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the commercial traveller, the shipping merchant—all much like deserted ways now, and are to be appreknow in which direction to bend their steps according ciated only by a thorough-going pedestrian. Let us to the kind of goods required.
see, then, what the iron roads are doing, and have been As the present article does not pretend to grasp at doing, and will be doing, in and around Leeds. the topography of the whole clothing district; nor, on The year 1844 commenced what we may term the the other hand, to treat of manufacturing industry in new railway era for Leeds. Until that period, there a systematic way; it may be well at once to settle were only two railways belonging to the town; viz., what it does propose as its object. Leeds being by the North Midland, which had its northern terminus far the largest and most important town in the district, at Leeds; and the Leeds and Selby, which had its it will be made the subject of a topographical descrip- western terminus at the same town. In the
above tion; while the clothing manufacture will be so far named (1844), the Leeds and Selby line passed into noticed as to illustrate the dependence of Leeds on it the hands of the York and North Midland Railway for support, and the dependence of all the towns and Company. As to the Manchester and Leeds Railway, villages on each other.
the name has always been a misnomer; for the line In viewing the position of Leeds with respect to the terminates at Normanton, eight or ten miles south of rest of the district, we see that it shares with them in Leeds: the remainder of the distance being run over the general course of the rivers towards the east or the North Midland. Towards the north and west, south-east. Going a little beyond our prescribed limits, Leeds was wholly severed from the general railway on the north, we find the river Wharfe, which rising system. The first change was produced in 1844, by near Hawes, follows a direction pretty nearly south- the legislative sanction of the Leeds and Bradford east, past Bolton Abbey, Otley, Harewood, Wetherby, Railway. This line was to commence at Sandford and Tadcaster, to its junction with the Ouse, near Street in Leeds, and to pass through a number of Cawood. Then comes the Aire, which, rising near small but busy villages and townships to Bradford, Settle, follows in like manner a south-east course, past including Wortley, Armley, Bramley, Kirkstall, HorsSkipton, Keighley, Bingley, Leeds, to its junction with forth, Shipley, and others : the termination being in the Calder, near Castleford. This Calder takes its
the Kirkgate at Bradford. There was also sanctioned rise on the borders of Lancashire, and follows a winding a short branch from this line in Holbeck, to the North course (not deviating very much from east), past Midland in Hunslet ; so as to afford continuous comSowerby, Dewsbury, and Wakefield, to Castleford.munication from Bradford to the south and east, Lastly; the river which flows through Huddersfield, through Leeds. and which is formed by a number of small streams, The next step, in 1845, was the legalizing of the has a direction rather towards the north-east, until it Leeds and Dewsbury line. This was to commence by joins the Calder. Thus all the streams have a direc- a junction with the Leeds and Bradford in Holbeck tion tending more or less towards the east ; and all township, Leeds; and proceed by way of Beeston, contribute to form that great river which, under the Ardsley, and Batley, to Dewsbury; and thence by name of the Humber, passes by Hull into the German Mirfield and Kirkheaton to Huddersfield. The line Ocean. Between the greater valleys through which
was to form two junctions with the Manchester these streams flow are smaller lateral valleys; by and Leeds, at Kirkheaton and at Mirfield; and it which the whole district is cut up into a succession was likewise to have two branches, from Leeds to of hills and hollows,-very pleasant for the artist to Wortley, and from Batley to Birstall. There were look at, very advantageous for the manufacturer who subsidiary arrangements for abandoning a portion of requires water-power, but very embarrassing to the the line near Huddersfield, in the event of certain engineer who has to make railways.
agreements being made with the Manchester and Leeds Leeds occupies the north-east corner of the whole
Company. The same year also witnessed the passing district. One might almost have expected that the of an Act for the Leeds and Thirsk Railway. This greatest town of the district would have been near the was in effect an extension of the North Midland centre; and in by-gone ages, when Halifax was more Railway towards the north : placing Leeds (as it ought closely connected than Leeds with the clothing manu- to be placed) on a main line of thoroughfare. It was facture, such a system of central position was observ- to pass from Leeds through Bramhope, Knaresborough, able. But various circumstances have tended in later Ripley, Ripon, and Sowerby, to Thirsk; and was to ages to give Leeds a commanding position.
