.  .

1774 - A man at Leeds was indicted for paying a bad "six and thirty," and many persons in Halifax and other places were apprehended for clipping and sweating the 36s., 18s., 6s.9d., and other gold pieces, and for counterfeiting the Portuguese coin then current in England.- At the York Spring Assizes, about forty coiners and clippers were tried, but only two were executed, viz.: James Oldfield, of Warley, and David Hartly, of Erringden. The latter was called "King David" by his illicit fraternity, who had another chief distinguished with the title of  "Duke of Edinburgh". The favourite haunt of this desperate gang, was the wild and mountanious parish of Halifax, of which many of them were natives. After David their "king" had been apprehended in the town of Halifax some of the gang murdered Mr. Deighton, a supervisor, within one hundred yards of his own house, for which crime, Robert Thomas was executed at York on the 6th of August, 1774, and gibbeted on the Beacon-hill, with his right hand pointing to the scene of the murder. Matthew Normanton also suffered death as an accomplice in the bloody deed.

These three large volumes are fully indexed, with names, events and places. In addition, the CD is fully searchable for any word or phrase within the text.


From the Earliest Period
to the Present Time

Compiled by John Mayhall

The most fascinating every day history of the people of Yorkshire with accounts of the events relating to the "ordinary" people of the county.

27 July 1809

A dreadful thunderstorm, was partially felt at Leeds, and was most tremendous about seven miles to the south-east. Several houses at Garforth were struck with the lightning, and among others that of Mr.Collett; the electric fluid struck the chimney, and went through the wall, which it damaged in several places; it then took another direction, broke a chair and some china, and again penetrated the wall. Mr. and Mrs.Collett had scarcely quitted the room in which they had been sitting, when the lightning entered the apartment, and overwhelmed everything in its destructive course. The house of Thomas Webster was also much shattered, and two cows killed. At Barwick in Elmet, the house of Mr. Thomas Stoner was greatly shattered, and a collier standing in his house had his shoe-string burnt by the electric spark. Mrs. Stoner had engaged a party, to tea the same afternoon, but had reversed her invitation at the entreaty of one of her friends, and had gone, to visit a neighbour, when the room in which her party would have sat was shattered with the lightning. A tree under which a number of hay-makers had imprudently sheltered themselves, was shivered a few moments after they had quitted their shelter. A man and his wife at Kippax, sitting at opposite sides of the fire, had a dog killed between them, though they both escaped unhurt.

25 October 1809

Joe Brown, the well known "church watcher" was executed at York, for poisoning a woman with whom he lodged, at Leeds. The better to impose upon the unwary, he for some time wore the garb of religion,but being expelled the society he had joined, he attached himself to a young man of dissolute character, and they, to avoid warrant against them for burglary, disguised themselves as fortune-tellers; Joe personating the deaf and dumb, and the other the interpreter. They were supposed to be the murderers of the Leeds and Selby carrier, but murder was not proved against them till Joe confessed his crimes, when about to embark under a sentence of transportation.

What was happening at the time your ancestors lived in Yorkshire? The events described in these books are part of your family's history.

This is a superb resource, not to find ancestors (although they may be included), but to put meat on the bones with information about where they lived, how they lived their lives, information about their occupations, and what influenced their thinking and decision making.

Real family history - not just collecting names and dates.

January 1830 - A pig was slaughtered by Thomas Spedding, of Dewsbury, bred by Abraham Ibbetson, Esq., which weighed fifty stones eight pounds, one of the hams weighing eighty  pounds.

Grave Robbing at Calverley

February 1830 - The inhabitants of the villages of Calverley and Idle and the district surrounding, were thrown into a state of great agitation by the discovery that the body of Sarah Gomersal, a young woman about 28 years of age, which was interred on the 8th of January, had been stolen from her burial place, in Calverley Parish Church Yard.


5 January 1850 - Batley, near Dewsbury, was for three days commencing this day, the scene of a great deal of excitement; caused by a poll of the ratepayers "As to whether Batley should or should not be lighted with gas". The result of the poll for ayes was 590; noes 506; majority 84 in favour of gas.

3 April 1862 - John Walker, living with his parents at Holbeck, near Leeds, went to one of the cupboards for some peppermint, and by mistake drank poison, and died.

Over 2,200 pages of these three large volumes, digitised so that you can view the original pages in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Compatible with PC and Apple Mac.
Copy and paste articles and stories into your word processor, or capture the original pages to include in your family history file.


Were Your ancestors at New Wortley in 1850?

4 March 1850 - An explosion and a fire occurred at the Naptha manufactory of Mr. James Bapty, New Wortley, near Leeds, by which a Mr. Brook lost his life, and other persons were injured.

4 November 1869 - William James Sunter, beerseller, Whitkirk, was indicted for the manslaughter of his wife, Priscilla Sunter. Deceased was the prisoner's second wife, and after they were married three years ago she was constantly illtreated by her husband. On the evening of the 6th September he assaulted her in a brutal manner, and with his fist knocked her down with great violence. She fell with the back of her head upon the sinkstone, and received injuries that caused her death a fortnight afterwards. The jury pronounced the prisoner guilty, and Mr. Justice Lush, in sentencing him to peual servitude for life, told him that he had been morally guilty of murder.

January 1862

8th - George Gouldthorpe, of Sheffield, was committed for trial for burglary at Darnall Parsonage, on the 30th of December. He was convicted at the March Assizes, and sentenced to ten years'penal servitude.

13th - Edward Lister, aged 65, was brought before the magistrates at Bradford, on a charge of shooting with intent to murder Mr. George Frank, linen-draper, of Barkerend Road, and was committed for trial at the assizes. He was found guilty in March, and sentenced to four years penal servitude.

1080. Leeds, Holbeck, and Woodhouse were given by the Conqueror to Ilbert de Laci. Leeds was then only a farming village, with an estimated population of somewhat less than 300, and not more than 900 in the whole parish, including a priest, a church, and a mill. The circumference of the borough of Leeds is 32 miles and one furlong, and its superficial contents are 21,470 acres and nine perches.

It is not the number of branches on your family tree that matters, or how far it goes back in time.... but how many leaves... and the situation of the tree in relation to its landscape.

These rare books give you a unique opportunity to flesh out your family history. Thousands of fascinating events and articles taken from the earliest pre-Roman history, records of the county, and newspapers.

You can now own your own facsimile copy of these rare books. Indexed and fully searchable.

The Archive CD Books Project exists to make reproductions of old books, documents and maps available on CD to genealogists and historians, and to co-operate with libraries, museums and record offices in providing money to renovate old books in their collection, and to donate books to their collections, where they will be preserved for future generations.

The Project is all about making CDs of old and rare books available to genealogists and historians at a reasonable price. It is a "user supported" project, and is intended to be non profit making.

© 2004 Archive CD Books, All Rights Reserved