Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Local Faces - Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725)

Ralph Thoresby’s father, John, was a cloth merchant and in 1679 his son inherited his house in Kirkgate along with a collection of coins & medals which were to form the basis of his famous museum. He was not a success in business but instead devoted much of his time to antiquarian interests, writing a diary (from 1677-1724 and published in the 1830s) and also the first published history of Leeds Ducatus Leodiensis (1715), which contains a street by street description of Georgian Leeds with plans and prospects.

He was born at the house that stood at 15 Kirkgate, which is now a card shop opposite the northeast corner of House of Fraser. A Blue Plaque was put on the present building in 1992, sponsored by the Thoresby Society and unveiled by their then president.

The piece was hand stitched on painted fabric, either by Denise Teed or Barbara Gray.

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