have a multitude of small branches, from Headingley to Bramley, from Cookridge to Bramley, from Knares
borough to Harrowgate, and two others to connect it THE NET-WORK OF WEST RIDING RAILWAYS.
with the Leeds and Bradford, and the Great North of The mode of reaching a town, in these our railway England lines. A further progress was made in the days, is among the most notable of its features. The same year, by the passing of Acts for the extension of “Great London Road,” which marks the chief entrance the Leeds and Bradford to Colne, the Wakefield and to most of our towns, is becoming less and less the Goole, the Huddersfield and Manchester, and certain chief entrance. An intruder has stepped in, who bids branches from the Manchester and Leeds Railways. us follow his iron track. The "ancient ways" are very Then came the busy year 1846, when the bubbles of
1845 had to be blown away, and the good measures through or over, the Leeds and Whitehall turnpike(with an admixture of bad, it must be owned,) sanc- road, Aire Street, King Street, Wellington Street, Queen tioned. Leeds had its full share in these exploits. Street, and the General Infirmary; it will be nearly The York and North Midland Company were close to the Coloured-cloth Hall; and there will be a powered to shorten their line of communication from connection made with the Leeds and Bradford Railway. York to Leeds; the Leeds and Bradford, Leeds and The General Infirmary is to be wholly removed, and a Dewsbury, and Manchester and Leeds Companies re- new building constructed elsewhere at the expense of ceived powers to make several amendments in their the united Companies. various lines; the Leeds and Tbirsk were authorised Such, then, are the arrangements made, up to the to extend their operations to the coal districts of Dur- present time, for accommodating this remarkable disham; the Wharfdale Railway was sanctioned, whereby trict: we say 'made,' in the parliamentary sense ; the towns and villages on the Wharfe would be brought for the engineers have still a vast amount of work to into connection with Leeds and the other great towns; do, before the various lines of railway will be finished. the Great Northern Company received its large powers, The year 1845 was the period of severe competition in one feature of which was, to carry their operations this quarter. Two rival schemes, the Leeds and northward to Leeds; and, lastly, a net-work of the West-Riding Junction,' and the West Yorkshire,' were most extraordinary kind, called the West-Riding Union brought forward, for supplying a net-work of railways Railway, received the Royal assent, having for its object, for the clothing towns; and the Report of the Board of by a great number of small lines, planned, in spite of Trade on those schemes, gives a very good idea of the the enormous expense inevitably involved, to connect nature of the district : “ One peculiarity in the district most of the great clothing towns of the West-Riding, is the number of important and populous towns and such as Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, and manufacturing villages, scattered over it so irregularly, Dewsbury, with each other.
that their connection cannot possibly be effected by any Another year brings us to 1847. The Parliamentary one line of railway. This will best be understood by documents contain many and varied railway details, reference to a map, from which it will be seen, that relating, more or less, to Leeds and its vicinity ; but any line that connects Leeds with Bradford and Halithey were, for the most part, mere alterations and fax, and those places with Manchester, necessarily improvements in the numerous Acts before obtained. isolates Huddersfield and Dewsbury; while, on the By this time, the companies directly and closely inte- other hand, a Manchester and Leeds line, carried rested in the town of Leeds had increased to seven or through those places, would provide no accommodation eight in number ; but amalgamations and leasings have for Bradford and Halifax. The traffic of the district is since brought them down to a smaller number of larger also such as to require a very complete communication groups.
One of the Acts of 1847 was to amend the of all these towns with one another, as well as an details of a new entrance into Leeds : it marked out a outlet for each of them towards their great manuline from the township of Wortley to Wellington Street facturing capitals, Leeds and Manchester, and towards in Leeds, there to form the terminus of the West-Riding their great shipping ports, Hull and Liverpool. It Union Railway.
