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A History of Pudsey by Simeon Rayner

 

 

POLITICAL HISTORY

The first known contested election in which Pudsey took a part was in 1741, when Cholmeley Turner and George Fox were proposed, to supply a vacancy in the representation of the county of York, caused by the death of Lord Morpeth. The poll began at the Castle of York, on the 15th of January, 1741, and was open eight days. There went from Pudsey to York 54 freeholders, who voted as follows:--

Bailey, Benjamin F.   Hutchinson, Joseph F.
Banks, Thomas F.   Ingham, Thomas F.
Barraclough, John F.   Knewstub, John F.
Beaumont, John T.   Langley, Thomas F.
Binks, Benjamin F.   Langley, William F.
Bowcock, Joseph F.   Lobley, John F.
Brooks, Thomas F.   Lumby, Samuel F.
Crummuck, Joseph F.   Lumby, William T.
Darnbrough, John F.   Lumby, William, sen. T.
Darnbrough, John F.   Milner, Matthew T.
Dodgson, Samuel F.   Moss, John F.
Dodgson, William T.   Moss, Samuel F.
Eyles, Thomas F.   Moss, William F.
Farrar, Abraham F.   Moss, William T.
Farrer, Robert T.   Procter, Jacob F.
Farrar, William F.   Procter, John F.
Fenton, Samuel F.   Rhodes, Joseph F.
Ferrand, Benjamin F.   Ryley, William T.
Hey, Richard F.   Smith, Robert F.
Hillas, Samuel, jun. F.   Snow, Francis F.
Hillhouse, Samuel F.   Taylor, David F.
Himsworth, John F.   Wainman, John T.
Hinchcliffe, John F.   Walker, Samuel F.
Hinchcliffe, Samuel F.   Willassey, John F.
Hinchcliffe, Samuel T.   Wilson, William T.
Hollingworth, Thomas T.   Watson, William T.
Hutchinson, John F.   Wilson, Jeremiah F.

For Cholmeley Turner 13 For George Fox 41

The initial at the end of the name shows for whom the vote was given. The total state of the poll was C. Turner, 8,005; George Fox, 7,049. Which was Tory and which was Whig, the record does not state.
The next great contest was in 1807, when the most exciting and expensive contest which has ever occured in the history of electioneering took place in this county, when the two great aristocratic families, Fitzwilliam (Whig) and Harewood (Tory), were contesting for the representation of the County in Parliament. The candidates were William Wilberforce, Esq., Lord Milton, and the Hon. Henry Lascelles. The real struggle was between Milton and Lascelles, as both parties concurred in the election of Mr. Wilberforce. During the fifteen days' poll, the county was in a state of the most violent agitation, party spirit being wound up to the highest pitch by the friends of the two noble families, and everything being done that money or personal exertion could accomplish; the roads in every direction were covered with conveyances of all descriptions, conveying voters from the most remote corners of this great county to York to record their votes. The poll commenced on May 20th and ended June 5th, when the numbers polled were-Wilberforce 11,806; Milton 11,177; Lascelles 10,989. 117 persons went from Pudsey, and they voted as follows:--Milton 98, 94 of them being plumpers; Lascelles 18; Wilberforce 18. The following is a list of the Pudsey voters:

