5 FEBRUARY 1870, Page 11



LEEDS demands a separate notice as one of the great indus- trial capitals of Yorkshire and the North of England. Its origin and early history are verapt in complete obscurity, and we will not attempt to unravel the mystery attaching to the district of Loidis, mentioned by Bede, the problematical kingdom of Elmete, which is said to have comprised the western portion of Loidis, or the locality over which " Cerdic, King of Britons," ruled. If not on the site of a Roman station, Leeds was probably in the immediate vicinity of Roman settlements. We have already spoken of the considerable Roman remains at Add, five miles to the north ; and more than one Roman road probably passed through or near it. "Heaps of scorix have been found here," and it is not improbable that Leeds was the site of one of the iron-works established by the Romans in this district. In "Domesday Survey" it appears as part of the possessions of Ebert de Laci, under the name of Leda. This baron is said to have built a castle here, on Mill Hill, on the north side of the town, which was besieged and taken by King Stephen in 1139; and here Richard II. was confuted for a short time ; but all trace of it had disappeared in the reign of Henry VIII. Ilbert de Ladi had here ten carucates and six oxgangs of taxable land, as much of which was arable as could be tilled with six ploughs. There were in the whole district 27 villani, and four sochmen with 11 ploughs, a church and a mill, and ten acres of meadow, of which £7 4. was the estimated value. A charter is quoted by Whitaker from an incorrect copy, by which, in the ninth of John, Maurice Paganel grants certain privileges to his burgesses of Ledes. from which it would seem to have become by that time a consider- able town for those days. It is mentioned there as incorporated, but it certainly afterwards ceased to be a corporate town, and we cannot rely on the charter as an authority. The town was incorporated or reincorporated in the reign of Charles 1., and received a charter in the thirteenth of Charles II.

Leeds is situated 24 miles south-west from York on both aides of the river Aire, the principal and best part standing on the slope of a hill north of that river, and the buildings covering a space of about 1,000 acres. The largest part of the town is "irregularly built, with narrow and crooked streets, but the centre and west end comprise several handsome streets, lined with fine houses." The situation of the town must have always recommended it as a place of traffic and business, and its natural advantages have been improved to the utmost. "It stands in a fertile country, inter- sected with rivers, and possessing rich beds of coal. It com- municates with the Humber and the German Ocean by means of the Aire and Calder Navigation, which allows vessels of 120 tons to come up to the town. On the other hand, it communicates with the Mersey and Liverpool by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and it has now railway communication with the principal towns of the kingdom. Its rise, however, to its present state of importance and prosperity is comparatively of recent date. It probably was a seat of the cloth trade from an early period, perhaps from the settlement of the Flemings in Yorkshire in the time of Edward III.; but we have no special notice of it before the time of Henry VIII., when Leland describes it as a pretty market town, subsisting chiefly by clothing, reasonably well built, and as large as Bradford, but not so "quick" as it, and considerably less in size than Wakefield. In 1642 it was taken by the Cavaliers under the Marquis of Newcastle, and in the following year retaken by Sir Thomas Fairfax after a severe struggle, 500 prisoners remaining in his hands. "At the beginning of the last century, the town had become the great centre of the woollen cloth trade." De Foe, writing about 1714, says that the cloths made here are called in London "narrow," by way of distinction from the " broad " cloths of Wilts, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon. He speaks in the highest terms of admira- tion of the "noble scene of industry and application" which, joined to its market, brought "many travellers and gentlemen from Hamburgh, and even from Leipsic in Saxony, on purpose to see it." The cloth market "was at first held on the large and wide bridge that crossed the Aire," afterwards "in the street now called Briggate, until in 1758 the Mixed Cloth Hall was built, and in 1775 the White Cloth Hall, both of which are still in use." The prosperity of the town increased gradually though steadily till the beginning of the present century, when, "like other manu- facturing towns in the North, it made sudden and rapid progress," the population rising from 53,162 (in 1801), to 207,165, in 1861. "it is now the greatest cloth market in the world," and "every kind of woollen cloth is made here, and there is hardly a branch of manufacture that is not represented at Leeds. Flax-mills, dye and bleaching works, felt factories, iron-works, and factories for the making of machines, brass foundries, glass-works, cap and shoe factories on a great scale, chemical works, and leather works are among the most important of these." Leeds has paid for this prosperity the price of being one of the two "blackest and least habitable towns in Yorkshire." The "woollen manufacture of Leeds and its neighbourhood is carried on in two ways,—the domestic system, and by means of factories. According to the former plan, the business is conducted by a number of small masters, generally possessed of very limited capital, who have in their houses from two to four looms, and employ, besides themselves and their families, from three to seven journeymen. Formerly they used to carry the wool by hand - labour through all the stages of its manufacture, until it WU made into undressed cloth ; but for years past they have availed themselves in the performance of various processes of the public mills that have been erected, mostly on a joint-stock principle, in all the villages within the district where this system prevails. The factory system owes it existence to the experiments in machinery subsequent to 1790, and though strongly opposed by the domestic clothiers," has mainly contributed to the pre-eminence of Leeds in the manufacture. Since the manufacturers "have begun wholly to finish their goods," the cloth-halls "have lost a great deal of their importance," most of the business being transacted in private counting-houses. "The number of occupations to which the cloth manufacture alone gives rise has been estimated at 120." The flax trade is increasing here fast, and the town is said to stand in it inferior to Belfast only. Leeds was not a Parliamentary borough till the Reform Act of 1832; that of 1868 has added a third member. A large Town Hall was built in 1853-8, at a cost of .£120,000. A Philosophical Hall was commenced in 1819, and greatly enlarged and reopened in 1862, which contains a museum, library, lecture-hall, &c., and several local antiquities, such as a tesselated pavement from Aldborough, &c. Leeds has few relies of old times. It is supplied with places of religious worship of all denominations, and has a proprietary Library (founded in the last century), a well-endowed Grammar School, founded in 1552 and recently rebuilt, and many other schools in the town and neighbourhood.

