Midgley                                                    idgley of Leeds.

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Armley Leeds
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Dr. Robert Midgley M.D. of Leeds, married firstly Isabella Neale, daughter of Dr. George Neale M.D. and Elizabeth daughter of Francis Jackson, Alderman of Leeds. Elizabeth died  s.p. 18th February 1706-7. Robert married secondly Mary daughter of Admiral Sir John Cox  [slain at sea 1672]. Robert died on the 16th October 1723 aged 70. He may have had issue by his second wife [research needed].  Robert is descended  from Ralph Midgley of Breary Hall [Brerehaugh] near Bramhope, his grandfather was Robert Midgley of Brerehaugh and his GGGgrandfather was Edward Midgley of Midgley near Halifax. Midgley blazon given as: Sable 2 bars Gemels Or upon a Chief of the second, three Calthorps of the first.2 The Midgley family of West Breary are predecessors of Catherine Middleton, duchess of Cambridge See Midgley of West Yorkshire (Breary).

Midgley pedigree for Leeds etc.

The Robert Midgley (a medical doctor) in the pedigree above (b. abt. 1653) who died in 1723 is the alleged author of 'The Turkish Spy' and probably also 'The Compendious Schoolmaster'4 See Dictionary of National Biography. From this book Robert Midgley M.D. describes in poetic form, witnessing the Great Fire of London in 1666, when he was probably in his early teens. He is not to be confused with his nephew of the same name who was son of Joseph Midgley M.A. minister of Thirsk and who himself as a Cambridge M.A. was school master at the Coxwold Free Grammar School for fifty-three years.
Joseph Midgley had a son John chr. 21st June 1739 who married Ann at St. Peter's, Leeds. Their son Joseph was chr. 3rd December 1760 at St. Peter's, Leeds, Joseph maried Lydia Craven on 12th July 1778. Their son was Samuel Midgley ch. 20th April 1778 at St. Peter's, Leeds, Samuel married Sarah Moxon. They had a son, Joseph Midgley born 1806 who married Elizabeth Lee [?Allenby] on 1st January 1804 at St. Peter's Church, Leeds. Their son was William born 1833 was involved in the wine and spirits trade and resided in Leeds. William married Sarah Ann Walker [or Newsome] who died 1874, he then migrated to Texas with most of his children in 1833. William had several children to Fanny Marie Flether who was living with William as a lady's maid. William had a brother, Charles Henry Midgley. Nelda is seeking Joseph's details.
Contact: Nelda

Sarah Ann Midgley who married a George Chapman in the Leeds area around 1853.
From the 1881 census they appear to have been in Northants. when born and moved to Leeds:

 Dwelling: 6 Driver Terr
 Census Place: Wortley In Bramley, York, England
 Source: FHL Film 1342080     PRO Ref RG11    Piece 4505    Folio 115    Page 4
 Marr Age Sex Birthplace
George CHAPMAN M 39  M Hasington, Northampton, England
 Rel: Head
 Occ: Gas Maker
Sarah A. CHAPMAN M 44  F Kingscliffe, Northampton, England
 Rel: Wife
Herbert CHAPMAN   9  M Leeds, York, England
 Rel: Son
 Occ: Scholar

Contact: Graham Chapman


The earliest I.G.I. records show:
Richard MIDGLEY ...................  B: Abt 1707 F#: 18357  @    Holbeck, Yorkshire, England
P#: 256   (no parents listed)   O#: 8948

Mrs. Richard MIDGLEY ..............  B: Abt 1711   F#: 183576  @ Holbeck, Yorkshire, England P#: 260 (no parents listed)  O#: 9102

Holbeck, like much of the Leeds connurbation has been an attractive force for employment since the 1700's when industrialisation was seeded, drawing in folk from the rural areas.
I.G.I. text file of 30 Midgleys' of Holbeck, Leeds with 1881 census

Some other relevant Leeds connexions:

A place named Midgley Terrace is located in Leeds.

Born 14 September 1909 at Dewsbury?
Married:  3 December 1938  at The Register Office,South Leeds
Died: Sep 1981at Leeds
Father:Arthur MIDGLEY
Mother: ?
Other Spouses: Muriel Wilson BRAITHWAITE

Leeds Infirmary Subscribers:
MIDGLEY Overseers of  3-3-0

White's Directory 1837
Cullingworth John Midgley, tobacco and snuff manufacturer, 80 Briggate
Lucas and Midgley stone merchants, Delph Lane.
Midgley Joseph, stone merchant, Woodhouse Moor.
Midgley Mrs Mary. Long Row, Pottery Field.
Midgley Mary, dressmaker, 3 Salem Place.
Midgley Michael, shopkeeper, 66 West St.
Midgley Samuel, earthenware dealer, Water Lane.