  W L M   W L M
Ainsworth, Isaac, clothier     1 Cooper, Wm., clothier     1
Ainsworth, Jas, clothier, Tong     1 Cooper, Joseph do.     1
Ainsworth, Titus, blacksmith     1 Crampton, William do. Bramley     1
Awmack, James, clothier 1     Crampton, John do. do. 1    
Asquith, John, cooper     1 Crowther, Jeremiah do.     1
Balm, John, combmaker     1 Crowther, John do.     1
Banks, Thomas, clothier     1 Dean, John, clothier     1
Banks, James, do. Eccleshill     1 Dean, Benjamin do.     1
Banks, Joseph, do.     1 Dodgson, Joseph do.     1
Binns, Samuel, do. Alverthorpe     1 Driver, Joseph, carpenter 1 1  
Boocock, John do.     1 Dufton, Thomas, clothier     1
Booth, John do.     1 Elsworth, Joseph do.     1
Boyes, Samuel do.     1 Elwind, William do. Armley   1  
Boyes, Samuel do.     1 Elwind, William do.   1  
Boyes, John do.     1 Farrar, Richard do. 1 1  
Brown, James, woolstapler     1 Farrar, Richard, woolstapler 1 1  
Carbutt, Thomas, clothier     1 Farrar, Samuel, gent., Bramley     1
Carlisle, Thomas, Fairfax,drysalter     1 Farrar, Samuel, clothier     1
Carter, Richard, mason     1 Farrar, John, yeoman, Bramley 1 1  
Cauthray, Wm., clothier     1 Farrar, John, clothier     1
Clayton, J., drysalter, Bramley 1 1   Farrar, William do. Farsley     1
Clifford, Jeremiah, merchant 1 1   Farrar, William , do. 1   1
Cooper, John, butcher     1 Farrar, Henry do.     1
Cooper, John do.     1 Fearnley, John do.     1
Gaunt, Daniel do.     1 Lumby, Christopher, clothier     1
Gaunt, John, jun., clothier     1 Mitchell, Jonathan, carpenter     1
Greaves, William do.     1 Mitchell, John do.     1
Greaves, William do.     1 Mitchell, John, clothier     1
Haiste, William do.     1 Moor, Daniel, butcher     1
Hall, Joseph do.     1 Moss, Charles, clothier     1
Hall, David do.     1 Moss, Wm., butcher 1 1  
Hare, John do.     1 Moss, Samuel, clothier     1
Hargreaves, J., Great Horton     1 Musgrave, John do.     1
Harrison, James, clothier     1 Myers, Wm., carrier     1
Harrison, James do.     1 Nailor, John, mason     1
Harrison, James do. Bramley     1 Oates, Wm., clothier     1
Harrison, John do. do.     1 Pool, George, gent., Bramley   1  
Harrison, William do,     1 Ratcliffe, yeoman, Bramley 1 1  
Howgate, Samuel, yeoman     1 Richardson, James, woolstapler 1 1  
Helmsley, John, clothier     1 Rither, Thomas, merchant 1 1  
Hinchcliffe, Joseph, farmer 1   1 Roberts, Benjamin, joiner     1
Hinchcliffe, John, clothier     1 Scarth, Wm., clothier 1 1  
Hinchcliffe, Samuel do.     1 Senior, Joseph, tailor     1
Hinchcliffe, Samuel do.     1 Scholefield, John, clothier     1
Hining, John do.     1 Shoesmith, Jno., worsted manf.     1
Hining, Robert do.     1 Tindall, Edmund, clothier     1
Hining, William do.     1 Upton, John do.     1
Hodgson, Wm., fellmonger     1 Verity, Benjamin do. Bramley     1
Howarth, Wm., clerk 1 1   Walker, Wm., drysalter 1   1
Hutchinson, Abrm., woolstapler   1   Walker, John, carpenter     1
Hutchinson, Matt., woolstapler 1 1   Watkinson, John, cordwainer     1
Jackson, James, gent., Bramley   1   Webster, John, clothier     1
Ingham, Samuel, farmer     1 Wilkinson, Jos., Shopkeeper     1
Jones, Zachariah, smith     1 Wilkinson, Henry, woolstapler     1
Laird, Tho., dissenting minister     1 Whitfield, John, clothier     1
Lister, John, clothier     1 Whitfield, John do.     1
Lobley, John do.     1 Wood, Thomas do.     1
Lumby, William do.     1 Totals 18 18 98
Lumby, Wm., miller     1        
Lumby, Joshua, clothier     1        

