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…

A Surprising Map of Briggate, 1844

This week on the Secret Library, librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at a lesser-known map collection in the Central Library collections. A recent blog post explored some possible sources for the authentic voice of the 19th-century Leeds working-class. One book in that small grouping included the reminiscences of James Watson, whose youthful dalliance with…

Briggate in Brief

Local History Librarian, Ross Horsley, celebrates Black Friday with a special deal of ten FREE facts about Briggate, one of the oldest streets in Leeds. Whether you’re on the lookout for seasonal deals or finally getting to grips with your Christmas list, it’s likely you’ll find yourself on Leeds’s main shopping street at some point…

Captain Cook and Doctor Priestley: A Library Tale for Our Times

Heritage volunteer Tony Scaife imagines a secret meeting of great minds in 18th century Leeds… Having borrowed a copy of Peter Whitley’s Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America from Leeds Libraries, I became intrigued at the similarities between the 1770s and today. As his many Whig critics claimed, Lord North’s bungling government negligently lost…

The Civil War in the Library

This week on the Secret Library we welcome back guest blogger Polly Clare-Hudson from the University of Leeds. Polly has previously written about a wonderful Shakespeare book in our collections but, in this article, turns her attentions to slightly-later events in 16th-century England… The English Civil War took place from 1642 to 1651, and was a…

Unexpected Perspectives #3

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library We’re back causing trouble in city centre shops again this week, squeezing ourselves around an upstairs window display to get an elevated view of one of Leeds’s busiest retail routes, Briggate. You’ll need to ride the escalator or lift to the first floor of clothes shop…