"BINGLEY, in the parish of its name, enjoys a large share of the worsted manufacture, both in spinning and weaving, and is a healthy market town, built of stone, and seated on the crown and declivities of an eminence between two delightful valleys; being bounded on one side by the river Aire, and on the other by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. It stands on the high road between Keighley and Bradford 4 miles E of the former, 6 miles N W by N of the latter, 11 miles N of Halifax, 14 miles S E of Skipton ad 16 miles W N W of Leeds. Its Parish encreased its population from 4938, in the year 1801, to 9256 in 1831, and is divided into two townships, viz. Bingley with Micklethwaite, containing 9890 acres of land, and 8037 inhabitants; and East and West Morton, containing 3290 acres and 1219 inhabitants. Of this population, about 7000 are in the town, and the rest in the scattered hamlets of Micklethwaite, Harden, Priesthorpe, Cullingworth, Cottingley, Gilstead, Cross-flats, Beckfoot and Cross-roads, and in East and West Morton, all of which will be described in the second volume. Though the town has long enjoyed a prosperous trade, and continues to encrease in buildings and population, its market, held every Tuesday, and its two annual fairs held January 25th, for horned cattle, and August 25th, 26th and 27th for horses and merchandise, have greatly declined from their former consequence. Part of the town is now lit with gas from the works erected at Mr Sharp's factory, in 1837. Bingley is one of the 32 lordships which the Conqueror gave to Erneis de Berun, from whose family it passed to the Paganells and the Gants, the latter of whom obtined a charter for a market here in the 12th of King John. The Cantilupes were afterwards lords of Bingley; but in 1668, it was purchased by Robert Benson, whose son Robert was created Baron Bingley, in 1713, by Queen Anne, who appointed him her ambassador to the court of Madrid. He died without male issue, in 1730; but George Fox, who espoused his daughter and afterwards assumed the name of Lane, was created Baron Bingley in 1762.
The second lord died without issue in 1773, when his title became extinct, and his estates passed to an ancestor of George Lane Fox, Esq. the present lord of the manor of Bingley; but a great part of the soil belongs to Edward Ferrand, Esq. of St Ives; besides whom, several other landowners have handsome seats in the parish, viz., Wm. Busfeild, sen and jun, Esqrs., Walker Ferrand, Esq. J and F Greenwood, Esqrs; and Wm. Ellis, Esq., as named in the subjoined directory. The court baron of the manor of Bingley, is held at the King's head, once a month, for the recovery of debts not exceeding 5; being extended in 1777, by an act of parliament, which established courts of request for the recovery of debts under 40s in this and many other parishes, as already noticed . Mr John Gray is manor steward; Mr Richard Tolson, of Bradford, is clerk of the court baron; and Thos. Hudson is the bailiff. The court of requests is held here once in eight weeks, and twice every month at Bradford, where the office and the district gaol are situated. Petty Sessions are held at the Brown Cow Inn, on the first Tuesday in every month; and Messrs, Rd. Tolson, of Bradford, F Butterfield, of Bingley, and Rd. Metcalf, of Keighley, are clerks to the magistrates. The Church dedicated to All Saints, is a large plain structure, which was restored in the reign of Henry VIII. The living is a vicarage, exempt from episcopal jurisdiction, and valued in the King's books at 7. 6s. 8d., but now at 233 per annum. It is in the gift of the crown, and incumbency of the Rev. Jas. Cheadle, M. A. who was inducted in 1837. There are four Chapels in the town belonging to the independents, the Baptists, and the Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and there is also a Wesleyan chapel at Harden, and another in the village of Cullingworth.
The Free Grammar School, at Bingley, is a large building in the church yard. By an inquisition in 1623, it was found that certain messuages and lands in Bingley, had "time out of mind been assigned and employed for the maintenance of a schoolmaster, teaching grammar within the town;" and that the school was further endowed with certain closes in Greenhill, conveyed to the trustees in 1529; - that three yearly rent charges amounting to 33s. 4d. were granted for the same purpose in 1570 and various tenements, lands, &c in 1597, 1602, 1605, 1613 and 1617. Among its latest benefactors, were Michael Broadley, who, in 1613, left 40 to the school, and 40 to the poor; - William Wooller, who in 1597, gave 50 to purchase land for the school and the poor; and Samuel Sunderland, who in 1671, left a house and about 28A of land in Heaton and Wilsden, to the school, and a farm in Manningham, for the poor parishioners. The total yearly rental of the estates amount to nearly 300, out of which the master pays yearly for distribution among the poor, 12 in respect of Wooller's and Broadley's gifts, and 23 as the rent of the farm in Manningham. The master occupies a house and garden belonging to the institution. By a decree of the Lord Chancellor, in 1820, it was determined that this is to be a Free Grammar School for teaching the sons of the parishioners of Bingley the learned languages; but no boy is by right entitled to admission, until he can read the New Testament or Bible sufficiently well to begin the learn the Latin Accidence. The office of master has usually been held by the vicar. In the town, is a Girl's National School, built and supported by subscription; and in the village of Cullingworth, is a School erected about 60 years ago, and endowed by the lord of the manor and the freeholders with a piece of waste land now let for 10 per annum. The Almshouses, at Priest-thorpe, (a hamlet near the town,) consist of five cottages, bequeathed in 1784, by Mrs Sarah Rhodes for the residence of five poor widows, each of whom she endowed with a yearly stipend of 3, charged on an estate called the Vicarage; Edward Ferrand, Esq., is the trustee. In 1767, Thos. Busfeild bequeathed the interest of 800, (charged on the Ryshworth Hall estate,) to be distributed yearly in clothing among 32 poor women and 32 poor men of this parish, above the age of sixty. The poor parishioners have also an interest of 100, given by Mercy smith; an annuity of 15s. out of the king's Mill in Leeds, left by the Rev. - Nevile, and 35 per annum from the Grammar School estates."