On the termination of the voting, and the result being made known, such was the enthusiasm of our townsmen that nothing would serve but they must "chair" his lordship, who accordingly was carried by a party of them through the streets of York. After a few squabbles in the streets, such as generally took place formerly at elections, between them and the opposite side, the proceedings terminated; and though some of the inhabitants of York were desirous of keeping the chair in York, it was brought in triumph to Pudsey, where it was carried round the village in an enthusiastic demonstration of Liberal victory. It was occupied during their perambulations by one of their number who frequently bowed to the cheering crowds a la Lord Milton. The chair was ultimately deposited in the Board room of the Leeds Coloured Cloth Hall. I have in my possession a relic of this election being one of the orange cards worn by one of those who took part in the contest. Its motto is "Milton a Plumper." During the time of the poll the inhabitants of Pudsey took the liveliest interest in the matter, and assembled in large numbers daily to hear the result of the poll from the special messenger who, when returning by way of Beulah, announced his approach by blowing his horn. There were no daily newspapers or telegraphs at that day to give the result.
In 1826, nineteen years after the above great contest, this county was again the scene of keen political excitement. Four members were wanted for the first time. Five were nominated, viz., Lord Milton, the Hon. W. Duncombe, Mr. John Marshall, Mr. Richard F. Wilson, and Mr. Richard Bethell, and a poll was expected and prepared for; but previous to the day of election, Mr. Bethell withdrew his name, and the other four were then declared duly elected. As was customary on such occasions, a number of special constables were sworn in to preserve the peace. Lord Milton, who had not forgotten his enthusiastic and warm-hearted friends of 1807, recommended that his constables should be Pudsey men; accordingly, fifty-two of them were sworn in as "specials," and when the election and subsequent "chairing" of the members terminated, fifty-one men brought home with them to Pudsey the large staves with which they had been furnished, by virtue of their office as constables; the remaining one belonged to a man who resided at Holbeck, but who was a native of Pudsey. At the "chairing" his lordship was entirely surrounded by these 52 men with their long red staves. I have one of these staves in my possession, No. 30, which is rather over six feet in length, and was borne by my father on that occasion.
After the rejection of the Reform Bill, on May 7th, 1832, by the House of Lords, large and enthusiastic meetings were held by the Reformers throughout the country, and on the 16th of Mary a large meeting of about 4,000 persons was held at Pudsey, in the Crawshaw Fields, convened by the Chief Constable, Mr. John Crampton, in compliance with a numerously-signed requisition. Mr. Crampton was called to preside, and a number of enthusiastic resolutions were passed appropriate to the occasion.
In 1832 the Reform Bill was passed after a great struggle, and the county was divided; the West Riding to return two members; the population in 1831 being 976,415, and the electors, in 1832, 16,918.
In the Leeds Mercury of the 25th of August, 1832, there appeared the following paragraph: --
No place in Yorkshire has shown a more becoming zeal to secure the elective privilege than the populous village of Pudsey. In this place there are about 250 freeholders, etc., entitled to vote for county members, and out of that number, upwards of 230 have registered their votes. The terrors of a "blue" candidate had much influence in quickening their zeal, for they are almost all great admirers of the Sun's own colour-the bright orange.
The two gentlemen nominated for members were both Liberals, and there being no other nominations, Lord Morpeth and Sir G. Strickland were declared elected without a contest. In PARSONS History of Leeds and Neighbourhood, published in 1834, mention is made that at the first registration of voters in 1832, great excitement was caused by Tory objections to about 90 persons in Pudsey, who were share-holders in the company woollen mills. Sixty-six of the claims were allowed by the revising barrister at Bradford, and the consequence was that the victory was celebrated with unbounded rejoicings, the church bells were rung, and the church steeple was also illuminated during the general congratulations and festivities.
In January, 1835, the same two Liberal members were re-elected without opposition; but on Lord Morpeth being appointed Secretary for Ireland, his re-election was opposed by the Tories, and a contest took place in May, 1835, which resulted as follows:--

Pudsey votes Total votes
Lord Morpeth (L) (136) 9,066
Hon. J.S. Wortley ( C) (61) 6,259
_________
Majority 2,807
_________
There were 218 voters in Pudsey at this time.
In August, 1837, another election took place for two members, resulting as follows:__

Pudsey votes Total votes
Lord Morpeth (L) (167) 12,638
Sir G. Strickland (L) (163) 12,004
Hon. J.S. Wortley ( C) (106) 11,566
Total number of voters in Pudsey, 311.
In July, 1841, the next election for two members took place, as follows:__

