Leeds Woollen Industry, 1780-1820 by W B Crump; 1931


This volume had its origin in the gift to the Thoresby Society of the books wherein Joseph Rogerson, a scribbling miller of Bramley, wrote his ‘ Memorandums,’ which Miss Hargrave began to transcribe early in 1929 with a view to their publication in the next Miscellanea. Simultaneously Dr. Offor proposed to select from the Gott Papers recently presented to the University Library some letters that might form the basis of another contribution. It was known to us that Professor H. Heaton, of the University of Minnesota, U.S.A., was preparing a second volume on the Yorkshire wool textile industry, to include the Industrial Revolution, and that he intended to make use of the Gott Papers and had, in fact, copied or asked for copies of many of them. It was therefore necessary to ascertain what reservations, if any, he wished to place upon the use of this material. It seemed to me that the Society would be materially assisting him by publishing a much larger selection from these Papers than was at first contemplated, for the documents related wholly to the Leeds industry and were too numerous and lengthy to be given in full in a volume on the Yorkshire industry.

In answer to my enquiry Professor Heaton gave a ready assent and left us with a free choice from the Gott Papers of whatever we thought suitable for our purpose, which did not aim at going beyond 1815 or thereabouts. He went further than this: stating what he thought would be the most interesting or valuable documents, and advising us to supplement them by relevant letters from the Boulton & Watt Collection in the Birmingham Reference Library. He offered assistance and sent forthwith a short contribution, based wholly on the Birmingham, material.

With this cordial and helpful send-off it seemed likely that the available documents would throw enough light upon

Personally, I am particularly indebted to Dr. Offor for his continued interest in the work and for much friendly discussion and criticism. In addition, he has placed at my service the resources of the University Library, and it was outside his own office that I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Rees’ Cyclopedia. Mr. F. Beckwith and Mr. G. Woledge, of the Library staff, have also given considerable help in preparing the Gott Papers. Through Dr. Offor I have also been able to
consult with specialists in one or another department of the University, and in this way Mr. Yewdall was induced to examine the Bean Ing Note-book. Professor A. F. Barker also, from the time that he was introduced to Rogerson’s Diary, has continued
to show a kindly interest in the progress of this history, whilst Mr. Yewdall’s technical and local knowledge of the industry has been most freely placed at my disposal.

W B C.
Leeds, December, 1930.

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