A Brief Chronology of Leeds

Century :

            11th       12th        13th        14th        15th        16th        17th        18th        19th        20th       Current

    8th Century
AD 731 Bede makes first mention of 'Loidis'
    11th Century
1069 Leeds escapes the Harrying of the North; Bramley, Beeston etc destroyed
1086 Leeds Mentioned in Domesday Book
1089 Ralph Paynel gives property including the Parish church to Holy Trinity, York
    12th Century
c1110 Thomas is the first recorded Vicar of Leeds
1152 Kirkstall Abbey founded
1155 Knights Templar take over Newsam
1185 First fulling mill in England recorded at Temple Newsam
    13th Century    Top of the page
1207 Maurice Paynel grants Leeds a charter
1258 Market operating in Leeds
    14th Century        Top of the page
1319 First recorded murder in Leeds when Robert of North Hall murdered William de Wayte
1341 Market operating on a Monday
1322 Mention of the first bridge over River Aire - probably one since 11th century
    15th Century        Top of the page
1469 Woollen industry well established in Leeds
    16th Century         Top of the page
1539 Kirkstall Abbey dissolved
1552 Leeds Grammar School established
1560 First map of Leeds
    17th Century        Top of the page
1615 Moot Hall built in Briggate
1624 John Harrison builds new grammar school
1626 King Charles I grants charter
1626 First Leeds council met
1628 Thomas Metcalf built Red Hall, the first brick built house in Leeds
1634 John Harrison builds St John's Church
1643 Battle of Briggate; Parliamentary victory
1645 Bubonic plague kills 1325 people
1647 Charles I held prisoner in Leeds in Red Hall
1654 Adam Baynes becomes Leeds the first MP
1661 Second charter gives Leeds a mayor
1663 Farnley Wood Plot to overthrow Charles II
1682 Chapeltown Moor saw the first recorded horse race in Leeds
1684 Charles II grants the third charter
1684 Market moved from Leeds Bridge to Briggate
1689 William III and Mary II re-instate the second charter
c1690 Ralph Thoresby establishes the first museum in Leeds
1693 The first actual race meeting on Chapeltown Moor
1694 George Sorocold constructs water supply in Leeds
1699 Act of Parliament permits building of the Aire & Calder Navigation
    18th Century        Top of the page
1704 Aire and Calder Navigation came into use
1711 New Moot Hall opened
1715 Ralph Thoresby publishes Ducatus
1715 First record of football in the town: played on frozen river Aire
1718 Leeds Mercury founded
1718 First record of football hooliganism when a man is killed on Boar Lane
1742 In Armley the first Methodist meeting place established in Leeds
1744 Moravians settle at Fulneck
1745 Mob attacks John Wesley in the town
1749 Josiah Fearn, the only lord of the manor of Leeds, to be executed
1749 Thomas Mawson, is the first recorded black person in Leeds
1754 Leeds Intelligencer, now Yorkshire Post, founded
1755 Street lighting introduced
1758 First railway act establishes Middleton Railway
1767 Joseph Priestley becomes minister at Mill Hill Chapel
1768 Leeds Library founded
1770 Act passes to allow Leeds and Liverpool Canal to be built
1771 Leeds Infirmary opens on Infirmary St.
1775 White Cloth Hall built in the Calls
1777 Assembly Rooms opened
1780 Lucas of Mabgate wins the first recorded boxing match in Leeds
1781 John Wesley preaches to over one thousand people in the town
1784 Sunday schools open for the first time Leeds
1786 Vincenzo Lunardi makes the first balloon ascent from Leeds from the White Cloth Hall yard
1790 First Roman Catholic church in Leeds since the Reformation opened in Lady Lane
1792 John Marshall moves his flax mill from Adel to Holbeck
1792 Benjamin Gott commenced building his mill at Bean Ing
1798 Edward Baines publishes the first magazine in Leeds for the Methodist New Connexion
    19th Century        Top of the page
1801 Edward Baines purchases the Leeds Mercury and makes regular use of editorials
1808 Northern Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts began meeting.
1812 Matthew Murray's steam engines begin operating on Middleton Railway
1813 John Bruce killed on Middleton Railway, probably the first steam railway casualty ever
1816 Turner paints, Leeds from Beeston Hill, the first ever panorama of an industrial scene
1816 Leeds and Liverpool Canal completed
1818 Surpliced choir sings at the Parish Church, the first in England since the Reformation
1819 Military barracks established at Buslingthorpe
1819 Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society established
1822 Joshua Tetley buys Sykes's Brewery
1823 First prosecution for animal cruelty in Leeds
