Hidden Nature, Hidden History: St. John’s Church

This article forms part of our Heritage Open Day 2020 programme, specifically our Leeds City Centre Hidden Nature, Hidden History heritage trail. Click to see all the points on the trail and to read the accompanying articles… The high sandstone boundary wall and steep stone stepped gateway from Upper Briggate brings you above the level of…

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)…

Letters From the Past

  by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library While researching upcoming events on the life and career of the 18th-century Leeds Schoolmaster and Antiquarian, Thomas Wilson, we were directed by the ‘manuscripts’ section of the card catalogue in our Local and Family History department toward a very-intriguing collection of letters: The particular interest…

Almhouses, Annotations and Murder: Spending Time with Parish Registers

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library The parish register – the list made in a church of the people who have been baptised, married or buried there – is one of the most useful tools for family history, especially for the period prior to the arrival of the civil registration process in 1837. They’re usually used to identify…

Ralph Thoresby and the Ducatus Leodiensis: A Curated Display

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library There are still five days to enjoy the fantastic series of events we’re holding for our 2016 Library Fest. Among that panoply is a display celebrating the life and works of Ralph Thoresby – in particular, the 300th-anniversary of his Ducatus Leodiensis. That book – often referred…