the humble petition of our beloved subjects, the clothiers and inhabitants of the said town and parish of Leedes, that the cloths heretofore made in the said town and parish, have been sold and exported before other cloths of the country there, from their fit, good, and true workmanship and make; and that from the fame and estimation of the same cloths, divers clothiers of the same town and parish have begun to make and as yet endeavour to make deceptive cloths, and to dye the same with wood, called log wood, to the damage and prejudice of us, subversion of the clothiers of the town and parish aforesaid, and discredit of the inhabitants there, if immediate remedy for that purpose be not applied; and that divers other enormities and inconveniences for some time have sprung up, and do still increase, as well concerning the cloths aforesaid as the town and parish aforesaid, which in no way can be reformed without good rule, by our royal authority and power established."
To put an end to these evils, real and imaginary, and to secure good government, the king proceeded by his charter to form the town and parish of Leeds into a municipal borough, and to vest the government thereof in an alderman, nine principal burgesses, and twenty assistants, under the corporate style of "The Alderman and Burgesses of the Borough of Leeds in the County of York." The king himself appointed the first alderman, in the person of Sir John Savile of Howley Hall, knight (afterwards created Baron Savile of Pontefract). He also appointed the first set of principal burgesses, namely, Ralph Hopton, Seth Skelton, John Harrison, John Hodgson, Samuel Casson, Richard Sykes, Robert Benson, Thomas Metcalf, and Joseph Hillery. His Majesty likewise appointed the first twenty assistants or common council men, whose names were Benjamin Wade, William Busfield, George Killingbecke, William Marshall, Ralph Cooke, Edward Killingbecke, Francis Jackson, Walter Haycocke, John Cooper, Henry Watkinson, Abraham Jenkinson, James Sykes, Robert Pease, George Dixon, Ralph Crofte, Peter Jackson, William Stable, John Jackson, Christopher Preston, and John Hargrave.
The original burgesses and assistants nominated by the king were appointed for life (or during what the law calls good behaviour); and they were also authorized to fill up all vacancies in their own numbers as they arose. Thus the rest of the burgesses were deprived of all power in the management of their own affairs. This is altogether opposed to the ancient free principles on which the corporations of London, York, and most other great cities were constituted.
The Part taken by Leeds in the Great Civil War-Leeds, Bradford, and Halifax, with the surrounding villages, engaged in the woollen trade, all took an active part in the great civil war, and formed the chief strength of the parliamentary party in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In April, 1642-43, the clothiers of these districts sent a petition to Charles I., who at that time held his court at York, strongly urging conciliation with his Parliament. On the departure of the king to Nottingham, were he raised the royal standard against the Parliament, he appointed the earl, afterwards marquis of Newcastle, his general-in-chief in Yorkshire and the northern counties; with Sir William Savile of Thornhill Hall, as second in command. The Parliament nominated Ferdinando, Lord Fairfax, of Denton Hall, their general, with his much more distinguished son, Sir Thomas Fairfax, as second in command. At the commencement of the civil war, Leeds and Wakefield were garrisoned for the king. Bradford and Halifax were held by the parliamentary party; and the former town was attacked by the royalists on Sunday, December 18, 1642. After a severe contest they were repulsed at Bradford, and the parliamentary forces soon after marched to Leeds, and attacked and occupied the town.
At the beginning of the year 1642-43, Sir Thomas Fairfax, having repulsed the royalists at Bradford, and collected the parliamentary troops about Halifax and Bradford, marched upon Leeds, on Monday, the 23rd January. His forces consisted of six troops of horse and three companies of dragoons, under Sir Henry Fowlis, his lieutenant-general of the horse; and of nearly 1000 musketeers, with 2000 clubmen, under Sir William Fairfax, lieutenant-general of the foot. A company of parliamentary dragoons, under Captain Mildmay, with thirty musketeers and 1000 clubmen, marched on the south side of the river to Hunslet Moor; and threatened the royalists on that side; but the main body of the parliamentary army crossed the river Aire at Apperley Bridge, some miles above Leeds, and marched to Woodhouse Moor, a portion of Kirkstall Bridge having been broken down by the royalists, to interrupt the direct road from Bradford to Leeds. On arriving on Woodhouse Moor, Sir Thomas Fairfax sent a trumpeter to Sir William Savile, the king's commander; requiring him, in writing, to deliver up the town to the Parliament, or as the parliamentary commanders, and Parliament itself, then expressed it, "to the King and Parliament." Sir William Savile, having under his command 1500 foot, 500 horse, and two demi-culverins, or small cannon, refused both the first and a second summons to surrender, telling the Fairfaxes plainly that they would get nothing but by fighting. The attack then commenced, along a line of fortifications which the royalists had thrown up on the west side of the town, extending from the newly built church of St. John's to the river Aire. We have no account of the fortifications on the eastern side of the town; but as they were not attacked, they were probably stronger than those on the west and north. Every thing being prepared for the assault, five companies of the best-trained soldiers of the parliamentary forces, under Captains Forbes, Briggs, Lee, Frank, and Palmer, marched on St. John's church; and nearly at the same time a fierce skirmish commenced between the royal and the parliamentary musketeers, the latter of whom advanced under cover of a hill, through the fields before "the great long trench," on the west of the town. After considerable firing, without any important result, Sir Thomas Fairfax, with his two generals on one side, and Captain Forbes on the other, assaulted the outworks of the town, and in a hard fight of two hours' duration, drove the royalists from their works and took possession of them. About the same time another point of the intrenchments was carried, near the end of Buhr or Boar Lane; and soon after, the parliamentary forces advanced through Hunslet and attacked Leeds Bridge. The royalists, being thus assailed at three points, and being cut off from escape by the bridge, were broken and driven back to their works, near the parish church. Thence they attempted to escape across the Aire, and many of them succeeded in doing so; but Major Beaumont, and others, were drowned in the attempt. In this well contested engagement the parliamentary forces took 500 prisoners, four colours, two brass cannon, with arms and ammunition; and about forty men were killed, of whom twelve were on the Parliament side. Leeds was now garrisoned for the Parliament, and Sir Thomas Fairfax there dates his letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, announcing his success. Soon after this defeat the royalist troops fell back on the city of York. This, however, was immediately followed by another advance of the royal army into the West Riding, by the battle of Adwalton Moor, in the parish of Birstal, not far from Leeds and Bradford, in which the parliamentary army, under Sir Thomas Fairfax, was defeated by the royalists, under the earl of Newcastle. This enabled the royalists to recover Leeds and Bradford, which they held until the Scottish army advanced to the assistance of the parliamentary party. On their advance the royalists retreated to York, and were immediately after defeated in the great battle of Marston Moor. No further military operations of much importance occurred in this neighbourhood. At the battle of Marston Moor one of the Leeds parliamentary regiments was commanded by Colonel Thoresby, the father of the Leeds antiquary, who seems to have behaved with very great courage in that fierce engagement.
The register of the parish church of Leeds contains the following brief notice of the mortality caused by the conflicts between the parliamentary party and the royalists, in and about Leeds, in the years 1642-44:- 23rd January, 1642-43, Leeds was taken by Sir Thomas Fairfax; eleven soldiers slain, buried 24th; five more slain two or three days after; six more died of their wounds. Buried 1st April, 1643, Captain Bowel, slain at Seafront battle, and six soldiers. A gentleman and two common soldiers, slain in Robert Williamson's house, Hunslet, were buried 13th April, 1643. Five soldiers more slain. Nine more in May, 1643. Sixteen more in June, under Captain Lascelles, Major Gifford, Sir George Wentworth, Captain Thornton, and the earl of Newcastle. Twelve more in July, under General King, Sir Ingram Hopton, and Sir William Wilmington. Twenty-six soldiers buried in July and August, 1644. 19 soldier buried in the Old School Garth. Several soldiers and Captain Cox, from Newcastle slain at Bradford, February, 1643-44, also buried at Leeds.
After the complete overthrow of the royalists, and the entire success of the parliamentary party, the episcopal form of religion was for a considerable time set aside in England, and the presbyterian established in its place. At the time of this change, Henry Robinson, who was the vicar of Leeds, was forced to retire from his home and living, and his place was taken by Peter Saxton. When the country had become somewhat more tranquil Mr. Robinson was allowed to settle at Swillington, in the neighbourhood of Leeds, where he discharged the duties of rector for fourteen years. He survived the restoration of church and king for three years; but though he was solicited to return to Leeds, and to resume his office, he declined to do so, apparently preferring the peace and tranquillity of the country. At his death, in 1663, he was interred in Swillington church, where there is a tablet to his memory, at the east end of the chancel. His son, Henry Robinson, was the principal founder of Trinity Church, Leeds; as his brother-in-law, John Harrison, had been the founder of St. John's.
Before the civil war was brought to a close, another and still more dreadful scourge fell upon the people of Leeds, and on many other towns in the north of England. The plague broke out in 1644, and continued to rage for more than a year, carrying off a fifth part of the population. Many of the inhabitants fled from the town, to cabins hastily built on Woodhouse Moor and other open grounds, to escape the ravages of the disease; and some cabins erected outside the town, on Quarry Hill, gave their name to another spot used for this purpose, thence called Cabin Closes. One of the plague troughs still exists in a wall on the Chapel Town Road. Into this trough, filled with water, the inhabitants threw their money, to pay for the provisions brought from the country; neither the buyers nor the sellers daring to touch or to come near to each other, from fear of infection.
The following are the particulars, in the parish register, of this fatal visitation:-
"March 11, 1644-45, was buried Alice, wife of John Musgrave of Vicar Lane. This woman was the first that was suspected to die of the plague. There were buried 131 persons in August, 1644, before the plague was perceived."
Dr. Whitaker very naturally asks, what are we to think of the state of medicine, from these words ?
"July 2, 1645, the Old Church doors were shut up, and prayers and sermon only at the New Church, and so no names of burials to be certified, but a few at St. John's, until Mr. Saxton came to be vicar, when prayers and sermon began again."
The extent of the calamity was awful indeed. The return of deaths made to Major-general Carter, governor of Leeds, from March 12, 1644-45 to December 25, 1645, amounted to 1325 persons. The disease raged most violently in Vicar Lane, and the Close Yards adjoining, from which several were buried, to avoid the danger of further removal, in the Vicar's Croft, and others in North Hall orchard; the plague was also very prevalent in Marsh Lane, the Calls, Call Lane, Lower Briggate, and Mill Hill. From March 12, 1644-45, to June 1 following, the number of persons who died was seventy-one, but in the month of June the disease attained its full malignity, and between the 1st and the 26th of that month the number of deaths was 127. From the beginning of June to the middle of September the pestilence raged with dreadful violence, the number of deaths varying from sixty to eighty-seven weekly; and in the week between the 24th and the 31st of June reaching 126. From the middle of September the number of deaths weekly gradually decreased to forty-four, thirty-four, fourteen, eighteen, eleven; and in the month of December the number was fourteen. It is stated that at the time when the plague was most malignant, in the month of June, "the air was thick, very warm, and so infectious that dogs and cats, mice and rats, died; also several birds in their flight over the town dropped down dead." On this extraordinary statement Dr. Whitaker observes, "Appalled and confounded as the people must have been, no one appears to have been calm enough to observe with accuracy; and danger, we know, is one of the most powerful sources of credulity. From a much better attested account, however, of another plague, that of Athens, by Thucydides, it really appears that the infection extended to carnivorous birds at least; but there many bodies were left to be preyed upon, which in this instance is not likely."
Leeds was represented in the Parliament of the Commonwealth by Captain Adam Baynes of Knowstrop Hall, Leeds, whose family, according to Thoresby, had been settled there for many generations.
The Second Royal Charter of Leeds. After the restoration of King Charles II., in the year 1661, that king granted a second Royal Charter of Incorporation to the borough of Leeds. In this charter, which also included the whole parish within the borough, it was stated that the previous charter, granted by Charles I., had become without force and void in law, in consequence of which the body corporate and politic, in form aforesaid constituted, was declared to be dissolved. The charter granted by Charles II. proceeded to reconstitute it, and to provide that the town of Leeds should be under the government of "one of the more honest and discreet burgesses or inhabitants of the borough," who should be named mayor of the borough aforesaid; also of twelve of the more honest and discreet burgesses, who should be named aldermen; also of twenty-four other able and discreet men, who should be named assistants of the borough; which aldermen and assistants should hereafter for ever be, and be called, the common council of the said borough, and from time to time should be aiding, counselling, and assisting the mayor, for the time being, in the well ruling and governing the borough aforesaid. This charter also named the first mayor, aldermen, and assistants. Thomas Danby, Esq., was appointed "the first and present mayor," for the year 1662-1. The twelve aldermen named in the charter were-John Hopton, Esq., Benjamin Wade, William Marshall the elder, John Dawson, John Metcalfe, Henry Skelton, Francis Allanson, Daniel Foxcroft, Marmaduke Hicke, Edward Atkinson, Christopher Watkinson, and Godfrey Lawson. The names of the twenty-four common councilmen were- William Curtis, Richard Armitage, Gilbert Cooper, John Barker, John Killingbeck, John Simpson, Bryan Kitchinman, William Milner, Nicholas Lister, George Marshall, John Hodgson, William Fenton, William Busfield, Henry Walker, Samuel Child, Roger Pickering, James Netherwood, Henry Roades, Richard Midgeley, Lancelot Iveson, Adam Hargreave, William Foster, Charles Holdsworth, and Henry Mitchell. The mayor was to be elected by the town council every year; but both the aldermen and the assistants or common councilmen were appointed "during their natural lives, unless they were removed for their evil behaviour or evil carriage, or for some other reasonable cause." In case of the death of an alderman or an assistant, the mayor and the rest of the assistants were authorized to elect a successor, from the number of the aldermen or assistants, who was also to hold office for the term of his life. The charter also provided for the appointment of a recorder, and nominated Francis White, Esq., to that office; of a deputy recorder; and of a town clerk to be appointed by the king-George Banister being the first town clerk so appointed. It also provided for the appointment of a deputy town clerk.
The charter further established quarter sessions for the borough, and rendered the burgesses liable to serve on juries within the Borough. It also appointed a coroner and clerk of the market; gave all fines to the corporation; freed the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses of the borough from liability to serve as jurors at assizes; authorized the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses to choose constables; further authorized them to construct a prison in the borough; to take assize of wine, bread, ale, and victuals (which was in effect to fix the retail prices of these articles, according to the average price of corn, cattle, malt, and wine in the cask); to hold a market on Tuesdays, as well as on Saturdays, and to impose needful taxes and assessments, for the necessary maintenance, support, dignity, defence, or preservation of the corporation and borough. At the commencement of this charter of Charles II. it is provided, that under the name of the borough of Leeds the whole parish of Leeds should be comprised, and that all and every the inhabitants of the town and parish of Leeds and their successors shall for ever continue one body corporate and politic. Such was the governing charter of the borough of Leeds, which continued in force, with some slight and temporary alterations until the Municipal Reform Act passed in the reign of her present Majesty, Queen Victoria.
Thoresby's Account of the Town of Leeds in the Reigns of Queen Anne and King George I:, A.D. 1702-27-As Thoresby states, at the commencement of his " Ducatus Leodiensis," the greater part of the ancient and populous town of Leeds stands on the north side of the river Aire, rising with an easy ascent. He gives as a reason for commencing his description on the western side of the town, that of old there stood on that side "a famous castle," with a park adjoining. The site of the Park, though converted into lesser inclosures even in Thoresby's time (1714), retained the name of the Park, and, as he says, gave "denomination to Park Lane," on its northern side. Here were the shooting butts, at which the inhabitants practised archery before the introduction of gunpowder. The castle and park of Leeds remained in the crown for many ages; and there was a crown rent of £8 payable for the park and the mills, in the time of Queen Anne and King George I. They were then held by his Grace, Thomas Osborne, duke of Leeds, who had acquired most of the royal rights in the borough, and ultimately took his title from that flourishing town.
The principal streets and public buildings existing at the time of the accession of the
House of Hanover to the throne (1714), are described by Thoresby in the following order.
The Manor House.- The manor house which stood on or near the site of the old castle of Leeds, on ground rising from the river, known as the Mill Hill, was in the reign of George I. a capital messuage, and the ancient residence of the lords of the manor, and was held along with the park. In Thoresby's time it had formed part of the estate of Richard Sykes, Esq., who was the father-in-law of Ralph Thoresby; but when he published the "Ducatus" it belonged to Richard Wilson, Esq., barrister at law, of Gray's Inn, London, in right of his marriage with Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Richard Sykes. From him it passed through his sons and grandsons, one of whom was bishop of Bristol, to Richard Fountain Wilson, Esq., for some time one of the members for the county of York, and a very liberal benefactor of the charities of Leeds.
The New Chapel and Almshouses.- A row of almshouses for sixteen poor people also stood near the manor house; and near to the style which then led into the park, at the western extremity of the town. This was at the foot of the present Park Row, and near the entrance to the Coloured Cloth Hall and railway station. There was a field attached to these alms-houses, which was known by the name of the Almshouse Garth. Adjoining to this field, or garth, was the new chapel or meeting-house, long known as mill-hill Chapel. This chapel was erected by the Presbyterians resident in Leeds, almost immediately after the first indulgence of the nonconformists, in the reign of Charles II. and the year 1672. Thoresby says, that it was said to be the first in point of time, and that it was certainly one of the stateliest fabrics, built upon that occasion in the north of England. It was in point of fact a neat and commodious chapel; but on its site there has recently been erected one of the handsomest places of worship in Leeds.
The Bur, Bur, or Borough Lane.- Thoresby states that the street which leads from the castle to the town is called the Bur, Boar, or rather the Burrow Lane, from burg, buryus, or castrum. The original name seems to have been the Bur Lane, which is the Anglian and Saxon form of the present word borough. At the time when Thoresby wrote, about the year 1714, the Bur Lane was a suburban road leading from and to the park. He says, that from its not being so closely built as the rest of the town, several gentlemen had erected their houses there, amongst whom were Sir William Lowther, Bart.; Sandford Arthington; Cyril Arthington, Esq., who, says Thoresby, "has lately erected a noble hall, at Arthington" in Wharfedale; Jasper Blythman, Esq.; Mr. Robert Shaw; Mr. John Skinner, merchant; and John Atkinson, Esq., one of the magistrates of the West Riding.
Briggate.- In describing this wide and ancient street, Thoresby says, "In this ancient and spacious street, which from the bridge at the foot of it is called Bridge Gate or Briggate, stand many of the ancient burgage houses, granted by the early lords of the manor to their tenants in burgage. These paid a certain burgage rent to the lord of the manor of Leeds. Here also is situated the famous cloth market, the life, not of the town alone, but of these parts of England. "This was held in Briggate, in the open air, twice every week, namely, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, early in the morning, having been removed from the bridge, to the street, in Thoresby's earlier years. Speaking of the cloth market as it was held about the year 1714, Thoresby says, that in every market several thousand pounds' worth of broad cloth was bought and, generally speaking, paid for; "and this with so profound a silence as is surprising to strangers, who, from the adjoining galleries can hear no more noise than the lowly murmur of the merchants upon the Exchange of London."
The Moot Gall.- At the top of Briggate was the Moot Hall, of which Thoresby says:-" The guild hall here is to this day called by the Saxon denomination of the Moot Hall, from mote or gemot, a convention or assembly, and healle, Aula Palatium, the Ruler's Hall. Folk-mote was originally a convention of all the inhabitants, which, if within a city or town, was called a Burghmote; if of all the free tenants within a county, was called the Shire-mote." Of the Moot Hall of Leeds, Thoresby says:-"Had Lady Danby's proposal been timely embraced, who, being relict of the first mayor of Leeds, offered a considerable sum towards the building of a new guild hall upon pillars and arches, as proposed by Mr. John Thoresby, we might have boasted of a stately comitium, whereas conveniency is now all that is pretended to. This bench, however, is honoured with the presence of persons of great quality at the county sessions, for which it is very convenient, being near the centre of the West Riding; and more frequently by our own magistrates."*- Pillory and Stocks.-Directly before the moot hall were placed what, Thoresby informs us, our ancestors very significantly called the Hals Fang or Neck-holder, the Pillory, with the stocks adjoining, "that the Justices from the bench may see the punishments inflicted upon malefactors." The shambles were on the other side of the Moot Hall, higher up the street. Paudmire Stone.-This was an old boundary stone, chiefly remarkable as having given name to the house in which John Harrison, the most liberal of the benefactors of Leeds, was born, in the year 1579.
The Market Cross.- In the midst of the market-place, John Harrison, above mentioned, erected what Thoresby calls a stately cross, for the convenience and ornament of the market; not far from which place there stood in earlier times an old prison, which, being thought a blemish to the principal street, was pulled down, A.D. 1655, and a new one erected elsewhere, in Kirkgate. The old cross was taken down, and a much larger one erected in the year 1776. The Chantry.-The corner house on the west side of Briggate, at the top of the street, which seems to have been the best in the town of that antiquity, was the chantry house of St. Mary Magdalene, founded by William Evers, vicar of Leeds, A.D. 1470. In Thoresby's time the reserved rent of this charity, with other fee farm rents, were the property of the Right Honourable John Lord Somers of Evesham, the celebrated lord chancellor of England. Near here was the Talbot, a noted inn, which at one time boasted of a chamber curiously painted in fresco, with the arms of the nobility and gentry of the West Riding, as they were in Queen Elizabeth's time. Thoresby says that this venerable monument was defaced by the indiscretion of a tenant.
The Head Rose.- The Head Row, says Thoresby, was so called by our predecessors from its elevated situation, or rather from its running across the head of the main street. It was of old one entire street, but was afterwards divided into the Upper and Nether, or Lower, Head Rows, by the New Street.
The Red Hall.- Near the West Bar, in the Upper Head Row, was the Red Hall, so called
because it was the first house of any note that was built of brick, in the town of Leeds, A.D.
1628. Previous to that time, stone and timber were the only materials used. An apartment in
this hall was called the king's chamber, in consequence of King Charles I. having been lodged
therein, on his way from Newark to Newcastle, when a prisoner in the hands of the Scots. In the
time of Thoresby the Red Hall was the residence of his friend Richard Thornton, Esq., recorder
of Leeds; "whose noble collection of manuscripts," Thoresby observes, "had been
of singular advantage to him in this undertaking."
Rockley Hall.- In the Lowerhead Row was another capital messuage, called Rockley Hall, once the seat of an ancient family of that name, to which belonged the chapel of Rockley, in the parish church of Leeds. It was a timber building, and Thoresby says that it was of the most antique form of any that he had seen. Instead of deals or boards for the floors were oak planks, of so considerable a thickness that joists were made of them for part of the new brick building, which succeeded it in name as well as place.
New Street.- The street, long known as New Street, but now forming a continuation of Briggate northwards, was built by John Harrison, about the reign of Charles I., and the rents were appropriated by him to pious uses. Near it was a very good and convenient house, which the founder built for the minister of St. John's church, also erected by him, with outhouses, croft, and garden; which last, says Thoresby, "is now (1714) replenished with great variety of very choice flowers, by the Rev. Mr. Bright Dixon, the present worthy incumbent."
The Church of St, John's.- The church of St. John was founded by John Harrison, "a native and chief glory of this populous town, whose inhabitants were grown so numerous that the old church, though very great, could not contain them."± Adjoining to the churchyard was a large quadrangular court; on the south side whereof was a chapel, designed for a person to read prayers to the poor of the almshouses, which were built on the west and north sides of the square, with convenience for forty poor people.
Lidgate and Tower Gill.- Thoresby says that the street adjoining to the North Bar was called Lidgate, even in his time. The name he derives from the Saxon words leod-gate, "the gate of the people." Thoresby also says that "this, being the highest part of the town in early times, was made choice of for building a tower." He adds that he had perused some manuscript surrenders, &c., belonging to the lords of the manor of Leeds, wherein it was called "the Tower Hill;" and adds, that in the year 1695, when the workmen were digging deep, to lay a secure foundation for the vast cistern which was to serve as a repository for the river water, that was then first conveyed in lead pipes from the bridge foot to this place, they found "prodigious large stones and the ruins of a great wall, which seemed to have been the groundwork of such a fabric;" that is, as the ancient tower.
North Bar.- "The North Bar was in early times the northern gate, at the entrance of the town. In early times all English towns were surrounded with walls and gates, at which the burgesses were compelled to keep watch and ward from sunset to sunrise, taking it in turns, so as to secure safety without too much fatigue. This seems to have been the origin of the North Bar, the West Bar, and of four other bars at Leeds (making six in all), at the entrance of the main streets.* These were intended chiefly for purposes of police; but in time of war they were strengthened with trenches and additional works, generally extending from one bar to another, but sometimes formed considerably in advance of the original works. This seems to have been the case at York, Chester, and Leeds, in the great civil war, where new works of greater strength were constructed in front of the old fortifications.
The Free School and Library.- "In the place where now the Pinfold is," says Thoresby, "stood the free grammar-school, till the famous Mr. Harrison removed it from so inconvenient a situation to a pleasant field of his own, which he surrounded with a substantial wall, and then, in the midst of the quadrangle, built the present fabric of the school, to which Godfrey Lawson, Esq. (mayor of Leeds, A.D. 1669), added a new apartment in the year 1692, in the lower room whereof is a conveniency for a fire for the scholars in winter; and in that above a growing library, wherein are some choice books of his gift and other charitably disposed persons."
More northward ("after we have passed by some pleasant seats of the merchants''), and at a little distance from the town, though within the main Riding, are Sheepscar and Buslingthorpe, "now  mostly inhabited by clothiers."
The Sheepscar Beck.- "This," says Thoresby, "is the nameless water, that Mr. William Harrison, in his description of Britain, (published in the reign of Queen Elizabeth), mentions as running into Aire, on the north side of Leeds, from Wettlewood [as it is misprinted for Weetwood]. This beck proceeds from a small spring upon the moor, a little above Adle [Adel], and yet had some time ago [previous to 1714], eight mills upon it, in its four miles' course. The first is that of Adel (as it is written in some charts in my [Thoresby's] collections), near unto which is the Roman camp, and the vestigia of the town lately discovered; and the last before its conjunction with the Aire is this at Sheepscar, which above eighty years ago [before 1714] was employed for the grinding of red wood, and making rape oil, then first known in these parts. It was converted into a corn mill in the late times, but upon the Restoration, when the king's mills recovered their ancient soke, it dwindled into a paper mill, not for imperial, but for that coarse paper called "emporetica," useful only for chapmen to wrap wares in. It was afterwards made a rape mill again, as it now stands."
After describing the western and northern parts of the town of Leeds, as they existed in the reign of King George I. (1714), Thoresby turns to the eastern or older part, which at that time was much more populous than the north or west. There he, or his ancestors before him, had lived for nearly 100 years, in their own house in Kirkgate, which at that time was a wide, open street, containing the vicarage and many other good houses, opening at the back into pleasant fields extending to Sheepscar beck and the open country. In the survey of the manor of Leeds, in the reign of James I., mention is made of two almshouses in the Vicar Lane, whose income, however, seems to have been trifling-only twopence a year. "These," adds Thoresby, "are near unto my garden wall, running back from Kirkgate; and the chamber over them is now converted into a dressing shop, and is in possession of Mr. Christopher Conder, who purchased it of Mr. Baynes, of Knowstrop, for 999 years."
The old Parish Church of Leeds.- The old parish church of Leeds, dedicated to St. Peter, which was taken down in the year 1838 to make way for a much handsomer building, is described by Thoresby as being a very spacious and strong fabric, "an emblem of the church militant, black but comely. Being of great antiquity," says he, "it doth not pretend to the mode of reformed architecture, but is strong and useful. By whom it was first founded I can by no means learn, but hope my involuntary ignorance will be excused, seeing it is the common fate of most parochial churches, which perhaps were generally built, as they continue to be maintained, by the joint contributions of the inhabitants." Of the exterior of the old church, he says that it was plain, but venerable; the walls wholly of freestone, the roof entirely covered with lead, except that part of the quire only that belonged to the impropriator. It was built after the manner of a cathedral, with a large cross aisle, and the steeple or tower in the middle of it. The dimensions of the old church were, in length 165 feet, breadth 97, height of the nave 51 feet, and that of the steeple 96 feet."
Nether Hills and Stender.- Beyond the two fulling mills (the inheritance of Henry Smith, Esq., at the Survey) and stender, was the confluence of Sheepscar beck and the river Aire, at the foot of the ascent to Hill-house Bank, where in Thoresby's time was a large house, built by Mr. William Ingram. Upon this ascent, he says, "is Cavaliers' Hill, which has been so called ever since the marquis of Newcastle's army lay encamped there in the civil wars. From hence a road led by the nar [near] and far [farther] banks," which were then mostly inhabited by clothiers, or occupied by Grass Greens, to Knowstrop.