1823 Commutation of tithes ended
1825 Miss Stocks makes first flight by a woman from Leeds
1827 Brunswick Chapel dispute erupts
1832 Cholera epidemic strikes in Leeds
1832 Leeds granted 2 members of Parliament - John Marshall jun and T B Macaulay elected
1834 First by-election in Leeds won by Edward Baines for the Whigs
1834 First railway from Leeds runs to Selby
1835 Sir John Beckett wins election and is the first Tory MP returned for a newly enfranchised borough
1835 Municipal Reform Bill gives town new corporation - George Goodman first mayor
1838 James Holdforth becomes the first Roman Catholic mayor in England since the Reformation
1840 On Gelderd Road the Jews open their first cemetery in Leeds
1841 New Parish Church opens
1842 Willian Huggon takes the first known photograph in Leeds at his studio in Park Row
1842 Chartists 'Plug Riots' in town
1843 Allotments provided for the first time in Leeds
1847 Band of Hope founded
1847 Typhus epidemic in Leeds
1847 Armley Jail opened
1847 First synagogue opened
1848 Some 2000 die in cholera epidemic
1848 Leeds Moral and Industrial Training School opened - will eventually become St James's
1853 The Leeds Anti-Slavey Association established
1858 John Barran commenced mass production of ready-made clothes
1858 Private John Pearson wins the first Leeds VC at Gwalior in Central India
1858 Queen Victoria opens Town Hall
1861 Cuthbert Brodrick’s Corn Exchange opened
1863 Edward Sheldon installs the first rented poster site in Britain
1866 Sir Clifford Albutt at Leeds Infirmary invented the first modern clinical thermometer
1866 First half day week holiday granted by Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society for its staff
1867 Leeds granted three MPs
1868 New Infirmary on Great George Street opened
1870 Librarian appointed and first public libraries in Leeds opened
1870 Women who qualified voted for the first time in the town in the School Board elections
1871 Leeds School Board formed
1871 First horse trams introduced
1872 First Board School schools opened in temporary premises
1873 Bewerley Street, the first School Board purpose-built school opened
1874 Yorkshire College of Science - eventually to become Leeds University - opened
1874 Leeds Fine Art Club founded
1878 John Barran opens Moorish-Venetian style ready-made clothing factory in Park Square
1878 First shopping arcade opened - Thornton's Arcade
1878 Roman Catholic diocese of Leeds created
1878 The first floodlight rugby game played on Cardigan Fields
1880 The first telephones established in the town
1881 Gladstone heard by a crowd of 30,000 in Coloured Cloth Hall
1882 Edward Lewis opens the first fish and chip shop in Leeds on Marsh Lane
1884 Michael Marks opens stall in Leeds market
1885 Leeds divided into five Parliamentary constituencies
1885 Central Higher Grade School opened
1888 County Borough of Leeds created
1888 From Leeds Bridge Louis le Prince takes some of the world’s first moving pictures
1888 Leeds Art Gallery opened
1889 Thoresby Society founded
1889 Headingley sports ground developed
1890 Yorkshire Evening Post established
1893 Leeds becomes a city
1897 Mayor becomes a Lord Mayor
1891 Eleven children burnt to death at New Year Day’s bazaar at St John’s Church Wortley
1891 The first overhead electric trams in Europe ran from Sheepscar to Roundhay
1892 Headingley, the first Leeds golf club founded
1898 First motoring offence prosecution in the city when Rowland Winn drove at 12mph
1898 Leeds Savage Club established in 1898 established for people  interested in Art, Music and Literature.
    20th Century        Top of the page
1900 Films being shown at the Coliseum
1903 U1 becomes the first car registration in the city
1903 Labour Representation Committee, later the Labour Party, won its first council seat
1903 City Square opened
1903 Leeds Daily News becomes Yorkshire Evening News
1904 Leeds University established
1904 New St Anne's Cathedral opened
1904 Dr Laura Veale becomes the first female doctor appointed in the city
1906 The first buses began operating on a route between Adel and Headingley
1906 James O’Grady elected for Leeds East to become the first Labour MP for Leeds
1908 Mrs Pankhurst addresses mass meeting of suffragettes on Woodhouse Moor
1909 The first Leeds Babies’ Welcome opened on Ellerby Lane
1910 Francis Rushworth was the first woman to vote in a Parliamentary election in Leeds
1911 Children strike in Leeds schools
1911 The Picture House, the first purpose-built cinema opened; later known as the Rialto
1911 The first trolley bus service in Britain began running to Farnley
1913 Montague Burton sets up his clothing firm in Leeds