in One more year, and we conclude our list. In 1848, omnibus traffic," circulating from town to town within the Leeds and Thirsk Company added still more to the the district, in the pursuits of manufacturing industry, number of short branches which will mark their line; and to attend the cloth and other markets which are but the only Act with which we have here to do and held weekly, on stated days, in all the chief emporiums; one which will have more effect on the interior of and the traffic in goods and raw materials, owing to the Leeds than any of the Acts hitherto enumerated—is subdivision in the processes of manufacture throughout that which empowers the formation of the Leeds Cen- the district, will be of a very similar description. The tral Station. So many companies are about to approach great bulk of this local traffic will be of a character to Leeds on every side, that it was felt to be desirable require, for its proper development, both very cheap that they should have one general point of junction, rates, and very numerous trains." and one grand station, within the town. The WestRiding Union, the Leeds and Dewsbury, the Leeds and
THE RISE AND GROWTII OF LEEDS. Thirsk, and the Great Northern, will all enter Leeds from different directions; and these four companies Leeds, the 'Loidis,' ' Ledes,' and 'Leedes' of past have agreed to construct a general station in common. ages, has nothing left at the present day to mark its The Leeds and Selby, the Leeds and Bradford, and the connection with feudal and monastic times, exceptNorth Midland parties hold aloof from this arrange- ing perhaps the Abbey of Kirkstall in its inmediate ment: they belong to other interests, somewhat at vicinity. It never particularly rich in such rivalry with the former. A sum of no less than features—far less so than its neighbour, the venerable £320,000 is authorized to be raised for this one city of York; and the hand of Time, assisted by the station ; the four Companies to provide it in equal extension of commerce, has levelled, one by one, all quotas. The station is to be on the north side of that told of the past. the river Aire It will either touch upon, or pass
In this, as in other towns which can date their
origin many centuries back, it is difficult to say whether / gentle acclivity. The Castle was surrounded with an the first notable building was castellated or eccle- extensive park, long since broken up. The site is siastical, whether the baron or the abbot was the earlier nevertheless sufficiently indicated by such names centre of power, or whether the town were really Park Place, Park Square, Park Lane, and Park Row, all founded before barons or abbots were known. A lying a little north-west of the present Coloured-cloth cloud hangs over the early history of Leeds, and this Hall. There are only two historical facts clearly cloud does not begin to disperse until we arrive at a known as applying to Leeds Castle : the one was the period subsequent to the Norman Conquest.
besieging of the Castle by King Stephen, during his The chief authority on the early history of Leeds, march towards Scotland in 1139; and the other was Dr. Whitaker, states that there was a Roman station at the temporary confinement of Richard II. within the or near this spot; but that nothing has been retained Castle, just before his accredited murder at Pontefract. of the history of Leeds till the time of the Saxons. The Castle is supposed to have been destroyed early in He thinks that the district of Loidis, mentioned by the fourteenth century. Sometimes a little confusion the Venerable Bede, comprised the country lying arises from the circumstance that Yorkshire and Kent about ten miles on every side from Leeds. •Loidis each had a Leeds Castle : the latter is still existing. and Elmete,' the title of Dr. Whitaker's voluminous Maurice Paganel, as the mesne lord of Leeds, gave work on this subject, relates to two Saxon names of a Charter to the burgesses during the reign of King places mentioned by Bede; which names are believed John. Soon after the death of this baron, the manor by Dr. Whitaker to refer to the town of Leeds, the reverted to the chief lords of the fee; and after changing neighbouring town or village of Barwick in Elmete, hands many times, it came into the possession of the and the surrounding country. From the terms in Duke of Lancaster, during the reign of Edward I. which Leeds is mentioned in Domesday Book, it is When this duke became King Henry IV., the manor of inferred that there were about 135 persons, with their Leeds assumed the character of royal property, and as households, who were landowners of Leeds and Holbeck such it remained till the time of James I., when it again in the time of the Conqueror. Whitaker gives a curious passed into private hands. It has, for about two cenconjecture of the probable appearance of Leeds at that turies and a half, been sold and given and inherited in time: “Whatever streets do not bear the Saxon name a great variety of ways; and at the present day it is of 'gate,' were then, if anything, lanes in the fields; held by several proprietors in common, each of whom and this rule restricts the original Leeds to Briggate, has a certain definite share of the whole. Kirkgate, and Swinegate, which last formed the original We know very little of the share which Leeds may approach to the Castle, which, at a somewhat later have taken in the baronial struggles of the thirteenth period, was erected