The Calls.- From the old church to Leeds Bridge there was in Thoresby's time a footpath way through the fields, by certain gardens, particularly Alderman Cookson's, "who had lately erected there a very pleasant seat, with terrace walks." The Calls, now Call Lane, Thorseby believed to be Named from the Latin word callis; a word, he says, much used by Virgil and other Roman authors for a beaten path. Calx, "a flint," is probably the root of the name. In the Call Lane, betwixt the back gates of the "quondam chantry and Mr. Harrison's garden," he says, "those of the Congregational persuasion built a stately chapel, or meeting house, with a turret upon the leaden roof, in the year 1691."
In the adjoining orchard, where was the grove and summer-house of which Mr. Harrison, at the time of his death, was proprietor, John Atkinson, justice of the peace for the West Riding and mayor of Leeds, in the year 1711, was building "a delicate house, that for the exquisite workmanship of the stonework, especially the dome, and for a painted staircase, excellently performed by Monsieur Parmentier, exceeded in beauty all in town." Dr. Whitaker, writing in the year 1816, says it was even then a handsome house, and having been durably built still remained entire. This house was the post-office of Leeds within the recollection of the author of this work, with a pleasant garden in front, and a row of elms at the side.
The Pitt Fall, Call Lane.- Thoresby says that here were formerly two fulling mills in his time, replaced by a rape mill and the water-engine. The engine was for conveying the river water, by lead pipes, to the different parts of the town. The water-works were erected in the year 1695, 5th William III., by Mr. George Surocold, whom Thoresby describes as "the great engineer, who has done the like at Macclesfield, Wirksworth, Yarmouth, Portsmouth, Norwich, King's Lynn, London Bridge, Deal, Bridgenorth, Islington New water-works, and Bristol."
The Water-power of Leeds in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.- Thoresby states that in the time of Anne of Denmark, the wife of King James I., who had the manor of Leeds as part of her dower, the corn mills of that town were held, cum soca et secta, by virtue of letters-patent under the seal of the duchy of Lancaster, by John Lindley of Leathley, Esq., at the yearly rent of £13 6s. 8d., but he adds, that they were "of the clear yearly value of £126 13s. 4d." In Thoresby's own time (in the reign of Queen Anne, the daughter of James II.) the mills were in the hands of William Neville, Esq., then of Holbeck, whose family held them down to the present century. "Adjoining to the corn mills," says Thoresby, writing in the reign of Queen Anne or George I., "is lately rebuilt another mill, wherein, by the ingenious contrivance of Mr. John Atkinson of Beeston, one water- wheel carries [works] both the rape mill and a mill for grinding logwood, brasil, &c.; also a fulling stock for milling shalloons, serges, &c.; and a twisting mill with eighty bobbins; so also a stone for grinding scythes, sickles, whitesmiths' plates, &c.; it likewise throws water into a conveyance that fills the dyeing lead or pan; and also a throw for turning wood. This reminds me of an ingenious artist on the other side the bridge, namely, Jo. Armitage, who turns strong and large pieces of iron and steel in an engine for that purpose, useful in all strong machines and movements, as mills for plates, tobacco mills, malt mills, spindles for corn mills, &c. Jacks are also made after a new and curious method, the wheels and axles and all the moving parts (which formerly and now by most are filed), being all turned down to exactness, and the teeth cut in an engine; also fowling pieces, fine razors, scissors, and lancets, are made, grinded, and polished, &c." It is clear from these statements of Thoresby that the water-power, which is so abundant within the borough of Leeds, not merely in the river Aire, but in the large brooks, on one of which, namely, the Adel Brook, there were then eight mills, was now beginning to be used for a variety of new purposes, as well as the ancient one of grinding corn, to which it had been applied from before the Norman conquest, and the fulling of cloth, for which it had been used previous to the reign of King Edward III. Owing to these and other causes trade was increasing rapidly, and it became necessary about this time (1710-12) to build a Cloth Hall, for the sale of white or undyed cloth, at which the clothiers from the neighbouring villages, of whom more than 100 already attended the Leeds cloth markets every week, might sell their goods to the merchants, without being incommoded by the cold and wet, to which they had been so much exposed, when the Cloth Market was held on the old bridge, or even when it was in the open street of Briggate.
The First Cloth Hall Built at Leeds.- When Ralph Thoresby began business as a cloth merchant at Leeds, in the reign of Charles II. (1678-79), the only cloth market in that town was held in the open air, on Leeds Bridge, which was even then large enough for the purpose, though a marvellously inconvenient position, especially in wet and stormy weather. In the month of June, 1684, the cloth market was removed from the bridge to the open street of Briggate, where it was carried on, down to the year 1712, if not longer, on stands set up on the market day, by the side of the street, and in a position only a few degrees less inconvenient than that of the bridge. Speaking of the old cloth market held on Leeds Bridge, Thoresby says, under date of June 7, 1684, that he was that day "at the Bridge market, and afterwards at Denton Hall ;" and on the 14th June, in the same year, he notes that he was "at the New Cloth Market, which by order of the mayor and aldermen is removed from off the bridge, to the broad street above (Briggate), to prevent the inconveniency from the cold air of the water in winter, and the trouble of carts and carriages in summer."
The first proposal to build a separate Cloth Hall at Leeds we find in Thoresby's "Diary," in the year 1710, when an alarm, lest the whole woollen trade should be carried of from Leeds by the public spirited people of Wakefield, who had erected a cloth hall there for the accommodation of the clothiers of the surrounding country, roused the people of Leeds, and especially the cloth merchants, to a sense of the necessity of constructing a similar accommodation for trade in their own town. This was accordingly done, at the instigation of Thoresby and others, and with the warm support of Lord Irwin of Temple Newsam, who appears to have taken an interest in everything relating to the prosperity of Leeds, with which his family was closely connected by a community of interest. With regard to this first Leeds Cloth Hall the following extracts from Thoresby's "Diary," in the year 1710, and succeeding years, show its origin and progress:-"August 14. Rode with the mayor, Cousin (Alderman) Milner, and others, to my Lord Irwin, about the erection of a hall, for the white cloths in Kirkgate, to prevent the damage to this town (the competition or superior advantage) of one lately erected at Wakefield, with design to engross that affair (the woollen trade), which is computed to bring about 100 tradesmen every market day, to this town." In the following year, 1711, April 22, Thoresby notes as follows:-" To see the new White Cloth Market in Kirkgate, opened this day." In the next year, 1712, on the 23rd February, he mentions Cousin (Milner's) treat as alderman, as being the first made at the new White Cloth Hall; and in the year 1714, January 27, he has the following memorandum:-"Accompanied Cousin Milner and Lord Irwin to the Assembly"- which was no doubt held in the Assembly room attached to the White Cloth Hall.
The Rivers Aire and Calder made navigable from Leeds and Wakefield to the Ouse, the Humber, and the Sea.- The first very great improvement made at Leeds or in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the means of conveying goods, merchandise, and minerals, was effected in the last few years of the seventeenth and the commencement of the eighteenth century, by rendering the river Aire navigable from Leeds to the Ouse, and so to the Humber, and the German Ocean; and by, at the same time, making the river Calder navigable, from the town of Wakefield, to the point of the river Aire at which the Calder joins that stream. This was effected under the powers of the Act of the 10th and 11th William III., cap. 19, 1698-99, entitled an "Act for making and keeping navigable the rivers Aire and Calder, in the county of York." This great improvement reduced the cost of transporting heavy goods, and especially minerals, to from a fourth, a fifth, and in some cases a tenth part, of the rates that prevailed previously, when goods were carried on the backs of pack-horses, or in heavy waggons, which travelled, with extreme slowness and difficulty, over the steep and badly made roads of the West Riding. The effect of rendering the Aire and the Calder navigable was to substitute, what may still be regarded as the cheapest means of inland transport, for the dearest. It gave the manufacturers of Leeds comparatively cheap carriage for coal, iron, building-stone, and clay, as well as much lower rates than had previously prevailed for wool, logwood, oil, and other articles brought from great distances; and also gave them an easy outlet for their woollen goods to the port of Hull, and to Holland, which at that time possessed the greater part of the carrying trade of England and Europe. From that time the trade of Leeds with the continent, the eastern coasts of England, and Hull and London, which, along with Bristol, were the principal ports for the exportation and importation of the wools of England, Spain, and Saxony, before Australian wool was known or thought of, continued to increase rapidly. By this line of water carriage the manufacturing population of Leeds also obtained abundant supplies of corn, cattle, and provisions from Hull, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, whose produce came down the river Trent. This ultimately led to the establishing of large depots and markets of corn and cattle, partly at Leeds, but still more at Wakefield, which soon became one of the greatest markets for corn and cattle in the north of England. Large warehouses, with some of the conveniences of the modern warehousing system, were erected by the Navigation Company at both towns. About fifty years later the river Calder was still further improved, and was rendered navigable, by the construction or improvement of channels, natural or artificial, to the neighbourhood of Dewsbury, Huddersfield, and Halifax. Thus all the great towns of the manufacturing district of the West Riding, except Bradford, which was very inaccessible until the age of canals, were supplied with water carriage with each other, with the great corn growing districts of the eastern and midland counties, and with the ports of Hull and London. No attempt was made to render the Aire navigable above Leeds to Bradford, perhaps owing to the difficulty of the gradients; but the Calder was made navigable almost to Halifax, and far above Dewsbury and the junction of the Colne near Huddersfield. But neither Leeds nor any other of the manufacturing towns of the West Riding had water carriage to Liverpool, the Irish Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean, until the later portion of the eighteenth century, when the genius of the great engineer, James Brindley, devised, and taught others to apply, the means of carrying navigable canals over or through even lofty hills, by means of locks and tunnels.
As the rendering of the rivers Aire and Calder navigable to the tidewater of the river Ouse, and through the Humber to the great port of Hull, was the commencement of a long series of public works which have had an immense influence in developing the prosperity of Leeds, and of the West Riding, it may be well to give a few particulars as to the origin of that great improvement. Speaking of the events of the year 1697, Thoresby informs us, that proposals were now first made for rendering the rivers Ouse and Calder navigable to the Humber and the sea. This had been a subject of frequent discussion in the early part of the century, but it was not until very near its close, in the year 1697, that men were found capable of carrying out this great undertaking. On this occasion, says Ralph Thoresby, "I accompanied the mayor and Mr. Hadley, the hydrographer" (or, as we should say, the engineer), " to view the river." Justice Kirk of Cookridge Hall (like Thoresby, a member of the Royal Society), "measured it with his surveying wheel till they wearied, and left the rest to the servants and others. We lodged at Ferrybridge, ten miles by land, and twenty by water (from Leeds). Mr. Hadley affirmed it was the noblest river he had ever seen, that was not already navigable. The next day we went to Welland." Thoresby adds, " This journey brought me to a greater intimacy with the ingenious Mr. Kirk, who lent me his observations on the registers at Adel, and other curious papers to transcribe."
About the same time, but more exactly in the year 1701, Thoresby mentions another great improvement relating to the whole of the West Riding, namely, the establishing of a public register of lands. On this subject he says, under date 17th September of that year:-"With Mr. Kirk at Cookridge, of whom glad to hear of the successful attempt for a public register of lands in the West Riding, which will be of use in future ages as well as the present."
There do not appear to have been stage-coaches from Leeds to London, until after the
beginning of the eighteenth century. Ralph Thoresby describes his early journeys between London
and Leeds, up to the year 1709, as having been made on horseback, except one made luxuriously
in the private carriage of Mr. Boulter of Harewood, a great friend of Thoresby's, and of his
Museum. But about that time a coach was started between London and Leeds, which at once came so
much into use, that Thoresby states, on one occasion, that all the places in the Leeds coach
from London were taken up for a fortnight in advance. Sometimes in very bad weather the coach
did not succeed in reaching Leeds, over the steep ridge of Rothwell Haigh; and on such
occasions Thoresby and other travellers had to ride to Wakefield to join the coach, or to
Leeds, after leaving it at Wakefield. The journeys generally took from four to five days, and
after heavy rains were very dangerous, from the flooding of the rivers, which rendered the
roads nearly impassable; as well as from numerous highwaymen, who rendered the approaches to
London very perilous at all times. On one occasion Ralph Thoresby travelled to London with his
cousin William Milner, afterwards the first Sir William Milner, Bart., of Nun Appleton, and M.P.
for York, when they were eight days on the road. On that occasion they were also in double
danger from floods and from highwaymen, and would scarcely have escaped the latter, if they had
known that Alderman William Milner was carrying up to London several thousand pounds, to be by
him invested in Government securities. It was this Alderman William Milner who at his own cost
erected the statue of Queen Anne, which so long stood in front of the Moot Hall and Corn
Exchange at Leeds, and which may still be seen in that new and handsome building, the Town Hall.
The Thoresby Museum.- Before taking leave of the excellent Ralph Thoresby, who died in the year 1725, after having not merely recorded, but aided in every improvement made in Leeds in his own times, we ought in justice to him and his gallant father, Colonel Thoresby, to add, that the museum formed by them in their house in Kirkgate, and thrown open to their fellow townsmen and the general public, without cost or charge, was one of the best museums ever formed by a private family. The breaking up of the museum, after Ralph Thoresby's death, was a great, and in some respects an irreparable misfortune, to Leeds and Yorkshire, of which it contained numerous ancient remains.
Improvement of Roads of Leeds and West Riding.- At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the only roads about Leeds and the other manufacturing towns of the West Riding, were packhorse roads, with a narrow strip of pavement, called a calsey, in the middle, or at one side only, along which strings of packhorses travelled, and occasionally heavy waggons, with very broad wheels, made their way slowly in the summer months, and when the ground was hardened by frost in winter. We have the following graphic account of the manner in which the inland traffic of Leeds, with other parts of the kingdom, was conducted, about the year 1727, at the commencement of the reign of George II., in Defoe's work, written at that time, entitled, " Travels of a Gentleman throughout Great Britain." Speaking of the trade of Leeds, Defoe says:-
"For the home consumption, their goods being, as I may say, every where made use of for clothing the ordinary people, who cannot go to the price of the fine medley cloths made in the western counties of England, there are for this purpose a set of travelling merchants in Leeds, who go all over England, with droves of packhorses, and to all the fairs and market towns over the whole island, I think I may say none excepted. Here they supply, not the common people by retail, which would denominate them pedlars indeed, but they supply the shops by wholesale and whole pieces; and not only so, but give large credit, to show that they are really travelling merchants, and as such they sell a very great quantity of goods. It is ordinary for one of these men to carry £1000 value of cloth with him at a time, and having sold it, at the fairs or towns where they go, they send their horses back for as much more; and this very often in a summer, for they choose to travel in the summer and perhaps towards the winter time, though as little in winter as they can, because of the badness of the roads." Thus the cloth brought to the markets of Leeds, and no doubt to those of Bradford, Halifax, Wakefield, and Huddersfield by the country clothiers, in single packages, on their own shoulders, or on ponies which most of them kept for that purpose, was conveyed on the backs of pack- horses, for sale in all parts of England.
It was about the time of Defoe's visit to Leeds, which corresponds with the twenty years of continued peace that the wise administration of Sir Robert Walpole secured to this country, in the reigns of George I. and George II., that the first great attempt began to be made to improve the high roads, in the neighbourhood of Leeds, and throughout England generally, under parliamentary powers given to joint stock companies, organized as turnpike trusts, to repair existing roads, and to make new ones; the promoters receiving tolls from horsemen, carts, and carriages, using the roads.
The first of numerous Acts for improving the public roads in the neighbourhood of Leeds, was passed in the fourteenth year of the reign of George II., 1740, and forms chapter 32, in the Acts of that year. The object of this Act was, first, to repair and enlarge the road from Leeds to the rising town of Selby, on the navigable part of the river Ouse; and second, to repair and enlarge the road from Leeds to Halifax, causing it to run in two separate branches, one through Bradford and Horton, and the other through Bowling and Wibsey, to the town of Halifax. In the same year (1740) another Act was passed for repairing the road leading from Leeds, up the valley of the Calder, to Elland, between Halifax and Huddersfield. The powers given by these Acts covered very extensive districts, reaching from the Humber and the Ouse to the entrance into the vale of Todmorden, and almost to the borders of Lancashire. A few years later a third Act was passed, extending the powers of the previous Acts, and also giving powers to make an improved road from Leeds, to the neighbourhood of York. This was the 24th George II., 1750, cap. 32, which provided for making a road from Leeds, at a point on the Selby Road, by Halton Dials, through Seacroft, over Winmoor, through Kidhall Lane, and over Bramham Moor, to Tadcaster, on the borders of the Ainsty of York, and the banks of the river Wharfe. In the following year, 1751, an Act was passed for improving the roads running northward through " Harwood " to the south-west corner of the inclosures of Harrogate; and thence in two branches, one through Ripley, over Burage Green, and the other through Knaresborough and Boroughbridge, to Ripon; and from thence to the first rill of water, or water course, on Hutton Moor; and for repairing the sloughs or ruts on the said moor. Near the end of the same reign an Act was passed, in the 28th George II., 1754, cap. 60, for repairing and widening the roads from the town of Leeds to Otley, in Wharfedale; up the valley of the Wharfe, through Skipton, and over the hills of Craven to Colne, Burnley, Blackburn, and through Burscough Bridge to Walton-le-Dale, in the county of Lancaster; and from Skipton through Gisburn and Clitheroe to Preston, in that county. Four or five years later, in 1759-60, an Act was passed, for improving the road from Leeds through Wakefield to Sheffield, which afterwards became one of the great coach roads from Leeds to London, the other being through Doncaster. This was authorized by the Act of the 31 George II. cap. 63.*
The general result of the numerous Acts for improving turnpike roads passed in the reign of George II., was to give, at the accession of his successor, George III., nearly the whole of the towns of the West Riding, and the extensive lines of country between Leeds, Sheffield, Halifax, Preston, Ripon, Boroughbridge, and York, greatly improved means of communication with each other, and with London. At the same time, a similar process of improving the public roads was going on in almost every other part of the kingdom, and formed the great object of the local bills of that age. This was continued with increased energy during the long reign of George III., and of his sons, George IV. and William IV., along with Acts for forming navigable canals, and only ceased (if at all) when high roads and canals had reached perfection, and when the invention of railways introduced an entirely new means of communication throughout the country. At the time of the accession of George III. to the throne, in 1760, the coach journey from Leeds to London was made in two or three days; and in 1830-35, before the swiftest coaches were finally driven off the roads by the railways, to about twenty hours, instead of four or eight days as in 1709.
Neither the Jacobite insurrection of 1715 nor that of 1745 extended to Yorkshire, the insurgents having in both cases advanced and retreated through the county of Lancaster. But their intended line of advance and their movements being uncertain, large forces were collected in Yorkshire, the infantry principally at Leeds, and the cavalry at Doncaster, ready to advance in any direction to encounter the Jacobite army. The force of infantry assembled on the north side of Leeds, in 1745, was not less than 13,000 men, with twenty pieces of cannon.
Wade Lane, Leeds, is generally supposed to have received its name from the circumstance of General Wade and his army having encamped there for some time, in 1745-46, prior to their march into Scotland, on the retreat of the Pretender. But this is a mistake, so far as the name is concerned, for Wade Lane is mentioned in a lease of the reign of Charles II., quoted by Thoresby. Mention is also made in that lease of Wade Hall, situated in that lane, which stood until the end of the first twenty years of the present century, and was a handsome and picturesque house, probably built by some one of several members of the Wade family, who held the office of mayor of Leeds in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, and one of whom lived at New Grange, Headingley. There was a camp, near Camp Lane, in Thoresby's time, in the reign of Queen Anne, from which circumstance Camp Field was named. Thoresby mentions visiting the new camp of the soldiers.
Almost the only serious disturbance of the public peace that has occurred in the town of Leeds, in modern times, happened so long ago as the year 1753, and originated rather in the neighbouring country, than in the town itself. This disturbance was caused by the forming of turnpike roads, which, though one of the greatest improvements ever made in England, was very unpopular at the time, especially with the small farmers and carters, owing to the demand for tolls on roads which had previously been free, though detestably bad. The tolls were violently resisted, and led to several riots, one of the most formidable of which was locally known as "Leeds fight."
In the month of June, 1753, an attempt was made by a large body of rioters to pull down several of the new toll bars. The first attack was made on the bar near Harewood Bridge; but this was successfully resisted by Mr. Edwin Lascelles, afterwards the first Lord Harewood, who armed his tenants and workmen, repulsed the rioters, and after some skirmishing took about thirty of them prisoners. A body of soldiers was sent from York to Leeds to support the toll collectors. Soon after their arrival a carter going through Beeston turnpike refused to pay toll, and was seized by the soldiers, who attempted to carry him before the magistrates and trustees, then sitting in judgment at the King's Arms Inn, in Briggate, nearly opposite to Boar Lane. This was the house built by the benevolent John Harrison, which afterwards became a hotel, and in the earlier part of the present century was the office of the Leeds Mercury. But the carter was rescued by a mob of about 500 rioters, who assembled in Briggate, and began to break the windows and shutters of the inn. The sentinel on guard having been knocked down, twenty of the soldiers were ordered to fire. This they did, at first with blank cartridge; but failing to produce any effect, they were ordered to fire with ball, and did so with fatal results, killing eight persons on the spot, and wounding fifty, of whom several afterwards died. Mr, Hebblethwaite, who lived to the age of upwards of ninety, and who was a boy playing on Woodhouse Moor at the time (1753), remembered the sound of the firing to the end of his life.
Smeaton the Engineer.- It was in this age that John Smeaton the great civil engineer, flourished. He was born at Authorise, near Leeds, in the year 1724, and from the time when he attained mature manhood, about the year 1750, to the end of his useful and active life, in the year 1792, he applied himself to the several branches of the science of civil engineering, which has done so much to promote the manufacturing and commercial greatness, and the social happiness, of the people of England. The early reputation of Smeaton was acquired in his native town of Leeds or in the neighbouring district; and he owed his admission to the Royal Society, which was at that time almost the only society that had the power of conferring honours on men of science, to papers written by him, on the application of the powers of wind and of water to the working of machinery. Smeaton might also claim the merit of having taken some part in the introduction of the still greater power of steam. The steam engine of Savory and Newcomen, though far inferior to that of James Watt, was still an invention of great utility, and was applied with considerable success in Smeaton's time to the pumping of water from coal mines, and to other purposes of great value. An attempt to construct a steam-engine of this kind, and a turning-lathe, are said to have been amongst the first developments of those remarkable talents for engineering, which Smeaton afterwards displayed in their application to so many and such varied objects.
Building of the Coloured Cloth Hall.- About forty years after the building of the White Cloth Hall at Leeds, as described by Thoresby, and very near the close of the reign of George II., in the year 1758, the necessity of a cloth hall for the sale of coloured cloths began to be felt in Leeds, and Richard Wilson, Esq., the lord of the manor (the father of Dr. Wilson, bishop of Bristol, and ancestor of Richard Fountayne Wilson, Esq., who was member for Yorkshire in 1826), agreed to sell land on his estate, which had at one time formed a portion of the Park of Leeds, to the cloth merchants, for the purpose of building a new cloth hall, to which the name of the Coloured or Mixed Cloth Hall was given.
At the time when this land was purchased from the lord of the manor (it is said for the sum of £400), it lay beyond the western limit of the streets and houses, and in a position to secure the most perfect lights for colours. Amongst the most westerly buildings in Leeds at that time was the Manor House, where the Wilsons, the lords of the manor, occasionally resided; where the ancient castle of Leeds had stood; and on or near to which the great railway station now stands. A little higher up what is now Park Row, but then consisted chiefly of open fields, was the Presbyterian or Mill Hill Chapel, built in the reign of Charles II., in the year 1672. About the time of the accession of George III., soon after the conquest of Canada, and the battle and capture of Quebec by General Wolfe, a set of good houses, long known as Quebec, were erected, at a short distance from the Old Manor House of the Wilsons, and from the new Coloured Cloth Hall. From that time the town began to extend westward, over the fields which had once formed the ancient Park of Leeds, in which, however, hedgerows, gardens, and grass fields contended with tenter-grounds, even in the first twenty years of the present century. The Coloured or Mixed Cloth Hall was a plain but large and solid building, composed of a main body and two wings, remarkably well lighted by large windows. It was divided into six long streets or aisles, and inclosed an open area. The building in its original form was 1272 yards in length, and 66 in breadth. Each street contained two rows of stands, the freehold property of separate manufacturers. The stands were only twenty-two inches in front, and the number of stands in the building erected in 1758, was 1770. The number of clothiers who exposed their goods for sale in this market at the beginning of the present century, when factories were few, and home production was general, was estimated at about 2000. The Exchange, as it was sometimes called, adjoined the Mixed Cloth Hall, of which it was an appendage. It was a handsome building of an octagon form, built for the convenience of the cloth merchants, and was used for transacting the business of the cloth hall, by the trustees.
The First Leeds Improvement Act.- Near the close of the reign of King George II. other improvements were effected in Leeds, besides building the Coloured Cloth Hall. In the year 1755 the first Leeds Improvement Act was passed (28th George II. cap. 41), which may be regarded as an epoch in the progress of the town, and shows what was its condition at that time. It was entitled an Act "for Enlightening the Streets and Lanes, and regulating the Pavement, in the town of Leeds, in the county of York." The preamble gave the following account of the condition of the town at that period:-" The town of Leeds," it stated, "is a place of great trade and large extent, consisting of many streets, narrow lanes, and alleys, inhabited by great numbers of tradesmen, manufacturers, artificers, and others; who, in the prosecution and carrying on of their respective trades and manufactures, are obliged to pass and repays through the same, as well in the night as in the day time ;" hence several burglaries, robberies, and other outrages and disorders have lately been committed, and many more attempted, within the said town; and the enlightening the said streets and lanes, and regulating the pavements thereof, would be of great advantage, and tend not only to the security and preservation of the persons and properties of the inhabitants of the said town, but to the benefit and convenience of strangers and persons resorting to the several markets kept within the said town, and to others whose affairs may oblige them to pass and repays through the same, and also prevent the many mischiefs which might happen, as well from fires as burglaries, robberies, and other outrages and disorders."
To prevent these evils the inhabitants resident within the bars, and rated at £3 a year, were authorized by the Act to meet yearly in the vestry of the parish church, and appoint fourteen of the principal inhabitants of the town to carry it into effect. These bars were six in number, namely, Burley Bar, in Guildford Street; Woodhouse Bar; North Bar, in North Street, opposite the Workhouse; East Bar, in Kirkgate, opposite Saint Peter's, or the parish church; South Bar, at the south end of the bridge; and West Bar, at the junction of (the present) Basinghall Street with Boar Lane. "The several sites," says Mr. Wardell, in his " Municipal History of Leeds," published in the year 1846, "are at present marked by boundary stones fixed in the walls, and inscribed with the name of each bar."
Under the powers of the Leeds Improvement Act of 1755, the fourteen commissioners so elected by the householders, together with the mayor, recorder, and justices of the borough, were authorized to appoint the requisite officers and to light the town, taking care that the public and most frequented streets should have their first attention. To defray the necessary expenses a rate was authorized to be levied upon all owners or occupiers of property, situate within the bars of the town, above the yearly rent or value of £3, such assessment not to exceed 8d. in the pound for the first year, or 4d. in the pound for any subsequent year. It was also provided by this Act, that the profits of the navigation of the rivers Aire and Calder, of the engine for supplying the town with water, or any tolls arising or payable within the said town and borough, or for or in respect of any lands or grounds not built upon, or any mills or tenters, or any houses, buildings, or tenements "in that part of the said town called the Tenters, which do not adjoin upon the bridge over the river Aire," should be exempt from assessment under this Act. The commissioners were also authorized to remove any nuisance or annoyance which might exist in the town; and also to order the streets lying and being within the bars, to be repaired and paved, by the respective owners thereof.
Repairing of Leeds Bridge.- The last great improvement effected at Leeds in the reign of King George II., was accomplished under an Act for raising money for finishing and completing the repairing of Leeds Bridge. We have already stated that this bridge is mentioned as existing in the reign of King Edward III. in the year 1376, at which time it had a chapel or chantry, dedicated to St. Mary, attached to it, according to the custom of that period; and it is very probable that a bridge existed on the same spot long previous even to that, for some of the older parts of the work appear to be almost as old as the Norman conquest. Indeed, it is not unlikely, from the use of the word "brig," that the oldest bridge erected on the spot belonged either to the Anglian or the Danish times. Moreover, the remains of a still older structure, supposed to have been a causeway forming the approach to a Roman ford, have been discovered near the bridge, in the present century. That this is the point at which the river Aire was crossed, first by a ford, and afterwards by successive bridges, is highly probable, as there has been a town on the present site of Leeds at least from the date mentioned by the Venerable Bede, namely the year 616; and it is altogether incredible that a town could have existed on such a river for so many ages without being supplied with the usual means for crossing the stream.
