During the 19th Century Leeds changed from a small town to a large manufacturing city. As the factories grew up across the city, the sky was covered by smoke and fumes from the chimneys.
Between 1790 and 1840 there was a huge increase in the number of working people in the city. Factories needed large workforces more businesses were opening in the city. As there were not enough houses, cheap back-to-back terraces were built. These were often without proper drainage or sanitation, with toilets shared between dozens, so that people were more likely to catch diseases. These crowded, narrow streets became the slums of Leeds, where the poorest people lived.
The rise of the middle class
- Look at the top photograph of people given charity by the Leeds Mission:
- How do you think they felt about needing to go to a charity for help?
- What do you notice about the clothes they are wearing?
- What other clues can you spot in the picture that might tell you something about their lives?