by the Lacies. Let the reader, and two following centuries : it is probable that the town then, who is acquainted with this busy and crowded was too small to be regarded as an important feature scene as it exists at present, figure to himself two deep in contests for power, especially after the destruction and dirty highways, one stretching from the bridge to (whether by time or by violence) of the castle. The the present Town IIall; the other at a right angle to first page of what may perhaps be termed the modern the parish church, with seven-and-twenty dwelling history of Leeds is given by Leland, who, writing about houses constructed of muu, wattles, and straw--the three centuries ago, says :-"Ledes, two miles lower usual architecture of the Saxons--their mean barns, down than Christal (Kirkstall] Abbaye, on Aire river, farm-yards, etc.; and here and there a wretched cabin, is a praty market toune, having one paroche chirche, perhaps of still meaner structure, dispersed at intervals reasonably well builded, and as large as Bradeford, but along these two lines. To the backs of these, in every not so quik as it." We must infer that this "quickdirection, lay a wide extent of open fields ; and with ness” refers to the bustle and activity of the two towns, these exceptions, the streets and squares into which this in which the palm is given by Leland to Bradford. It great commercial town has expanded in every quarter, was probably about that time that the clothing manuwere alternately grazed by cattle, or wrought by the facture was first introduced into Leeds. Ralph Thoresby plough."
tells us, that one of his reasons for writing the Ducatus From this humble condition Leeds gradually and Leodiensis was a consideration of the great richness and silently developed itself. At some period between the resources of the country near his native town, Leeds. Conquest and the reign of John, a castle was built, He selects as a sort of centre, Haselwood, a little disand both castle and manor belonged to the family of tance eastward of Leeds; and says that the district Paganel. Leeds itself had, immediately after the Con- around Leeds and Haselwood formed the portion of quest, been given to Ilbert de Lacy, a powerful noble, Yorkshire which Bishop Tunstal “shewed to King who united it to his barony of Pontefract; but after Henry VIII. in his progress to York, anno 1548, which the lapse of a few years, the manor of Leeds was he avowed to be the richest he ever found in all his granted to the Paganels, who held it under the Lacys- travels through Europe ; there being within ten miles the latter being superior lords of the district. Of what of Haselwood, 165 manor houses of lords, knights, and character was the Castle built by Paganel we have very gentlemen of the best quality ; 275 several wonds, little account. It stood, however, upon Mill Hill, whereof some of them contain 500 acres; 32 parks, and at a short distance from the River Aire, and upon a 2 chases of deer; 120 rivers and brooks, whereof 5 be navigable, well stored with salmon and other fish; 76 the plague in this town ; supposed to have been not water mills, for the grinding of corn on the aforesaid less than one-fifth of the whole population. All but rivers ; 25 coal mines, which yield abundance of fuel the very poor sought to avoid the dread pestilence by for the whole county ; 3 forges for the making of iron, | flight; the grass grew in the deserted streets ; the and stone enough for the same: and within the same markets were removed to Woodhouse; and the doors limits as much sport and pleasure for hunting, hawk- of the church were closed. ing, fishing, and fowling, as in any place of England A period of a century elapsed without any political besides.” This is given as having been the state of event of importance having occurred at Leeds; when, things in 1548, in the time of Henry VIII. ; and if the in 1745, Marshal Wade's army formed an encampment account can be relied on, it certainly indicates a condi- between Leeds, Sheepscar, and Woodhouse. It is said tion of notable prosperity within a boundary of such that this was the last encampment formed on English narrow limits.
ground during the time of internal war; and it is In 1638, Leeds was called upon to furnish its quota also said, that the boundaries of the encampment of ship-money; and Clarendon speaks of it, in com- are still marked by the absence of old wood in the panionship with Halifax and Bradford, as being about hedge-rows.' that period "three very populous and rich towns, The progress of Leeds was so quiet and steady, that depending wholly upon clothiers." Leeds had its full it is hardly possible to watch the several stages of its share in the struggles between Charles I, and his Par- development. Turnpike-roads were introduced in the liament; taking uniformly the part of the latter, and neighbourhood about 1753 : not without great opposichanging masters many times. The Royalists under tion on the part of the lower classes, who regarded tollthe Marquis of Newcastle took the town in 1642; in bars much in the same light as “Rebecca" of modern the next year, the Parliamentarians under Fairfax recon- times in Wales has done. The houses of the inhabitants quered it; again was it taken by the Royalists; and gradually assumed a more substantial and durable chaagain, after the battle of Marston Moor, did the Par- | racter. The mud and wattled houses, roofed with liamentarians resume their possession.
