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The History of the Town of Leeds


The name ‘Leeds‘ is generated from ‘LOIDS’. The natives of Leeds have been called ‘Loiners’. There are different propositions as to the source of the term ‘Loiner’ but none of them are authoritative. There are some who believed that Loiner was derived from the name ‘Loids’, where Leeds is generated from. There are also some others who are of the opinion that the name refers to someone that was born within the sound of the church bells of Briggate. The latter proposition is traced to the 19th century where there are many yards that surrounded Briggate and whose back entrances were referred to as Loins, Low Ins, and from there the name Loiner came up. There is the third theory that proposes that there are many lanes in the Briggate area that are called Loins. There were many people who gathered around the lane to gossip and these people were called Loiners.

Leeds used to be a small city until the movement of the cloth market from the bridge into Briggate in 1684 and this set off the development of Leeds. Briggate created the heart of the modern city of Leeds. The population of Leeds as at the end of the seventeenth century was about ten thousand but due to the cloth market, the city grew to about thirty thousand by the end of the eighteenth century. Leeds features different areas in the city such as the churches, Assembly Rooms, meeting houses, Infirmary, chapels, and the new Cloth Halls. As time went on, Leeds became one of the busiest and possibly the most prosperous urban area in the north of England. The other thing that contributed to the growth and development of Leeds is the Industrial Revolution which resulted in the increase in population of the place by 1840. The population grew to about one hundred and fifty thousand during this period. And apart from Leeds being the centre of manufacturing and marketing, it was also well known for being the centre of a network of communications.

It is also important to note the fact that Leeds was situated for the growth of the engineering industry: making machinery, which was used for spinning, steam engines, machine tools, and gears. Other industry-based materials such as textiles, pottery, chemicals, and leather were also manufactured in Leeds. Leeds was also known for coal, as coal was being extracted on a large scale. In 1893, Leeds became a ‘proper’ city with a public library, and general post office. The social and industrial structure of Leeds began to change towards the end of the Great War and before long; the city became a centre of study and teaching activities.

Posted in: Latest News - On: 5th of July, 2011