Bradford, eight and a half miles west of Leeds, stands "at the head of a wide valley, down which the Bradford Beck flows to meet the Aire at Shipley." It is said to have derived its name from being a broad ford over a marsh. The town has little ancient history preserved, though it must have been a seat of iron- works in the Roman period, a number of Roman coins having been discovered in the midst of a mass of scorns, the refuse of an

ancient foundry in the neighbourhood of the town. The supply of ore is still abundant, but the works, though considerable, are not. so extensive as perhaps might have been anticipated. The great. supply of coal in the neighbourhood has, as in the case of Leeds, been one of the main causes of the growth of the prosperity of the. place. In the Civil Wars of the reign of Charles I. it stood for the- Parliament, and twice repulsed attacks from the Cavalier garrison of Leeds before it was taken by Newcastle, Lord Fairfax cutting his way through the besiegers to Leeds ; but his wife being made prisoner before she could reach (on horseback) the brow of the hills, Newcastle sent her to her husband in his own carriage.

Bradford is now the great centre of the worsted trade, Norwich,

which was the cradle of the trade, being now supplied from Brad- ford "with finer yarns than she can herself make, and at a far lower price." The earliest manufacture of Bradford, however,.

was that of woollen cloths. "Early in the last century the making of worsted stuffs encroached much on this, and at last.

grew to so great importance that in 1773 the Piece Hall' was.

built. About this time nearly all the population of Bradford was engaged in spinning and weaving stuffs fabricated altogether from wool." "About the year 1794 spinning-machines were first set up here, and in 1800 the first factory.with a steam-engine, of fifteen horse-power, was erected." From this time the growth of Bradford was rapid in the extreme. There were only three.

factories here in 1800, and there are now between 160 and 170, and the population has increased from 13,264 in 1801 to 106,21w in 1861. Halifax and other towns which have held back from the factory system and the use of machinery have been completely distanced by Bradford, though there also in 1826 the deter- mined opposition to the weaving of stuffs by the power-loom le& to some serious riots. "Modern Bradford has extended itself' up the hills on either side of the old town, and further down

the valley." The most important public building is St.

George's Hall, completed in 1853. There is a new Exchange- (begun in 1864), many churches and chapels, schools, and educa-

tional institutions. The town has sent representatives to Parlia- ment since the Reform Act of 1832, and was incorporated in 1847._ It has water communication through the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and good railway communication with all parts of the kingdom.