thatch, which formed the early dwellings of the town, Among the stories which have been associated with gave place to timber-houses; one of which, named this period at Leeds was the following:- When Charles I. Rockley Hall, the residence of an opulent family, was was in the hands of the Scots, and was being conveyed existing down to the beginning of the present century. by them from Newark to Newcastle, he was lodged in When, from change of taste, or scarcity of wood, these the Red Hall at Leeds, supposed to have been then timber-houses became obsolete, they were succeeded by the best house in the town. During his stay at that another class of houses built of a perishable argillaceous place, a maid-servant, feeling compassion for his fallen kind of stone found in the neighbourhood. At length, position, and perhaps acting under the influence of cer- in the reign of Charles I., the first brick-house of Leeds tain royalists in the town, implored him to disguise was built; and it retained for nearly two centuries the himself in her dress, as a means of effecting his escape. distinctive appellation of the Red House. A more She declared at the same time, that if he succeeded in
recent stage was consequent on the introduction of deal the attempt, he would immediately be conducted by a timber from Prussia and Livonia, by which the massive back alley (since known as Land's-lane) to a friend's and picturesque oak-fittings of earlier days were replaced house, from whence he could proceed to France. by slighter, neater, but plainer and more fragile timbers Charles, however, either convinced that the project of deal. was impracticable, or entertaining fallacious hopes of
With regard to intercourse between Leeds and the intentions of the Scots in his favour, declined the London, it was of course a momentous affair before the offer made by the woman. As a mark of his gratitude days of good roads and fast coaches. The first Leeds he gave her the Garter (perhaps the only symbol of and London stage-coach of which we have read was royalty he then had about him); saying, that if it advertised in 1764; when the travelling public were never should be in his power to reward her, his informed that there was “ safe and expeditious son, on the sight of that token, would bestow upon travelling, with machines on steel springs, in four her some remuneration. After the Restoration, the days to London, from the Old King's Arms, in Leeds, woman repaired to Charles II., related the circumstance, every Monday and Wednesday.” The march of imand produced the token. The king inquired whence provement was so rapid that in 1776 a new post-coach she came ; she replied, “ From Leeds, in Yorkshire." was announced to go from Leeds to London in thirty" Whether she had a husband ?" She answered that nine hours. Of the steps whereby this mode of she had. “What was his calling ?” She said, “ An travelling was superseded by the vast railway system under-bailiff.” “ Then,” said the king, “ he shall be described in a former page, most modern readers are chief bailiff in Yorkshire."
able to form an opinion. Whatever may have been the disasters suffered by The annals of Leeds for the last hundred years are Leeds during the wars, they were slight compared with simply the annals of commercial progress; and it may, those which resulted from the Great Plague of 1665. | therefore, suffice for us now to see what kind of town From the month of March to the month of December Leeds has become, and what are the relations which it in that year, more than fifteen hundred persons died of bears to its busy neighbours.
A Bird's-EYE VIEW OF THE Town.
a sprinkling of private residences, with country farms. First, then, we have to draw a distinction between Then we come to the turnpike-road, towards Halifax the town, the borough, and the parish of Leeds. The and Birstall, with Farnley Wood lying between them. town claims its ninety or hundred thousand inhabit- South of Leeds lies Holbeck, now so closely connected ants ; while the borough approaches much nearer to with the town, that there is no visible division between two hundred thousand. When the Parliamentary them, except that furnished by the river Aire. Beyond Reform Commissioners came to mark the boundaries Holbeck, in the same direction, lies Beeston; and in of the borough of Leeds, they found the parish limits and around the intervening district are many private so extensive and comprehensive, that it was deemed residences and pleasant fields. Beginning now to bend sufficient to apply the same limits to the borough. to the south-east of Leeds, and crossing the North The parish is a large one, or (since the recent changes Midland Railway, we come first to Hunslet, almost as in the ecclesiastical divisions of the parish) we may much incorporated with the great town as Holbeck. perhaps better say that the borough is a large one. It But here we notice a remarkable feature, which has comprises not only the town of Leeds, but also the been before adverted to, and which will again come townships and chapelries of Armley, Beeston, Bramley, under our observation further on, that eastward of Farnley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Chapel Allerton, Heading. Leeds scarcely a trace of a clothing village can be seen: ley, Burley, Wortley, and Potter Newton--extending the roads to Wakefield, to Pontefract, to Selby, all have between seven and eight miles from east to west, farm-houses and private residences in their vicinity, about the same from north to south, and thirty in but not such a knot of busy little suburbs as those circumference.
