Papers of the Leeds White Cloth Hall

Scope and Content

The papers in this collection are listed in Handlist 2 attached to the record in the Leeds Special Collections catalogue . The collection consists largely of legal documents and correspondence, of which many are copies or drafts. No attempt has been made to describe the latter more closely than as 'drafts' unless 'copy' is specifically stated, because it has not always been possible to distinguish between a copy and a draft when the actual document is not available in this collection.

The term 'draft' in Handlist 2 refers to a document which was produced for the purpose of recording one particular event, legal or otherwise, which may or may not include all the contents of the final document.

Administrative / Biographical History

The first hall for the sale of white cloth in Leeds was financed by merchants and tradesmen and erected in Kirkgate, Leeds, opening in April 1711. Business flourished, and in 1755 a new hall was built, financed by subscriptions from clothiers, and occupying a site on a strip of land between Hunslet Lane and Meadow Lane. By the mid-1770s this hall also had become too small. Merchants seeking to keep the cloth market centralised in Leeds initiated the building of a third White Cloth Hall which opened in October 1775. A fourth hall was established in the 1860s.


The MS 283 catalogue is based on an historic inventory. The arrangement of material does not necessarily represent the original order of the archive and it is considered partly processed by an archivist. When making requests to consult, please be aware that there may be discrepancies between description and physical arrangement. The retrievable unit for this collection is file level.

Access Information

This collection is fully accessible and not subject to restrictions under the Data Protection Act.

Separated Material

See also MS 449 and MS 1947.

Conditions Governing Use

Material in this collection is in copyright. Photocopies or digital images can only be supplied by the Library for research or private study within the terms of copyright legislation. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain the copyright holder's permission to reproduce for any other purpose. Guidance is available on tracing copyright status and ownership.