The statue of Henry R. Marsden in the city centre. PIC:  Leeds Libraries,
The statue of Henry R. Marsden in the city centre. PIC: Leeds Libraries,

How a city honoured the most popular Victorian mayor of Leeds

He was said to be the most popular Victorian mayor of Leeds.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:30 am

Henry Rowland Marsden became an Alderman in 1872 and then the Mayor of Leeds between 1873 and 1875. Born in Holbeck he was the inventor of the Stone Crusher which made him world famous among engineers. He set up a factory in 1862 for the patent stone-crushing machinery to take advantage of the demand at that time for road building. He received 45 first class gold and silver medals and honours for his inventions, which continued to provide him with the wealth to enable him to donate both time and money to public life. His interest in local affairs led him to the Liberal Party and he was elected as local councillor for Holbeck in 1866 with the biggest majority then recorded. As Mayor it was said that "from the beginning he conducted the business of the town and of the Council without consideration of sect, party or denomination, acting with strict impartiality and goodwill to all" He is recorded to have donated £2,000 per year to good causes. When he died in January 1876 a public subscription raised £1,000 to erect a statue of him on the junction of Merrion Street and Woodhouse Lane by city sculptor John Throp. It was eventually moved to Woodhouse Moor. READ MORE: Amazing photos showcase life in Leeds during the 1890s LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook

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