hitherto named. Crossing the Leeds and Selby RailThese townships or outlying suburbs are connected way, and approaching the division north-east of Leeds, with Leeds not only in an electoral sense, but com- we find Sheepscar, Gledhow Wood and Quarry, and a mercially and socially. The cloth-workers of the number of farms near the road to York and Tadcaster. townships look up to Leeds as their great prop and Lastly, on the north, following the line of road to support; while the “ well-to-do” inliabitants of Leeds Harrogate and its vicinity, we find Woodhouse, Potter -the gentry and the principal manufacturers-have Newton, and Chapel Allerton, interspersed, like the their private residences between and among those others, with mansions, parks, and farms. townships, where smoke and steam have yet left a few It must be admitted that there are very few fine green fields and green trees untouched. Beginning prospects to be obtained among this belt of townships northward of Leeds, and making a circuit around it, and villages; the hills are neither numerous enough we first find the township or village of Headingley, nor picturesque enough to form a good background to becoming more and more an integral portion of Leeds, the scene. But where the man of commerce is busy, by the progress of building along the pleasant road the man of landscapes must not be disappointed if the which connects the two. Beyond this is the West materials at his disposal are somewhat scanty. There Wood, with the lodge,' the hall,' the cottage,' the can be no mistake as to the character of Leeds as a
mill,' &c., to which it gives name, The road through town, in whatever direction it may be approached : Headingley leads onward to Otley. Next to this, on the there is a dark and sooty tell-tale hovering over it, west, is the road through Kirkstall towards Horsforth; | which speaks of factories and steam-engines and chimand here we find the ruins of the venerable Abbey neys among the mass of houses beneath. Whatever which has given such celebrity to the place. Between we may say of its environs, most certain it is that Leeds the two roads lie Flower Bank, Kirkstall Grange, cannot lay claim to the character of a picturesque town. Hawksworth Park, Cookridge Wood, and other open Situated on the banks of the river Aire, it presents spots-some cultivated aš private pleasure-grounds, two different aspects, according to the point of view. and some in the state of woods and commons. A little On the one side of the river it lies on a slope of conto the west of the Kirkstall road lies the valley through siderable acclivity, underlaid by a series of coalwhich the river Aire, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, measures; while on the other side, constituting the and the Leeds and Bradford Railway run-a curious districts or townships of Hunslet and Holbeck, is an example, and one which is exhibited in many parts of extensive flat, traversed by the Hunslet and Holbeck England, of the eagerness with which engineers seek brooks. The river Aire and its wharfs furnish us with to follow the lines marked out for them by Nature in the scene given in Cut, No. 2. the courses of rivers. In immediate contiguity with The general arrangement of the streets and alleys in these are the Bramley stone quarries. Next we come the older parts of the town is pretty much the same as to the high-road to Bradford, surmounting a hill which in all old towns: narrowness and crookedness are prehas been shunned by the river, the canal, and the vailing features. The main artery from north to south, railway. In this quarter are the villages of Armley, however, called the Briggate, is of considerable width; Bramley, and Stanningley, and a few private residences. arising, as it is said, from the old custom of having A further progress to the south-west brings us to the gardens in front of the houses in this street, the removal road leading to Tong and other clothing villages in of which gardens has had the effect of giving a respectthat direction, over a very undulating country; here able amplitude to the Briggate. The streets more we meet with Wortley, Farnley village and park, and recently formed have the modern property of being