The bridge at Leeds was widened in the year 1730, and again in the year 1760. The bridge is now, in the years 1872 and 1873, being entirely rebuilt. The object of the Act of 1758 was to raise money for finishing and completing the repair of the bridge, and for the purchasing and taking down the houses and buildings which straitened and obstructed the passage to and over it. In this Act, Leeds Bridge is said to be a county or riding bridge, and to stand on the public turnpike road leading from London to Edinburgh, by way of Derby, Sheffield, Wakefield, Leeds, Knaresborough, and Boroughbridge or Ripon. It is further stated that, from the increase of traffic, the bridge had fallen very much out of repair. We are told in the preamble of the Act, that "from the narrowness of the road, and the buildings and other encroachments made or set up at both the ends and abutments of the said bridge, the way or passage over the same was greatly confined and obstructed, and was become not only dangerous to passengers on foot and horseback, but also greatly prejudicial to the inhabitants, trade, and commerce of the town."
In order to repair the bridge, the court of quarter-sessions of the West Riding had granted the sum of £1450; but this being considered insufficient, an Act was passed to enable the commissioners therein named to levy and collect a tax or assessment within the borough of Leeds, sufficient to raise a sum not exceeding £1500 in aid thereof. Amongst other improvements authorized, the commissioners were empowered to erect "a stone arch, over that part of the mill stream or goit passing under one arch of Leeds Bridge aforesaid, which runs between Mr. Green's house and the old school;" the latter being the chantry of St. Mary previously mentioned. The first meeting of the commissioners was held at the Moot Hall, on the 1st of July, 1760; and on the 4th of July of the same year, the corporation ordered that the sum of £350, part of their stock, should be lent to the treasurer for the purpose of carrying the Act into effect. The commissioners are named in the Act, and as they may be regarded as the leading men of the town during the first twenty or thirty years of the reign of King George III., it may be desirable to give their names in this work. They were Sir Henry Ibbetson, baronet (of Denton Park, who still retained the old family house in Kirkgate, Leeds), Charles Ingram (probably of the family of the Ingrams, Viscounts Irwin of Temple Newsam), John Atkinson, Edmund Barker, Charles Brandling (the owner of the collieries at Middleton, near Leeds), James Brooks, Anthony Cooke, Jeremiah Dixon, Thomas Lee, Thomas Medhurst, Thomas Sawer, Henry Scott, Nicholas Torr, Richard Wilson, the lord of the manor of Leeds, and Richard Wilson, jun.-Esquires; Francis Blayds, John Blayds, Hans Busk, Thomas Cookson, Richard Cotton, Thomas Fenton, Joshua Hartley, Charles Gautier, Thomas Lodge, Richard Markham, John Medhurst, Darcy Molyneux, George Oates and Josiah Oates-Merchants; Samuel Harper, George Lumley, William Preston, Luke Sitchwell, Jervas Smith, James Smith, Richard Stephenson, John Suttell, William Tottie, Thomas Woolrich, Samuel Davenport, Benjamin Wynn, James Green, Samuel Howgate, Henry Smithson-Gentlemen; and Samuel Kershaw, Richard Bainbridge, John Murgatroyd, John Moore, and Christopher Topham-Clerks.
Leeds in the Reign of King George III.- The progress of the borough of Leeds was steady, and even rapid, during the first forty years of the reign of King George III., from 1760 to the close of the eighteenth century. It was during that period that many improvements in manufactures and machinery, and in the means of transport and communication, were introduced at Leeds, which produced great immediate fruits, and still more ample results in the early part of the present century. This was the age in which the steam-engine was invented, or brought to perfection, by James Watt; that machines for spinning cotton were constructed by Arkwright, Hargraves, and Crompton, which were afterwards adapted to the woollen and linen trades, and were brought into use in Leeds by the Marshalls, the Benyons, the Gotts, the Wormalds, the Fountaynes, and other enterprising manufacturers, who may be regarded as amongst the chief founders of the modern industry and prosperity of Leeds. It was in this so, and during the first twelve years of the reign of George III., which after the first year or two was a period of peace both at home and abroad, down to the year 1774, that navigable canals and water carriage were introduced, by which, amongst other results, the town of Leeds was connected by means of canal navigation with the great port of Liverpool as well as with Hull, and through them with all the countries of the world. These were amongst the first and greatest steps towards the opening out of that world-wide trade and commerce since established, which now enables a quarter of a million of inhabitants to live within this borough, and to find food, employment, raw materials, and communication with markets at home and abroad, on a spot which, a hundred years ago, did not furnish such resources for more than the tenth part of the present population of Leeds.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal.- Inland water carriage by navigable canals commenced in England about the year 1759-60, with Brindley's discoveries of methods of constructing and applying locks, tunnels, and other appliances, for carrying canals at varying levels through or over mountains and hills, at heights some hundreds of feet above the level of the sea. In about ten years after the constructing of the first Bridgewater canals, water carriage was adopted on a great scale at Leeds and Bradford, for the double purpose of connecting this part of Yorkshire with the Atlantic Ocean, and of completing the water communication across England, from the port of Hull to the port of Liverpool, by means of a canal carried through the hills which separate Yorkshire from Lancashire. The first of the Canal Acts of Leeds or the West Riding was that of the 10th George III. (1770) cap. 114, entitled "An Act for making and maintaining a navigable Cut or Canal, from Leeds Bridge, in the county York, to the North Ladies Walk in Liverpool, in the County Palatine of Lancaster, and from thence to the River Mersey." It was long before this canal got either to Leeds Bridge or to the River Mersey; but it was commenced in the year 1772; some of the most important portions of it were opened about 1777; and it was carried out with energy from Leeds to Liverpool, through a course 128 miles in length, and through or over a range of hills rising, at the point crossed, 552 feet above the sea at Liverpool, and 446 feet above the level of the starting point of the canal at Leeds.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal justly ranks as one of the greatest improvements and public works of the eighteenth century, and may be regarded as one of the principal sources of the rapid prosperity of the trade of Leeds, previous to the introduction of railways and steam, which were not applied to locomotion with full effect until sixty years later.
The General Infirmary at Leeds.- In the year 1767, a few years after the accession of George III. to the throne, and at a time of peace and prosperity, the merchants, manufacturers, and other inhabitants of Leeds, formed the happy idea of building a large infirmary, for the relief of unfortunate persons suffering from those sudden and dangerous accidents which occur so frequently amidst the varied occupations of a busy and crowded town. The original General Infirmary of Leeds, which has now been superseded by a still nobler institution of the same kind, ought not to be passed without notice. It was a spacious edifice; when built it was considered handsome; and it was situated in a large and pleasant open space, at the west end of the town. It was surrounded by a large court and garden, and was supplied with every requisite outbuilding. Howard the philanthropist, who visited Leeds in the year 1778, pronounced a marked eulogium upon it. He said that it was one of the best hospitals in the kingdom; that in the wards, which were fifteen feet eight inches high, there was great attention to cleanliness; that wide apertures, ventilators, and passages secured ample ventilation; and that many were cured of compound fractures in the Leeds' Infirmary, who would have lost their limbs in the unventilated and offensive wards of ordinary hospitals. The foundation stone of the original Infirmary was laid by Edwin Lascelles, Esq., afterwards Baron Harewood, in 1768, and it was opened for the reception of patients, March 5, 1771. The officers of this noble institution, in the end of the last and first part of the present century, were, as physicians, Dr. Walker, Dr. Hird, and Dr. Thorpe; as surgeons, Mr. Hey, F.R.S., Mr. Logan, and Mr. Chorley. Mr. Hare was apothecary; Mrs. Wilkinson, matron; William Cookson, Esq., treasurer; and Mr. Matthew Talbot, secretary - all of whom we mention in honour of their memory. We shall have to speak in a subsequent page of the still nobler institution which has now taken the place of the General Infirmary founded in the year 1767. Most of the other benevolent institutions of the town originated at the beginning of the present century, including the House of Recovery for the relief of fever patients. The same medical men superintended this institution, with the addition of Dr. Baynes, Mr. W. Hey, junior, then a comparatively young man; Mr. Teale, apothecary; Mr. Moxon, inspector; and Mr. R. Clark, secretary.
Founding of the Leeds Library.- Another noble institution, the Leeds Library, already rich with the accumulated stores of a hundred years, and every year becoming richer in the treasures of intellect, was founded in the year 1774. This was also one of the fruits of that bright period of the reign of George III., which preceded the first American war, and was distinguished in the annals of science, invention. literature, and benevolence.
Amongst the finest intellects which flourished in Leeds in that age were those of the first William Hey, an accomplished surgeon and member of the Royal Society, and of the Rev. Joseph Priestley, in his time the greatest of English chemists. Both of them were sincere lovers of everything that they believed to be true and useful to their fellowmen. They were amongst the leaders of society in this town, and amongst the founders of that useful institution, in which so many of its sons drew their earliest love of knowledge.
Corporation Festivities in 1765.- When George III. was a young man, and all the world was gay, the corporation regaled themselves in the quiet, amusing manner, described in the following extract from a memorandum book formerly belonging to Mr. Thomas Beards the younger, who was appointed to the office of town-clerk in the borough of Leeds, in the year 1765:- "27th September.-To give notice of a court of mayor, aldermen, and assistants, to choose a new mayor (and assistants, if wanting), on the 29th, at three o'clock in the afternoon; afterwards the old mayor, the mayor-elect, and the rest of the court, go and drink a glass. The old mayor pays a guinea, the mayor 10s. 6d., the aldermen 2s. a piece, and the assistants 1s. each. What is spent above is paid by the treasurer, out of the corporation stock. Sunday after the last mentioned day the new mayor goes to church with the old mayor, the former in a black and the latter in a scarlet day- gown, and dine together at the old mayor's. The first Sunday after the new mayor is sworn in is a gown day; the first whole week after Michaelmas, the quarter-sessions. Dine with the old mayor; go to court after dinner to swear the new mayor. Sup with the new mayor; waites (town musicians) playing before them from court. New mayor gives the Old Church ringers 10s., St. John's 5s., and Trinity 1s. The first adjournment in the forenoon, to dine with mayor. 5th November, a gown day; if not Sunday, waites to play before the mayor to church. Christmas Day, a gown day; Easter Day, a gown day; Whit-Sunday, a gown day; 29th May, a gown day, and if not Sunday, the waites to play before the mayor to church; 22nd June, a gown day, and if not Sunday, the waites to play before the mayor to church. At court adjournment, the mace to be carried before the mayor; he to be in his black gown."
The New White Cloth Hall.- In the year 1775, the 15th George III., the great increase of trade during upwards of twelve years of uninterrupted peace having rendered the old White Cloth Hall, built in the year 1711, insufficient for the trade in undyed cloths, it was determined to build a new and larger hall in the Calls. There was still a quantity of open ground between the Calls and the river, though the pleasant gardens, orchards, and summer-houses, which stood there in Thoresby's time, had mostly disappeared. The corporation contributed £100 out of their small funds for this object; and an Act was passed, 15th George III., cap. 90, 1775, for the sale and enfranchisement of certain copyhold tenements and premises, in the parish of Leeds, part of the estate belonging to the free grammar-school there, for the purpose of erecting a public Cloth Hall, and making avenues or passages thereto, and for applying the purchase money for the benefit of the said school.* The White Cloth Hall, then built, was a large square building, 297 feet in length and 210 in breadth. It was divided into five streets, each containing two rows of stands, the whole number being 1210. A few years later the number of master white cloth manufacturers using this hall was estimated at about 1300.
Great Extension and Improvement of the Town.- The second period of peace in the reign of George III., which intervened between the close of the American War of Independence, in the year 1782, and the commencement of the wars of the French Revolution in 1793, was one of great prosperity. During that time many large schemes of improvement were commenced, and many noble institutions were formed, in Leeds. Amongst the improvements was the laying out of the fields, which had at one time formed the Park of Leeds, in streets, squares, and places, greatly exceeding in width, and in the size of the houses, any that had up to that period been seen in Leeds. Amongst these were Park Place, Park Square, Park Row, and South and East Parades. More within the town, but not in the Park, was Albion Street, built about the same time, chiefly inhabited by professional men; and then forming the line between the business and the residential parts of the town. It must be remembered that in those times there were no omnibuses or railway trains; and all families which were not rich enough to afford the expense of keeping a carriage, or which did not choose to incur that expense, found it pleasanter to live within easy walking distance of the business part of the town. The following account of what were the best streets and places of residence in Leeds, in the first ten years of the present century, shows pretty clearly what had been done, in the way of improvement, in the last twenty years of the previous century.
Beginning the survey of Leeds at the west end of the town, the first object that then solicited attention was Park Place, which is described "as an elegant range of buildings, with a south aspect, and commanding a very pleasing view of the country, particularly of the river Aire." The houses in Park Place are spoken of as being built in superior style, and principally inhabited by affluent merchants, or gentlemen who had retired from business. Park Place was then the most pleasing promenade in Leeds, there being nothing in front of it but pleasure grounds, meadows, a narrow foot-path leading to detached gardens and to the new Bradford road, and in the distance a lofty row of weeping willows along the north bank of the river Aire, which was then a clear stream and a favourite bathing-place. Immediately behind Park Place was the new road to Bradford, opened for carriages in the year 1802, and formed chiefly to avoid the steep ascents of the road to Kirkstall, at Saint Peter's and Burley hills. On the north side of the new road to Bradford was Park Square, by some called St. Paul's Square, from the new church completed, in 1794, by and for the Rev. Miles Atkinson. Though the houses were not equal to those in Park Place, they are spoken of as being "well built, in the modern style," whilst the square was laid out with considerable taste. The Coloured Cloth Hall at that time formed one side of a very extensive square, or open ground. This having been built at various periods, had no general name; one side being called East Parade, another, South Parade, and a third, Park Row. The new, well-built street, Albion Street, we are told was at that time "perhaps the pleasantest in Leeds;" the houses are described as chiefly inhabited by professional gentlemen and persons in a wholesale line of business, no retail shops being then allowed in Albion Street. On the west side of the street was situated the Concert room; under which was a small cloth hall, for persons who were not members of the Coloured or White Cloth Halls.
Public Buildings in Leeds at the close of the Eighteenth Century.- At the close of the last century, the public buildings in the town of Leeds were already tolerably numerous. Those for commercial and trading purposes consisted of the Mixed Cloth Hall (1758), the Octagon adjoining, sometimes named the Exchange (1758), the White Cloth Hall, the New Cloth Hall in Albion Street, the Post Office, the large warehouses of the Aire and Calder, and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Companies. The buildings for purposes of justice were the Moot Hall; the Rotation Office, where the borough magistrates sat in rotation to hear cases; and the prison, in Kirkgate, described as "a wretched building," in which Howard the philanthropist, on being informed that no one was confined in it for more than a day or two, answered, that no one ought to be confined for a single hour in such a place. The public buildings connected with charity and humanity were the General Infirmary, already described, the House of Recovery for fever patients, the Charity School, Sunday schools, "attended by 2000 children," the School of Industry, the old alms-houses, the new alms-houses, and the work-house. The public institutions connected with education, instruction, and amusement, were the circulating library, already containing a large and excellent collection of books; the Free Grammar School; the theatre, which was long in the hands of Tate Wilkinson and his son; the concert room, the assembly room, and the Riding School for the instruction of young horsemen.
The Manufactures of Leeds and the District connected with it at the end of the Eighteenth Century.-There were few woollen factories in the town of Leeds before the end of the eighteenth century. The clothing business, strictly so called, was divided into the two branches of the manufacture of cloth, from dyed wool, and from wool in its native state. Both of these were carried on extensively in the manufacturing villages about Leeds, the clothiers of which places brought their goods to the Leeds market. The former of these descriptions of cloth was manufactured principally by the clothiers who lived within the parish of Leeds, and at the villages of Morley, Gildersome, Adwalton, Driglington, Pudsey, Farsley, Calverley, Eccleshall, Idle, Baildon, Yeadon, Guiseley, Rawdon, and Horsforth, in or bordering upon the vale of Aire, chiefly west of Leeds; and at Batley, Dewsbury, Osset, Horbury, and Kirkburton, west of Wakefield, and in or near the vale of Calder. We are told that at this time (1806) not a single manufacturer was to be found more than one mile east or two miles north of Leeds; also that there were not many in the town of Leeds, and those only in the outskirts. The white cloths manufactured in 1806, were principally produced at Alverthorpe, Osset, Kirkheaton, Dewsbury, Batley, Birstall, Hopton, Mirfield, Hartshead, Cleckheaton, Little Town, Bowling, and Shipley- a tract of country described as forming an oblique belt across the hills that separate the vale of Calder from the vale of Aire, beginning about a mile west of Wakefield, leaving Huddersfield and Bradford a little to the left, terminating at Shipley on the Aire, and not coming within less than about six miles of Leeds on the right. The districts of the white and coloured manufactures were generally distinct, but were a little intermixed at the south-east and north-west extremities. The cloths were then sold in their respective halls, rough as they came from the fulling mills. They were finished by the merchants, who employed dressers, dyers, &c., for that purpose. The clothiers were generally men of some small capital, and often annexed a small farm to their other business; many had a field or two in the villages to support a horse and a cow, and they were for the most part blessed with the comforts, without the superfluities of life. Down to the year 1806 the number of clothiers and merchants who sold or bought cloth in the Coloured Cloth Hall was estimated to be about 2000; whilst the number of those who sold their cloth in the White Cloth Hall, was estimated at about 1300. There was also another small Cloth Hall in Albion Street, for the accommodation of those who had not served a regular apprenticeship to the trade, and therefore were not permitted to sell their cloth in the other Halls.
Arthur Young, while collecting information for his "Annals of Agriculture," appears to have visited Yorkshire, and gives a brief account of the manufactures of Leeds, and of the condition of the inhabitants of the town, in the year 1796. He states that there were then at Leeds six or seven steam-engines used in woollen mills, and one in a drying house; and that the machines which had done so much for the cotton trade were being rapidly introduced into the woollen manufacture of Leeds. He adds that the wages of spinners in Leeds at that time were from 10d. to 1s. a day; and that hand-loom weavers were earning from 9s. to 12s. a week. The wages of the highest class of workmen employed in finishing woollen cloth, such as croppers, shearmen, and knappers were from a guinea to 30s. a week. Some idea may be formed of the progress which machinery had made in the town of Leeds, from the evidence given by Mr. Benjamin Gott, then a young man, before a committee of the House of Commons the year 1800. He then stated that fifteen years before it would have required 1634 persons to do that which was then done by thirty-five persons in a week, in the process of scribbling and spinning by machinery. He also said that the average wages in the woollen manufacture at that time were, for men, 16s. to 18s. per week; old men, from 9s. to 12s.; women, from 9s. to 12s.; children and young people of from fourteen to eighteen years of age, 5s. to 6s.; and young children, 3s. per week. Children were thus already profitable to their parents, as well as able to earn a good living for themselves.
Rapid Progress of Leeds in the Nineteenth Century.- Leeds at the commencement of the nineteenth century, according to the census of 1801, was a flourishing municipal, though not yet a parliamentary borough, of 53,162 inhabitants, of which number the township of Leeds contained 30,669, and the out- townships 22,493 persons. In the seventy years that elapsed between the census of 1801 and that of 1871, the population of the whole borough increased from 53,162 to 259,200 persons, of whom, in 1871, 139,349 were resident in the township of Leeds, and 119,851 in the out-townships. In the last decennial period, from 1861 to 1871, the increase of the population of the borough was no less than 62,051, giving an average yearly rate of increase of more than 5000, which rate is supposed to be still rather augmenting than decreasing. Comparing the population of 1801 with that of 1871, the increase in seventy years was 206,038, the numbers having thus increased nearly four-fold in that time.
It required a period of nearly 1200 years, from the time when Leeds is first mentioned by the Venerable Bede, in the year 616, to that of the first census of the nineteenth century, made in the year 1801, to raise Leeds to the position of a borough of 53,162 inhabitants, whilst seventy years from the latter date increased that number to upwards of a quarter of a million. This wonderfully rapid increase of numbers within the "threescore years and ten," forming the ordinary term of life-and being far less than the time granted to some few men of unusual strength, like the late Sir Thomas Beckett, Bart., a member of one of the most distinguished families of Leeds, who has just died (1872) at the age of ninety-three years- can only be accounted for by an immense increase of profitable employment in the town and neighbourhood, drawing multitudes together to this spot from other districts, sustaining the people in comfort, and promoting marriages. First, amongst these causes of increased employment, as already mentioned, was the invention of the steam-engine by James Watt, in the early part of the reign of George III., which first enabled this country to grapple with the trade of the world, followed as it was by the early and extensive application of steam-power on that rich portion of the Yorkshire coal field, of which Leeds is the capital. Second, was the invention by Arkwright and others, about the same time, of machines for spinning and weaving all kinds of raw materials, with their boundless power of production, and their early introduction into Leeds by the Gotts, the Marshalls, the Wormalds, the Fountaynes, and others. Third, was the peopling of Australia, a country capable of furnishing unlimited supplies of wool, suited for the manufactures of Leeds and the West Riding. Fourth, was the opening of the trade with North and South America, South Africa, British India, and many other countries, also capable of supplying wool, cotton, silk, and other materials for textile industry, and of consuming immense quantities of English goods. Fifth, was the great increase in the quantity of British wool produced (though this more affects the manufactures of Bradford than those of Leeds) under the system of drill husbandry, turnip cultivation, the breeding of improved varieties of sheep, and a greatly increased demand for clothing at home. Sixth, the invention of railways, and means of steam locomotion on land by George Stephenson and his pupils, and of steam navigation at sea, which now renders it easier and cheaper to travel 100 miles to or from the great seats of industry, either by land or sea, than it was to travel twenty miles in former times. Seventh, the application of the abundant supplies of iron found in this part of the West Riding to numerous purposes of construction, for which timber only was used in former times, which application was commenced in Leeds previous to the year 1806, in our largest flax mills. Eighth, the increased power of working coal mines, which has raised the total supply of coal in Yorkshire alone to 12,800,000 tons yearly, and that of the Leeds district to about 2,500,000 tons.
The promptitude and energy with which the manufacturers of Leeds and the labouring population of the town availed themselves of these new and previously unequalled advantages, must be regarded as amongst the most powerful local causes of the immense increase of trade and employment that has taken place in Leeds during the present century. To these may be added many great social and political causes, not indeed confined to this town, but which had a large share in giving a sudden and lasting impulse to its industry and its numbers. Amongst these were internal order and freedom; security from foreign invasion; seas always open to furnish supplies of raw materials from abroad, and to distribute the products of industry over the whole world; more than fifty years of almost uninterrupted peace (a blessing unknown during the two preceding centuries, when peace seldom lasted for more than ten or a dozen years at a time, and wars continued for many years, two of them lasting, with a brief interval of rest, for twenty years-from 1689 to 1714, and from 1793 to 1814); the recognizing of the principles of free trade and commerce with all nations, and the removal of exclusive privileges both in this country and wherever British influence is felt. It is very honourable to the corporation of Leeds that it should have placed on record in its books, so early as the year 1793, the following emphatic declaration against monopolies:-"Resolved, on the 28th January, 1793, by the corporation of Leeds, at a court held on that day, that monopolies are inconsistent with the true principles of commerce, because they restrain at once the spirit of enterprise and the freedom of competition; and injurious to the country where they exist, because the monopolist, by fixing the rate of both purchase and sale, can oppress the public at discretion. " The declaration was ordered to be inserted in the Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool newspapers. This resolution against monopoly was passed immediately before the breaking out of the war. William Pitt, who had adopted many of the soundest principles of Adam Smith's political economy, was still wishful to apply them to the commercial intercourse between England and France.
Manufactures in Leeds in 1806.- Already, in the first ten years of the present century, there were in Leeds able and spirited manufacturers, seeking to adapt the new inventions of the age to all the branches of industry; and we find from contemporary records that in the year 1806, the Gotts and Wormalds were applying these inventions to the woollen trade of Leeds; the Marshalls and Benyons to the linen manufacture; the Hartleys to the manufacture of pottery; the Cawoods to the improvement of brass-founding; the great firm of Fenton, Murray, and Wood, to the construction of steam-engines and machinery, and the Brandlings to the cheapening of the carriage of coal on iron railways; whilst an active local Press was preserving and extending the knowledge of all improvements made, and discussing all national and local questions with freedom and intelligence. It was about this time that the two Leeds newspapers passed into the management of able and spirited young men, one of whom, Griffith Wright, rose to the position of mayor of Leeds, the other, Edward Baines, to represent the town in several parliaments.
The following account of the principal manufactures existing at Leeds, written and printed in the year 1806, will show what were the branches of industry then in progress, and who were amongst the chief leaders in the race of industry.
There was already a very large establishment for the manufacturing of woollen cloths on the banks of the river Aire, at Bean Ing, on the west side of the town of Leeds. This had been erected in 1793 by Messrs. Wormald, Fountayne, and Gott. It was burnt down in 1799, and re- erected by the firm of Messrs. Wormald, Gott, and Wormalds. Here the whole process of the manufacture of cloth, from the first breaking of the wool to the finishing of the piece, ready for the consumer, was conducted on a very extensive scale. We are told that the mill was pleasantly situated on the banks of the Aire, and that many other establishments of a similar kind, but less in extent, had lately been erected in the town of Leeds.
The Marshalls were the founders of the linen trade of Leeds. Previous to the year 1796, the linen manufacture had attained a high position there, and was chiefly conducted in extensive factories. The first of these was erected by Messrs. Marshall and Benyon, in Water Lane, near Holbeck; and we are told that there the manufacture of canvas, linen, linen yarn, and thread yarn, was already carried on extensively. In the year 1796 this manufactory was burnt down, by which accident six or seven persons lost their lives, from the sudden falling of one of the walls. Soon after this fire a very large factory was erected by Messrs. Benyon and Bage, in Meadow Lane, for the manufacture of linen, which was completely fire- proof, no timber whatever being used in the building, its place being supplied by cast iron. The floors were on arches raised upon cast iron beams supported by iron pillars, the whole firmly united. It must have been amongst the earliest applications of iron to that purpose. There was also a manufactory for canvas and linen yarn at the Bank, carried on by Messrs. Moore, Shaw, & Co.; a linen yarn and thread manufactory at the bottom of George Street, belonging to Messrs. Millburn, Clayton, and Gersed; also one for making sacking and canvas, belonging to Messrs. James and Joshua Kaye, situated in Water Lane. The whole number of persons employed in the linen manufacture of Leeds in the year 1806 was computed to be 2000, including children. There were also at that time in the neighbourhood of Leeds a considerable number of persons employed in the spinning of cotton; but the yarn was not generally wrought up into finished goods, at Leeds. Iron works were beginning to be established in Leeds, on an extensive scale, at the beginning of the present century. We are informed that several foundries had recently been established in that neighbourhood, one of which belonged to Messrs. Fenton, Murray, & Wood, and was upon an extensive scale, there being a considerable manufacture of steam engines and machinery carried on there. It is stated in the Leeds Guide of 1806, that Mr. Murray had risen from the situation of a common smith, to his then high position, by his extraordinary mechanical genius. A foundry of cast iron and brass was also carried on by Mr. Prior; another by Mr. Warwick; and Messrs. Cawood & Son had an extensive brass and iron foundry, in Marsh Lane. The making of pottery was also carried on at Leeds at this time. A very large manufactory of earthenware had for some years been conducted by Messrs. Hartley, Green, & Co., which had been turned into a prosperous joint stock company. Fortunately for the stability of the trade of Leeds, the financial and banking interest of the town was mainly developed and directed by the first Sir John Beckett, Bart. (then John Beckett, Esq.), by his partner Mr. Blayds, and by one or two other financiers of the soundest judgment, whose influence, and that of their successors, has had a beneficial effect on the banking affairs of the town of Leeds for nearly a hundred years.
The Introduction of Tramways and the Earliest Railways at Leeds.- We hear of railways as being employed in Leeds and the neighbourhood in the year 1806. But they were not worked with locomotive steam-engines until 1811, when Mr. Blenkinsop's steam locomotive was introduced, between Leeds and the Middleton collieries of Mr. Brandling. We are told, in 1806, that "The Pottery," as it was called by way of eminence (though there were several in the neighbourhood), was very advantageously situated "near the iron railway leading to Middleton Colliery, from which it was distant nearly two miles, and about one mile from Leeds." In 1806 coals were conveyed in waggons on an iron railway, from the collieries at Middleton to a staith in Hunslet Lane, from which point they were sent to every part of the town, at a rate precisely fixed, and from which no deviation was allowed. Each person who wished to have coals sent to him from the staith had his name and place of abode, and the quantity of coals entered in a book, which orders were executed in rotation-a regulation that prevented all complaints of partiality. " Coals," we are told, " were then delivered at the staith, at the rate of 7«d. a corfe, the weight of which was 210lbs.
