LEEDS: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1750.


"LEEDS, a parish in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 139 cm. 181 mm. from London, has a magnificent stone-bridge over the r. Aire to the suburbs. It was incorporated by K. Charles I. with a chief ald. 9 burgesses, and 20 assistants; and by Charles II. with a mayor, 12 ald. and 24 assistants. It has been a long time famous for the woollen mf. and is one of the largest and most flourishing Ts. in the Co. yet had but one Ch. till the R. of Charles I. when John Harrison, Esq; a native, and deputy to the chief ald. Sir John Savil, built another in 1634, at his own cost, and endowed it with 80 l. a year, and 10 l. to keep it in repair, to which he added a house for the minister. He also founded an hospital here, for relief of the poor who had been honest and industrious, and endowed it with 80 l. a year, besides 10 l. a year for a master to read prayers, and instruct them. He also built a fr. sc. to which Mr. Lawson, mayor of the T. in 1669, added a library. He likewise erected a stately market-cross. Here is a long street full of shops or standings, with piles of cloth for the Mt. The merchants of this place, York, and Hull, ship them off at the latter, for Holland, Hamburgh, and the North. After ringing of the Mt. bell at Six or Seven in the morning, the chapmen come into the Mt. and match their patterns, when they treat for the cloth with a whisper, because the clothiers standings are so near each other; and perhaps 20,000 l. worth of cloth is sold in an hour's time. At half an hour after Eight the bell rinys again, when the clothiers and their chapmen go off with their tressels, and make room for the linen-drapers, hard-ware-men, shoe-makers, fruiterers, &c. At the same time the shambles are well stored with all sorts of fish and flesh; and 500 horse-loads of apples have been counted here in a day. There is a magnificent hall, where they also sell great quantities of white cloth; and here is a noble guild-hall, with a fine marble statue of Q. Anne, erected by ald. Milner, about the year 1714. Its r. being navigable by boats, they send other goods, besides their cloth, to Wakefield, York, and Hull, and furnish York with coals. There is a house called Red-Hall, because it was the first brick-building in the T. erected by Mr. Metcalf, an ald. of Leeds; and K. Cha. I. had an apartment in it, which is ever since called the King's-chamber. There is another place called Tower-Hill, on which there was once a tower; besides which, there was a castle which K. Stephen besieged, in his march to Scotland. Here was also a park, where are now inclosures. There is a workhouse here of free-stone, built by ald. Sykes in 1699, where poor children are taught to mix wool, and perform other easy branches of that mf. and a part of it has been used many years as an hos. for the reception of the aged poor. Here are three almshs. built by Mr. Lancelot Iveson, vho was mayor here in 1695, and a ch. scs. of blue- coat boys, to the number of 100. In the cieling of St. Peter's, its only parochial Ch. the delivery of the Law to Moses is finely painted in fresco by Parmentier. It is a venerable free-stone pile, built in the cathedral fashion, and seems to have been the patch-work of several ages. There is a Presbyterian meeting here, erected in 1691, called the New-Chapel, which is the stateliest, if not the oldest, of that denomination in the N. of England; and in the T. and its suburbs are several other meeting-houses, as is always observed in Ts. of great trade and mf. In the R. of K. Will. III. it first gave title of Duke to the family of Osborn; and it is noted for some medicinal springs, one of which, called St. Peter's, is an extreme cold one, and has been very beneficial in rheumatisms, rickets, &c. Its Mts. are Tu. and S. and the Mt. laws are more strictly observed here than any where."

"ALLERTON GLEDHOW, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 2 m. from Leeds, of which it is another hamlet. The family of Thwaits, whose ancestors were lardiners to the K, had an estate here, which passed to the Waddington's by the female heir. 'Tis now the seat of Sir Roger Beckwith, Bart."

"ALLERTON GRANGE, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is another hamlet of the same, that bel. formerly to the abby of Kirkstal, but is since become the property of the Killingbecks."

"ALLERTON MOOR, in the parish of Leeds, another on the confines of Leeds. Here are the seats of the Marshals, whose estates by the female heirs, passed to the Fowkes's and Hicks's, of which last was Marmad who was 4 times mayor of Leeds, and Dr. Geo. Hicks, the nonjuring Dean of Worcester."

"ARMLEY, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Leeds, bel. formerly to the Lacys, Es. of Lincoln, and the Musgraves. The hall here was the seat of the ancient family of the Hoptons, from whom it passed to the Stapletons, Maulevrers, and Inglebys, in whose family it now is; and here is a chapel, which was built in the R. of K. Cha. I. In the neighbourhood are red and white coat hills, and that called Giant-Hill, where is a Danish fortification."

