Some information on Riots in Leeds.

A walk around Morley.

1786: A clothworkers petition.

1811/12: A Luddite anthem – the reference to Great Enoch is to a hammer that was used to smash machinery.

1820: Coffee p1, p2, p3 from the Leeds Mercury for June 1820; whilst not about Leeds directly, it highlights one of the Radical tactics in avoiding paying taxes to support the Government, and was a widely adopted tactic.

1830s/40s: James Watson – A Memoir … .

1830s/40s: Chartism among females.

1838: The Northern Political Union.

1839: An Easter Chartist meeting held in East Leeds.

1840: The Total Abstinence Charter Association.

1843: Election of Chartists to Leeds Corporation.

1845: Election of Chartists in Leeds.

1868: Trade Union branches in Leeds.

1882: Trade Union branches in Leeds.

1918: Call for a Labour Party: part of a series of articles looking at the early history of the socialist movement in Leeds, taken from the leeds Weekly Citizen.

1981: The Denis Healey Song. At this time, Denis – for many years the Leeds East MP – was not the darling of the left.

1988: A review by John Archer of Dulcie Yelland, 1907-1987: A Socialist of Our Times by Charles Yelland. Published in Revolutionary History 2(1), 1988.

20th Century: Some information on Communism in Leeds.

A short biography of J D Mack, a Leeds C.P. member. Graham Stephenson provides a host of other biographies, and similar materials.



The Spartacus web site carries a lot of references to trade unionism and suffragism, among other things.

A Letter from Leeds Cloth Merchants, 1791 describes mechansitaion of the cotton industry.

Society for the Study of Labour History, the UK’s principal organisation dedicated to the study of labour history.

The Edward Carpenter forum has interests in Carpenter’s times in Leeds.

Votes for Women – a group dedicated to researching and recreating Women’s History in the early 20th Century.

The Communist Party maintains its own history very thoroughly, with a lot of relevant material.

Graham Stephenson provides a host of CP biographies, and similar materials.

1914 NFPB Pamphlet ‘What Shall We Do’? In 1913 Northern Friends Peace Board was established by Quakers in the North to promote Peace ‘in all it’s height and breadth’


Leeds Bus Station bears a red plaque (a very rare item) commemorating Tom Maguire. It was unveiled by the Society on the centenary of his death.

The Working Class Library in Salford is a collection of English language books, periodicals, pamphlets, archives and artefacts, concerned with the activities, expression and enquiries of the labour movement, its allies and its enemies, since the late 1700s.

The Brotherton Library, University of Leeds. Among many other things, the Special Collection holds the Mattison Collection; Alf Mattison was a socialist jackdaw who collected a huge quantity of political material that cannot be found elsewhere.

The Women’s (formerly Fawcett) Library, Jewry St., London EC3N (part of London’s Guildhall University). Millicent Fawcett was a very active suffragist and ally of the Leeds Ford sisters. The library houses material on the women’s movement from 1600 onward, with many rare books and pamphlets.

The Leeds Local History Library (in the main library building on the Headrow). The Library contains a magnificent collection of materials from newspapers to census records. The staff are highly knowledgeable and very helpful.

The People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3ER. Fascinating

The West Yorkshire Archive, Sheepscar, Leeds, tel. 2628339. The Archive contains a great deal of interest, not all of it catalogued under “politics”. Access is by appointment.



John Battle, Tom Maguire, Socialist and Poet, Medium Publishing/Ford Maguire Society 1997.

Ernie Benson, To Struggle is to Live, vols 1 and 2.

Joseph Buckman, Immigrants and the Class Struggle: The Jewish Immigrants in Leeds, 1880-1914, Manchester UP, 1983.

M Freedman, Leeds Jewry, The first 100 years, Jewish Historical Society of England (Leeds Branch), 1992. The Jewish immigration of 1880 onwards shaped the city considerably; this book documents the arrival and establishment of impoverished eastern immigrants.

M Gawthorpe, Up hill to Holloway, Prebscot, 1962. An autobiography the early chapters describe a working class childhood in Woodhouse, Leeds

June Hannam, Isabella Ford, Blackwell, 1989.

H Hendrick, The Leeds gas strike, Publications of the Thoresby Society, 54, 1979. An account of the famous strike (eventually won) that brought the city to a standstill and provoked armed occupation.

George Jacob Holyoake, Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society Jubilee Celebration, 1897.

J Liddington, Rebel Girls, Virago, 2007.

F Machin, The Yorkshire Miners (vol 1).

T Maguire, Machine room chants, Labour Leader, 1895. The full collection of Maguire’s poetry, published posthumously.

A Mattison and I Ford, Tom Maguire, a remembrance, Labour Press Society, 1895.

M Thomis and J Grimmett, Women in Protest 1800-1850, Crom Helm, 1982. Chapter 2 is of especial interest.

E Thompson, Homage to Tom Maguire, in Essays in Labour history, A Briggs and J Saville, Macmillan, 1960.

Tom Woodhouse, Nourishing the Liberty Tree: Liberals and Labour in Leeds 1880, 1914.

Who owns Leeds?, I-spy productions, 1986. A (rare) catalogue of the rich and influential of 1980s Leeds, compiled by an anarchist collective.

Centenary Souvenir, Leeds Typographical Society 1810 – 1910