1915 Augusta Friend was the first woman to graduate in medicine from the University of Leeds
1916 Major disaster at Barnbow munitions factory when thirty-five women were killed
1916 Battle of the Somme - estimated virtually every street in Leeds lost one man killed
1918 Influenza epidemic strikes and by 1919 kills 1,800 Leeds people
1918 Florence Parrish becomes the first Leeds woman police officer
1918 George Ellison of Leeds is the last British soldier killed in the First World War
1922 The first Children’s Day held in Leeds
1922 Miss Mary Grant of the Liberal Party stood in Leeds South East and was the first woman to stand in a Parliamentary election in Leeds
1923 Moor Allerton is the first Jewish golf club to open in Europe
1924 2LS begins broadcasting from Leeds
1925 Montague Burton's is the largest and most popular clothing factory in Europe
1926 General Strike - serious rioting in Vicar Land and Duncan Street
1928 At the junction of Park Row and Bond Street, the first traffic lights installed in the city
1929 At Moortown Golf Club the first ever Ryder Cup in Britain is played
1931 Leeds and Bradford take over Yeadon airport
1933 Civic Hall opened by George V
1933 BBC opens Broadcasting House on Woodhouse Lane
1935 Commercial flights from Leeds Bradford Airport commence
1939 The first British POW captured on 4 September is RAF Sergeant George Booth of Leeds
1940 The only Parliamentary election held in Leeds during the war
1941 Hyman Morris is elected the first Jewish lord mayor of Leeds
1941 Worst air raid on Leeds - 60 killed
1945 Alice Bacon [Lab] elected as city's first woman MP
1946 Referendum in Leeds votes to open cinemas on a Sunday
1956 The first comprehensive school opened at Foxwood
1958 The Jinnah Mosque is the first mosque in Leeds opened
1959 Trams cease to operate in the city
1961 Leeds Triennial Music Festival established
1961 Leeds International Pianoforte competition commenced
1961 Grandways is the first fully-fledged discount store to open in England
1962 Highest ever levels of sulphur dioxide recorded on Kirkstall Road during three days of fog
1965 Parking meters introduced in city
1965 Leeds Civic Trust established
1965 ASDA begins operations at Cross Gates
1967 Chapeltown Carnival launched
1968 Yorkshire Television opens its studios on Kirkstall Road
1968 Postcodes were first used in the city
1968 BBC Radio Leeds began broadcasting
1969 The first Hindu temple opened on Alexandra Road
1970 Leeds Polytechnic formed
1974 Leeds becomes a metropolitan borough
1975 Leeds Cassette, the first magazine for visually handicapped people, launched in the city
1978 Opera North based at the Grand Theatre
1981 Riots in Chapeltown
1981 Radio Aire begins broadcasting
1982 Queen opens Henry Moor Sculpture Gallery
1983 BBC TV ends the Good Old Days at City Varieties after 30 years
1985 Concord Multi-Faith Resources Centre opened
1986 The first Leeds International Film Festival launched
1987 The first Blue Plaque in Leeds unveiled; Burley Bar Stone on the Headrow
1990 West Yorkshire Playhousee opened
1991 Census shows 6% of population from ethnic minority groups
1992 Polytechnic becomes Leeds Metropolitan University
1993 Ujjal Singh Rayat becomes the first Sikh councillor
1996 Leeds one of the hosts for European Football Championships
1996 Royal Armouries Museum opened by Elizabeth II
1998 Super bus lanes introduced
1998 European Union funds experiment in car sharing on Stanningley Road
1998 David Blackburn becomes the first Green Party councillor in Leeds
1999 Hilary Benn is elected in a by-election for Leeds Central with a turnout of just 19.6%
    21st Century        Top of the page
2001 Super tram service announced   
2006 Mohammed Iqbal becomes the first Muslim lord mayor
2006 Chris Beverley becomes the first BNP councillor; he is elected for Morley South
2007 Leeds celebrates the 800 year anniversary of the first charter
2008 Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, calls the first ever cabinet meeting to be held in Leeds Friday 28th November
2010 Councillor Andrea McKenna becomes the first serving councillor to become lady mayoress
2012 Leeds Parish Church becomes a minster
2015 Andrea Jenkyns is elected the first Conservative woman MP for Leeds for Morley & Outwood
2016 The Thoresby Society moved its library and archive into the Leeds Library on Commercial Street
2020 In March Leeds, like the rest of the United Kingdom, faced a complete lockdown in an attempt to combat the coronavirus infection. Universities, schools, places of entertainment and all businesses were closed with the exception of those such as food stores and pharmacies.