Pudsey votes Total votes
Hon. J.S. Wortley ( C) (143) 13,165
E.B. Denison ( C) (139) 12,780
Lord Morpeth (L) (239) 12,031
Lord Milton (L) (242) 12,080
Total number of voters in Pudsey, 435.
On Mr. Wortley succeeding to the peerage, Lord Morpeth was elected in February, 1846, without a contest, and on his appointment to the office of First Lord Commissioner of Woods and Forests, was re-elected in July of the same year.
In August, 1847, a general election took place, when Lord Morpeth and Richard Cobden, two Liberals, were elected without a contest.
On Lord Morpeth succeeding to the peerage in 1848, a contest for the vacant seat took place, with the following result:__

Pudsey votes Total votes
Edmund Denison ( C) (133) 14,743
Sir Culling Eardley (L) (141) 11,795
Total number of votes in Pudsey, 321.
At a general election in July, 1852, Richard Cobden (L) and Edmund Denison ( C) were returned without a contest.
In March, 1857, another election took place, when E. Denison ( C) and Lord Goderich (L) were elected without opposition, and on Lord Goderich succeeding to the peerage in 1859, Sir John W. Ramsden (L), was elected without opposition; but on the defeat of the Derby Ministry in April, 1859, a general election took place in May, and a contest ensued resulting as follows:__
Sir John W. Ramsden (L) 15,980
Francis Crossley (L) 15,401
Rt. Hon. J.S. Wortley ( C) 13,636
The two Liberal candidates visited Pudsey previous to the election and addressed a meeting of between 2,000 and 3,000 persons in the open-air on Waver Green; and Mr. Wortley, the Conservative candidate, also addressed an open-air meeting in Chapeltown, on May 3rd.
In January, 1859, a Parliamentary Reform Association was formed in Pudsey, for the purpose of advocating the cause of Parliamentary Reform, and the claims of Pudsey and neighbourhood being made into an electoral district to send a member to Parliament, with Pudsey as the name and centre. Certain persons and journals treated the proposal with derision. But that which was then ridiculed has now become an accomplished fact!
In 1861, the West Riding was ordered to be divided into Northern and Southern divisions at the next election, each to return two members.
A general election took place in July, 1865, when Sir Francis Crossley and Lord Frederick Cavendish, two Liberals, were returned for the Northern Division unopposed; and in the Southern Division a contest occurred with the following result:__
Lord Milton (L) 7,258
H.F. Beaumont (L) 6,975
C.B. Denison ( C) 6,884
W.S. Stanhope ( C) 6,819
The first election, after the West Riding was divided into three divisions, took place in Nov., 1868, when a contest was fought with the following result:__

Pudsey votes Total votes
C.B. Denison ( C) (227) 7,437
J. Fielden ( C) (223) 7,135
H.S. Thompson (L) (258) 7,047
Isaac Holden (L) (258) 6,867
The Conservative candidates addressed their supporters at the New Inn, Pudsey, on Sept. 30th, and the Liberal candidates addressed a large open-air meeting at Pudsey on Oct. 14th.
This was the last election by open voting, the two elections following being by ballot. The first of these was in Feb., 1874, and resulted as follows:__
C.B. Denison ( C) 8,240
J. Fielden ) C) 8,077
Sir J.W. Ramsden (L) 7,285
Isaac Holden (L) 7,218
Sir J.W. Ramsden and Mrs. Holden visited Pudsey on the 5th of February, and addressed a meeting in the Public Hall.
The next general election was in April 1880, and the result was as follows:__
Sir Andrew Fairbairn (L) 9,518
Sir J.W. Ramsden (L) 9,406
C.B. Denison ( C) 8,341
Lord Lascelles ( C) 8,157
All the candidates visited Pudsey and delivered addresses to their supporters, before the election.
These notes would not be anything like complete, without some mention being made of the influence which a small body of voters in Pudsey has sometimes exerted in the exciting election contests in Leeds. In 1834 a very close contest took place between the late Mr. Edward Baines and Sir John Beckett, for the representation of the borough. On the second day of the poll, when the result was trembling in the balance, the voters from Pudsey Allan Brigg Mill, about 40 in number, marched in a body, and voted for Mr. Baines, who thus won the election by 30 votes. The Tories were so sore with these honest voters, that they gave them the title of "The Forty Thieves." At the next revision of voters, they were all struck off the voters' list as joint owners of Allan Brigg Mill, on account of a flaw in the list, as they were entered as of the firm of "Webster, Horn & Co.," in the rate book, instead of "Webster, Horn, Harrison & Co." Whether this was accidental or otherwise, there were different opinions on the matter. However, this error was afterwards rectified, and at almost every election which has taken place since then, this little corner of the borough of Leeds has been visited by the Liberal candidates during their canvass to address the electors.
An important political event in the history of Pudsey was the acquisition of the name of the "Pudsey Division" given to one of the six sub-divisions into which the Eastern Division of the West Riding was apportioned by the Redistribution Bill of 1885. The name was given in the first instance, by the Boundary Commissioners in their scheme, and was subsequently favoured by the Commissioner sent down to Leeds to take evidence. In April, 1885, when the House of Commons met in Committee on the Seats Bill, a claim was made that the name should be changed to Calverley, or Kirkstall, but this was defeated. At the Quarters Session, held at Bradford, on June 29th, the Justices directed that Pudsey should be the centre for all purposes relating to the election of members to Parliament for the "Pudsey Division," and this decision gave unqualified satisfaction to the inhabitants.
The townships which comprise the Pudsey division (1885) are as follows:__