But before the steam-engine was improved by James Watt, many years before steam locomotion on common roads was introduced by Trevithick, and long before the swift passenger-carrying railway locomotive was perfected by George Stephenson, Acts of Parliament had been passed, at the instigation of ingenious and adventurous persons connected with the town of Leeds, for the purpose of improving the tracks or roadways, on which coals were conveyed from the collieries of Middleton into the town of Leeds. As early as the year 1758, an Act of Parliament (32nd George II. cap. 22) was passed, entitled "An Act for establishing agreements made between Charles Brandling, Esq., and other persons proprietors of lands, for laying down a waggon way, in order for the better supplying the town and neighbourhood of Leeds, in the county of York, with coals." About twenty years later, in the 19th George III. (1778), cap. 11, another Act was passed, for rendering more beneficial the above Act, and to enable Charles Brandling to supply annually a larger quantity of coals to and for the use of the said town and neighbourhood, and for regulating the prices of carrying coals from the repository at Casson Close. A third Act, similar to the above, was passed in the 33rd George III. chapter 86 (1792-3); and in the year 1803, 43rd George III. chapter 12 (1803), another Act was passed for the better supplying of the town and neighbourhood of Leeds with coal. The above Acts were all intended to create means of establishing a road, with some of the advantages of a tramroad, in the neighbourhood of Leeds; and in 1806, as we have said, there was an iron railway carrying coals from the collieries at Middleton to Leeds.
Anticipations of the Modern Railway System.- That part of the principle of modern
railways which depends on the using of a firm and unyielding tramway of iron, instead of a
roughly paved or deeply rutted highway, seems thus to have been adopted in bringing coals into
Leeds from the Middleton Colliery, from the beginning of the reign of George III.; and so early
as the year 1802, if not some years earlier, there were public writers who anticipated the
introduction of railway travelling on a much greater and more perfect plan. The following
paragraph from the Leeds Mercury of 1802 will show the hopes that already began to excite the
minds of men, of improvements which were far more than realized in the next thirty years:-
"Iron Railways.- Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Esq., so well known as an author, has published an essay on railroads, of which he claims the invention. He states that in 1768 he presented models to the Society of Arts, for which he received their gold medal. He recommends an experiment to be made which shall demonstrate their advantages beyond the possibility of doubt or cavil. He proposes four iron railways to be laid on one of the great roads out of London, two of them for carts and waggons, and two for light carriages. To accommodate coaches and chaises he would have cradles, or platforms with wheels, adapted to the railway, on to one of which each carriage would drive up an inclined plane erected at the end of the road for that purpose. The carriage would then be drawn, not upon its own wheels, but upon the wheels of the platform or cradle. He calculates that a stage coach, with six inside and six outside passengers, would travel at the rate of six miles an hour with one horse. Gentlemen's carriages with two horses would go at the rate of twelve or fifteen miles an hour; and if a railway were laid from London to Edinburgh the rail-coach would go in thirty hours. Even at this great speed the most timid female might trust her delicate frame with most perfect security, for the carriage could not possibly be overturned. Any obstruction from hills would be easily overcome. Mr. Edgeworth proposes to plant a steam-engine at the top of every hill, which would move forward the carriages by a chain, to which they would be connected or detached from at pleasure."
Progress of the Woollen Manufactures.- The first forty or fifty years of the reign of George III., from 1760 to 1805, and, indeed, the whole of that reign, was a period of great progress in the woollen manufacture of Leeds, and the other towns of the West Riding. Between 1788 and 1805 the yearly production of broad cloth increased from 4,244,322 yards to 9,987,252 yards; that of narrow cloth having also increased in the same period from 4,208,303 to 5,460,179 yards. On the whole, the increase between the year 1788 and the year 1805 had been such as to more than double the quantity of woollen cloth produced in the West Riding; and if we go back to the year 1769, the increase had been still greater, for in that year the quantity of broad cloth stamped in the West Riding was not more than 1,771,667 yards, the increase in the production of broad cloth, from 1769 to 1805, having thus been more than five-fold.
The bulk of the woollen manufacture of the Leeds district still consisted of the coarser kinds of cloth.
Although the manufacture of superfine cloths had greatly increased, still they were not equal to the cloths made in the West of England. About that time also a number of fancy articles were made in the same neighbourhood, such as swan'sdown, toilonets, kerseymeres, and a very rough kind of cloth, called duffles. But none of those articles were exposed for sale in the Leeds cloth halls, which were exclusively for the sale of mixed and white cloth.
Years of Scarcity, and Inclosing of Commons in the Parish of Leeds.- Although there was seldom, if ever, a time during the present century when the trade of Leeds did not increase, yet the change from domestic to factory labour from 1801 to 1820, the long continuance of war and war expenditure, the frequent interruptions of trade, and more than twenty years of scarcity and dear bread, produced great misery among the poorer classes, especially towards the end of the war. Wheat had been repeatedly sold at from £4 10s, to £6 a quarter between 1795 and 1810. In 1812, the time of the Luddites, the blockade of all the ports of Europe and America caused wheat again to rise to the famine price of £6 2s. per quarter, besides closing the best market for British goods; and in 1813, when we were still at war with the United States, and when more than a million of men were in arms in Europe, there was little amendment; wheat selling at £5 13s. a quarter.
The Inclosure of Commons at the end of the last Century, and the beginning of this.- At the beginning of the present century the town of Leeds, strictly so called, only extended about a mile and a half in length, and half a mile in breadth, so that it was easy at that time for people of all classes to get into the country for an evening walk, and at least to breathe the fresh air on Sunday, on the wide commons and in the pleasant lanes which were to be met with in all directions. The town at that time did not cover the fifth part of the ground which it occupies at present, when vast and apparently interminable lines of streets extend in all directions from the centre of population, and render it difficult to find either fresh air or a pleasant walk, within any reasonable distance of the more thickly peopled parts of the town. This evil was very much aggravated in the beginning of the present century and the close of the preceding one, by the rage that everywhere prevailed for inclosing commons and waste lands. This originated in a great degree in the excessive dearness of corn, and of all the products of the soil, caused by the rapid increase of the population, the cost of military and naval operations abroad, and the impossibility of obtaining any adequate supplies of food from abroad, either from the continent of Europe, which was wasted by continual wars, or from America, which at that time only contained a few millions of inhabitants, unable to supply the urgent wants of the thickly-peopled countries of Europe. In these years of scarcity many hundreds, and indeed some thousands of inclosure Acts were passed, and on the whole proved highly beneficial to the country. But in the eagerness to secure every piece of waste land that could be found, many beautiful commons situated in the immediate neighbourhood of large towns were inclosed, which could very well have been spared, and which it has been found necessary to replace with parks and other places of recreation in more recent times. Happily the great increase of wealth, of public spirit, and of regard for the health of the labouring classes, has rendered this possible, though expensive.
In the neighbourhood of Leeds the inclosing of waste lands and commons commenced about the beginning of the present century, or a few years earlier. One of the first inclosure Acts, relating to the borough and parish of Leeds, which are conterminous and of great extent, stretching, according to the Ordnance Survey of 1847-53, over an area of 21,572 acres, was passed in the year 1789-90, the 29th George III., which by cap. 53 authorized the inclosing the commons and waste grounds within the manor or township of Bramley, in the parish of Leeds.
A few years later, 1792-93, an Act of that year, cap. 61, authorized the dividing and inclosing the common and waste grounds within the manor or township of Armley. In the 43rd George III., 1802-3, cap. 102, an Act was passed for inclosing the commonable lands within the manor and township of Potter Newton-cum-Gipton, also in the parish of Leeds. Somewhat later the most beautiful common in the neighbourhood of Leeds, namely, that of Chapel Allerton, which is said to have formed 300 acres of the finest grass land in the West Riding, and which everywhere commanded beautiful prospects, was inclosed by an Act, cap. 6 of that year, for inclosing lands in Chapel Allerton. By a somewhat remarkable coincidence, an Act of Parliament was passed in the same year, for making and maintaining a road from Leeds to Roundhay, the seat of the large and beautiful park recently purchased by the corporation of Leeds, and thrown open to the inhabitants of the town and the public in the year 1872. But by a subsequent Act the wild heath-covered lands in the manor and township of Headingley- cum-Burley, in the parish of Leeds, were inclosed so recently as the 10th George IV., 1829-30. Even later than this, in the 3rd and 4th William IV., 1834-35, an Act was passed for inclosing lands in the township of Wortley. Happily for the health and recreation of the people of Leeds, they and their public authorities have never allowed any encroachment on Woodhouse-moor, which is still what it has been from the remotest times, a delightful breathing place for the people of Leeds, scarcely at all changed during the last fifty years, except in the withering of the whins and gorse, the recent planting of ornamental plantations, and in the erecting of handsome buildings beyond the limits, though commanding views of the moor, which it is to be hoped will be as faithfully and diligently preserved in future as it has been in past times.
Local Coinage during the French War.- This was the time (1797 to 1819) when even the Bank of England was compelled to suspend cash payments; when a gold guinea was looked on as a rarity; when the silver money of the country was rubbed so smooth that not a single mark could be seen upon it; and when even the copper money was scarce and bad. The small and necessary change for carrying on retail trade was confined to the old currency, struck principally during the great recoinage of silver in the reign of William III., which, in the course of 100 years, had been worn smooth with constant use. This debased currency was further increased by a quantity of light hammered silver, agreeing in nothing but size with what it pretended to be. From the accession of George III. in 1760 to the year 1787, only £50,000 was coined in silver; and from that time to 1816 the coinage of silver was entirely stopped. The copper coin was equally bad; not half the amount in circulation had been issued from the mint, though there was a spurious imitation. In 1787 permission was given by the government to trades-people to issue copper tokens; of these, as well as of the whole of the coins or tokens struck in Leeds during the last two centuries, there are engravings in Mr. Wardell's excellent "Municipal History of Leeds." Richard Paley, soap-boiler near the Old Church, issued one in 1791, having on one side a standing figure of Bishop Blaize, holding a crozier and wool comb, and on the reverse the arms of Leeds. Henry Brownbill, silversmith, in Briggate, issued a halfpenny in 1793, having a bust of Bishop Blaize, with a wool comb in front on one side, and on the reverse a view of the Mixed Cloth Hall. Samuel Birchall had one struck in 1795, with the Birchall Arms on the obverse, and a fleece on the reverse; but this was not intended for circulation, a few impressions only being made for the amusement of collectors. By license of the privy council in 1797, the governor and company of the Bank of England were empowered to issue Spanish dollars, stamped with a small head of George III. (the same as was used for stamping silver plate), which were then circulated at 4s. 9d. This was the first time that this prerogative of royalty had been thus suspended. The price of silver again rising, the stamped dollars were taken back by the bank in 1804 at 5s., and were entirely re-truck, with the king's head on the obverse, and the figure of Britannia on the reverse. In 1811 the dollar rose to 5s. 6d., when the bank issued large quantities of three shilling and eighteenpenny tokens, being the half and quarter dollar. This issue not being sufficient for small change, a further relaxation was made, by allowing private persons to issue silver tokens. At Leeds, Messrs. John Smallpage and S. Lumb issued a shilling, in 1811, having the Arms of Leeds on one side, and a figure of Justice standing on the other. In 1812 they issued a shilling and sixpence, and in the same year the overseers of the poor issued a shilling, having on one side the arms and supporters of the borough of Leeds. The private tokens were cried down at the end of 1813 and those of the Bank of England in 1816, after the extensive issue of silver coinage in that year. A beautiful new silver coinage was one welcome sign of the return of peace.
During the wars of the French revolution the demand for soldiers was unceasing, and every market day the streets of Leeds and other manufacturing towns resounded with the drums and fifes of the recruiting parties, who marched through them with colours displayed, and raised recruits for the army by beat of drum. The militia also raised even greater numbers of men by enrolment, and every large town had its regiment or regiments of volunteers. From the year 1794, when the war with France which broke out in the preceding year was thoroughly kindled, to the year 1815, when it finally closed amidst the triumphs of Waterloo, the demand for soldiers never ceased, except during the very short breathing time, given by the peace of Amiens in 1802-3. In the year 1794 Colonel Forbes intimated to the corporation of Leeds that some regiments were about to be raised under the countenance and support of the corporate towns of the kingdom, and requested the sanction and support of the corporation towards raising a regiment for his Majesty's service. This was very willingly given; and in the same year the corporation passed a vote of thanks to the volunteer corps of this borough, for their readiness in enrolling themselves for its defence; and also ordered an elegant sword to be purchased and presented by the mayor, in the name of the corporation, to Thomas Lloyd, Esq., colonel- commandant of the volunteers. The cost of the sword, as appears by the treasurer's account, was £84. This regiment remained in commission until the close of the war with the French Republic, and was dissolved at the peace of Amiens in 1802. But short was the period of peace, for before the end of the year 1803 the regiment was raised again, on the breaking out of the war with what soon became Imperial France, under the first Napoleon. When that event occurred the corporation ordered two pairs of colours to be purchased and presented to the Leeds corps; which was accordingly done, the colours being presented to the regiment on the moor at Chapel Allerton, in the presence of the mayor, recorder, and corporation, and a great number of other influential persons. Colonel Lloyd held the command of the regiment to the month of February, 1807, when he was compelled to retire from failing health, after which the command of the corps was conferred on Lieutenant-colonel Smithson. A deputation, comprising the mayor and three other members of the corporation, was appointed to present a vote of thanks to Colonel Lloyd, for the public spirit which he had shown during a crisis of unparalleled difficulty and danger. No one who was not alive at that time can form any conception of the excitement that then prevailed, and which induced nearly a million of men to take arms to fight in defence of their country, on sea and land. Even those who were mere children at the time will remember the constant drill and frequent parades of the infantry, the sound of the cavalry trumpets at the corners of the streets, and the grand reviews of horsemen on Woodhouse and Chapeltown moors. The defeat of Napoleon in Russia, the battle of Leipsic, Wellington's victories in Spain, and the crowning deliverance of Waterloo, were celebrated with illuminations in every street and house.
Leeds improvement Acts during the reigns of George III and George IV.- We have already mentioned the first Leeds Improvement Act, passed in the reign of King George II., for the purpose of lighting the streets and lanes and regulating the pavements in Leeds. Several Acts of a similar kind were passed in the reigns of George III. and George IV. In the 30th George III. (1789-90, cap. 68), an Act was passed for the better supplying of the town and neighbourhood of Leeds with water, for more effectually lighting and cleansing the streets and other places within the town and neighbourhood, and for removing and preventing nuisances, annoyances, encroachments, and obstructions therein. Another Improvement Act was passed in the 49th George III. 1808-9 (cap. 122), entitled an Act to amend and enlarge the powers of an Act passed in the thirtieth year of his present Majesty (George III), for better supplying the town and neighbourhood of Leeds with water; for more effectually light and cleansing the streets and other places within the said town and neighbourhood, and for removing and preventing nuisances and annoyances therein; for erecting a court- house and prison for the borough of Leeds; and for widening and improving the streets and passages in the said town. A fourth Improvement Act was passed, 55th George III., 1814-15 (cap. 48), entitled an Act to amend and enlarge the powers and provisions of an Act of his present Majesty (George III.), for erecting a courthouse and prison for the borough of Leeds and other purposes; to provide for the expense of the prosecution of felons in certain cases; and to establish a police and nightly watch in the town, borough, and neighbourhood of Leeds. The first Act for introducing the brilliant light of gas into the town of Leeds, in the place of the darkness visible produced by the old oil lamps, was passed in the 58th George III., 1817-18 (cap. 22), and this Act was extended in the 5th George IV., 1824-25 (cap. 110). In the same year, by cap. 124, another Act was passed for lighting, cleansing, and improving the town and neighbourhood of Leeds.
Enlargement of the Town of Leeds after the French War.- Almost immediately after the close of the war with France under the first Napoleon, extensive improvements, arising out of the rapid growth of the population and the increased hopefulness of the public mind, began to be made in Leeds. In the years 1816 and 1817, the 57th George III., by cap. 51, an Act was passed for making and maintaining a road from Quebec in the parish of Leeds, to Homefield Lane End in the same parish, with a bridge or bridges across the river Aire, on the line of such road. Two or three other Acts were afterwards passed for extending this plan, namely, the Acts 4th and 5th William IV., passed in the year 1834-35, that of the 5th and 6th William IV., and that of the 1st and 2nd Victoria (1837-38). It was under the powers of this Act that the road known as the Wellington Road, with the adjoining streets, was formed from the neighbourhood of what is now the Midland railway station to the new Bradford Road, and to Bramley. By this great alteration a number of pleasant fields, lying between Park Place and the river, were turned into roads, and ultimately into streets, and the Aire itself from being a clear country stream was changed into a great manufacturing river. In order to preserve some portion of the pleasantness of this neighbourhood Richard Fountayne Wilson, Esq., the chief landowner, whose family had been owners of the manor house and of most of the land forming the ancient park, and who possessed some portion of the old manorial rights (though much subdivided), made a grant of a large and pleasantly situated portion of the fields along the line of Wellington Road to the public, and more especially to the Leeds Infirmary, in order to insure quietness and fresh air to that institution, and to afford a pleasant place of exercise and recreation to the inhabitants of the many good streets and houses in the neighbourhood.
A somewhat similar gift of land had been made by his father, Dr. Wilson, bishop of Bristol, who gave the ground on which St. Paul's Church was built, and who must have had a share in drawing out the plans on which Park Square and Park Place were formed, and their fine open spaces were laid out. Previous to the making of the Wellington Road the ground through which it was run contained great numbers of very pleasant gardens, belonging to gentlemen and merchants residing in the town, who with their families used to go out in summer evenings to enjoy the pleasures of fresh air and of gardening. This was a favourite practice at Leeds so early as the time of Ralph Thoresby, in the reign of Queen Anne. He had two gardens (one at the back of his house in Kirkgate, then an open and pleasant situation, and another by the side of the river), which he planted with choice flowers, reared by a well-known florist in the village of Tong. The Spring Gardens on the banks of the river already existed in Thoresby's time, as well as the original North Hall Gardens, which were, however, at the north end of the town, although in the first twenty years of the present century there was another set of gardens, known as the North Hall Gardens, between the new Bradford and the Burely roads. It was not until about the year 1830 that the population of Leeds began to extend on all sides into the neighbouring villages - a great improvement, originating partly in the increase of population, and partly in the introduction of railways and omnibuses.
The Leeds Literary and Philosophical Society.- The preliminary meeting at which this most valuable and successful institution took its origin, was held on the 11th December, in the year 1818, and it was then resolved to form a philosophical and literary society, somewhat on the plan of the societies of a similar kind which already existed in the towns of Manchester and Liverpool, but on more comprehensive principles, calculated to bring within the institution members possessed of every kind of literary and scientific knowledge. It was in a great measure owing to the largeness of the principles on which the institution was founded that it had so strong a vitality, and that, at the end of fifty years, it could boast of still possessing the support of the principal lovers of literature and science in the town of Leeds. On the 3rd of May, 1870, this society celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its formation, when some two or three of the original members were present, supported by most of the leading inhabitants, devoted to the noble objects for which this society was formed.
At this meeting the past history of the society was traced by the chairman and the few remaining founders of the society; and we are ourselves able to add a few particulars to their statements, from the recollection of the first thirty years of the present century.
Amongst the founders of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society was one of the best and greatest men whom Leeds ever produced-William Hey, F.R.S., then in his eighty-third year, and within three months of his death. He united the present with the past, having been one of the principal founders, and for more than forty years one of the medical advisers of that excellent institution, the Leeds Infirmary; having been a member, along with Dr. Priestley, of a small and comparatively private scientific society, which existed in this town many years before the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society was formed, and having been amongst the founders of that valuable institution, the Leeds Library. Associated with him in the founding of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in the year 1818, were Mr. Marshall, Mr. Gott, Mr. Tottie, Mr. George Banks, Dr. Thorp, Mr. John Bischoff; Mr. Thomas Blayds, Mr. W. Hey, jun., Mr. Michael Thomas Sadler, Mr. John Atkinson, surgeon, Mr. Jonathan Wilks, Mr. W. Osburn, Dr. Payne, Dr. Hunter, Mr. C. T. Thackrah, Mr. J. Gott, Mr. West, Mr. Edward S. George, Mr. Samuel Clapham, Mr. J. S. Tennant, the late Edward Baines, M.P., and his son, the present Edward Baines, M.P., the latter of whom had the honour and happiness of presiding in 1870, as chairman at the fiftieth anniversary of the society, which he assisted in founding in the year 1818. The beautifully classical hall, designed by Mr. Chantrell, architect of Leeds, for the meetings and the museum of the Leeds Library and Philosophical Society, was not opened until the 6th April, 1821, although several meetings were held, papers read, and discussions took place, in the interval between the forming of the society and the opening of the hall. The first president was Mr. Marshall, the inaugural address was read by Mr. Charles T. Thackrah, and Mr. West and Mr. Edward S. George gave jointly the first course of scientific lectures that was delivered in the institution. Subsequently courses of lectures were delivered by many of the leading men of science of the age, including in the early days of the Society, John Dalton, the Rev. Professor Sedgwick, Professor John Phillips, and at a more recent time Professor Owen, Sir John Herschel, Professor Huxley, and many others. Single lectures, or series of lectures, were also given by James Montgomery, the poet; Dr. Whewell, master of Trinity; Sir H. Rawlinson; Sir John Bowring; and Sir Gilbert Scott. The first curator was Mr. John Atkinson, surgeon, of Park Square, who lost his life in making investigations in comparative anatomy; and he was ably assisted by Mr. Henry Denny, who held the office of assistant curator for nearly fifty years. To Mr. Denny's indefatigable attention the society was indebted for a large portion of the fine collection of objects which now adorn and enrich its museum.
Amongst the earlier contributors to that museum was Charles Waterton, of Walton Hall, near Wakefield, who presented it with some specimens of the most beautiful tropical birds, captured by himself in the forests of South America, and preserved by him with a skill that has never been matched. He was the discoverer of the art of preserving the most beautiful shades and colours of tropical birds, and other objects of natural history; and we remember his informing the society, in his usual humorous way, that the whole secret of preserving natural objects, in their original brightness and beauty, consisted in washing them in a strong solution of ingredients which no insect could touch without being poisoned. He observed that if that was done, and the poison was made strong enough, no insect would touch a specimen washed in it, however hungry it might be, any more than a London alderman would eat even the most tempting slice of a haunch of venison served up with arsenic sauce. Charles Waterton was not only a liberal contributor to the Leeds Museum, but he also drew up an interesting account of his adventures in the forests of Demerara, and upon the River Orinoco, for the society. This was read by one of his friends, Mr. Waterton accompanying it with a most characteristic representation of the manner in which he had fished out the cayman or alligator from the river Orinoco and of the manner in which he had caught an enormous serpent, whilst it was taking an afternoon nap in the same forest. Both the cayman and the serpent were present, or at least their skins, to contradict him if he had at all exaggerated the dangers that he had run in capturing them; but his adventures were as truthful as they were surprising.
Amongst the earliest resident members of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, who were present when it was formed in the year 1821, when it was opened in 1821, and who were still living when the fiftieth anniversary was celebrated in the year 1870, was Mr. William Osburn, who, in the early days of the society, was one of the first persons to bring before the English public the great discoveries in the art of reading and interpreting the hieroglyphics forming the sacred language of Egypt. Only a few years previously the meaning of these signs had been deciphered by Champollion and by Thomas Young, both much assisted by the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, which had been captured by the French savans in Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, but had been recaptured by the British army of Sir Ralph Abercromby, and had found its way to the British Museum, instead of the Louvre at Paris. The subject was still very obscure in 1818-20, and amongst the men of science and learning, who then endeavouring to elucidate the language in which these oldest written and engraved memorials of the human race were recorded, and on which the great works of Lepsius and Bunsen have been founded, as well as other questions of oriental literature, was Mr. William Osburn. If we were to give even a list of the members of this society, whose essays on almost every branch of science and literature we had ourselves the pleasure of listening to in the early years of the society, we should have to mention the names of almost every man of literary and scientific celebrity connected with the town of Leeds and the neighbouring district. Mr. Michael Thomas Sadler, M.P., a man of remarkable eloquence, was one of the number, and another was W. M. Smith, the discoverer of the laws of geological stratification, who wrote an early account of the geology of Yorkshire. The public meetings, which were attended both by ladies and gentlemen, will be remembered by all who were then alive, and who had the great advantage of attending them, with lasting pleasure. This was the commencement of what may be regarded as a new era in the intellectual history of the town of Leeds.
Only three of the actual founders of the society were present at the fiftieth anniversary held in the year 1870, namely, Mr. Samuel Clapham, then eighty-three years of age, Mr. Hey, and Mr. Baines M.P.; but a communication was read from Mr. William Osburn, which showed his continued interest in the society, to which his great attainments had done so much honour.
The Leeds Mechanics' Institute.- About six years after the Philosophical and Literary Society had been founded, the Leeds Mechanics' Institute was formed, chiefly by the instrumentality of the enlightened men who had taken part in forming the above Society. This we shall speak of more fully in a subsequent part of this work.
Leeds from 1821 to 1831.- Leeds is described, in the year 1823, as the principal seat of the woollen manufacture in England. "Its situation," we are told by a very competent judge, "was peculiarly favourable for trade and commerce," and its natural advantages had been improved by great public works: the river Aire, which passed through the town, towards its southern boundary, being navigable from the Humber; and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal being open through the whole of its course, from the port of Liverpool, and having a direct communication with the navigation of the Aire, within a quarter of a mile of Leeds Bridge. Placed, therefore, in the middle of that line of fine inland navigation which here extended across the island, Leeds was equally open to the eastern and the western seas. At that time these great commercial facilities were still increasing by the continued improvement of roads, canals, and river navigation. The undertakers of the Aire and Calder Navigation were, in 1823, forming a new canal from Knottingley Lock to the river Ouse at Goole, capable of admitting vessels drawing six feet and a half of water, and with an eighteen feet beam. In connection with this an alteration was taking place in the locks of the Aire and Calder Navigation, from Leeds to Castleford, which were to be made eighteen feet wide, and "by which it was hoped that Leeds would become a port for vessels fit to navigate the German Ocean.
Already the communication from Leeds to all parts of England, both by land and water, was very active; and the following account of the means of personal travelling and conveying merchandise from and to Leeds, in the year 1823, will show the point that had been reached in the years almost immediately preceding the introduction of the modern system of railways. Previous to the establishment of railways the Aire and Calder Company's fly-boats were despatched every evening (Sundays excepted) from the company's warehouse in Simpson's Fold, Leeds, to Selby, where they arrived in twelve hours. There they delivered their cargoes on board a steam packet (for steam navigation was already introduced on the Humber), which sailed every morning, and landed packages at Hull the same afternoon. Thence the goods were conveyed by contract vessels, employed by the Aire and Calder Company, by sea to London, Lynn, Wisbeach, Boston, Yarmouth, Newcastle, and other places along the east coast; and also up the rivers Ouse, Derwent, and Trent, to York, Malton, Gainsborough, Lincoln, and Nottingham. In connection with the Aire and Calder Navigation there were also canal boats, running by the Dearne and Dove Canal from Wakefield and Barnsley to Sheffield.
From the town of Leeds to the Atlantic and the Irish Sea, at Liverpool, there were at that time three lines of water communication. The first of these was that of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, 128 miles in length, which gave constant employment to about forty vessels in transporting goods. This spirited company despatched fly-boats that sailed every day, and conveyed goods to Liverpool in four days. At the same time the Union Company's vessels sailed daily from Leeds to Manchester, following the line of the Aire and Calder Navigation, by way of Wakefield to Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, and then crossing the hills by the Rochdale Canal, proceeding to Manchester by branch lines connected with that canal. But the swiftest method of sending goods from Leeds to Manchester and Liverpool at that time, was to despatch them from Leeds to Dewsbury, by light vans, which started at nine o'clock every evening from Leeds, shipped the goods carried by them on the Calder at Dewsbury, and sent them forward by fly-boats through the Huddersfield Canal to Manchester, where they arrived in sixty hours after leaving Leeds. Manchester was a great canal centre to all parts of the kingdom, and thence goods were immediately forwarded to the port of Liverpool, and by canal to London, Birmingham, and all parts of England.
