The Corn-price Riot of 1735 and the Turnpike Riot of 1753

Corn Price Riot (1735) Corner of Briggate & King Edward Street During the 18th and early 19th-centuries Leeds saw a significant amount of rioting relating to corn prices and, later, Corn Laws. In 1735 it was reported that, whilst huge amounts of corn were being produced and exported cheaply, Leeds citizens were met with rising,…

A Brief History of Leeds Antiquarians: Part I

This week, Librarian Antony Ramm gives the first part in a brief history of Antiquarians in Leeds, as told using books, manuscripts and other treasures held at the Central Library. You can find future instalments elsewhere on this blog, as well as a research guide detailing the relevant library collections available. Hans Sloane (1660 – 1753)…

Chilling Memories

Temperatures may have improved a little recently but last week’s cold snap was nothing compared to the icy conditions experienced by Leeds in times past. Local history librarian Ross Horsley looks back on some of the city’s cruelest winters… “The Wharfe and the Aire are frozen to a depth capable of bearing anything,” reported the Leeds Mercury in…

On Some Pre-1841 Sources of Leeds People

Local History Librarian, Antony Ramm, takes a brief look at some useful sources for genealogy in Leeds prior to the publication of the 1841 census.  It is surely no exaggeration to say that the vast majority of people doing family history are well-aware of the Census and everything that can be discovered about their ancestors…

On John Lucas, 18th-Century Leeds and Foot-ball

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library With the football European Championships now well underway, this seemed like a perfect time to draw attention to one of the lesser-known treasures of our collection: the handwritten manuscript of John Lucas’ Memoranda Book. Born in 1684, Lucas was primarily known as a schoolmaster in his…

Read More: Black History Month – the American Civil War and the End of Slavery

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library This is an entry in our Read More series. These are ‘long-form’ articles, where staff offer a curated and detailed look at areas of our book collections, usually based around a specific theme or subject. These posts aim to guide the interested reader through to those books that…