  Population Acreage Rateable Value Voters on Register
Calverley 2,246 2,074 13,872 477
Churwell 1,973 489 7,760 353
Drighlington 4,214 1,136 10,050 690
Farsley 4,434 860 13,472 878
Gildersome 3,470 993 9,833 573
Horsforth 6,346 2,801 20,770 1,148
Hunsworth 1,516 1,380 11,742 267
Pudsey 12,314 2,409 37,634 1,625
Rawdon 3,407 1,559 17,107 558
Tong 5,591 2,657 17,881 995
Leeds (Freeholders of Pudsey Division)       4,423
      Total 11989 (sic)

At the first election of a Member of Parliament for the Pudsey Division, the candidates were Briggs Priestley, Esq., J.P., of Ferncliffe, Apperley, and Surr William Duncan, Esq., of Horsforth Hall. The event came off on December 1st, 1885, and great interest was manifested in the proceedings. The arrangements for the election were in the hands of Sir George W. Morrison, Knight, the deputy returning officer, who received, after the result was declared, the hearty thanks of both the candidates for the fairness and impartiality with which he had discharged his onerous duties. The casting up the votes took place in the Mechanics' Institute, and the result was made known to the crowd assembled outside the building at 11 p.m. on the day of polling. The numbers were:__
Briggs Priestley (Liberal) 6,363
Surr W. Duncan (Conservative) 4,039
________
Liberal majority 2,324

At the general election in July, 1886, the candidates were Briggs Priestley, Esq., and Arthur W. Rucker, Esq. The polling took place on July 7th, when the result was as follows:__
Briggs Priestley (Liberal) 5,207
A.W. Rucker (Liberal Unionist) 4,036
_________
Liberal majority 1,171

