1870 - 29 November

Electorate 45,000

Voted 30,000

Total number of votes cast 455,000


Candidates Elected


John Jowitt Harehills wool merchant 49,586
William Jas. Armitage Farnley iron master 39,475
Andrew Fairbairn Woodsley House knight 33,331
William Middleton Ivy Lodge Esq. 29,973
Wm. Beckworth Joppa tanner and leather cutter 29,037
John Ellershaw Kirkstall Esq. 26,179
John Deakin Heaton Claremont M.D. 25,166
W. Glover Joy Headingley seed crusher 19,155
Jas. Wilson, jun. Colton plasterer and builder 18,766
Geo. Patrick Kelly Kirkgate surgeon 18,186
Wm. Long St George’s Terrace ironmonger 17,699
Jabez Woolley Hunslet builder and contractor 15,953
John Hutton Fisher Kendall Holbeck Parsonage   15,534
Edwin Gaunt Blackman Lane cap manufacturer 15,327
William Barker Bramley gentleman 14,394



Candidates Not Elected


Wm. Rothery Hunslet maltster 12,353
H. B. Clegg Blenheim Square hatter and draper 11,473
William Hawkyard Carr Crofts, Armley clerk 11,016
Jas. Kitson, jun. Hanover Square iron merchant 10,640
Peter Gilston Woodhouse Hill chemist 7,412
J. Wilkinson Victoria Chambers insurance manager 5,751
Lucy Wilson Hilary Place spinster 5,186
Joseph Metcalfe Nicholson Beeston Road M.D. 4,669
Thomas Marshall Potternewton solicitor 4,560
J. P. Crossby Hanover Street M.D. and surgeon 3,356
Benjamin Leathley Roger Place accountant 2,586
Thomas Clapham Leeds, Royal Park gentleman 2,492
Walter Smith Clarendon Road art master 1,470
Wm. Cave George & Dragon Yd hotel-keeper 1,249
Thomas Lewis Portland Crescent bookseller 929
Thomas Dawson Caledonian Mount gentleman 803
Henry Arthur Allbutt Russell Lodge physician 800
Mrs Catherine Buckton Moorland Terrace   545
Thos. Carlton Great George Street estate agent 497
Mr. Joseph Speight   contractor 376
Robert Lister Vevers Park Place gentleman 288
Mr. W. Fox   machine tool maker 235
Mr. J. B. Baldwin   mechanic and licensed dealer 54


The Leeds School Board was established as a result of Forster’s Education Act of 1870 permitting towns to appoint school boards to provide elementary education. Previously Forster had described Leeds as ‘the darkest and most beknighted town in the kingdom from an educational point of view’. Perhaps because of this, Leeds became one of the first towns to appoint such a board. Property owners had the right to vote in the election and for first time women property owners also voted and could stand for office. Each voter had the right to chose three or more candidates from the list of voters.

The churches were anxious to be represented with five Church of England candidates being elected, two Roman Catholics, and two Nonconformists but the Revd Kendall of Holbeck was the only practising clergyman to win a seat on the board. Two women candidates decided to stand, a spinster, Miss Lucy Wilson of Hillary Place and Mrs Catherine Buckton of Moorland Terrace. Several candidates, however, withdrew after their names had appeared on the ballot paper including Mrs Buckton. Voting took place in the various town wards with the Leeds Mercury reporting of the women voters, ‘It was somewhat amusing to observe the air of satisfaction on their faces.’ The only two candidates to represent the working class, Wlliam Hawkyard of Armley and Peter Gilston of Hunslet did not succeed, though Hawkyard defeated every other candidate in Armley itself. The votes were counted in the Victoria Hall.

Sir Andrew Fairbairn was elected the first School Board chairman and its first schools were opened in thirteen temporary premises across the town in 1872. For further reading see Leeds Mercury, 29, 30 November 1870.