Sheffield, the capital of the district of Hallamshire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is situated 39 miles south of Leeds, at the confluence of the Don and Sheaf. The town was " originally con- fined to the slope of a hill rising south-east from the Don, but now occupies the bottom and sides of several low hills, rising in various. directions both from the Don and Sheaf." Though the older'

streets "are steep, narrow, and irregular," the modern ones are wide and straight. The town itself, enveloped in smoke, presents a strange contrast to the beauty of the surrounding country, which, is studded with the villas of the wealthy bankers, manufacturers, &c., of the town.

Sheffield is "the great mart and manufacturing place of cutlery, in England, and iron abounds in the neighbourhood. Little is known of its early history, or of the origin of its trade. It existed in Saxon times, and under the Plantagenets was pro- tected by a castle. The manor of Hallam belonged at the-

Conquest to Earl Waltheof. It was given by William to Roger de Busli, and from him, through the De Lovetots and Fur- nivals, passed to the Talbots ; and from these by marriage to the Howards, who still retain it. The town was eminent for the. making of knives—" thwyte1s " (whittles)—in the thirteenth cen- tury, and they are mentioned by Chaucer in the reign of Edward III. The lord of the manor (the Earl of Shrewsbury) presented to Lord Burghley in 1575 a case of "Hallamshire whittles." Arrows- were also made here, and the Earl of Richmond's men at the battle of Bosworth profited by their superior character. "Towards the end of the 16th century, certain refugees fromHolland skilledinworking iron and steel took refuge in Sheffield, and were protected by the Earl of Shrewsbury," but the trade here continued for a long time to be- subject to the regulations of the lord of the manor and his court-

leet, and little advance was made. In 1624 a corporation —the- Company of Cutlers—was formed of the makers of knives and cutlery in Hallamshire, principally to regulate the marks or devices. of each maker, and it continued on the same footing till 1814,_ when an Act was passed permitting all persons indiscriminately, without their being freemen, or having served an apprenticeship, or obtained a mark from the _corporation for their goods, to carry on business anywhere within the district of Frallemebire ; and this.

enfranchisement of the trade was attended with the best effects. For a long time, however, the finer kinds of cutlery were made either in London or on the Continent, the Sheffield manufacture

being confined to sheath-knives, scissors, sickles, and scythes. About the beginning of the seventeenth century a common tobacco- box and the Jew's harp were added, but it was not till about forty years afterwards that the manufacture of clasp-knives, razors, and files was introduced. For about a century after this period "the manufacturers discovered more of industry and perseverance than of enterprise and ingenuity." It was not until the reign of George I. that the English surgeons ceased to import from France their more delicate surgical instruments. "About the year 1750 the manufacturers of Sheffield began, for the first time, to carry on a direct trade with the Continent. The manufacture of plated goods was soon afterwards commenced, and from that period down to the present time Sheffield has made an astonishing progress, and in many branches of the hardware trade has no superior, and in some no rival. "Like Birmingham, Sheffield was most probably indebted to her situation for her early applica- tion to the hardware business. Coal (as well as iron) is found in her immediate vicinity. The Don, on which she is built, and four smaller rivers which flow into the Don near the town, supply her with power to work mills for forging, cutting, and pre- paring the iron and steel used in her manufactures, and in this respect she has an advantage over Birmingham. The river was made navigable to within about three miles of the town as early as 1751, and a lateral canal has since prolonged the navigation to the town." The population of the borough was 185,172 in 1861. There was no proper municipal corporation till 1843; the town first returned two representatives to the House of Commons in 1832.

Mary Queen of Scots was confined in the Manor, a country seat near the town, belonging to the Earl of Shrewsbury, for twelve years. The castle was seized in the Civil Wars of Charles I. by the Parliamentarian General Sir John Gell, and was demolished by order of the Parliament in 1646. Nothing but its foundations now remain, but its site is still called Castle Hill.

The town of Sheffield, besides a large number of churches and chapels, has a grammar school (of the time of James I.), and many other schools, an old charity called the Shrewsbury Hospital, a public library, museum, &c. The town is now remarkable as being one of the industrial seats in which the question of the relations of labour and capital occupies a primary place in public attention, and in which the system of Trades' Unions has received its greatest development and excited the most conflicting criticisms. The artizans have more comfortable and better furnished houses here than in any manufacturing town in England, the living in cellars or in different parts of the same house being quite exAptional.