Mr. Briggs Priestley was born at Thornton, in the year 1831. The business career of Mr. B. Priestley has been bound up with the Bradford trade, and by untiring energy and business sagacity he has won for himself a prominent position in the ranks of our captains of industry. In early life he was employed as a millhand at the works of Messrs. Craven and Harrop, manufacturers, Thornton, but his diligence and general aptitude for business were not allowed to pass unrecognised. Mr. Priestley was accordingly promoted to the responsible position of "market man," and eventually, upon the retirement of his employers in 1858, he entered into partnership with Mr. Francis Craven. Two years later Mr. Priestley established himself in Bradford as a manufacturer, in co-partnership with his brother, the late Mr. Henry Priestley, who at that time was running a portion of Shearbridge Mills. After a time this connection was dissolved, and Mr. Priestley took possession of the Atlas Mills, Laisterdyke, where, in conjunction with his sons, he has built up a business of considerable magnitude. In addition, the firm have worsted mills at Thornton, and altogether find employment for upwards of 1,000 operatives. Mr. Briggs Priestley, as the head of the firm, is now practically retired from business life, and has devoted the last few years to tours of observation in various parts of the globe. We believe that Mr. Priestley's greatest pride and satisfaction connected with his commercial career, is that for thirty years he has been able to maintain unbroken a good and friendly feeling betwixt himself and his employes.
During many years of active life Mr. Priestley has not forgotten his duty in regard to the public service. For thirteen years he rendered valuable assistance to the work of local government. He was elected a member of the Town Council for Little Horton Ward, Bradford, in 1867, and was identified in succeeding years with the various committees of that municipal body. As chairman of the Recreation Grounds Committee, his untiring zeal and generosity resulted in the provision of a park for Horton. He likewise inaugurated the proposal for the establishment of a permanent art gallery and museum in Bradford. While still a councilor for Little Horton Ward, Mr. Briggs Priestley was selected as chief magistrate of the borough in 1877. In November, 1879, he was elevated to the aldermanic bench, but retired from municipal office in the following year. For a long period of years Mr. Priestley was also a member of the Council of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, the Bradford Board of Guardians, and the Infirmary Board. He occupies a seat on the borough bench of magistrates.
Mr. Priestley has in many ways practically demonstrated the interest he takes in the elevation and moral and social well-being of those by whom he is surrounded. In 1868 he established in New Leeds district a school, at which orphan children received free education and food and clothing. Two years later Mr. Priestley founded a school for fatherless children in the Bolton Road district, but the altered relationship of the State in regard to elementary education compelled the closing of these schools.
In politics Mr. Priestley is an advanced Liberal, and has in many ways proved his usefulness in the sphere of practical politics. On the formation of the Liberal Association for the Eastern Division of Bradford, he was chosen president. For some years Mr. Priestley has resided at Ferncliffe, Apperley Bridge. In religion he is a Baptist, and when resident in Bradford was connected with Trinity Chapel. In 1852 he married Miss Crabtree, a lady of Lincolnshire extraction, but who at the time was living in Bradford with her brother, a minister attached to the Primitive Methodist denomination. Mr. Priestley's family consists of four sons and two daughters.
In concluding our sketch of the political history of Pudsey, we may remark, that in a Parliamentary return issued in February, 1887, referring to the illiterates who voted at the general election in July, 1886, the fitness of the voters in the Pudsey Division to exercise the franchise was clearly demonstrated. According to official and authoritative documents, this division stands at the head of the County Parliamentary Divisions in Yorkshire, as having the fewest illiterate voters. The illiterates in the Pudsey Division, in which there were 9,243 voters, were one in 134. In Bradford the proportion was one in 103, in Leeds one in 58. In England and Wales the average was one in 62, Scotland one in 74, and in Ireland, one voter in every five, was illiterate.
Whenever any great political question has arisen, an expression of feeling has generally been given by the politicians of Pudsey. In proof of this, I need only refer to the newspaper accounts of the public meetings and lectures, held at various times, for the discussion of political questions.
During the Corn Law agitation, Pudsey was most enthusiastic in its demonstrations in favour of a repeal of the obnoxious impost, and during several years meetings were held and lectures given, until the question was finally settled.
The year 1846 will always be memorable in British history as the time when the Corn Laws were repealed. All over the country, but most particularly in the manufacturing districts, there were demonstrations of rejoicing, but none of these enthusiastic manifestations of the public feeling were more characteristic or racy of the soil than that which took place at Pudsey. At Leeds the news of the passing of the measure in the House of Lords repealing the Corn Laws, after considerable agitation, was received with many signs of public rejoicing. But at Pudsey an original and typical mode of celebrating the important event was adopted. A number of Free Traders had formed themselves into what was called "The Little Committee," which met at the house of Mr. John Baker, the rate-collector, to devise means to celebrate the great event. Amongst those forming the committee and the promoters of the demonstration were Messrs. W. Huggan, W. Hinings, senr., J.A. Hinings, John Emsley (now of America), W. Musgrave, S. Musgrave, W.D. Scales, G. Hinings, R. Gaunt, J.E. Hinings, W.R. Hinings, John Boocock, Jas. Halliday, John Baker, Hy. Wilcock, Cleo. Myers, Jno. Haigh, Jas. Hargreaves, Geo. Walton, Edmund Dufton and W. Wood.
