LEEDS  1888


(Kelly  Directory)


LEEDS  1894


(White  Directory)



A POPULOUS market town, in the west riding of the county of York, is situated on

the north side of the river Aire, over which is a handsome stone bridge. It is within an

hour's walk of the romantically picturesque ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, which appears

“lovely in decay,” as its majestic remains are viewed by the traveller, from the turnpike

road leading to Bradford.——The trade of wooHem cloth, which has raised Leeds to its

present consequence, is carried on here to an extent unequalled in any place in the king

dom. The cloth markets are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and then only for an hour

and a half each day; at half past eight in the morning, in summer, and nine in winter,

the market-bell rings, and in a few minutes the market is filled, and all the benches co

wered with cloth. As soon as the bell has ceased, the buyers enter, and having fixed on

certain lots, or pieces of cloth, they proceed in a very expeditious manner to bargain for

the same. The time of sale is terminated by another bell; and any merchant staying in

the hall after the bell has ceased, forfeits five shillings. The Mixed Cloth-hall, which is

the principal, was erected in 1758; it is a quadrangular building, inclosing an open area

of about 100 yards square, and is divided into seven partitions or streets, each of which

contains four rows of stands; and these are the freehold property of separate manu

facturers. The whole number of stands is 1770. The White Cloth-hall, built in 1775,

is partitioned in a similar manner, and contains 1210 stands.--Here are five ecclesias

tical edifices, appropriated to the established religion, and thirteen to the different deno

minations of dissenters. There are three alms-houses, a charity-school for boys and girls,

a free grammar school, in which the Greek and Latin languages are taught; and two

other spacious public schools, both erected in 1812, one denominated the “Royal Lan

casterian Free School,” the other, “the National School,” both built by public subscrip

tion, carried on with much spirit, and prove of the greatest utility, by facilitating the

rudiments of learning to nearly 1600, children. Here are also a very extensive and valu

able public library; two commodious subscription news rooms; a music hall, in Albion

street, and an elegant, though small theatre.—Leeds boasts an extensive work-house, in

which the children are taught the easy branches of the woollen manufacture; while a noble

structure, the infirmary, extends its blessings to thousands, and a spacious “house of re

covery” opens its doors to receive such as are unhappily seized with contagious fevers. In

* 1813, a commodious court-house and prison were built in Park-row. The streets in th

upper part of the town are narrow; but in the other parts they are broad, and tolerabl

well flagged and lighted; the houses are mostly uniform, and many of them elegant

The civil government of the town is vested in a mayor, twelve alderman, and twenty

four common-council men.—The rivers Aire and Calder are navigable from Leeds; by

which means a communication is opened from Leeds and Wakefield to York and Hull.

In the year 1757, an act was obtained for continuing the navigation of the river Calder

from Wakefield to Elland and Halifax; and also for further extending the navigation o

the said river up to Sowerby-bridge above Halifax. In 1770 the Leeds and Liverpool

Canal was begun, so that at present Leeds has not only a communication with Liverpool

and Hull, but also with the rivers Mersey, Severn, Humber, Thames, Avon, &c. extending

several hundred miles in the counties of Lincoln, Nottingham, Lancaster, Westmoreland,

Chester, Stafford, &c.——The linen manufacture has lately been introduced into the

parish of Leeds, upon an extensive scale, and with considerable success. Several iron

founderies are also established in the neighbourhood, and a manufactory of earthenware

has been successfully carried on within a mile of the town.——Leeds is 196 miles distant

from London, 24 from York, and 44 from Manchester. The population is now about

63,000. Markets, Tuesdays and Saturdays. There are two fairs held here annually;

one on the 10th. and 11th of July, for horses; the other on the 8th. and 9th. of Novem.

ber, for horned cattle.