The modes of conveying goods from Leeds to London by land carriage were various, and continued to improve to the last. Daily post waggons from Leeds to London made the journey in four days; Pickford and Deacon's caravans, as they were called, provided with springs and guarded like coaches, conveyed parcels to London in thirty-six hours. These vans started from Leeds daily, at half-past one o'clock at noon, through Sheffield, Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, and Northampton, reaching London in thirty-six hours; and started on the return journey to Leeds at ten o'clock on the following morning. This was about the swiftest mode of conveying goods from Leeds to London that existed previous to the introduction of the railway system, and it was of great value, especially in long frosts. The goods thus received at Leeds from numerous points, or prepared on the spot, were transported to all parts of Yorkshire by about a hundred country carriers, who started from well-known houses in Leeds, and made their way as quickly as they could to every part of the county. The Leeds and Masham waggon, which for want of a coach was sometimes used from Ripon to Masham by passengers, made the journey of thirty-six miles in two days.
Coach travelling previous to the introduction of railways was the principal means of personal communication with other parts of Yorkshire, and of the kingdom generally. There were eight coaches every day from Leeds to London, and eight from London to Leeds, capable of carrying four inside and eleven to thirteen outside passengers; and the swiftest of these coaches, before they were finally driven off the roads by the railways, made the journey of 186 miles in about twenty hours. The journey from Leeds to Newcastle-on- Tyne was made in one day, between the hours of Half-past five in the morning and eight in the evening. From Leeds to Hull the journey was made between seven in the morning in summer, and eight in winter, and Half- past five in the evening; and to Liverpool, through Halifax, Rochdale, and Bolton, between six in the morning and eight in the evening. All these coaches were a little accelerated before the railway system was introduced, but the hours stated were the general hours of travelling until the prospect of the coming railways induced them to put on their utmost speed. Within ten years after the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829, this mode of travelling had almost ceased to exist; yet it was wonderfully well organized, and as perfect as well-built coaches, well-bred horses, smart coachmen, and active guards could render it.
The Streets of Leeds Previous to the Improvement Act of 1825.- The principal business street of Leeds was still Briggate, "a very broad and spacious street, extending from the foot of the bridge to the Moot Hall, a distance of about 450 yards." " At this point," says a writer, describing Leeds in 1823, "it is divided by a row of houses, for the distance of 120 yards, into two miserable streets, or rather alleys: that to the east is the Shambles; the other is called Back of the Shambles, and was formerly the wool market." The same writer adds, "When the buildings attached to the Moot Hall are removed (a consummation devoutly to be wished), this street will probably be equalled by few out of London, as the distance from the bridge to the top of Cross parish is near half a mile. The buildings to the east of Briggate may properly enough be termed the Old Town, those to the west the New Town; the latter generally forming the residence of the wealthier part of the inhabitants, the former that of the labouring classes."
Modern System of Railways.- The years 1830 and 1831 witnessed the preparations for and the commencement of the modern system of railway transport and travelling, in the neighbourhood of Leeds. During the previous five years the construction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, under the direction of George Stephenson, had been watched with intense interest in this part of England; and no sooner was it ascertained, near the close of the year 1829, that the hopes of that great engineer were more than realized, by the swiftness, the smoothness, and the astonishing power of the new mode of steam locomotion, than the most active steps were taken to introduce railway carriage and transport in the crowded district of the West Riding. In a few years 311 the lines of country which we have already described as having been supplied in the previous century, and in the earlier part of the present, first with excellent lines of highways, and afterwards with extensive lines of inland navigation, were furnished with railways. Everywhere the steam railway train took the place of the mail coach, the stage coach, the post chaise, and the heavy waggon; and the shrill whistle of the railway train was heard where the cheerful horn of the mail guard had so long resounded.
The necessity and great advantage of connecting the large manufacturing town of Leeds with the navigable part of the river Ouse, and through it with the estuary of the Humber, and of thus forming a line of steam communication from Leeds to the port of Hull, partly by railway and partly by steam navigation, led to the passing of the Act for forming the Leeds and Selby Railway in the year 1830, the 11th George IV. and 1st William IV., sec. 59. In the year 1835, the 6th and 7th William IV., cap. 107, an Act was passed for making a railway from Leeds to Derby, to be called the North Midland Railway. This was the commencement of a group or system of railways which now extends, under various names, over many hundreds of miles.
Progress of Leeds in the first Thirty Years of the Nineteenth Century.- In the first thirty years of the present century the population of Leeds had increased from 53,162 to 119,345. This was the time at which many great local, as well as national changes, were fully ripe for accomplishment.
Leeds made a Parliamentary Borough.- In 1832 all the larger and more populous boroughs of England, as yet unrepresented, including the great towns of the West Riding, obtained the right of returning members to Parliament, by the Act of 2nd William IV., cap. 45, entitled "An Act to amend the Representation of the People in England and Wales," under which the borough of Leeds was empowered to return two members to Parliament. That was the largest number given to any English borough under Earl Grey's Reform Act of 1832. But when the Reform Act of the Earl of Derby and Mr. Disraeli was passed, in the year 1867, a few of the largest towns of England were authorized to return three members each; and Leeds being in the first class, both as to population and wealth, received an additional member, and since then returns three members to Parliament.
The increase made in the constituency of Leeds by the Reform Act of 1867 was very great. Previous to the passing of that Act no candidate had polled more than 3223 votes, whilst at the election of 1868, Mr. Edward Baines polled 15,941, Mr. Alderman Carter 15,105, and Mr. St. James Wheelhouse polled 9437 votes.
Local Government of Leeds before and under-the Municipal Reform Act.- When Leeds became a borough under the charter of Maurice Paganel, in the reign of King John and the year 1208-9, it was governed by an officer appointed by the lord of the manor, who is described by the Latin title of praetor in that charter, but whose functions bore more resemblance to those of an Anglian boroughreeve, such as existed at Manchester, or a Norman high bailiff, like the one at Birmingham, than to a Roman praetor. He was appointed yearly by the lord of the manor, but in the charter he had a good set of local laws to regulate his conduct. Such a bailiff, boroughreeve, or praetor, was probably the acting governor of the town for many ages, for mention is made of the bailiffs of Leeds, Snaith, Kellam, and Beverley, amongst the persons who took part in the disastrous Pilgrimage of Grace, in the reign of King Henry VIII., 1536, which cost so many people their lives.* The bailiff of Leeds is also mentioned in some legal proceedings relating to the duchy of Lancaster, to which Leeds at that time belonged; and Leeds is spoken of as the Bailiwick or Manor of Leeds, in a deed by which John Harrison gave up his right in five-ninths of it, in trust for the use of the corporation. But in the second year of the reign of Charles I. Leeds became a borough, having then received a charter from the king in 1626, under which the government of the borough was placed in the hands of a town council, nominated by the king himself, and renewable for ever by self-election. This charter perished amidst the confusion of the great civil war; but soon after the Restoration of Charles II., in the year 1662, another charter was granted by that king to the borough, which, like the previous one, gave the mayor, the aldermen, and the town councillors, then named by the king, the power of renewing their numbers by self-election, without any reference to the choice of the inhabitants.
But in the 36th year of the reign of Charles II., 1684-85, and when his brother, afterwards James II., had attained a complete ascendancy, the corporation of Leeds, in common with most of the corporations of the kingdom, was summoned by his notorious tools, Jeffreys and Sunderland, to surrender their charter to the king, and to accept, in place of it, a new one, giving the crown the power of dismissing the mayor, or any member of the town council, without trial or appeal. Most of the members seem to have submitted to this unconstitutional change; but the corporation records state, that William Lowther, Esq. (the ancestor of the Lowthers of Swillington), who had a house in Leeds, appeared before the corporation on the 29th of September, 1687, accompanied by, and on the behalf of Robert Baynes, the younger, Esquire, of Knowstrop, to endeavour to prevail on the court to excuse Mr. Baynes from serving as town councillor, to which office he had been elected, but which he refused accept under King James' charter. Mr. Lowther seems to have given great offence to the municipal body by the freedom of his speech, as it is recorded in the court book, that he "cast several reflections upon the court and the members thereof; and, in particular, said that he cared not for the records of the court, for they were false and not to be trusted; and again, that no person in the court knew when reason was offered." This plain speaking, as might have been foreseen, produced an effect the opposite of that intended, and Mr. Baynes was fined for his contumacy and contempt of the court, in not accepting the office to which he had been elected. But neither Mr. Lowther nor he had to wait long for their revenge, for in the following year James II. was dethroned by the rising of the nation in the Revolution of 1688, and William and Mary were proclaimed king and queen of England, amongst other places, in front of the Moot Hall at Leeds, where all the opponents of James and his charter may have listened to the downfall of the incurable house of Stewart.
After the overthrow of James II., the charter of the 13th Charles II. was restored to the corporation. The declaration published by William and Mary on occupying the throne, contained a long list of evils that had been practised during the late reign, amongst which the seizure or compulsory surrender of corporation charters was enumerated; and it was declared that the late charters by which the election of burgesses was limited, contrary to the ancient custom, should be considered null and of no force, and that all boroughs should again return to their ancient prescriptions and charters. Accordingly, in the 1st William and Mary, 1689, the charter of incorporation of the borough of Leeds, of the 36th Charles II., 1684, was superseded, and the previous one of the 13th Charles II., 1662, was restored. Under this charter Leeds was governed until the year 1835, and that charter is still in force except where it is inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act of 1835, or to subsequent Acts. In that year the whole system of municipal government was reconstructed throughout the cities and boroughs of England, and a uniform system was adopted, under which the burgesses of each borough, of course including Leeds elected their own town councillors, who elected the aldermen; both town councillors and aldermen joining in the election of the mayor. Previous to the Municipal Reform Bill, the corporation of Leeds consisted of a mayor, twelve aldermen, and twenty-four common councillors; under the Municipal Reform Bill, it consists of a mayor (who is one of the aldermen), sixteen aldermen, and forty-eight town councillors. The town council is, and always has been, assisted by a recorder, who is a barrister of standing, by a town clerk, and a deputy recorder.
The township of Leeds was anciently arranged in six districts or divisions, namely, Leeds Town, Leeds Briggate, Leeds Kirkgate, North part of Leeds Main Riding, South part of Leeds Main Riding, and East part of Leeds Main Riding. Subsequently the districts or divisions of the town were thirteen in number; namely, Kirkgate division, south-east division, East division, South division, South-west division, Lower North-west division, Upper North-west division, North-east division, Upper North-east division, Lower North-east division, High Town division, North division, and Millhill division. The out-townships in both cases were the same as at present, with the exception of their not being classed in wards. In the year 1834 the royal commission issued for the purpose of obtaining information as to the constitution of the municipal corporations of England visited Leeds; and after making a full inquiry reported "that the close constitution of the corporation was obvious, all vacancies in each branch of the corporation being filled by the select body, which gave to that body absolute and uncontrolled self-election," adding, however, that "the great respectability of the then existing members of the corporation, and their impartial conduct as justices, were universally acknowledged." * The Municipal Corporations Act, giving the right of voting to the burgesses, having passed both Houses of Parliament, received the royal assent on the 9th of September, 1835; and in pursuance of the 39th section of that Act, Thomas Clarkson and Charles William Heigham, Esquires, barristers-at-law, having been duly appointed to revise the lists of burgesses, divided the borough into wards, and also assigned the number of councillors to be elected therein respectively.
The last mayor of Leeds elected under the charter of King Charles II. was Griffith Wright, Esq., who was elected in 1834, and continued in office in pursuance of the Act of Parliament then recently passed, until the 1st January, 1836. George Goodman, Esq., afterwards Sir George Goodman, M.P., was the first mayor of the borough of Leeds under the Municipal Corporations Act.
Leeds Improvement Acts and Public Improvements since the passing of the Municipal Act of
We have given an account of the Improvement Acts passed under the corporation constituted by the charter of 1662. Many additional Acts of Parliament for objects of great public importance have been passed and carried out, since the passing of the Municipal Reform Act of 1835. Amongst these was an Act passed in the year 1835-36, for better lighting the town and neighbourhood of Leeds; an Act of 1837-38, cap. 39, for building a bridge over the river Aire at Leeds, and for making convenient roads, avenues, and approaches thereto; an Act of the 7th King William IV. and 1st Victoria, 1837-38, for the better supplying of water to the town and neighbourhood of Leeds; an Act of the 2nd and 3rd Victoria, 1839-40, cap. 17, for discharging the inhabitants of the manor of Leeds, in the township and parish of Leeds, from the custom of grinding corn, grain, and malt, at certain water corn mills in the manor of Leeds, and for making compensation to the proprietor of the said mills; an Act of the 3rd and 4th Victoria, 1840-41, cap. 26, for making and maintaining a new bridge over the River Aire at a place called Crown Point, with suitable approaches thereto; an Act of the 5th and 6th Victoria, 1842-43, for providing additional burial grounds in the parish of Leeds; an Act of the same year, cap. 104, for better lighting, cleansing, sewering, and improving the borough of Leeds; an Act of the 7th Victoria, 1843-44, cap. 30, to enlarge the powers and provisions for lighting with gas the town and neighbourhood of Leeds. In the 7th and 8th Victoria, 1844-45, cap. 108, an important Act was passed, entitled an Act to authorize the division of the parish and vicarage of Leeds in the county of York into several parishes and vicarages.
Leeds Improvement Amendment Act (11th and 12th Vic. cap. 102) 1848.
Leeds Improvement Amendment Act, 1856.
Leeds Improvement Amendment Act, 1866.
Leeds Improvement of Becks Act, 1866.
Leeds Improvement Act, 1869.
Leeds Corporation Gas Act (for the acquisition of the gas-works), 1870.
Leeds Corporation Gas and Improvements, &c., Act (authorizes corporation to start opposition gas-works, if those of the company be not acquired under previous Act, also for Sanitary Improvements), 1870.
Leeds Improvement Act (Street Improvements, &c.), 1872.
Extension of the Water-works of Leeds.- When the original water-works of Leeds were formed in the year 1695 by Sorocold, who was the great engineer of the reign of Queen Anne, and whose numerous works for supplying large towns are mentioned in Thoresby's Diary, the water, which was drawn from the river Aire at Leeds, and pumped up near the bridge by an engine that conveyed it into a reservoir in the highest part of the town, was excellent in quality, as well as most abundant in quantity. The waters of the river Aire, after leaving the limestone beds of Craven, never possessed the brilliant clearness that is or was seen in the waters of the Wharfe, the Nidd, and the Ure, which flow over beds of rock, where there is little earth or clay to affect their transparency; still it was very clear and pleasant until about the year 1825. Yet even at that time precautions had been taken for catching the water in a tunnel above the King's Mills, in order to save it from the impurities to which it might have become subject, lower down the stream, from dye-works and other manufacturing establishments, which began to increase rapidly about that time. Soon afterwards the water of the river Aire became unfit for domestic use, owing to the increase of manufactures in and above the town; and in the year 1837 an Act was passed for obtaining water from a purer source, namely, from the Adel Beck, near the point where it issues from the moors and pleasant fields in which it rises. The quality of this water is very good, but the quantity was small for the wants of a rapidly-increasing town, containing nearly two hundred thousand inhabitants. In the first attempt to impound the water of the Adel springs, in a reservoir at Black Hill, the banks of the reservoir broke, and the water rushed down the course of the Adel Beck into the river Aire, causing a similar scene, though on a less disastrous scale, to those which were afterwards witnessed at Holmfirth and at Sheffield. Though the reservoir covered an area of from twenty to twenty-five acres, and the embankment was about fifteen feet high, the reservoir emptied itself in two hours into the river Aire. The flood even surpassed the well-known flood of 1807, which, from its occurring at the close of the great county election, was remembered at Leeds, for many years, as the Milton Flood.
From this source the supply was taken for some years, but in 1851 the town suffered, in common with many other towns in Yorkshire, from excessive drought, and it was found necessary to procure an increased supply. In 1852 the corporation purchased the water-works, and shortly afterwards there was a protracted discussion in the council, as to whether the increased supply should be taken from the Wharfe, by pumping at Arthington, or by gravitation from the Skirfare, one of the streams flowing into the Wharfe. The pumping scheme was adopted, and power was obtained to take 6,000,000 gallons per day from the Wharfe, at Arthington. By this plan a supply of water of fair quality was secured, but in a few years it proved to be inadequate; and the pollution of the Wharfe by the drainage from the rising towns of Otley and Ilkley, and the intervening villages, forced the corporation to look to other sources for the future water supply of the borough. An extensive survey of the surrounding district was made, and in 1867 it was decided to apply to Parliament for powers to expend £500,000 on works in the Washburne Valley, whereby a supply of 20,000,000 gallons per day would be obtained. The scheme was recommended by Mr. Filliter, C.E., at that time the borough surveyor. The Washburne is one of the tributaries of the Wharfe, entering it from the north, a few miles below Otley. The bill was passed through Parliament, and in August, 1869, the first sod of the new works was cut, the drawings having been prepared by Mr. Thomas Hawksley, C.E.
These works consist of four immense reservoirs, formed by draining the Washburne valley at Lindley Wood, Swinsty, Fewston, and Thurscross. The first will have a capacity of 750,000,000 gallons, the second of 961,000,000, the third of 870,000,000, and the fourth of 540,000,000 gallons. The works are still in course of construction in 1873, and will not be completed for some time. Meanwhile, the supply from the Wharfe has been augmented from the lower part of the Washburne. The water of that stream is of good quality.
Street and Town Railway Improvements.- Amongst other improvements which have been made since the establishment of the present system of municipal government in Leeds, we may mention the following:- Powers were obtained in the Improvement Acts of 1866 and 1869, for widening and straightening the chief business streets. Under these powers the corporation had expended up to 1873 nearly half a million of money, including £78,530 paid for the abolition of tolls on the roads and bridges within the borough. More than a quarter of a million has been spent in widening and extending old streets, and in opening out new ones. Amongst the more important of the improvements have been the widening of Boar Lane, at a cost of more than £70,000; the extension of Briggate northward, at a cost of £30,638; the extension of Albion Street, at a cost of more than £27,000; and the opening of new streets between Duncan Street and Vicar Lane, and Wellington Street and King Street. Large sums have also been expended in enlarging the Kirkgate Market, and in improving the Central Market, as well as in widening and straightening the brooks or becks, the beds of which have been laid with masonry, to secure a more rapid flow of water into the river Aire. In connection with these varied improvements may also be mentioned the construction of the short line of the North- eastern Railway, connecting the Leeds Northern and the Hull and Selby section, so as to secure through communication on the North-eastern system. The line passes through the heart of the town from the new station in Wellington Street, to the old Hull and Selby station in Marsh Lane, and crosses Briggate, Call Lane, Kirkgate, York Street, and Marsh Lane. It was completed in 1869, and the line was opened for traffic on the 1st of April in the same year; the new station being jointly built and occupied by the North-eastern and the London and North-western companies.
Rebuilding and Widening of Bridges.- The bridge now (1873) in course of construction across the Aire, at the bottom of Briggate, and connecting that great thoroughfare with Hunslet Lane, the chief southern entrance to and exit from the town, was designed by Mr. T. D. Steele, C.E., of Newport, and when completed will be a handsome and substantial structure. It is to be almost entirely of iron, the buttresses alone being of stone. It is slightly askew, and consists of one arch, having a span of 102 feet 6 inches, the centre being thirteen feet above the ordinary water level. The road-way is to be thirty-six feet wide, and the causeways twelve each. The cost is estimated at from £15,000 to £20,000, towards which the West Riding has contributed £2000. The foundation stone was laid on the 20th of September, 1871, by the then mayor (Mr. John Barran). The reconstruction of this bridge has rendered necessary other improvements, such as widening the approaches, and alteration of the levels, and these involve a total estimated cost of £59,270. The following is a list of the bridges across the Aire, within the borough of Leeds, all of which have been freed from toll by the corporation:-
Leeds Bridge (iron), now in course of construction;
Wellington Bridge, about to be rebuilt (stone);
Victoria Bridge (stone);
Crownpoint Bridge (stone);
Kirkstall Bridge (stone);
Monk Bridge (iron suspension);
Suspension Bridge (iron suspension).
The Corporation, in January, 1873, accepted the tender of Messrs. Fearnley and Wilson, contractors, for erecting a new bridge, in place of the existing Wellington Bridge, at a cost of, £3150. The new structure, when completed, will be a great advantage to the neighbourhood, as the present bridge, owing to its narrowness, causes much inconvenience. The approaches are already widened, and the completion of the improvement will consist in widening the bridge, to correspond with the road. There will be a clear width of road and path of about forty-five feet from parapet to parapet. The span of the bridge, which, as already stated, will be rebuilt with stone, is 100 feet.
The Town Hall of Leeds.-The Town Hall of Leeds is a very handsome and commanding structure in the Italian style of architecture, built at a cost of £140,000, from designs by Mr. Cuthbert Brodrick. The foundation stone was laid on the 17th of August, 1853, by Mr. John Hope Shaw, who was then mayor, and the building was opened on the 7th of September, 1858, during the mayoralty of Sir Peter Fairbairn, by the queen, who was accompanied by Prince Albert and other members of the royal family, the late Lord Derby being in attendance as the minister of state. It is situated at some distance to the north-west of Briggate; the southern or principal facade, fronting to Park Lane, having a large open space between the line of street and the main entrance. The building covers an area of 5600 square yards, the external form being that of a parallelogram, 250 feet in length by 200 feet in breadth. Standing on a lofty platform, it is surrounded by Corinthian columns and pilasters, supporting an entablature with balustrades, altogether about sixty-seven feet in length. The principal facade is approached by a fine flight of steps with projecting buttresses on each side, leading to a deeply recessed portico of twelve columns; ten being in front and two recessed. Rising above the centre of this facade is a dome and tower 225 feet in height, containing a large bell, by Warner, and a clock by Dent. In the tympanum of the archway is an emblematic group of figures representing Leeds, in its commercial and industrial character, fostering and encouraging the arts and sciences, by Thomas of London. The two sides and the north end of the building are somewhat similar to the front, excepting that the columns and pilasters are near to the walls. The interior of the building is admirably arranged. On the ground floor there is a splendid hall, 161 feet long by seventy-two feet wide, and seventy-five feet in height, called the Victoria Hall, the entrance from the front being through a fine domed vestibule, the floor of which is laid with encaustic tiles; also a council chamber, a borough court, and two assize courts, occupying respectively the four corners of the parallelogram; with various offices for the town-clerk and other officials. On the floor above, which is reached by a broad and effective staircase at each corner, are a handsome suite of rooms called the mayor's rooms, the West-Riding magistrates' court, and other offices. Both on the ground door and on the first floor spacious corridors run round the building. The basement is occupied by the police, including cells and the various offices necessary for the administration of the force. The Victoria Hall, which is very elaborately decorated by Crace of London, interspersed with mottoes and legends suggested by Mr. Edward Baines, M.P., is divided into five bays by composite Corinthian columns and pilasters resting on a sur-base, and supporting an enriched entablature running round the hall, from which springs a semicircular ceiling, also divided into five bays corresponding with the columns, panelled and highly ornamented with conventional foliage. It is lighted by ten semicircular windows near the ceiling, and at night by ten handsome glass chandeliers. The north end of this hall is semicircular in plan, coved at the top; and in the recess thus formed there is a splendid organ, built by Messrs. Gray & Davidson of London, at a cost of £6000, from designs by Messrs. Smart & Spark. The hall will accommodate 2500 people seated, and is in every respect one of the handsomest in the kingdom. In the second bay from the main entrance is a marble statue of the late Mr. Edward Baines, M.P., by Behnes, and on the opposite side is a similar statue of the late Mr. Robert Hall, M.P., by a local artist; both originating in public subscriptions. In the vestibule are marble statues of the Queen (presented by Sir Peter Fairbairn) and Prince Albert, erected by subscription; and busts of the prince and princess of Wales, presented by Mr. James Kitson-all the pieces by Noble. In the council chamber, the mayor's rooms, the borough magistrates' room, and the corridors, are several presentation portraits by Grant, R.A., and Waller, and other paintings; including a fine allegorical piece by Armitage, representing the suppression of the Indian mutiny, Milton dictating "Paradise Lost" to his daughters, by Sir A. Calcott, and Mary Queen of Scots by Haydon. In the open space in front of the hall is a subscription statue of the duke of Wellington by Marochetti; the buttresses surmounted with lions couchant by Keyworth of London. It may be mentioned here that there are bronze statues of Sir Robert Peel, by Behnes, in Park Row, near the Post Office, and of Sir Peter Fairbairn, by Noble, in Clarendon Road. One of the first results of the opening of the town hall and the visit of the queen, was a movement to transfer the West Riding assize business to Leeds. After many failures the movement was successful, and by an order in council, dated 10th June, 1864, the county of York was divided for as size purposes, and Leeds made the assize town for the West Riding. The first assizes were held on the 7th August, 1864, the judges being Mr. Justice Blackburn and Mr. Justice Keating.
The Borough Goal at Armley.- This prison was built by the corporation, from designs by Messrs. Perkin &; Backhouse, at a cost of £43,000, and covered an area of more than ten acres. It was commenced in 1843, and completed in July, 1847. It is a castellated structure, occupying a prominent position on the right bank of the Aire, about two miles from Leeds, with a frontage to the north. The cells are placed in three wings radiating from the centre, one for males, one for females, and one for juveniles, communicating with a central hall by corridors running from a circular staircase. The exercise yards are placed between the wings. In the front there is a chapel, together with residences for the governor and chaplain. Accommodation was originally provided for about 300 prisoners. It has since been enlarged, and will now accommodate 501 prisoners, namely, 359 males and 142 females. When the West Riding assizes were removed to Leeds, it was constituted a common gaol for the delivery of prisoners and for assize purposes. In other respects it is simply a borough gaol. Productive labour was early introduced in the management of the prison, and the manufacture of cocoa-nut matting has been carried on extensively for many years. The sum total of the profits received from the earnings of prisoners amounted in 1872 to £1411; more by £203 than that of the previous year. The governor of the gaol, in his last report, states that the enlargement of the prison for females has been satisfactorily completed, and that the building is now of dimensions which may reasonably be expected to meet the requirements of the borough for many years.
Organization of the Police.- The very great and rapid increase of the population of Leeds has rendered it necessary to add materially to the numbers of the police force. Some years previous to the Municipal Reform Act, there were a chief constable and constables of divisions, namely, the Upper, the Middle, the Mill Hill, the South, the Kirkgate, the East, the Upper North-east, the Lower North-east, the Upper North-west, and the Lower North-west divisions, as well as a town beadle and a deputy constable. The nightly watch consisted of thirty-eight men, and the patrol of sixteen, under the command of the captain of the watch and patrol. There was also a constable in each of the ten out-townships. The police force of the borough at the present time, 1873, consists of a total of 315 officers and men. It is commanded by 1 chief constable, having under him 4 superintendents of divisions, 1 detective superintendent, 11 inspectors, 4 sub-inspectors, 32 sergeants, 1 detective sergeant, 6 officers of constables, and 255 constables, making a total strength of 315. The numbers have been increased with the amount of the population, having advanced from 279, in the year 1869, to 315 in 1872. The net cost of the police in the last-named year was £15,058 10s. 11½d: the cost of each constable being £47 15s. 5½d.; and the number of offences affecting property in that year was 1417. The percentage of property recovered on the amount of first loss was rather more than 30; the total number of persons apprehended 4234; the number of persons summarily disposed of by the magistrates was 5796; and the number committed for trial was 242.
The Leeds Soke Act.- The Corporation created by the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, felt itself strong enough to free the town from the old feudal obligation to grind the whole of the corn of the borough and manor at what were long known as the King's Mills. This obligation had probably existed from the time of the Norman conquest, if not from a more remote period. In that age the mill dam, known as the Bondman Dam, had been erected in the river Aire by the labour of the villani or bondmen of the manor of Leeds; and from that time all the other residents of the manor had been compelled by law to grind their corn at that mill only, and to pay fees for so doing, which greatly exceeded the amount of service rendered by the owner of the soke or manorial rights. Previous attempts, all of them unsuccessful, had been made to free the inhabitants of Leeds from this obligation; but these only served to show that the obligation had a legal origin, and could only be got rid of in the manner in which other abuses of a legal kind are removed in this country, namely, by the buying up of the existing rights. The Leeds Soke Act for this object received the royal assent on Tuesday, the 14th May, 1839. It provided for the payment of a sum of £13,000, as compensation to Mr. Edward Hudson, of Roundhay, the proprietor of the King's Mills, in four yearly instalments. The money was raised by an assessment on the inhabitants of the town. The Act further provided for the appointment of nineteen trustees and two auditors to carry out its provisions, and these trustees and auditors were appointed on Monday, the 24th of June of the same year.