Some marriages, Leeds:
Mary 1st April 1730 M Joseph Midgley.
Eleanor Wilkinson [Elinor]Leeds [Leedes] 3rd May 1737 M Joseph Midgley.
Elizabeth Wilkinson Parish by Jonathan Roebuck 13th July 1747 M Joseph Midgley Knottingley. Elizabeth Birch Rothwell by Lic.George Arnett,  27 October 1760 M Joseph Midgley.
Mary Vicars Witness: Mary Wilkinson & Henry Wilkinson + Mary Top.
Joseph  31st March 1841 Mary Midgley.

?Samuel MIDGELEY (1700-?) had a daughter, Hannah MIDGELEY (1733-?) Leeds.

A John Metcalf Midgley, solicitor, is mentioned as a beneficiary in a will dated 28th June 1905 at Wakefield  for Robert Featherstone of Kirkstall , Leeds.

Middleton lies 1 mile to the S.E. of Holbeck. Here about 1812 a steam engine was used for winding in order to raise coal.  This was unusual at this time. Also a a rack and pinion wagon-way was located here which became known as the Middleton Railway, designed by John Blenkinsopp. This was the first railway outside the N.E. of England, although modern tourist brochures state it was the first railway in England.

John Midgley married Ann McGuiness 17th February 1855, they were residing at Sheepscar, Leeds. On the marriage certicicate John's father is given as William Midgley, brushmaker.  John's family appears in the 1881 census residing at 6, Laycock Street, Leeds, where John is shown as being born at Bradford, a 'currier' aged 49 at the time of census, wife Ann born in Exeter, Devon, aged 52. Daughter Florence born Bradford aged 21 a tailor's machinist. Philippa says there was another child, Inkerman. Philippa is trying to locate any other relations to this line.
Contact : Philippa

The site of the famous Headingley cricket ground.
Baptisms Headingley

The earliest entry on the I.G.I. for Armley is 1671:
Samuel Midgley [also spelled Mighlay] of Armley married  Maria Moore 30th November 1671.

Later in the 1800's:
Mrs. Joseph Midgely  (sic) of Armley died 1858 ,spouse of Joseph Midgely
Joseph Midgley died 1880 Armley.

Charles Midgley born Pudsey 1842 died between 1878-99, leather tanner married Ann b. 1848. They had six children all born at Armley1:

 Dwelling: 15 Genn Row
 Census Place: Armley, York, England
 Source: FHL Film 1342081     PRO Ref RG11    Piece 4507    Folio 94    Page 33
 Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Charles MIDGLEY M 39  M Pudsey, York, England
 Rel: Head
 Occ: Tanner Of Leather
Ann MIDGLEY M 33  F Armley, York, England
 Rel: Wife
William MIDGLEY   13  M Armley, York, England
 Rel: Son
 Occ: Coal Miner
James MIDGLEY   11  M Armley, York, England
 Rel: Son
 Occ: Scholar
Mary A. MIDGLEY   8  F Armley, York, England
 Rel: Daur
 Occ: Scholar
Sarah MIDGLEY   5  F Armley, York, England
 Rel: Daur
 Occ: Scholar
Walter MIDGLEY   2  M Armley, York, England
 Rel: Son [married 1899]

The sixth child was Charles born abt. 1882 and so does not appear on the 1881 census.

Contact: Trevor Midgley



This was well inside the Bradford boundary in 1881. See Bradford page


1. 1881 British Census
2. The History of Leeds or The Topography of the Town and the Parish of Leedes and parts adjacent [Ducatus Leodiensis] originally by Ralph Thoresby 1714, second edition with additions and notes by Dr. T.D. Whitaker [1816.]

3. Leeds Parish Registers 1713 to 1722, Baptisms & Marriages Burials 1707 to 1722 (with Armley and Hunslet). Thoresby Society, (1909), vol. 13, part 2.            4. See: Nichols, John. Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century. vol. 1 (1817) - online. Nichols argues that it is not possible for Robert Midgley of Coxwold Grammar School to have been the author, he was obviously a four-year old when the book 'The Compendious Schoolmaster' was published 

Copyright © Tim Midgley June 2002, links revised July 2023.