Nineteenth Century Politics – The Leeds Parliamentary Election of 1868

This week we hear from Josh Flint of the Local and Family History Department, who will look at the Parliamentary Election held on the 17th November 1868. The 1868 election in Leeds was fought between two Liberal candidates Edward Baines Jr and Robert Meek Carter; an Independent Liberal Sir Andrew Fairbairn and two Conservatives Admiral…

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…

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…

Crime and Punishment in Leeds, 1850

Volunteers’ Week takes place every year from 1-7 June. Leeds Libraries held a celebratory reception yesterday, recognizing the efforts of our volunteering team – including event supporters, At-Home Service deliverers, partners and, of course, heritage volunteers – several of whom have written for this very blog. Today, we hand over to another of these, Joan Ellis,…

A Snapshot of Leeds on June 3, 1917

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library Tomorrow will mark a century since a nationally significant, but oddly little-known, event in the history of Leeds: the 1917 Peace Convention at the Coliseum. This “saw 3,500 people from across Britain gather at the Leeds Coliseum (now the O2 Academy) in solidarity with the February…

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…