Manufactures in Leeds.- The history of the woollen manufacture in Leeds and the district has already been published in the first volume of this work, from the pen of Mr. E. Baines, M.P. It may here be added that the industry of Leeds has during the last quarter of a century been materially developed, and at the same time has undergone great and important changes. Whilst retaining the position it has held for many generations as the capital of the woollen manufacture of Yorkshire, Leeds has become the seat of other industries only second to it in importance, whether viewed in reference to the capital invested or the number of workmen employed. The effect on the general stability and wellbeing of the town has been most valuable; for it rarely occurs that all the branches of industry carried on within its boundaries suffer simultaneously, and the result is an average of trade, which prevents that general depression and consequent distress so frequent in towns and districts dependent exclusively upon one trade. The woollen manufacture, however, is still its chief and pre-eminent industry, though it is of a more limited character than formerly. According to a parliamentary return, dated the 9th August, 1871, obtained by Mr. Baines, there were, when the return was prepared, 954 woollen factories, 60 shoddy factories, 516 worsted factories, and 70 flax factories in Yorkshire. Of this number there were in Leeds 130 woollen factories, 13 shoddy factories, and 4 worsted factories, employing about 10,000 hands, and 29 flax factories, employing about 8000 hands. In the Batley district there were 30 woollen and 2 shoddy factories, employing 5000 hands; and in the Dewsbury district 48 woollen and 5 shoddy factories, employing 7000 hands. Altogether there are in Leeds and the Leeds clothing district about 250 woollen and shoddy factories, employing about 30,000 hands. The trade, which was formerly transacted so largely in the cloth halls, is now chiefly carried on in the merchants' warehouses. The Coloured Cloth Hall still stands where it has so long stood, but its associations-and they are part of the political as well as the commercial history of the West Riding-belong to the past rather than the present. It is an unsightly building, certain sooner or later to be removed or rebuilt. The White Cloth Hall had to be removed a few years ago, in consequence of the North-eastern Railway passing through it; and a new building has been erected in the old Infirmary gardens, having a frontage into King Street. It is a large and commodious structure, but has no architectural pretensions. It was opened in July, 1868. The principal warehouses are in Wellington Street, King Street, and York Place, in close proximity to the two halls. The market-days are Tuesday and Saturday, but in the early part of 1873 it was decided to open the Coloured Cloth Hall daily. Next in importance to the woollen trade is the flax and linen manufacture, which employs several thousand hands. Ranking not far short of these great branches of textile industry, are the ironworks of the town and district. The manufacture of iron is an ancient industry here. On the occasion of the visit of the British Association to Leeds in 1858, Mr. James Kitson, jun., one of the proprietors of the important ironworks at Monk Bridge, Leeds, read a paper in the section Statistics and Economics, on " The Iron Trade of Leeds."
It contained some highly interesting and valuable information, both as to the manufacture of iron in this locality in the past, and as to the enormous development of this branch of industry within the past quarter of a century. Mr. Kitson observes, that the evidences of iron having been worked in this district in ancient times are abundant. Scoriae from iron furnaces, the fires of which must have been extinguished many centuries ago, have been found at Middleton, Whitkirk, and Horsforth, all places within the borough of Leeds. There is near the last-named village, marked on the Ordnance maps, a patch of ancient timber bearing the name of Iveson and Clayton Wood. Not quite twenty years ago, in disafforesting this piece of land, extensive agglomerated masses of scoriae were discovered; and in not a few instances these were found to be penetrated by the roots of trees of great size and age. Many persons are inclined to think that these relics of ancient iron smelting date from the period of Roman occupation of this island. This opinion, of course, has no better foundation than probability, based upon a few collateral facts. There can, however, be no doubt of this, that the iron furnaces, of the existence of which those heaps of scoriae inform us, were in operation many centuries ago, but how many can only be conjectured. It may be mentioned here that in excavating for the foundations of the Leeds Corn Exchange, some years ago, shafts that had evidently been employed in working iron ore and coal, which here lie in contiguous seams, were found. Of these vestiges of mining industry, discovered at a spot on which the most ancient part of the town stands, no record exists to inform us when working operations were first prosecuted here, or when they ceased. There is reason to believe that the monks of Kirkstall had works for smelting iron ore, obtained from the seams which now supply the well- known works at Farnley and Low Moor with their best qualities of iron. As successors of the monks, the extensive ironworks at Kirkstall Forge have a high reputation for steam-hammers, malleable shafts, and other products in iron. A few years ago, in making extensions at the forge, excavations revealed, at an unsuspected depth beneath the present surface, the remains of ancient charcoal refineries. Within a short distance there are the works of the Farnley Iron Company (Limited), which are associated with the names of the Armitages as the founders of the undertaking. This company has blast furnaces, at which the ore obtained from the coal measures in the locality is made into pig, and afterwards is advanced on the premises adjoining, stage by stage, until it assumes its ultimate manufactured shape and passes into the hands of the customer. The Airedale Foundry in Hunslet is an important establishment, which, like many others of a similar description in Leeds, dates its prosperity from the era which witnessed the commencement of such a marvellous development of our railway system. The machinery produced at these works consists principally of locomotives, orders for which have been carried out for the most distant countries. The Railway Foundry, established in 1836, and subsequently absorbed by the Airedale Foundry, was the first manufactory in Leeds at which the construction of locomotives on a scale of importance was commenced. Mr. Kitson, sen., the chief proprietor of Airedale Foundry, which stands at the head of the locomotive engine works of this district, is now the senior builder of locomotives in the world; the Stephensons (father and son) and the brothers Hawthorn having passed away. The Monk Bridge Ironworks are mentioned above. These extensive works are the property of Mr. Frederick and Mr. James Kitson, sons of Mr. Kitson of the Airedale Foundry, who, following the example of their father at the older establishment, have introduced many improvements in the manufacture of iron at Monk Bridge. Amongst these mention may be made of the manufacture of steel on a large scale by the gas process, invented by Mr. Siemen. The chief products of the Monk Bridge works are steel tires, boiler plates, and axles for locomotives and waggons. Another important firm is that of Messrs. Manning, Wardle, & Co. (which has recently undergone a change of partners), Boyne Engine Works, Hunslet. Perhaps more novel mechanical inventions have been constructed here than in any other engineering works in Leeds. Amongst these mention may be made of a Fell centre-rail locomotive for overcoming the steep gradients of a Brazilian railway, and the elegant little engine employed on the single-rail line at Aldershot Camp. The machine works of Messrs. Fairbairn, Kennedy, and Naylor, are known wherever the manufacture of flax is prosecuted. Messrs. S. Lawson & Sons, Mabgate, produce large quantities of machinery and machine tools; Messrs. Taylor Brothers & Co., Clarence Ironworks, Hunslet, carry on an extensive trade; Messrs. Greenwood & Batley have turned their attention successfully to the manufacture of arms of precision; and there are many other firms of almost equal importance to those enumerated, engaged in the various branches into which the manufacture of iron is divided. The manufacture of steam ploughs was introduced into Leeds in 1860 by Messrs. Fowler & Co., the ploughs being, in the first instance, made at the Airedale Foundry. In 1863 the Messrs. Fowler removed to their present works, and their machinery has since obtained a high reputation, and their ploughs are now extensively used in all parts of the world. The establishment was the first of its kind, and in this special branch of manufacture it continues to be the largest and most important in the county. Of late years the firm has added the construction of locomotives, and the manufacture of mining machinery. The works are situated at Hunslet, and now cover about nine acres of ground, and employ 1200 workmen. According to the return obtained by Mr. Baines and referred to above, there are 15,000 persons employed in metal works in Leeds, of whom between 8000 and 9000 are engaged in iron mills, foundries, and machine shops. There are also between 600 and 700 persons employed in the manufacture of nails and in brass-finishing, and 6629 in "miscellaneous" articles of metal. Nominally, the iron trade holds a position second to that of the woollen trade; but it is rapidly increasing, and if we take into consideration the capital invested, and the amount paid in wages, its actual importance is scarcely inferior to that of the textile industry of the town.
The other important branches of industry, which are of comparatively recent origin, are the boot and shoe trade, employing about 3000 hands, and the leather trade, employing about 2500 hands. The cloth cap trade is also extending rapidly and becoming a great branch of industry. There are in addition to these large manufactories of tobacco, extensive chemical and glass works, important works for the making of sanitary tubes, fire-bricks, &c., and of late years the lucifer match trade has also been introduced into Leeds.
Mineral Wealth of the Leeds District.- Amongst the greatest sources of the wealth of Leeds are its abundant supplies of coal and iron, and these natural advantages have been rapidly developed, especially during the last fifty years, by the intelligence and skill with which those great instruments of labour have been applied to the purposes of producing and working machinery. The mineral wealth of the United Kingdom for the year 1871, according to the last official account, published in the month of November, 1872, was of the enormous value of £47,494,400 (previous to the recent rise of prices), of which no less than £35,205,608 was derived from coal, and £7,670,572 from iron. This represents the value of these articles at the pits' mouth, before it had been increased by the cost of carriage, or by any of the innumerable industrial purposes by which that value is increased at least fourfold. The value of the lead ore produced in England, and much of it in Yorkshire and Derbyshire, in the same year (1871), was £1,155,770. The county of York takes a very conspicuous position in furnishing the mineral wealth of the empire. In the great article of coal, which may be regarded as the mainspring of the modern industry of Great Britain, Yorkshire furnished in the year. 1871, 12,801,260 tons, of the total amount of 117,352,028 tons of coal produced in the United Kingdom. In the same year Yorkshire supplied no less than 4,989,898 tons, of the whole quantity of iron ore produced in the United Kingdom, amounting that year to 16,334,888 tons, 14 cwts. Thus this county furnished above one-tenth part of the coal raised in the United Kingdom, and one-fourth part of the iron ore. The number of the Yorkshire collieries worked in the Leeds district in the year 1871, amounted to not less than 99. The number in the other districts of Yorkshire, from the highest to the lowest numbers, in the same year were-in the Bradford district, 49; in that of Wakefield, 48; Barnsley, 44; Sheffield, 36; Dewsbury, 31; Halifax, 29; Huddersfield, 26; Rotherham, 25; Holmfirth, 12; Pontefract, 7; Normanton, 6; Peniston, 6; Bingley, 4; and in the district of Saddleworth, 1. This made the total number of collieries in Yorkshire, in the year 1871, 423; with a total produce of coal amounting to 12,801,260 tons. The names and positions of the ninety-nine collieries existing in the Leeds district, in 1871, were given as follows, by Mr. Frank N. Wardell, the inspector of collieries for the county of York, in his official return rendered in 1872.
NAMES AND POSITIONS OF COLLIERIES IN THE LEEDS DISTRICT, WORKED IN THE YEAR 1871. Adwalton Lane, Adwalton Moor, Allerton Main, Astley, Baildon Moor, Balalilava (Morley), Beeston (3), Beeston Road, Beverley (Armley), Birkhill (Birkenshaw), Blue Hills Lane (Wortley), Britannia Main (Adwalton), Brook House (Gomersal), Brown Moor, Bushey (Drighlington), Calverley, Churwell (2), College (Birstal), Cross Green, Crow Trees (Gomersal), Dartmouth, Dean Hall (Morley), Doles Wood (Drighlington), Dye House (Gomersal), Ellerby Lane, Farnley, Farnley Wood, Foxholes (Methley), Garforth, Gelderd Road, Gildersome, Gildersome Street, Green Man (Hunslet), Greville (Rawden), Harehills, Holbeck, Howden Clough, Howley Park (Morley), Hunslet, Killingbeck (York Road), Kippax, Lanes Wood (Gomersal), Little Gomersal, Lumb Wood, Manston, Manston Lodge, Micklefield, Middleton, Morley, Morley Main, Mount Pleasant (Adwalton), Muffitt Lane, Nethertown, Neville Hill, New Hall (Middleton), Newmarket (Adwalton), Oakwell, Osmondthorpe, Owlet Hall (Adwalton), Potternewton, Primrose Hill (Liversedge), Quaker Lane (Liversedge), Robert Town (2), Robin Hood, Rock (York Road), Rothwell Haigh, Scotland (Gomersal), Seacroft, Smithies (Birstal), Smithy Hill (Liversedge), Spring Gardens, Stanley Main (Liversedge), Strawberry Bank (Liversedge), Sykes (Drighlington), Tanhouse Mill (Liversedge), Toft Shaw Moor, Tong Moor, Victoria (Morley), Victoria (Adwalton) (2), Waterloo, Waterloo Main, Water Loose (Adwalton), Wellington, West Yorkshire (Birstal), West Yorkshire (Manston), White Horse (York Road), White Lee, Wortley (2), York Road.
The Leeds Chamber of Commerce:- The Leeds Chamber of Commerce was formed in the year 1851, and has rendered essential serveice in watching over national and local legislation connected with the interests of trade and commerce. Previous to the formation of this society, the old proverb which says that "what is every man's business is no man's business" was realized in Leeds and other places, where many questions arose, not directly or at all in some cases connected with municipal government, but which had a great influence on loca; prosperity. The extensive class of subjects is now looked after by the Chamber of Commerce, together with questions immediately and obviously connected with the interests of trade. Suggestions are also made by this and other similar institutions as to the principles as well as to the details of commercial legislation, which are often of great value in that branch of legislation.
The Churches, Chapels, Schools, Libraries, and other Educational Institutions of Leeds.- During the last fifty years there has been a greatly increased desire for education, especially in the large and wealthy towns of England. Under the term education we include every form of instruction - religious, moral, scientific, literary, and artistic. The proof of this is found in the rapid increase that has taken place in that period in the number of the churches, chapels, schools, libraries, and educational institutions of every kind. We have now reached the time when it is no longer unreasonable to hope, that the whole mass of the English people will become, at least, as well educated as the people of any other country of Europe or America. The law now provides for the universal education of the people. But this was not the case until very recently; and up to that time the instruction of the poorer classes, such as it was, depended partly on a few old endowments, but chiefly on the spontaneous zeal of the more educated classes, in furnishing the means of instruction, and on men of intelligence, who devoted themselves to the honourable and useful art of instruction. The following is a brief and rapid sketch of the various establishments and institutions for religious, moral, and intellectual instruction of the people, which have gradually sprung up in this great and busy seat of industry. We shall take the churches and chapels first, and then give some brief account of the institutions for promoting and extending general education.
Churches and Chapels in Leeds.- In the first ten years of the present century, the number of churches and chapels in the town of Leeds is said to have been not more than eighteen or twenty.
In a list of these churches and chapels published in the year 1806, we are told that there were at that time five churches belonging to the English establishment, one Scottish kirk, three Independent chapels, one meeting-house of the Society of Friends, two Presbyterian chapels, one Baptist chapel, three Methodist chapels, one Roman Catholic chapel, and a chapel belonging to the less known body of the Inghamites. According to a statement published very recently, the number of churches and chapels of all sizes and denominations existing in Leeds at the present time is 203, and is thus composed:-
Established churches, 51;
Society of Friends, 5;
Wesleyan Methodists, 30;
United Methodist Free Churches, 20;
New Connection, Primitive Methodists, 21; and
Plymouth Brethren, 1.
The increase since 1801 is thus four or five fold, or equal to the increase of the population during the same period.
The Parish and other Churches.- St. Peter's, the parish church in Kirkgate, stands on the site of the old church, which, after an existence of many ages, was pulled down in the year 1838, and entirely rebuilt, in three years' time, at a cost of £38,000. The great expense of this costly structure was defrayed by voluntary subscription, stimulated by respect for Dr. Hook, then vicar of Leeds, now dean of Chichester. A greater work than the building of a church is due to Dean Hook. By surrendering the half of his living, he was enabled to create several ecclesiastical districts formed out of his parish, for each of which a church has since been built. St. Peter's is Gothic in style, with an interior made rich in effect by dark oak carvings and stained glass windows. The painting over the altar represents the "Agony in the Garden." At the end of the north aisle is a monument by Flaxman of "Mourning Victory," erected in honour of Captain Walker and Captain Beckett of Leeds, who fell at Talavera. Thoresby, the antiquary, and first historian of Leeds, who lived in Kirkgate, then a pleasant open street, was buried in the choir.
The fact was unrecorded in any monument in the old church-an omission supplied in the new edifice, where, under the arch of a piscina of the fourteenth century, preserved from the old building, a memorial to Thoresby is appropriately placed. In the walls of the old church broken crosses of great antiquity were found; whence it is highly probable that a minster or church stood here in very ancient times, and Symeon of Durham is quoted as recording that Eanbald, a Saxon archbishop of York, died at Leeds in 769. One of the crosses discovered possesses an extraordinary interest, belonging to the age (937), and apparently erected in honour of King Olaff or Onlaf, known also as Onlaf Helga or the Holy, or St. Olave, who was the first Christian king of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and of that part of England known by the name of the Danelagh, which included Yorkshire and all the country north of the river Humber. On this subject Mr. Mayhall says, "On taking down the old parish church of Leeds in 1838, a most interesting discovery was made of several sculptured stone crosses of the Anglo-Saxon (or Danish) period. The largest cross was thirteen feet in height; the others were less, and broken into fragments. One of the crosses contained in Runic characters the name of a king. The inscription was Cuni(g) Onlaf; that is, King Onlaf. Onlaf the Dane entered the Humber in 937, and subsequently became king of Northumbria, and a Christian.* One of the principal objects of his policy was to introduce or promote Christianity amongst the people in his extensive dominions, and we are told by Snorro Sturleson, in the "Lives of the Kings of Norway," that "in the spring of the year, Olave, named Helga or the Holy, had his fleet prepared, in which he was accustomed in the summer months to make his voyages through the southern regions" (including portions of the British islands), "holding solemn assemblies, in which he decided questions in dispute, and prescribed laws to the people. He also collected tribute where it was due. He further pursued his voyages in the autumn towards the most distant regions, where he initiated the inhabitants in the mysteries of Christianity, in his extensive territories, and promulgated statutes and laws. Having sent out embassies, he made many friends in Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. He also sent the timber needful for building a temple in Iceland, where a temple was afterwards built, at a place called Thingwall (Tingwalla), where solemn courts of justice were held yearly."
There are very ancient churches at York, London, and other places in England, dedicated to St. Olave; and it would give an additional interest to the history of the parish church at Leeds to find that it was in any way connected with him. We have already given Ralph Thoresby's account and description of the old church of Leeds in the reign of Queen Anne, and some slight notices which have been preserved from earlier times, in a previous part of this work. After the downfall of the Danes and the Saxons in England there was still a church and a presbyter in Leeds, mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and since that time the church has been rebuilt more than once.
St. John's Church.- The second of the Leeds churches, namely, that of St. John's, was built in the reign of King Charles I., and in the year 1638, entirely at the expense of John Harrison, the benefactor of all the best institutions of Leeds. Ralph Thoresby pronounced rather a warm eulogium on the architectural beauties of St. John's church, which gave rise to a somewhat severe and disparaging criticism by Dr. Whitaker, in his "Loidis and Elmete." Without interfering in this controversy, it may be well to give the following remarks on the subject by Sir Gilbert Scott, whose judgment strongly confirms the eulogium of Ralph Thoresby. He states "that the church stands alone among all the churches in this country, as an instance of the old feeling for church architecture extending to the days of King Charles, carried out with a richness, costliness, and beauty, which would do honour to the best periods of ecclesiastical architecture." He recommended that the church should be carefully repaired, retaining jealously every old feature, and disturbing nothing unnecessarily. "You will thus," he said to the trustees, "be handing down to many generations a rare and beautiful specimen of the church architecture of the Reformed English Church, erected at a period of which the specimens are more scarce than any other."* The church has been thoroughly repaired, the richly-scrolled panels of the roof being in good preservation. The living is a vicarage worth £500 per annum, in the patronage of the vicar, mayor, and three aldermen. Trinity Church was built chiefly by the contributions and solicitations of the Rev. Henry Robinson, the nephew of John Harrison. Like his father and his uncle, the founder of Trinity Church was a man of distinguished benevolence, expending nearly the whole of his income on public objects. This church was erected in the year 1721. The next church erected in Leeds, namely, that of St. Paul's, was built by the Rev. Miles Atkinson, on ground in Park Square which was the gift of Dr. Wilson, bishop of Bristol. It was opened in the year 1794. St. James's Church, a large octagonal building, was opened for divine worship in 1794. The worship here was for some time conducted on the Countess of Huntingdon's plan, by the original proprietors, who named it Zion Chapel. It was afterwards, however, purchased by the Rev. Mr. King, and consecrated by the archbishop of York in September, 1801.
Churches Erected in the Present Century.- During the first thirty years of the present century few churches were built in Leeds. One of them, St. Mark's, Woodhouse, was erected between the years 1823 and 1826) at a cost of about £10,000. At the close of 1872 it underwent extensive internal renovation. It contains a rich stained-glass window, illustrative of the leading events in the life of our Saviour, and a fine carved font of Caen stone, presented by Alderman Maclea, in 1853. St. Mary's, Quarry Hill, was erected in 1823-27, at a cost of about £12,500. In 1826 Christ Church, Meadow Lane, was built at a cost of about £10,457. These three were all built under parliamentary grant, and have a general similarity of architectural style. St. Matthew's, Holbeck Moor, was erected by government in 1829-32 at a cost of nearly £4000, upon a site given by the marchioness of Hertford. The old church was an ancient structure. It is said to have been mentioned in a bull granted by Pope Alexander to Ralph Pagnell, who lived in the time of William the Conqueror. It appears to have been rebuilt, for Whitaker, in his "History of Leeds," says, "It was a mean building of uncertain antiquity, no remnant of the original structure now appearing." The register books commence in 1717. After the reconstitution of the diocese of Ripon in 1836, church building became much more active under the stimulus of systematic local effort. Towards the end of 1838 St. George's Church was consecrated. It was built by subscription at a cost of about £11,000, and is the principal evangelical church in the town. It contains a fine altar-piece by C. W. Cope, R. A. The church of Stanningley, in the parish of Leeds, is built in the Norman style, and was consecrated in 1841. The noble and ancient parish church of Leeds (St. Peter's) was in the same year re-opened (as already mentioned), after having been rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of £38,000. The tower contains a peal of thirteen bells, weighing upwards of eight tons. St. Luke's church, North Street, was also consecrated in 1841. It was intended chiefly for the use of the soldiers at the barracks. An interval of four years elapsed before any additional churches were opened in Leeds. That of St. Andrew, Cavendish Street (erected from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott, of London, as a monument to the memory of Mrs. Sinclair, wife of the Rev. W. Sinclair, the first incumbent of St. George's Church), was consecrated in 1845; as was also St. Saviour's Church, Ellerby Road. The latter was built by an anonymous benefactor, known to sympathize with Dr. Pusey and the Oxford Tracts' party, and was the first High church erected in the borough, the original cost being about £10,000. It was for many years the representative church of this section of the High Church party, and some years after it was opened a great sensation was caused by the secession of several of the curates to the Roman Catholic Church. The windows are filled in with stained glass of the finest quality, and the subjects are richly and most artistically treated. In 1847 St. Philip's Church was consecrated. It was built by subscription, at a cost of about £5000, upon a site given by Messrs. Gott. Meanwood Church, opened in October, 1849, was erected and endowed under the late Sir Robert Peel's Act, by the late Misses Beckett. All Saints' Church, Pontefract Lane, was opened in 1850. St. John's, Holbeck, dates from the same year, and was built from designs by Sir G. G. Scott, after the plan of the Temple Church, London. It was erected at the expense of the Messrs. Marshall, who endowed it with £150 per annum and £500 Three per cents, as a perpetual repair fund. The internal carving is very fine. St. Matthew's Church, Camp Road, was opened in 1851; St. Thomas', Melbourne Street, in 1852 (at the expense of Mr. M. J. Rhodes); St. Jude's, Hunslet Road, in 1353; New Wortley and Moor Allerton, both in 1853; St. Michael's, Buslingthorpe, in 1854; also in the same year, Burmantofts and Burley churches. In 1855 St. Barnabas', Holbeck, was opened, and was the last of the Leeds churches consecrated by the late Archbishop Longley, before his translation to the diocese of Durham. During the episcopate of Dr. Bickersteth the work of church building has continued active in Leeds, and indeed throughout the whole diocese. Amongst the churches which the bishop has consecrated in the parish of Leeds, are St. Mary's, Hunslet (rebuilt in 1864); St. John Baptist, New Town, in November, 1867; St. Chad's, Headingley, in January, 1868 (a beautiful church, erected in memory of the late Mr. William Beckett); St. Peter's, Hunslet Moor, in July of the same year; St. Clement's, Sheepscar, in September, 1868; St. Silas, Hunslet, in November, 1869; St. Wilfrid's Chapel (Grammar School), in January, 1870; St. Augustine's, Wrangthorn, in November, 1871; and, in 1872, Christ Church, Upper Armley; St. Luke's, Beeston Hill; and Holy Trinity, Armley Hall. Towards the cost of these churches the Church Extension Society has contributed at least £50,000, in some cases providing the site and endowment. Great as the work thus done has been, it forms only part of the work undertaken by the church in Leeds; for in connection with every new church there has grown up a school, and there has been developed a variety of spiritual agencies for extending religion and improving the moral character of the people.
Nonconformist and other Denominations.- The religious activity referred to above was not confined to the Church of England. The zeal and enthusiasm which resulted from the preaching of the two Wesleys and of Whitfield, affected the Nonconformist churches of Yorkshire even more directly and actively than the Church of England. Life was given to the inert feeling existing amongst the masses of the people, and it has never again wholly slumbered. There have been periods of inactivity, times of apathy, when the religious denominations outside the pale of the church suffered from the same lethargy which prevailed within it; but these were simply the varying pulsations of life, and not its cessation. Nowhere has this new life manifested itself more vigorously than in the West Riding, and especially in Leeds. The history of Nonconformity in this part of Yorkshire would be the history of civil and religious liberty, and the result is seen in the influence which the Wesleyans, the Congregationalists, the Roman Catholics, the Unitarians, and the other religious denominations, exercise upon its public life. The older denominations in the town have a special history of their own. The mention of Mill Hill Chapel, built by the Presbyterians in 1872, and of Call Lane Chapel, built by the Independents in 1691, carry the mind back to a time when religious liberty, and even religious toleration in Leeds, were something very different from what they are now. After many changes the latter place of worship has been destroyed, to make way for a much needed improvement; and the former was rebuilt, in 1848, on its old site, by the Unitarians, and is now one of the handsomest churches belonging to that body in the north of England, whilst its congregation is one of the most wealthy and intelligent. Salem Chapel, a large, substantial, stone building, was finished in the year 1791. Albion chapel, which was for several years occupied by that brilliant and accomplished orator and excellent man, the Rev. Richard Winter Hamilton, D.D., was built in the year 1796. In 1836 Dr. Hamilton removed to the new chapel built for him in Belgrave Street, and he continued his pastorate there until his death in 1848; Albion Chapel in the meanwhile, and to the present (1873), being used by the Swedenborgians. East Parade Chapel, a fine building, Grecian Doric in style, was built in 1841, at a cost of £18,000, and for many years its pulpit was filled by the Rev. John Ely, one of the most eminent nonconformist ministers of the first half of the century. Queen Street Chapel was built in 1825 for the Rev. Thomas Scales, another of the old nonconformist worthies of Yorkshire. After a long interval a handsome chapel was erected at Headingley, chiefly by members of the Queen Street and East Parade congregations. It was opened in 1865. There are also chapels belonging to this body in Marshall Street, Holbeck, at Beeston Hill, and at Potternewton; and there are preaching rooms at Kirkstall and in other parts of the borough. The Baptists remained stationary for many years; but greater activity has lately been manifested, and two or three new chapels have recently been built. Their principal places of worship are in South Parade, Woodhouse Lane, and North Street. Of the more modern religious denominations the Wesleyan body occupy by far the most important position in the borough, both as regards the number of its members and the liberality of its congregations. John Wesley visited Leeds in 1745, and laid the foundation of the society as it now exists; and in 1771 the first chapel, afterwards known as the "Old Chapel," was erected in Boggart Fields, near St. Peter's Street-Albion Street Chapel, now occupied as a warehouse, being erected in 1802. The society has continued to progress, and there is a sense in which Leeds may now be considered the head quarters of Wesleyanism; for the munificence of its missionary collections have given it a pre-eminence of which it is justly proud. The pulpits of its several chapels have been held from time to time by the most distinguished members of Conference; and amongst the lay members of the body the name of the late Mr. William Smith, of Gledhow, the founder of what is known amongst Wesleyans as the "Gledhow Missionary Breakfast," is held in affectionate remembrance, as one of its most liberal and zealous supporters. The borough is divided into four circuits, including thirty places of worship, containing 22,025 sittings. The principal chapels are Brunswick, containing a fine organ erected at a cost of between £2000 and £3000, opened in 1826; Oxford Place, opened in 1836; St. Peter's, built on the site of the Boggart Fields' Chapel, and opened in 1835; Meadow Lane, opened in 1816; Hanover Place (1847), Richmond Hill (1849), and Roscoe Place (1862). There are also chapels connected with the body in all the out-townships, and it has (1873) been decided to erect three additional chapels, at Chapeltown, Roundhay, and Woodhouse Carr. In 1867 a handsome building was erected at Headingley, at a cost of nearly £20,000, as a training college for students for the ministry. It was opened in 1868; the Rev. John Farrar, formerly principal of Woodhouse Grove School, being appointed governor. The different sections of Wesleyans which have at different times seceded from the main body, have also chapels in the borough. The Primitive Methodists, the Methodist New Connection, and the Methodist Free Church are the most important of these; and the Belle-vue Chapel, the Woodhouse Lane, and Lady Lane chapels are amongst the most commodious places of worship in the town. The Society of Friends, who for more than a hundred years had a meeting house in Water Lane, removed in 1867 to a new and more commodious place of worship, erected in Woodhouse Lane. The Presbyterians, the Plymouth Brethren, the Bible Christians, and other minor religious denominations, have also several chapels, or preaching rooms. All these bodies have special organizations, as schools and missionary agencies, for promulgating their religious views. It may also be mentioned that the Jews have a synagogue in Belgrave Street. Distinct from these religious denominations, the Roman Catholics hold a position of growing importance. Leeds having recently been selected as the residence of the Bishop of Beverley, it has become the centre of ecclesiastical influence for that diocese. The first bishop was Dr. Briggs, and the present holder of the see is Dr. Cornthwaite. Apart from this, the church is increasing in numbers, mainly from the augmentation of the Irish population, but partly also from the unwearied zeal of its priests and religious orders. The first of the existing churches belonging to the Roman Catholics in Leeds was built in York Road, having a burial-ground attached to it. It was dedicated by the name of St. Patrick, and opened in 1832. The church in Park Row, dedicated by the name of St. Ann, a good example of the perpendicular style, was opened in 1838, and was then and is still the principal church in this part of the diocese. In 1853 a very handsome church was commenced on Richmond Hill, at the east end of the town, but it was not opened for several years, the chapels first opened being consecrated by Cardinal Wiseman. It was originally intended as a cathedral church; but the first design has not been entirely adhered to, and it is still (1873) incomplete. The cost so far has been about £20,000. It has been dedicated as the church of the Immaculate Conception. As in the case of St. Ann, many of the windows are filled in with rich stained glass, and it contains several very fine shrines; there is a conventual establishment and schools connected with it. A church was also built at Hunslet some years later, and still more recently one was erected in the Leylands. The Little Sisters of the Poor have a large establishment, still in course of construction, in Belle-vue Road, at the west end of Leeds.