The outcome of the deliberations of "The Little Committee" was the determination to provide a monster plum pudding-such a pudding as the world had never seen before. We have heard it said it was the suggestion of Mr. J.A. Hinings, but whoever conceived the idea it proved a big success, and helped to make more widely known a place that had already achieved great distinction amongst its neighbours. The pudding was composed of twenty stones of flour, with suet, fruit, etc., in proportion. The ingredients were divided amongst twenty housewives, who each mixed her share into the requisite consistency, ready for the final blending. Leave was obtained of the Crawshaw Mill Co. to boil the monster pudding in one of the dye-pans of the "Leadhus." The pan having been duly scoured, it was filled with water from the spring. The dames then brought their twenty "bowls" containing the mixed flour, fruit and suet, and these were tipped into a large and strong new canvas "poke"-specially made for the purpose-and by means of a windlass that had been fixed over the pan the "weighty matter" was hoisted into the vessel. For three days and nights the pudding was kept boiling, along with half a dozen smaller ones to keep it company. On the 31st July, 1846, the puddings were craned out of the huge copper, and placed upon a wherry, lent by Mr. W. Wood, stone merchant. Here the steaming monster sat in triumph, the smaller puddings being around it, the whole forming a solid and substantial evidence of the material idea meant to be conveyed by the recent Act of the Legislature, and the benefits it was believed the people would reap thereby. A procession was formed, headed by Mr. J.A. Hinings and Mr. Samuel Musgrave, on horseback, and four grey horses were yoked to the wherry containing the puddings, the driver of which, James Wilson, watchman at the Priestley Mill at the time, but who had previously been a sailor, exhibited no small degree of pride in the part he played in the memorable event of that day. Hundreds of persons joined the procession, and thousands of others lined the streets, the liveliest interest being shown in the demonstration-even beyond the borders of the town, for visitors from far and wide having heard of the "stir" came to see the "Pudsey big pudding."*
*=Our illustration of the procession of the Big Pudding is copied from a stained glass window in the panel of the door of the billiard room at Grove House, Pudsey. The full size of the picture is 3 feet by a foot. It was painted for Mr. W.D. Scales, by Mr. Booer, of Leeds, in the year 1878.
Afterwards the procession returned to Crawshaw Mill, where, in the adjoining field, tables were arranged in the form of a large military square, the wherry with its toothsome freight being placed in the centre. Tickets were sold at a shilling each to those who were desirous of dining off the extraordinary pudding, but each guest had to provide his own plate, and knife and fork or spoon. Hundreds of hungry onlookers sat on the walls surrounding the field, and once at least these made an ugly rush to get to the tables, but they were driven back and kept at bay by the vigilance of Messrs. J.A. Hinings and Samuel Musgrave, who, on horseback, kept up an incessant patrol of the ground. The pudding was literally dug out by Mr. W. Hinings, senr., who was armed with a small spade for the purpose. That the dish was of an excellent nature is proved by the fact that some of the guests "sent up their plates" three of four times? But there are limits to everything-even the congenial occupation of eating plum pudding with rum sauce accompaniment must come to an end, and after the last of the guests who had paid their shillings had been served, there was still some of the pudding left, and the aforesaid hungry onlookers and others then had a turn, the result being that the last of the "Big Pudding" was soon safely tucked away, and so ended a remarkable incident in the history of Pudsey.
Addresses were given,--Messrs. G. Hinings, John Emsley (now of Philadelphia, U.S.A.), and one or two others, haranguing the crowd upon the great and glorious event that had been achieved for the masses of the people in the repeal of the Corn Laws, in a manner that would have delighted Ebenezer Elliott himself. Nor were the women who had assisted in making the pudding, etc., forgotten, for, on the following day, they sat down to a rum and tea party, of such a substantial character that it is still remembered by such as survive, in the most lively manner. *
*=This account of the Pudsey demonstration has been contributed by Mr. John Middlebrook of Pudsey.
On public occasions when the loyalty of the inhabitants has been appealed to, political differences have been forgotten, and all classes have worked harmoniously together. In 1856, on the termination of the war with Russia, the return of peace was celebrated by a general rejoicing. The mills and shops were closed either the whole or part of the day, and very little work was done. Extensive preparations had been made for the procession,--tea parties, dinners, and other rejoicings and demonstrations. At half-past one o'clock the inhabitants began to assemble in Chapeltown to join the procession. The programme of the day commenced by the reading of the proclamation of peace, by John Farrer, Esq., J.P., Grove House. The Rev. H.J. Graham, M.A., incumbent of Pudsey, then delivered a short address, at the conclusion of which the procession moved off in the following order:__
The Chief Constable, on horseback;
Three Crimean Heroes, wearing their medals, in full dress, and on
Horseback;
Yorkshire Hussars, in Uniform;
Four Peninsula and Waterloo Veterans, wearing their medals;
The Pudsey West End Brass Band;
Great Peace Banner;
Carriages;
Gentlemen on horseback, three abreast;
Waggons, Wherries, and Carts;
The Pudsey Reed Band;
Gentlemen on foot, four abreast;
Workpeople from the various Manufactories;
Members of the Literary Union;
Members of the various Friendly Societies;
The Pudsey Union Band;
Sunday School Teachers and Children.

