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HUDDERSFIELD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 849 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HUDDERSFIELD, a municipal, county and parliamentary borough in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, 190 M. N.N.W. from London. Pop. (19ol) 95,047. It is served by the Lancashire & Yorkshire and London & North Western 1 Skeat, Etym. Diet. (1898), says, " The word bears so remarkable resemblance to Low Ger. hukkebak, Ger. huckeback, pick-a-back, that it seems reasonable to suppose that it at first meant ' peddler's ware.' The New English Dictionary does not consider that the connexion can at present be assumed. railways, and has connexion with all the important railway systems of the West Riding, and with the extensive canal system of Lancashire and Yorkshire. It is well situated on a slope above the river Colne, a tributary of the Calder. It is built principally of stone, and contains several handsome streets with numerous great warehouses and business premises, many of which are of high architectural merit. Of the numerous churches and chapels all are modern, and some of considerable beauty. The parish church of St Peter, however, though rebuilt in 1837, occupies a site which is believed to have carried a church since the 11th century. The town hall (188o) and the corporation offices (18i7) are handsome classic buildings; the Ramsden Estate buildings are a very fine block of the mixed Italian order. The market hall (188o) surmounted by a clock-tower is in geometrical Decorated style. The cloth-hall dates from 1784, when it was erected as a clothiers' emporium. It is no longer used for any such purpose, but serves as an exchange news-room. The Armoury, erected as a riding-school, was the headquarters of a volunteer corps, and is also used for concerts and public meetings. The chief educational establishments are the Huddersfield College (1838), a higher-grade school, the technical school and several grammar-schools, of which Longwood school was founded in 1731. The Literary and Scientific Society possesses a museum. Of the numerous charitable institutions, the Infirmary, erected in 1831, is housed in a building of the Doric order. The chief open spaces are Greenhead and Beaumont parks, the last named presented to the town by Mr H. F. Beaumont in 1880. There is a sulphurous spa in the district of Lockwood. Huddersfield is the principal seat of the fancy woollen trade in England, and fancy goods in silk and cotton are also produced in great variety. Plain cloth and worsteds are also manufactured: There are silk and cotton spinning-mills, iron foundries and engineering works. Coal is abundant in the vicinity. The parliamentary borough returns one member. The county borough was created in 1888. The municipal borough is under a mayor, 15 aldermen and 45 councillors. Area, 11,859 acres. Huddersfield (Oderesfelte) only rose to importance after the introduction of the woollen trade in the 17th century. After the Conquest William I. granted the manor to Ilbert de Laci, of whom the Saxon tenant Godwin was holding as underlord at the time of the Domesday Survey. In Saxon times it had been worth loos., but after being laid waste by the Normans was still of no value in ro86. From the Lacys the manor passed to Thomas Plantagenet. duke of Lancaster, through his marriage with Alice de Lacy, and so came to the crown on the accession of Henry IV. In 1599 Queen Elizabeth sold it to William Ramsden, whose descendants still own it. Charles II. in 167o granted to John Ramsden a market in Huddersfield every Wednesday with the toll and other profits belonging. By the beginning of the 18th century Huddersfield had become a " considerable town," chiefly owing to the manufacture of woollen kersies, and towards the end of the same century the trade was increased by two events—the opening of navigation on the Calder in 178o, and in 1784 that of the cloth-hall or piece-hall, built and given to the town by Sir John Ramsden, baronet. Since 1832 the burgesses have returned members to parliament. The town possesses no charter before 1868, when it was created a municipal borough.
End of Article: HUDDERSFIELD
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