It is estimated that during the ten years, from 1862 to 1872, £133,680 was expended in improving the religious accommodation of Leeds, of which the members of the various denominational bodies contributed £71,380. This general outline, for it is nothing more, will give the reader some idea of the religious activity which has prevailed in this important town for two or three generations past.
The Leeds Library in 1873.- In Commercial Street is the old library, called the Leeds Library (founded in 1768), already mentioned. It is a proprietary library in the hands of 500 members, who are shareholders; and is governed by a president and committee. The number of works at the present time is upwards of 50,000, and it is one of the best-selected libraries in England. Some of the books bought nearly a century ago have now become very rare, especially the topographical works that were issued from the press of Bowyer and Nichols, about the time of the French revolution. The Hopkinson MSS. of Yorkshire and Lancashire pedigrees are most valuable. These are copies from Hopkinson's originals at Eshton Hall, made by Thomas Wilson, who added some particulars of his own. Wilson was a contemporary of Thoresby, and his copy of the Ducatus Leodiensis, with his notes, is also in the Leeds library. A collection of civil war tracts, and one of German and Latin tracts bearing upon the Reformation, deserve mention.
Leeds Public Library.- In addition to the Leeds library above described, a public library was formed at Leeds in the year 1868, under the powers of the Act which authorizes municipal corporations to establish libraries of that description for the general benefit of the public. In January, 1873, the number of volumes in the library exceeded 33,000.
The Philosophical Hall and Museum.- The Philosophical Hall, in Park Row, the home of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, already fully described, was opened in 1821, as before mentioned, but greatly enlarged in 1862. It contains a handsome theatre for lectures, in which men of eminence are invited to lecture on the chief subjects of science and literature. Many gifts have been made to the museum, which is admirably arranged and well furnished, both with antiquities and objects of natural history. The collection of coins bequeathed to it by Mr. George Baron, of Drewton, is very valuable. The series of mammalia in the zoological room is said, by no less an authority than Professor Owen, to be "the most complete serial exposition of the class existing in England." The plants from the coal strata, exhibited in the geological room, have a special interest in this place, so rich in minerals. The library is well stocked with scientific books. There is a small industrial museum of specimens of the materials used in the local manufactures, which needs further development.
Leeds Mechanics' Institution- This valuable institution, as we have already stated, was established soon after the Literary and Philosophical Society had been instituted, and to a great extent by the same public-spirited men by whom the previous institution had been formed. Up to that period comparatively little had been done, either at Leeds or anywhere else, to raise the intellectual character of the labouring classes, or to establish amongst them those habits of thought and intelligence which have since that time so greatly advanced the social and political position of the mechanics and working classes of this and other large towns of the kingdom. In the list of the first officers of the Leeds Mechanics' Institution, established on the 1st December, 1824, we find the following names:-Benjamin Gott, Esq., president; John Marshall, Esq., and John Luccock, Esq., vice-presidents; John Darnton, Esq., treasurer; Mr. Todd, secretary; and the following directors:-The Rev. George Walker, head master of the Free Grammar School, (a man of the highest literary attainments); Mr. John Cawood, Mr. George Rawson, Dr. Williamson, and Dr. Hunter (at that time two of the leading physicians of Leeds), Mr. E. S. George, and Mr. William West (two eminent chemists), Mr. Edward Baines, jun., Mr. John Heaps, Mr. S. Petty, jun., Mr. Thompson, Mr. J. O. March, Mr. Joshua Dixon, Mr. Wood, and Mr. W. Davis. Originally the members of this valuable institution met in a confined and remote locality at the back of Park Row; but when it combined with the Literary Society, it removed to a commodious building in South Parade. "The ground floor," as Mr. Mayhall informs us, "was occupied for schools connected with the institute, and the upper consisted of a large room used as a lecture and news room, and also as a library. At the end was an elevated platform, from which the lectures were delivered. The walls were adorned with busts of literary and scientific men, and with an excellent full-length portrait of the late Edward Baines, M.P. (who was one of the best friends of the institution), painted by Richard Waller, of Leeds. The portrait was presented by subscribers, chiefly confined to the members of the institution. In a few years the number of books forming the library increased to 11,000 volumes, many of them of a scientific character, and circulating widely amongst the members. The officers of the society at this time consisted of a president, two vice-presidents, a treasurer, two honorary secretaries, and eighteen directors."
The present Mechanics' Institute is a handsome building in the Italian style, designed by Mr. Cuthbert Brodrick, the architect of the town halls of Leeds and Hull, and situated in Cookridge Street. It is one of the most important institutions of its class in the north of England. Connected with it is a prosperous School of Art. The present building was raised in 1865, the old one having been found insufficient for its increasing number of members. The spacious theatre will accommodate 1500 persons, while the well-furnished library and reading-room are generally filled with readers. The Leeds Mechanics' Institution and Literary Society commenced its operations in the year 1842, by the union of the above two societies, and carried on its work for twenty-six years in the premises in South Parade. In June, 1868, the new building in Cookridge Street was opened, and the work of the institution transferred to it. Its course consists of the following literary and educational departments:- The library, reading room, lectures, and evening classes. From the foundation of the institution, the members and subscribers have had the power to elect the managing committee from year to year, and to make such alterations in the work of the society as they in general meeting assembled might decide upon. The members and subscribers to this department number 2273, many of whom are students in the evening classes. The great work, however, is of an educational character, and the various departments and classes have been added from time to time as necessity required. 1st, The elementary work in evening classes for reading, writing, and arithmetic, the pupils being adults and above thirteen years of age. There are (1873) 200 male and 100 female pupils attending these classes, taught by competent certificated teachers. The boys' department is now under the inspection of the Whitehall Department of Education. 2nd, The School of Art, under the supervision of the South Kensington Department, numbers 599 pupils. 3rd, The School of Science, in which the following subjects are taught:- Practical plane and solid geometry, building construction, machine construction, mathematics, chemistry, acoustics, light and heat, animal physiology and metallurgy: there are 129 pupils. 4th, French and German classes, numbering 64 students. 5th, Day schools. The committee have established day schools for the middle classes, both for boys and girls. A great want was felt in this respect so far as Leeds was concerned, and the results have fully justified the committee in the step thus taken. There are 290 boys and 190 girls attending these schools. The schools are a source of profit to the committee, and assist greatly in aiding it to carry on artistic, scientific, and elementary evening class work, which is at all times of a non- remunerative character. In 1872 the library contained 16,000 volumes.
The Yorkshire Union of Mechanics' Institutes was established in the year 1837 by Mr. Edward Baines and a few other friends of education, and of the best interests of the working classes. Its first annual meetings were held in Leeds. In 1838 the organization embraced sixteen institutes and about 4000 members. Its subsequent anniversaries have been held in nearly every considerable town in the county. Mr. Baines has remained its president from the first. It now numbers 113 mechanics' institutes, working men's clubs, and young men's institutes in its union, with an aggregate body of nearly 30,000 members, of whom about 1900 are females. The libraries of seventy institutes contain 135,259 volumes, the annual issue in 1872 having been 303,430. By the reports from these seventy institutes we find that 771 periodicals and 968 newspapers were taken in. Thirty-five institutes have had 196 lectures. Seventeen institutes have penny banks connected with them, in which £36,241 18s. 9d. was deposited in 1872, and the accumulated savings amounted to £51,063 18s. ld. Thirty-four of the institutes are connected with the science and art department at South Kensington. Seventeen have grants from Whitehall for elementary teaching. Many of the institutes have very handsome buildings. The Leeds institute, as mentioned above, cost £27,000; that of Bradford, including several shops), £32,500; Saltaire, £25,000; and Keighley, £16,300. There are free libraries in connection with those at Sheffield, Middlesborough, and Hunslet. Keighley a trade school in connection with it. There is also a prosperous institution at Huddersfield, having a fine building of its own, and upwards of 1000 members attending its evening classes-nearly all operatives. In connection with the union a circulating village library has been established, now containing about 2500 volumes. In 1854 Prince Albert gave £50 worth of books to the library, and her Majesty has since given a similar sum. Twenty-three villages avail themselves of this agency. The committee of the Union, consisting of delegates from the principal centres of population, meet monthly in Leeds or some other large town. The time of the agent, Mr. Frank Curzon, is wholly devoted to the Union, and in 1872 he paid above 200 visits to the institutes, his work being chiefly that of organization and superintendence. In 1872 a similar union of church institutes in Yorkshire was organized in Leeds.
The Leeds Church Institute, which has a beautiful building in Albion Place, and the Young Men's Christian Institute, in South Parade, possess valuable libraries, and are conducted on similar principles, as to classes and lectures, with those of the Mechanics' Institute, while they have in addition a decidedly religious character. The former is confined to members of the Church of England, but the latter is open to members of all religious denominations, and indeed to the public generally. The operations of the Young Men's Christian Institute include out-door work, undertaken with the view of promoting the moral and religious welfare of the neglected portions of the population, particularly of the young. About three years ago the secretary, Mr. Hind Smith, aided by Mrs. Smith, originated a movement for providing houses of resort for the working classes free of charge, where no intoxicating liquors should be sold, but where refreshments can be obtained at the option of the customers. These houses, under the general title of "The British Workman," or "public houses without drink," are now to be found in many large towns of the kingdom.
The Leeds Grammar School.- Immediately after the Reformation, in the year 1552, the 5th and 6th King Edward VI., the Grammar School of Leeds was founded by Sir William Sheafield, a clergy man or priest. The first school was built on an open spot in the suburbs, but the site of the school afterwards was occupied by the Pinfold in Edward Street. In 1624 the school was removed to the site on which it so long stood, at the North Town End, where it was erected or rebuilt in the year 1624, by John Harrison, the great benefactor of Leeds, in a pleasant field adjoining his own residence. There it remained until the present generation, being more than once enlarged and rebuilt. In the year 1856 a new and much finer site was found for this excellent institution on the borders of the great open space of Woodhouse Moor (a place dedicated to the health and enjoyment of the people of Leeds), where, in 1859, a handsome building, decorated English in style, was erected at a cost of £11,000, from designs by Mr. E. Barry, adding to its beauty. At a later period, a chapel in the same style was erected at the east end of the school. During the period of more than three hundred years, which has elapsed since it was first erected, this school has been a nursery of sound knowledge, in which a considerable portion of the most distinguished citizens of Leeds have been educated.
Mr. Mayhall gives the following account of the origin of this school:-"The first endowment of the Free Grammar School at Leeds is contained in the will of Sir William Sheafield, priest, dated 6th of March 1552, by which he vested in Sir John Neville, knight, and sixteen others a co-feoffees (co-possessors), certain copyhold lands situate near Sheepscar Bridge, 'for finding sustentation and living of one honest, substantial, and learned man to be a schoole maister, to teach and instruct freely for ever all such younge scholars, youths, and children as shall come and resort to him from time to time, to be taught, instructed, and informed in such a school house as shall be founded, and erected, and builded by the paryshioners of the said town and parish of Leeds; upon condition that if the parishioners should not find a school house, and also purchase unto the school master for the time being a sufficient living of other lands together with his gift, to the clear yearly value of £10 for ever, within four years after his decease, that the feoffees should stand seized to the use of the poor inhabitants of Leeds.' The testator directed that his feoffees and their heirs for ever should have the nomination, election, and appointment of the said schoolmaster, and gave them power to put him out for reasonable cause at their discretion; the best man's voice to take no more place than the honest poorest man of them.' In 1554 certain copyhold premises were surrendered by Richard Bank and his wife for the use and support of the school. In 1555 a feoffment was made by Sir William Armistead, with this curious declaration annexed to it, that 'the feoffees should employ the profits towards the finding of one priest, sufficiently learned to teach a free grammar school within the town of Leeds for ever, for all such as should repair thereto, without taking any money, more or less, for teaching of the said children or scholars, saving of one penny of every scholar to mention his name in the master's book, if the scholar have a penny, and if not enter and continue freely without any paying.' In 1595 certain copyhold premises were surrendered by John Moore and others, for the use and support of the same institution; and Christopher Hopton and others also surrendered a close, denominated the Calls, containing three acres, for the same purpose. Subsequent endowments in houses and lands were made by other parties. When the grammar school was first founded by Sir William Sheafield the building which was used for the purpose was in a very incommodious situation, where the Pinfold some years since stood, by the workhouse. Six years after, viz., in 1558, the 'New Chapel,' which, in spite of its name, was a very old building, was purchased of Queen Elizabeth and used as the grammar school, and there the operations of the institution were carried on for the period of sixty-six years."
Endowed and Public Schools in Leeds.- Under the authority of the Schools Inquiry Commission of 1864, Mr. J. G. Fitch was appointed to inquire into the state and condition of the schools of Yorkshire. His general report was published in volume ix., and his special reports in volume xviii. They give a very full and carefully prepared account of the schools inspected by him. His inquiries in Leeds included the grammar schools, the two schools connected with the Mechanics' Institution, and an endowed school for primary education. Since his report was published, the Church of England has established middle class schools for boys and girls on the same principle as the schools connected with the Mechanics' Institution, and steps have been taken for erecting a suitable building for their accommodation. These include the whole of what may be called the public schools in the borough, distinct from mere elementary schools. The foundation of the grammar school dates from 1552, and its gross revenue from endowments in 1866 was £2454. Mr. Fitch says-"This rich and important school has long enjoyed a high reputation." The scheme which now (1873) governs it came into force in 1855, but it is understood that it will undergo further revision by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. The scheme provides four exhibitions of £50 each, tenable for four years each, at Oxford, Cambridge, or Durham. The curriculum of the school includes a classical and a commercial department; the foundationers pay ten guineas a year in the upper school and five in the lower; the non- foundationers fourteen guineas, if under fourteen years of age, and sixteen if above that age. The other endowed school was founded in 1705, and has a gross income of £470, of which £285 is applied for education, including donations of £10 each to eighteen national schools. The balance is applied for "other benefit of scholars." The education is at present to girls. The scheme of this foundation will also come under the revision of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. The schools connected with the Mechanics' Institution and the Church of England middle-class schools give, in the boys' departments, a commercial and mathematical education, with instruction also in Latin and modern languages; and in the girls' department, an education suitable to the position in life of the scholars, with instruction in French, drawing, and music. The West Riding Educational Board, of which Mr. H. H. Sales, of Leeds, is the secretary, has been established to promote and extend the elementary examination of scholars, in co-operation with the Society of Arts, the Department of Science and Art, and the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham. It has since its formation taken an active part in promoting secondary education in Yorkshire; and in 1872, as one of the results of its labours, a scheme was issued for the establishment at Leeds of "The Yorkshire College of Science," for the purpose of supplying instruction in those sciences which are applicable to the industrial arts, particularly in their relation to manufactures, engineering, mining, and agriculture. It is proposed to raise £60,000 for this object, and in the beginning of 1873 several munificent donations were promised, the total amount exceeding £22,000.
Elementary Education in Leeds.- The Elementary Education Act was introduced into Leeds in 1870, the first school board being elected on the 28th November of that year. The election was attended with a good deal of excitement, political and denominational feeling running very high. The result was a denominational rather than a political board, seven of the members being Churchmen, three Wesleyans, and two Roman Catholics; the other members belonging respectively to the Independent, Methodist, and Unitarian denominations.
Men connected with Literature, Science, Invention, and the Arts in the Borough of Leeds.- The great object with which men assemble in vast numbers in large manufacturing and commercial towns, such as those that exist in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and which have so wonderfully increased in population, wealth, and intelligence during the last hundred years, is the carrying on of the useful arts affecting the daily wants of all classes of society. But great cities and towns have always been nurseries of intelligence, from the time of Tyre, Athens, and Florence, which were seats of knowledge and the fine arts, as well as of trade and commerce. The cities and towns of England have produced many men of eminent learning and great literary and scientific attainments, as well as numerous inventors and promoters of the useful arts. Leeds has had its fair share of men of this description; and now that intelligence and education are so widely diffused amongst the populations of our large manufacturing cities and towns, there is every reason to hope that the number will increase. Our limits will not allow us to do more than enumerate the natives of this town who have taken a considerable part in increasing the general amount of knowledge, intelligence, science, and art.
Sir William Sheafield, the first founder of the Grammar School at Leeds, in the year 1552, well deserves to be mentioned at the head of the men of letters. At that time Latin was everywhere the great instrument of communicating thought and knowledge; and though the English, French, German, and Italian languages have all of them since taken a very high position, they have not superseded the value either of Latin or of Greek, in their influence in refining the taste and in extending the knowledge of mankind. Sir William Sheafield lived at the time when the English intellect was beginning to expand into freedom of thought, and he, and the other distinguished men who gave to the minds of their contemporaries the direction which they have since taken, deserve to be regarded as amongst the benefactors of their race. The same praise is due to John Harrison, and other liberal benefactors of the Leeds Grammar School, who, though not themselves scholars, expended the fruits of their industry in encouraging learning, religion, and every object that exalts humanity. Amongst the early scholars connected with this town was the Right Reverend Ralph Baynes, said by Thoresby to have been born at Knowstrop, near Leeds. In 1554 he was raised to the bishopric of Lichfield and Coventry. The most remarkable circumstance in his history was his early knowledge and cultivation of the Hebrew language, which, after having been almost forgotten in Europe for several centuries, was revived in Germany by the distinguished Hebrew scholar Reuchlin, who in the year 1506 published his great work entitled "De Rudimentis Hebraicis," at Pforzheim, in that country. It was only very slowly that this language, which contains the ancient records of the human race, made its way in France and in England; and Ralph Baynes, though a zealous Roman Catholic, appears to have been one of the first persons in England who studied the language with sufficient care to write an account of its grammatical structure. The first and second vicars of Leeds after the Reformation seem also to have been distinguished scholars, as well as zealous supporters of the reformed religion. The Rev. Robert Cooke, B.D., born at Beeston, near Leeds, in the year 1550, and who was appointed vicar of Leeds in 1590, was educated in Sir William Sheafield's foundation, the original Grammar School at Leeds, and was, according to Anthony a' Wood (the author of "Athenae Oxonienses"), "the most noted disputant of his time." His principal work was on patristic literature, and was entitled "Censura Patrum." Ralph Thoresby describes him as the glory of the place (Leeds). He died in the year 1614, and was interred in his own church. The Rev. Alexander Cooke, B.D., who was a brother of the preceding eminent man, and succeeded him as vicar of Leeds, is described by Anthony a Wood as "being admirably read in the controversies between the Protestants and Papists, versed in the fathers and schoolmen, witty and ingenious, but a great Calvinist." Ralph Thoresby says that he was a "person of great learning, reading, and judgment, of prodigious industry in consulting so great a number of authors, and of great sagacity in making so accurate observations on them." He died June, 1632, and was interred in the chancel of his parish church, near the remains of his brother, but without any memorial.
Amongst the laity of Leeds, the first who displayed any great superiority in literature and the arts were Christopher Saxton (the chief geographer of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, whom Camden describes as a most excellent chorographer), and the Thoresbys, father and son. John Thoresby, the father of Ralph, was a merchant at Leeds, afterwards an alderman of the borough, and in the great civil war commanded a regiment of trained' bands in support of the Parliament. According to an eye-witness* he was one of the few officers of the trained bands who stood resolutely by Sir Thomas Fairfax, in the battle of Marston Moor; and this was either the commencement or the renewal of the warm friendship between the Fairfaxes and the Thoresbys, which continued undiminished until the death of Ralph Thoresby, fifty years later. Alderman, or Colonel, John Thoresby was the founder of the Thoresby Museum at Leeds, which was, in the opinion of the learned Spanheim, one of the finest collections of coins ever made by a private collector, and also contained a very large collection of objects of natural history. Although the science of geology could scarcely be said to exist at that time, the geology of the age consisting chiefly of extravagant theories as to the formation of the earth, unsupported by any sufficient evidence, yet a few men were beginning to lay a solid foundation for this great science, by collecting specimen of extinct plants and races of animals, and by comparing and contrasting them with still existing species and varieties. Dr. Martin Lister, a physician of great eminence, residing at York at this time, is regarded by Humboldt as one of the founders of this branch of geology; and his observations must have been greatly facilitated by the fine collections of geological specimens made by the Thoresbys and other collectors, who preserved everything at all curious that was brought to them, under the general name of natural curiosities, and even sent their surplus specimens to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.
The age of Ralph Thoresby, which terminates with the reign of George I., seems to have been a period marked by great intelligence in this part of England as well as in London, where it was regarded as the Augustan age of English literature, of which William Congreve, the dramatist, said to have been born at Bardsey Grange, near Leeds, was one of the brightest ornaments. Thoresby mentions with some pride that there were then six members of the Royal Society connected with the county of York, and that the same county had produced several archbishops and bishops within a single generation. Amongst the members of the Royal Society thus referred to were Ralph Thoresby himself, whose forte was antiquities, and who was not only a good Latin scholar, but also very well acquainted with the Anglo-Saxon language and literature. Another member of the Royal Society was Cyril Arthington, the builder of Arthington Hall, in Wharfedale, but who had also a town house in Boar or Burh Lane, Leeds. A third member was Mr. Kirk, a Leeds merchant, and one of the projectors of the Aire and Calder Navigation, who resided at Cookridge Hall, about five miles from Leeds, where he formed grounds, commanding some of the finest views in Yorkshire, and laid them out on the plan of landscape gardening that prevailed in the time of Louis XIV. He also collected much information as to the Roman and other ancient remains found at Adel; and examined the registers of Adel church, with a view to describing the laws of population. The fourth and most distinguished of the Yorkshire members of the Royal Society at that time was Dr. Bentley, the greatest Greek scholar and critic of his age, who was a native of Oulton, near Leeds, and a friend and frequent visitor of Ralph Thoresby. Another member was Sir Joseph Copley, Bart., then of Sprotborough Hall, near Doncaster; and the sixth was the Hon. Mr. Molesworth, the author of an interesting account of Denmark, in which country he had served with the embassy. Amongst the archbishops and bishops whom Thoresby speaks of as natives of Yorkshire were Dr. Sharp, archbishop of York, a native of Bradford; Dr. Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury, a native of Sowerby bridge, near Halifax; Dr. Margetson, archbishop of Armagh, a native of Drighlington, between Leeds and Bradford; Dr. Bramhall, archbishop of Armagh, a native of Pontefract; and Dr. Lake, bishop of Chichester, a native of Halifax, and for a time vicar of Leeds. Amongst other men of learning, at Leeds and in the neighbourhood, mentioned by Ralph Thoresby, were Mr. Bathurst, a good translator of Italian poetry; the Rev. Mr. Milner, vicar of Leeds, the first person who kindled the love of antiquities in the mind of Ralph Thoresby, by remarking in one of his sermons in the parish church, that Leeds was mentioned nearly a thousand years ago by the Venerable Bede. Thoresby assisted in drawing plans of Leeds, and gives a picture or sketch of the town in his "Ducatus;" he also assisted in making the surveys for the Aire and Calder Navigation. In every way he appears to have contributed to the mental development and the social improvement of his fellow-townsmen. He kept up a friendly intercourse with a learned tradesman of Leeds, whom he describes as the "Saxon saddler," and he has preserved numerous particulars of all the Yorkshire antiquaries of that age; including Hopkinson, the great collector of Yorkshire records, who resided at Lofthouse, near Wakefield; Dr. Sharp, archbishop of York, and all the Sharps of Horton, near Bradford, his relatives, who were a family of extraordinary talent; Abraham de la Pryme, a native of Thorne, who wrote the first history of the town and port of Hull; Dean Gale of York, an antiquary of almost unrivalled learning; and every man of any literary note who resided within the county of York in his time.
Almost immediately after the time of Thoresby, John Smeaton, who may be justly regarded as one of the principal founders of the science of civil engineering, was born at Austhorpe, near Leeds, and spent great part of his life in enriching the county of York, as well as the kingdom in general, with magnificent public works, including the Eddystone Lighthouse, the works for upholding London Bridge, and the higher and more difficult parts of the Calder Navigation from Wakefield to Halifax. In a different but not less useful and necessary branch of science was William Hey, F.R.S., a native of Pudsey, near Leeds, but who was educated and spent the whole of his honourable and useful career in that town, and for more than half a century held the highest rank amongst the professors of medicine and surgery in this part of England. About the same period Dr. Joseph Priestley (born at Birstall, near Leeds, and long resident in the town as minister of Mill Hill Chapel), one of the greatest of English chemists, tried at Leeds many of those experiments, which earned for him so high a rank amongst the founders of the modern science of chemistry. In the year 1720 Leeds produced that accomplished painter, Benjamin Wilson, F.R.S., the father of the gallant General Sir Robert Wilson. At an earlier period William Lodge had also acquired a high reputation as an artist; and Birkenhout, the son of a Dutch merchant, but himself born in Leeds, displayed great learning in natural history, and in several branches of literature.