Kingston-upon-Hull,—or, as it is generally called, simply "Hull," which ranks fourth in commercial importance among the ports of Great Britain—is situated on the north bank of the Humber, "at the junction of a small and sluggish stream, the Hull, 34 miles south-east from York. The town first appears under the Scandi- navian name of Wyke, was first called Hull in the time of Richard I., and "King's Town" from a visit of Edward I., in 1299, "who must be considered as its real founder." It occupied a long parallelogram, crossed and recrossed by parallel streets, with a large, open market-place, adjoiniug which is the principal church. The King is said to have come to 1Vyke, or Hull, accidentally in a hunting expedition from Baynard's Castle, on his return from the battle of Dunbar, to have been struck with the site, and to have purchased the manor from the Abbot of Meaux ; he then laid out the town, declared it a free port, and gave it many other privileges. It rose to importance on the decay of Ravenser and Hedon, from the waste caused by the sea. It furnished Edward Ill. with 16 ships and 460 men (London's complement being only 25 ships and 662 men). "The Hull, on the right bank of which the town was founded, was at first the only harbour, and the entrance and

boundary of the old town are pretty nearly marked by its course, and the direction of the older docks, which occupy the site of the

old walla. The Docks form a remarkable feature in the town, though of course far inferior in extent to those of Liverpool. "A cut from the Hull leads east into the New Victoria Dock, while

another on the west communicates with three other docks, extending

from the Hull to the Humber, and covering upwards of 23 acres. The Old Dock, nearest the Hull, and entered from it, was finished

in 1778, and was then the largest in the kingdom. Hull is the great port and packet station for the North of Europe. It played an important and well-known part in the Civil Wars of Charles I.,

stoutly shutting its gates against both King and Cavaliers, and

sustaining long sieges. It was expressly garrisoned by James II. against the Prince of Orange, in case he should attempt to land there, but was seized and delivered to William's possession by some of the officers. The first municipal charter of the town was granted in the twenty-seventh of Edward I. It first sent repre-

sentatives to the House of Commons in 1305, and has done so continuously since 1319. The population, "including the suburbs, exceeds 99,000." It has a grammar school, founded in 1486, and many other schools, besides several "proprietary colleges," founded in recent years, several churches and chapels, a Trinity House, chartered by Henry VIII., for decayed seamen, and other charitable institutions going back as far as 1380.

Of all the " worthies " of Yorkshire, we can only give a small and select list. 'rue greatest no doubt is John Wickliffe the Reformer, who is believed to have been born at Hipswell, near Richmond. With him may be coupled Miles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, well known in connection with the translation of the Bible into English, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, the Catholic martyr, who was born at Beverley in 1459 and beheaded in 1535. Beverley also gave birth to John Alcock, Bishop of Rochester, Worcester, and Ely (who died in 1500), and to John Green, Bishop of Ely, born in 1706. Archbishop Bramhall, Primate of Ireland (who died in 1663), was born at Pontefract, and Dr. Palliser, Archbishop of Tuam, at Kirkby-Wisk. This last place saw the birth also of Roger Ascham, the celebrated tutor of Queen Elizabeth. Richard Bentley, the great scholar, was born at Oulton in 1661. Bishop Porteous was a native of York, in which city the celebrated Guy Faux was also born. Of the chroniclers, Yorkshire is the mother of Roger de Hoveden or Houeden, Peter of Langtoft, and William of Newburgh. Dr. Joseph Priestley, the philosopher and theologian, was born near Oakwell. The Fairfaxes (Edward, the translator of Tasso, and the soldiers of the reign of Charles I.) were all Yorkshiretnen. Andrew Marvell was born at Wineatead. Sir John Gower, the poet, is said to have been born at Sitenham in 1320. Temple-Newsam was the birthplace of Henry, Lord Darnley, the unfortunate husband of Mary, Queen of Scots ; and near the same place was born John Smeaton, the engineer of the Eddystone Lighthouse. Captain Cook, the navigator, was born at Marton. Sir James Parke, the eminent Baron of the Ex- chequer, was a native of Wensleydale, from which he took his title. John Flaxman, the sculptor, and William Etty, the artist, were natives of York ; and William Wilberforce was born in Hull.