John De Morgan

John De Morgan (1877-1880) Calverley Street and Great George Street The Leeds School Board building was designed by George Corson and opened in 1881 (Corson was also responsible for the neighbouring Municipal Building). As well as a significant site of local power in its own right, the School Board was also briefly home to a…

Alice Mann (1791-1865)

Alice Mann (1791-1865) Central Street and Duncan Street This Leeds-born radical and publisher operated primarily from a bookshop based in the now-demolished Central Market on Duncan Street (near to Central Street). Alice married James Mann, a prominent West Riding political activist and bookseller, in 1807. After his death she took on his business to support…

The Music Hall (1858)

The Music Hall (1858) Covered Entrance, Albion Street and Trinity Arcade On the 14th December 1858 a meeting was held at the Music Hall on Albion Street to protest against the British opium trade with India and China. The meeting was chaired by Edward Baines and gentlemen including Arthur Lupton, William Hey and Wilson Armistead…

Leeds Civic Trust

Leeds Civic Trust (1965) 17 Wharf Street Established over 50-years ago, the Trust has campaigned for – and succeeded in – preserving and improving heritage sites in Leeds: including Kirkgate Market, the Bank of England site on South Parade, and the first White Cloth Hall. They are responsible for erecting Blue Plaques in the city…

Heritage Open Day 2019: Power and Protest

Eagle-eyed (or, perhaps, just sleepless) readers of the Secret Library blog will have noticed a flurry of articles published in the wee-small hours of the morning – all concerned with some aspect of Power or Protest in the history of Leeds. These articles are to complement and expand on information contained in a new heritage…

The 1908 Suffragette Riot

Suffragette Riot (10 October 1908) Corner of Cookridge Street & Portland Gate, The Coliseum On this day Prime Minister Herbert Asquith was due to speak at the Coliseum on Cookridge Street. The police were worried the Suffragettes would try to disrupt the event. Jennie Baines, a suffragette from Stockport, was addressing the crowd who had…

The Dripping Riot of 1865

The Dripping Riot (1865) Park Square Eliza Stafford worked as cook to the surgeon and magistrate Henry Chorley. He discovered she was stealing dripping from his kitchen and brought charges against her. She was found guilty and imprisoned for a month in Armley Prison. The case brought much public sympathy for Eliza and on February…

The Lady Ludd Riots of 1812

Lady Ludd Riots (August 1812) Briggate These took place on Briggate at the height of summer, when a group of women and boys marched through the street attacking corn merchants in protest at perceived high prices. The group was led by a figure styling themselves as ‘Lady Ludd’ – named after ‘Ned Ludd’, the (possibly…