The procession moved down Church Lane, Lowtown, Lane-end, returning by the King's Arms, up Lowtown, on Manor-house Street, down Robin Lane, Littlemoor, up Fartown, Bankhouse Lane, through Fulneck, up Fartown, along Greenside to Chapeltown, where it terminated after singing the National Anthem. All the aged persons in the town who wished to do so partook of a good tea, prepared for them at the following places:--The Public Rooms, Lowtown; National School, Radcliffe Lane; Independent School, Greenside; and Mr. E. Sewell's School-room, Fulneck. The utmost unanimity and order pervaded all classes during the procession, and throughout the day; and the committee received great praise for their indefatigable labours in the management and getting up of these rejoicings. In the evening a grand display of fireworks took place in Chapeltown. Amongst the rest appeared in fire "Peace,""The Town and Trade of Pudsey," and, as a finale, "God save the Queen." The whole display was made by Mr. Scott, of Pudsey. In the evening several private illuminations took place in gas devices, transparencies, etc. The mill-owners treated their workpeople with roast beef, plum pudding, and other edibles:--Albion, Cliff, Crawshaw, Claughton Garth, and Union. These mills employ above 500 persons. Messrs. Scales and Salter, boot and shoe makers, gave the persons in their employ (nearly ninety), a substantial treat of roast beef, plum pudding, etc. Mr. W. Huggan, cloth manufacturer, also treated his men in the same way; and several sheep were roasted in various parts of the town for the enjoyment of the inhabitants generally.
The marriage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with the Princess Alexandra in 1863, was celebrated in Pudsey in a truly loyal style. The bells of the church sent forth their merry peals at intervals during the day, and British, Danish, and other flags were hung out in every street, and the day was observed as a general holiday. Notwithstanding the very unfavourable state of the weather, the procession started at the time appointed, and was a very creditable display. It assembled in Chapeltown at one o'clock, and shortly afterwards started off in the following order:--Gentlemen on horseback, gentlemen's carriages, etc., four of Captain Pepper's railway wherries; waggons and other conveyances; Pudsey Union Band, with large banner; Pudsey Choral Society; Pudsey fire engine and brigade; gentlemen on foot; police; Sunday Schools; Church Schools; Independent School; Wesleyan Upper School; Primitive Methodist School; Zion School; Wesleyan Lower School. The procession moved down Church Lane, Lowtown, and returning up Lowtown, passed on Manor-house Street, down Robin Lane, Littlemoor, up Fartown, Greenside to Chapeltown, where it separated, after singing the National Anthem, and giving three cheers for the Prince of Wales and the Princess Alexandra, three for the Queen, and three for the township of Pudsey. The whole of the proceedings were ably carried out under the superintendence of Mr. E. Sewell, the honorary secretary, and other members of the committee. A good substantial tea was provided gratuitously for all the old people above sixty years of age, in five of the different schools in the town. After the procession the school children were treated with a tea, etc., at their respective schools. Wedding favours of Coventry riband and medals were very generally worn. In the evening a partial illumination took place. A sheep was roasted whole at Littlemoor, and partaken of by a large number at the Railway Hotel.