"BEESTON, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, a little to the S. of Leeds, to which parish it is a chapel of ease. It is a considerable place noted for the mf. of bone-lace, straw-hats and hatbands. Here is a hall which was anciently the seat of the family of the Beestons, and a park which is a spring wvood of 60 acres, with a mine of coal. One of the Beestons sold this manor to Sir John Wood, Knt. of Cambridgeshire; but for want of issue male, it went, by marriage of his daughter, to Thomas Worsley, of whose family it was purchased by Mr. Bland of London. In the windows of the chapel are the arms of the Nevils, Beestons. &c. The Gales family had an estate here formerly, and were numerous; after which that of the Hills had it, who sold it to ald. Kitchingman of Leeds. Here is a hos. for widows, founded end endowed, with 60 l. a year for ever, by the lady of Sir John Hewley. Cat-Beeston, or Woody-Beeston, is a Lp. in the same parish which did bel. to the Latimers, and afterwards went to the Milners, merchants of Leeds; of whom William Milner, Esq; the late Ld. was a great benefactor to its ch. s."

"BRAMLEY, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire,, a township bel. to Leeds, whose lands that bel. to Kirkstall-abbey, were, at the ref. given to Abp. Cranmer, but lately they were the property of Thomas Kirk, Esq;. This T. is noted for excellent slate."

"CHAPPEL ALLERTON, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in a pure air, and on a pleasant ascent, which gives a prospect 12 m. round. It derives its name from the many alders in its neighbourhood. Rob. Parker, Esq; from whom descended the late Ld. Chancellor, who had an estate here, built and endowed an hos. here, for 10 widows, with 50 l. a year. Its ancient Lds. were named de Alreton, though the Brearhaghs had some estate here. Edw. Ld. Clinton, was Ld. of this manor in the R. of Q. Eliz. but sold it to Tho. Hodgson, Esq;. Here was a chantry, converted into a chapel of ease, and in 1702, the inh. purchased a chapel-yard to it. "

"FARNLEY, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the S. W. side of Leeds, bel. formerly to Sir John Danvile; by the marriage of whose daughter it passed to Will. Nevil of Hornby-castle. From the Nevils it came to the Langtons, and by them to the Danbys; tho' in the R. of Hen. V. it was the seat of Sir William Harrington. The hall here was built by Sir Tho. Danby."

"GIPTON, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, not far from Hawksworth, the estate of the late Sir Ja. Long. Here is a curious cold spring, which is frequented by persons of quality, and accommodated with convenient apartments to sweat in after bathing. The place was fitted up for this use in 1681."

"HEADINGLEY, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, a hamlet of Leeds, In which grew the shire-oak, from whence the H. has its name. In the chapel is interred Benj. Wade of New-Grange, who gave 200 l. for ever, towards the maintenance of its curate; but the ground for it was given by the famous Sir John Savil."

"HOLBECK, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, near Leeds, bel. to the priory of the Trinity at York, but at the Ref. to Sir Arthur Darcy, from whose family it passed to the Ld. Visc. Irwin, it being purchased of K. James I. by Sir Arthur Ingram, his ancestor. The Andertons family had an estate here, from the 4th of Philip and Mary, to 1676."

"HUNSLET, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or HUNFLEET, on the S. bank of the Are, almost over against Leeds, and in its parish was improved from a dog-kennel, as the name imports, to an eminent T. for clothiers, and then to a corp. in the R. of Cha. II. because by making that sort of cloth called Northern-dozens, it had much increased the crown revenue. It had formerly a manor- house and park, which bel. to the Gascoigns, by the marriage of whose heiress it came to Sir Tho. Nevil, whose descendant, Sir John, forfeiting it in the R. of Q. Eliz. by rebellion, she gave it to Sir Edw. Cary, whose posterity sold it to the townsmen, of whom the Fentons being the chief, they were lately, if they are not still, Lds. of it. The widow of Mr. Tho. Fenton lived to see herself grandmother and great-grandmother to 138 children, who lived for most part at the neighbouring village of Hunfleet-Woodhouse."

"KIRKSTALL, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the N. W. side of Leeds, has still the remains of an abbey, which after the Diss. was given to Mr. Pakeman. Here are several corn and fulling-mills, a stone-bridge over the Are, which was made navigable hither in the year 1698, and an iron-forge, with a mill for slitting iron into small bars and rods. It was the seat of the late Ben. Wade, Esq;."

"OSMONDTHORP, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the E. side of Leeds, is more properly Oswinthorp, it having been a royal village, and the seat of the Northumbrian K. Oswin. One of the Osmond family had a seat here in after-times, from whence it has obtained the present name. His estate here, for want of issue-male, went by marriage to the Sheltons."

"POTTER NEWTON, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, a pleasant village, N. of Leeds, and on the S. side of a delicate green, called Chappel- Town-Moor, so noted for horse-races and other diversions, as has brought many of the gentry to be its inh."

"WORTLEY, in the parish of Leeds, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, lately bel. to James Ferrer. It has a vein of fine white clay, much used by the tobacco-pipe makers at Leeds."

[Transcribed by Mel Lockie © from
Stephen Whatley's England's Gazetteer, 1750]