In the present century Leeds has produced, or enrolled amongst its sons, many men whose talents have exercised a lasting and beneficial influence on society. Amongst these we place great inventors, or introducers of new inventions, whose skill, judgment and perseverance have enabled them to establish new forms of industry, which have had a lasting influence on the communities amongst which they have dwelt. In the first rank in this class we place John Marshall, who was afterwards one of the members for the county of York, and Benjamin Gott, who held for half century the highest position amongst their fellow - townsmen. They were amongst the great organizers of the most important branches of modern industry, and were also great promoters of knowledge and education amongst the labouring classes. Mr. Marshall was the author of an interesting work, entitled " The Economy of Social Life," which was intended to explain, to the working classes more especially, some of the most important doctrines of political economy. Amongst the inventors of the useful arts who have taken part in the business of Leeds during the present century, we may mention Mr. Matthew Murray, an eminent engineer, who began life as an engine-smith or machine-smith in the neighbourhood of Newcastle-on-Tyne, but who came to Leeds when a young man, and was so fortunate as to obtain the friendship of Mr. Marshall, and to assist in carrying out, and also in suggesting, improvements in the manufacture of flax. This was the commencement of a most successful career, in the course of which he attained the highest rank in his profession. He it was who made the first locomotive that worked regularly upon any railway, namely, the engine erected by him for Mr. Blenkinsop to work the Middleton Colliery Railway, near Leeds. He was the inventor of a heckling-machine, in the year 1805, for which he received a gold medal from the Royal Society, presented by the duke of Sussex. He also was one of the earliest English builders of a steam-boat, which was tried on the river Aire. The invention of the locomotive by Mr. John Blenkinsop, from a patent taken out by him in the year 1811, and placed by him in the hands of Messrs. Fenton, Murray, and Wood, was also one of the greatest steps towards the establishment of the modern railway. Mr. Blenkinsop's engine began running on the railway from the Middleton Colliery to the town of Leeds, a distance of about three miles and a half, on the 12th of August, 1812. And it was the first commercially successful engine ever laid upon any railway. We have already mentioned the long-continued and persevering efforts of the Brandling family, the owners of the Middleton collieries, to establish a railway from those collieries to the town of Leeds. We well remember the interest that was excited by the opening of Mr. Blenkinsop's railway; and a few years later, in 1820, Mr. Thomas Gray, a native of Leeds, published a work on the adoption and extension of the railway system, the general views of which greatly resemble those put forth by Mr. Richard Lovell Edgeworth, and quoted in an earlier part of this work. Mr. Gray's work was entitled "Observations on a general Iron Railway or Land Steam Conveyance, to supersede the necessity of Horses in all Public Vehicles, showing its vast superiority in every respect over all the present pitiful methods of Conveyance by Turnpike Roads, Canals, and Coasting Traders." Although the plans thus indicated have since been carried out with immense advantage to the nation and the world, they did nothing to promote the interests of Mr. Gray; but since his death Queen Victoria, with her usual kindness and benevolence, granted a small pension to his widow, which may be accounted as a national and royal acknowledgment of real services to the country. In somewhat more recent times the reputation of Leeds, as a scene of manufacturing invention, has been upheld by several very eminent men. Amongst them we may mention the late Sir Peter Fairbairn, the brother of Sir William Fairbairn, Bart., and the father of Sir Andrew Fairbairn, of Leeds, a member of a family which will ever hold a high rank in the records of British industry and invention. Together with him we may name the late Charles Gascoigne Maclea, Esq., for many years a member of the firm of Maclea & March. We may also mention amongst the engineers whose genius has done honour to the town of Leeds, the late John Fowler, the inventor of the steam-plough, an instrument which will probably change the character of agriculture in all parts of the world. Along with mechanical inventions we may include the discoveries in the science of chemistry, especially such as have tended to advance the industry of this and other districts. Amongst the most promising of the young men who took part in that great advance in science, art, and literature, which attended the forming of the Leeds Philosophical Society, was Mr. Edward S. George, F.L.S., the honorary curator of the Leeds Philosophical Society, and a leading member of the well-known firm of Messrs. Thomas George & Sons. He died at the early age of twenty-nine, having only had time to show the superiority of his talents. His friend and associate in science, William West, F.R.S., had a longer time to develop his eminent talents, and in the year 1846 the fellowship of the Royal Society was conferred upon him for distinguished attainments in chemical science.
In general literature we may mention the following writers, whose names deserve to be remembered:-John Luccock, one of the first English travellers who visited South America after the removal of the seat of government from Lisbon to Brazil, and who wrote interesting "Notes on Rio Janeiro and the Southern Parts of Brazil in 1808- 18," having, before he left England, published an "Account of the Nature and Properties of Wool with description of the English Fleece," published at Leeds in the year 1805. Matthew Talbot, the author of an "Analysis of the Holy Bible," a work of extraordinary labour, and which occupied the mind and the time of its author for many years, and is still the source from which other works on the same subject have been drawn. A few years later Dr. Thomas Dunham Whitaker, who had resided in Leeds in his early years, and was descended by the female line from the Thoresbys, produced through the press of Leeds some of his many learned and tasteful works. He was a copious as well as an elegant writer, and his works entitled " Thoresby's History of Leeds, with additions," published at Leeds in 1816, and his "Loidis and Elmete, or a History of the Lower Portions of Airedale, Wharfedale, and the Vale of Calder," published in 1816, are alike distinguished by taste and learning. He was an accomplished scholar and a man of fine taste; but he had a prejudice against manufactures which somewhat interfered with the value of those portions of his works which relate to the manufacturing districts. At a somewhat later period Michael Thomas Sadler, M.P., F.R.S., who was born in Derbyshire in the year 1780, but who came to reside in Leeds while still a young man, published a number of works, chiefly upon questions affecting the interests of the labouring classes, which attracted great attention at the time, and were amongst the causes of his being elected a member of Parliament at three successive elections, in the years 1829-30-31. His works were entitled "Ireland, its evils and their remedies," and two volumes on the Law of Population, in opposition to the opinions of Malthus. Mr. Sadler was a very eloquent and brilliant speaker, although he went into Parliament comparatively late in life, having been elected in 1829, and having died in the year 1835, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. We have already spoken of the learning of Mr. Sadler's friend and associate, Mr. William Osburn. His works entitled "History of Egypt," published in the year 1854, and his "Account of the Religions of the World," are of permanent interest.
In addition to Dr. T. D. Whitaker's topographical works, many works on similar subjects have appeared in Leeds in the present century. The first Edward Baines devoted a considerable period of his time to the history of his native county of Lancaster, which still holds a high position amongst the topographical works of the age. He had the same pleasure in writing the history of his native county of Lancaster, that his third son has had in producing the present history of his native county of York. He was also ably assisted by his second son, the present member for the borough of Leeds, in writing his "History of the Reign of George III.," a period of sixty years of unrivalled interest in the history of this country; and since that time the younger Edward Baines has written the "History of the Cotton Trade," has supplied the history of the woollen trade contained in this work, and has taken an active part in advancing the intellectual improvement of his fellow-townsmen, who showed their appreciation both of his and of his father's services, by conferring upon both of them the greatest honour which they had the power to give, namely, that of representing them in Parliament for a long course of years. Dr. Hook, the dean of Chichester, was for twenty-two years the vicar of Leeds, and during his residence published a "Church History," " Ecclesiastical Biography," " Devotional Library," and other works. Since his removal Chichester he has been engaged on the "Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury." James Wardell, the author of the "Municipal History of Leeds," has written several minor works on archaeological subjects, all displaying considerable research and patient study.
The Local Press of Leeds.- Leeds was one of the first provincial towns that availed itself of the establishment of the freedom of the press, on the accession of the house of Hanover, to support and encourage the establishment of a local press for the instruction of its inhabitants, and to promote that free discussion which is one of the principal instruments for forming and directing public opinion in this country. The Leeds Mercury was first established by Mr. James Lister in the year 1718; and after having been discontinued for some time, it was re-established in 1767 by Mr. Bowling, who conducted it for twenty-seven years. He was succeeded by Messrs. Binns and Brown, who disposed of it to the first Edward Baines, in the year 1800. In his hands it became an instrument for free yet temperate discussion, in addition to its previous service as a means of diffusing local and general knowledge. The first Edward Baines continued his connection with the Leeds Mercury to the close of his life, assisted by his sons Mr. Edward and Mr. Frederick Baines. The Leeds Mercury has thus been in his family for upwards of seventy years, and is now published as a daily morning paper. The Leeds Intelligencer was also in the hands of the first Mr. Griffith Wright and his descendants for not less than seventy years, having belonged successively to the first Griffith Wright, to Thomas Wright his son, and to the second Griffith Wright, the son of the above, from the year 1754 to the year 1818. It was then transferred to other proprietors, and is now conducted as a daily morning paper under the title of the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. The Leeds Times was established by Mr. Edward Bingley in the year 1838, and afterwards passed into the hands of the present proprietors Amongst the men of ability connected with the local press of Leeds we may mention, in addition to those already named, Alaric Alexander Watts, a poet of considerable taste, who conducted the Leeds Intelligencer for some time, whilst it belonged to Messrs. Robinson and Hernaman. We may also mention amongst the conductors of the Leeds Times, Mr. Robert Incl a young but able man, with a fine poetical taste, as well as a good prose writer, who published in 1835 a volume of poems which was well received, and which has passed through several editions, and who edited the paper until he was cut off by a premature death; and Dr. Samuel Smiles, the popular author of "Self-help," and the " Lives of George Stevenson " and of many of our greatest engineers. The Times is still issued as a weekly journal. There are also two evening papers, the Leeds Express, established in 1867, and the Leeds Daily Express, established in 1872.
Progress of Leeds from 1861 to 1873.- The Preliminary Report of the Census of the United Kingdom, taken in the year 1871, and published at the end of the year 1872, shows that the population of Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, and Wakefield; of the seaports of Hull, Scarborough, Whitby, and Middlesborough; and that of the county of York generally-increased with almost unexampled rapidity during the ten years which intervened between the census of 1861 and that of 1871.
The years 1872 and 1873 will be memorable in the history of Leeds as the years in which the new Royal Exchange of Leeds was built, and in which the great and noble People's Park was formed, and thrown open for the use of the people.
The Royal Exchange of Leeds.- This building is intended to supply the place of the
Leeds Commercial Buildings, which for many years was one of the finest public buildings in
Leeds, and was erected in the years 1826-29, at a cost of nearly £35,000. It was built at the
north-west corner of Boar Lane, at the junction of that street with Park Row, and was a
prominent object on entering the town from the railway stations. It was Ionic in style, in the
form of a parallelogram, and had a handsome circular tetrastyle portico, surmounted by an attic
concave. It included a series of spacious rooms, one of which was used for several years as a
commercial news-room. When the corporation decided to improve Boar Lane this building was
pulled down, the portions of the site not required for the improvement being ultimately sold to
the Royal Exchange Company, Limited, for the purposes of a public exchange and news-room. The
foundation-stone of this new building, still (1873) in course of construction, was laid by
Prince Arthur, on the 20th of September, 1872, in the presence of the corporation, the Burmese
Embassy, and a large assembly of the inhabitants. Within a cavity in the lower stone a bottle
was placed, containing a list of the directors and shareholders of the new exchange engrossed
on vellum, a copy of the articles of association of the company, a list of the Leeds
corporation, copies of the Leeds newspapers, and the coins of the realm. The brass-plate
covering the cavity bore the following inscription:-
THE FIRST STONE OF THE LEEDS EXCHANGE WAS LAID BY HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE ARTHUR, K.G., K.T.,
K.P., &c., ON THE 20TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, A.D. 1872.
Chairman-OBADIAH NUSSEY, ESQ., J.P. Vice-Chairman-JOSEPH HIRST, ESQ., J. P.
JOHN BARRAN, ESQ., Mayor.
EDW. IRWlN, ESQ., J.P.
WILLIAM BAXTER, ESQ.
RICHARD NICKOLS, ESQ.
RILEY BRIGGS, ESQ., J.P.
JAMES STABLES, ESQ.
WILLIAM WATSON, ESQ.
Architects-T. H. and F. HEALEY, Bradford.
Solicitor-HENRY SNOWDON, ESQ.
The following is a description of this building:- The style selected for the new Exchange is perpendicular Gothic, picturesque in outline, and assimilating somewhat in this respect to buildings that may be seen in many parts of Flanders. The structure, four stories in height, will be in harmony with the architecture of Mill Hill Chapel, which it adjoins. The principal entrance, at the junction of Boar Lane with Park Row, is composed of three arches resting on polished granite shafts, forming a kind of outer porch. Access is gained by eleven steps in two flights, reaching the level of the News Room and the Exchange floor. To the left is the News Room, forty-five feet by twenty-four feet, with a height of seventeen feet six inches, lighted by large windows looking into Park Row and the chapel yard, an arrangement having been made by which light is obtained in the latter direction. The Exchange in the centre of the block-and cut off by the shops from the noise of traffic in the streets-is circular in form, about sixty feet in diameter, with a supplemental area in the north-east angle, next to Basinghall Street. Externally the building will have a handsome appearance. The facade is tastefully treated, and the general effect is pleasing and harmonious to the eye. Over the central arches of the entrance will be an oriel window, and over this again a two-light window with broad mullions. In the spaces between the arches shields may be placed bearing the Leeds arms. Provision is made in the upper stage of the tower for an illuminated clock, facing towards the Midland Railway Station. Above the clock is a deep-moulded cornice, enriched with shield, and a pierced tracery parapet with crocketed pinnacles. The total height of the tower from the ground to the top of the finial is 118 feet, and below the latter is a richly designed lantern, with lucerne lights in the sides of the spire. In the centre of the Park Row front an oriel window is shown, a chimney gable breaking the outline of the roof. The angle next to the chapel yard is treated as a turret, surmounted by a conical spire, covered with slate, and rising to a height of eighty-four feet. The entrance to the suite of club rooms is in Boar Lane, immediately adjoining the Exchange entrance. The outer walls of the staircase slightly project into the street. The staircase is lighted by windows "ramped" or stepped up in stages, and it is to be covered with a high-pitched roof. The front of the three shops is composed of stone pillars, bearing ornamental iron girders, over which are carried arches of masonry. There are two-light windows in each of the stories, each window being finished with an enriched parapet and crocketed gables. The roof will be covered with green Coniston slate. The cost of the entire structure is estimated at £18,000, including fittings. There will be eight shops in all, in addition to the Exchange and News Room and the other portions of the pile.
The New People's Park at Roundhay, near Leeds.- One of the greatest improvements that has been made, either in Leeds or any other of the large towns or cities of England in the present generation, has been effected by the purchasing and consecrating to the public use and enjoyment of the beautiful park of Roundhay, with its charming lakes, woods, and grassy turf, which, having been formed by one of the most tasteful of the merchant princes of this district, has now become the property of the people of Leeds. The ceremonies on the opening of this beautiful park, which were attended by one of the princes of the royal family, Prince Arthur, third son of her Majesty, will long be remembered in Leeds, and will form an epoch in the history of that great and flourishing town. The entire Roundhay Park estate comprised 1364 acres. The park proper-comprising 601 acres, one rood, twelve perches-was purchased by Mr. Alderman Barran, then mayor of Leeds, and the principal and most active promoter of the park, for the sum of £107,000 on behalf of the borough of Leeds. Another portion of the land of the Roundhay estate-containing 170 acres, two roods, and twenty-five perches-was also bought, to secure an approach worthy of the park, for the sum of £32,000. Thus, at a cost of £139,000, this splendid demesne was secured by the borough-that is to say, by the people of Leeds. No finer, larger, or more beautiful public park has been formed in any of the great manufacturing and commercial towns of England during the present century, than that thus secured to the people of Leeds by the public spirit and enterprise of Mr. Alderman Barran and the town council of that large, wealthy, and public-spirited community. The site is beautiful, the park being visible even from Meanwood, Cookridge, and the most distant parts of the borough, and the woods and lakes, constructed and trained by the labour and growth of many years, presenting almost every beauty which art can develop amidst the charms of nature.
DATES OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE HISTORY OF LEEDS.
Roman and British Period, A.D. 97 to 616.-
Leeds supposed by Thoresby and Whitaker to be the Loid, or Caer Loid Coit, the "city of
Loid in the Forest," mentioned by Nennius.- Yorkshire: Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 91.
616.-Loidis, Loidis, or Leeds, mentioned by the Venerable Bede as the chief place in the British kingdom of Leodis and Elmete, afterwards conquered by the Angles.-Vol. ii. p. 91.
655.-Great victory of the Christian army of the Angles of Northumbria over the pagans at Winweyd, in the district of Leodis or Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 94.
500 to 800.-Present names of places in parish of Leeds, chiefly derived from the Anglian, a branch of the Germanic language.-Vol. ii. p. 96.
867.-Conquest of this part of England by the Danes and Norwegians.-Many names of Danish or Scandinavian origin in and about Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 97.
930 (about).-Cross with name of King Olaff or St. Olave, king of Norway, Iceland, and Northumbria, found recently amongst the foundations of the old parish church of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 200.
1084-86.-Leeds at the time of the Domesday Survey, about twenty years after the Norman Conquest.- Population supposed to have been less than 1000.-Value of Leeds at that time, about £115 of modern money.-The Bondman's Dam on the river Aire.-Grant of Leeds to Ilbert de Laci, by William the Conqueror.- Vol. ii. p. 99.
1089 (about).-Grant of Leeds to Ralph Paganel by Ilbert de Laci.- Advowson of church of Leeds given to priory of the Holy Trinity at York, by Ralph Paganel.-Castle built at Leeds by the Paganels, with park attached to it.-Vol. ii. p. 102.
1207-8, the 9th King John.-Maurice Paganel grants charter of liberties to his burgage tenants at Leeds.-Copy of charter of Maurice Paganel.- Trade and condition of Leeds at that time.-Vol. ii. p. 104.
1217.-Leeds passes to the earl of Chester, Ranulph de Blondeville.-Vol. ii. p. 109. 1251, 35th Henry III.-Edmund de Laci, earl of Lincoln, obtains charter of free warren in Leeds and neighbouring manors.-Vol. ii. p. 109.
1272, 57th Henry III.-Woollen manufactures of Leeds mentioned in Pipe Rolls or High Sheriff's Account of this year.-Vol. ii. p. 111.
1311, 4th Edward II.-The manor of Leeds passes to Thomas Plantagenet, earl of Lancaster, by his marriage with Alicia de Laci, heiress of the earls of Lincoln; and afterwards to the earls and dukes of Lancaster.- Vol. ii. p. 110.
1373, 47th Edward III.-Fulling mills of Leeds leased to Thomas Burgers. -Vol. ii. p. 111.
1376, 50th Edward III.-Leeds Bridge, with the adjoining chantry, mentioned in the reign of King Edward III.-Vol. ii. p. 110.
1399, 1st Henry IV.-Leeds becomes the property of the Crown, by the accession of Henry of Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster, to the throne of England, as King Henry IV.-Vol. ii. p. 111.
1536, 27-8th Henry VIII.-Leeds described by Leland as "a pretty market-town, standing by clothing."-Vol. ii. p. 112.
1536, 28th Henry VIII.-Valuation of tithes of the parish of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 116.
1538, 30th Henry VIII.-Advowson of parish church of St. Peter's, in Leeds, sold to Thomas Culpepper by King Henry VIII.; afterwards, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Preston and Darnley, the latter of whom sold it to the parishioners of Leeds for £113.-Vol. ii. p. 114.
1574, 16th Elizabeth.-Camden's account of Leeds.-Parish register of Leeds commences.- Population of the parish supposed by Dr. Whitaker not to have exceeded 4000 persons in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.- Vol. ii. p. 112.
1609, 7th James I.-Sale of King's Mills, one fulling mill and two corn mills, at Leeds, to Edward Ferrers and Francis Philips, of London.- Vol. ii. p. 116.
1611.-Manor of Leeds part of dowry of Anne of Denmark, queen of James 1., afterwards sold to Mr. Alderman Sykes and other leading inhabitants.- Vol. ii. p. 124.
1617, 15th James 1.-Lord Bacon confirmed Sir John Saville, of Howley Hall, near Leeds, and twenty-four of the principal inhabitants of Leeds, as holders and patrons of the advowson of the parish.-Vol. ii. p. 115.
1626, 2nd Charles I.-The first charter from the Crown to the borough of Leeds, granted by King Charles I. this year.-List of names of first alderman who acted as mayor, and of principal burgesses of the borough of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 115.
1642-44, 18th and 20th Charles I.-Part taken by Leeds in the great civil war.-Numbers slain in various engagements in and around Leeds.- Vol. ii. p. 117.
1614, 20th Charles I.-Leeds regiment commanded by Colonel John Thoresby, at the battle of Marston Moor.-Vol. ii. p. 119.
1644-45, 21st Charles I.-Many hundred persons destroyed by the plague at Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 121.
1652.-Leeds represented in Parliament by Captain Adam Baynes, of Knowstrop Hall, Leeds, in one of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth.- Vol. ii. p. 122.
1654.-John Harrison and others, conveyed five-ninths of the bailiwick or manor of Leeds to the Corporation.-Vol. ii. 178.
1661-62, 13th and 14th Charles II.-The second royal charter of Leeds, granted by King Charles II. after the Restoration.-Mayor, aldermen, and common councillors of Leeds, named in this charter.-Vol. ii. p. 122.
1663, 16th Charles II.-Number of tenements in Leeds parish paying hearth money 1431; at five persons to each house, giving a population of 7155.
1672, 23rd Charles II.-Mill Hill Chapel built 1672; rebuilt, enlarged, and beautified in the year 1848.- Vol. ii. pp. 125, 205.
1684-85, 37th Charles II. and 1st James II.-Leeds deprived of its charter by James II. and Judge Jeffreys.-Opposition of William Lowther of Swillington, and Richard Baynes the younger of Knowstrop Hall, to James' charter.-Vol. ii. p. 179.
1689.-The Revolution.-William and Mary proclaimed king and queen of England, in front of the Moot Hall, Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 179.
1695.-Water-works constructed at Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 132.
1697.-The rivers Aire and Calder rendered navigable.-Vol. ii. p. 134.
1701.-The water-power of the river Aire and of the brooks within the borough of Leeds.-The manufactures of Leeds in the reign of Queen Anne, as described by Thoresby.-Vol. ii. p. 132.
1702-27.-Thoresby's account of Leeds, written in the reigns of Queen Anne and King George I. Places described:-The Manor House (occupied by the Wilsons, afterwards the Fountaine-Wilsons, as heirs and representatives of Richard Sykes, senior lord of the manor); the New Presbyterian Chapel (Mill Hill); the alms-houses; the Burgh, Borh, or Borough Lane, Briggate; the Moot Hall, the Market Cross, the Head Row, the Red Hall, Rockley Hall, the New Street, the Church of St. John's, Lidgate and Tower Hill, the Free School and Library, the Sheepscar Beck and the mills upon it, Kirkgate, the Old Parish Church of Leeds, the Nether Mills, the Calls, the Independent Chapel built there, the New Water-works, &c., &c.-Vol. ii. p. 124.
1709.-Coaches established between Leeds and London.-Vol. ii. p. 137. 1710.-The first White Cloth Hall built.-Vol. ii. p. 133.
1727.-Daniel Defoe's description of the town of Leeds and of its manufactures.-The trade of the Leeds merchants, by pack-horses, with all parts of England.-Vol. ii. p. 138.
1718, 4th George I.-Leeds Mercury established by Mr. James Lister.-Vol. ii. p. 226.
1727, 1st George II.-Trinity Church built in Boar (or Burh) Lane.-Vol. ii. p. 202.
1740, 14th George II.-Commencement of improvement of high roads, from Leeds to all parts of Yorkshire.-Vol. ii. p. 139.
1745, 18th George II.-Army assembled at Leeds to resist the Pretender and the Highlanders.-Vol. ii. p. 140.
1753, 27th George II.-The riots against toll bars, known as "Leeds fight."-Vol. ii. p. 141.
1754, 28th George II., July 2.-The Leeds Intelligencer established by the first Griffith Wright.-Vol. ii. p. 227.
1755, 29th George II.-The first Leeds Improvement Act passed.-Vol. ii. p. 144.
1756, 30th George H.-Richard Wilson, Esq., of the Manor House, sells land to clothiers for site of Mixed or Coloured Cloth Hall.-Vol. ii. p. 143.
1758, 31st George II.-Coloured or Mixed Cloth Hall built.-Attended by 2000 clothiers, at the beginning of the present century.-Vol. ii. p. 143.
1759, 32nd George II.-First Act for making waggon way to convey coals from Middleton collieries to Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 160.
1760, 1st George III.-Leeds at the commencement of the reign of King George III.-Vol. ii. p. 147.
1765, 5th George III.-Corporation festivities at Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 150.
1767, 7th George III.-The General Infirmary at Leeds founded.-Vol. ii. p. 148.
1770, 11th George III.-Act for making the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.- Vol. ii. p. 148.
1774, 15th George III.-The Leeds Library founded.-Vol. ii. p. 149.
1775, 16th George III.-New White Cloth Hall opened.-Vol. ii p. 151.
1778, 18th George III.-Second Act for conveying coals by waggon from Middleton to Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 160.
1782, 23rd George III.-Great extension and improvement of town of Leeds.- Vol.ii. p. 151.
1788, 28th George III.-Commencement of inclosing of commons around Leeds. -Vol. ii. p. 162.
1792-93, 32nd to 33rd George III.-Third Act for conveying coals from Middleton to Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 160.
1793, 33rd George III.-French revolutionary war commenced.-Vol. ii. p. 166.
1794.-Leeds regiment of volunteers raised.-Vol. ii. p. 166.
1795.-Great reviews of West Riding volunteers on Woodhouse and Chapeltown Moors.-Vol. ii. p. 166.
1796, 36th George III.-Arthur Young's account of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 154.
1799, 40th George III.-Villages in which the woollen trade was carried on for the Leeds market at the beginning of the present century.-Vol. ii. p. 153.
1800, 41st George III.-Public buildings in Leeds at the close of the eighteenth century.-Mr. Gott's evidence as to the progress of machinery.-Vol. ii. p. 154.
1801, 41st to 42nd George III.-Rapid progress of Leeds in the nineteenth century.-Chief causes of progress.-Vol. ii. p. 155.
1803, 44th George III.-Fourth Act for better supplying Leeds with coal, by waggon road.-Vol. ii. p. 160.
1806, 46th George III.-Principal manufactures and banks in Leeds at this time.-Messrs. Gott's woollen mill, at Bean Ing.-Messrs. Marshall's flax mill.-Iron-works of Messrs. Fenton, Murray, and Wood.-The Leeds Pottery.-The first railways at Leeds.-Messrs. Beckett's bank.-Vol. ii. pp. 157-159.
1807, 47th George III.-Retirement of Colonel Lloyd, commander of Leeds volunteers.-Thanks for long-continued services.-Vol. ii. p. 166.
1809, 50th George III.-Another Leeds Improvement Act passed, enlarging powers of Act of 1760, and authorizing the building of a new court- house and gaol, for the borough of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 167.
1815, 56th George III.-Another Improvement Act passed.-Vol. ii. p. 167.
1816, 57th George III.-Issue of new coinage, and withdrawal of local coins.-Vol. ii. p. 164.
1817.-Enlargement of Leeds and extensive improvements under the 57th George III., and subsequent Acts.-Vol. ii. p. 168.
1818, 59th George III.-Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society founded- Vol. ii. p. 169.
1824, 4th George IV.-Act for lighting and cleansing the town; Act for removing and pulling down the Middle Row and the Moot Hall in Briggate.; Act for abolishing vicarial tithes in the borough of Leeds, and substituting a payment in money.- Vol. ii. pp. 168, 176.
1831, 1st and 2nd William IV.-Progress of Leeds in the first thirty years of the nineteenth century.- Vol. ii. p. 177.
1832.-Leeds made a parliamentary borough, returning two members to Parliament.-List of members returned to serve in Parliament for the borough of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 177.
1835.-Local government before, and under, the Municipal Reform Act. -Vol. ii. p. 178. List of mayors of Leeds from 1801 to 1873.-Vol. ii. p. 182. Leeds Improvement Acts, and public improvements since the passing of the Municipal Act.-Vol. ii. p. 183.-The Leeds Soke Act. Manufactures of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 191.
1837.-The Yorkshire Union of Mechanics' Institutes.-Vol. ii. p. 211. The Leeds grammar school.-Vol. ii. p. 213.
1851.-Extension of waterworks.-Vol. ii. p. 184. The Leeds Chamber of Commerce.-The churches, chapels, schools, libraries, and other educational institutions of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 198.
1858.-The Town Hall of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 187.
1861.-Street and town railway improvements.-Vol. ii. p. 186.
1862.-The Philosophical Hall and Museum.-Vol. ii. p. 209.
1864.-Endowed and public schools in Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 215.
1867.-Leeds authorized to return three members to Parliament.-Vol. ii. p. 177.
1868.-List of the vicars of Leeds. Vol. ii. p. 201.
1870.-Elementary education in Leeds.-Men connected with literature, science, invention, and the arts, in the borough of Leeds.-Vol. ii. p. 217.
1872.-Mineral wealth of the Leeds district.-Vol. ii. p. 195. The Royal Exchange of Leeds, foundation stone laid by his Royal Highness, Prince Arthur. -Vol. ii. p. 233. The new Peoples' Park at Roundhay, near Leeds, opened by his Royal Highness, Prince Arthur.-Vol. ii. p. 235.
1873.-Leeds public libraries.-Vol. ii. p. 208. The local press of Leeds. -Vol. ii. p. 226.
Progress of Leeds from 1861 to 1873.-Houses and population in the cities and boroughs of Yorkshire, having defined municipal or parliamentary limits, in 1861 and 1871.-Vol. ii. p. 228. Progress of population of the borough of Leeds in the decennial period, from the census of 1861 to the census of 1871. Vol. ii. p. 230.
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