DRIGHLINGTON, in the parish of Birstall, Morley-division of Agbrigg and Morley, liberty of Pontefract; 5 miles SE. of Bradford, 7 from Leeds. Pop. 1,719. The Chapel of Ease here to Birstall, after having been built 30 years, was consecrated by the Archbishop of York in 1815.
At Adwalton Moor, in this township, in the year 1643, a bloody battle was fought between the royalist troops, under the Earl of Newcastle, and the Parliamentarian forces under Lord Fairfax and his son Sir Thomas, the latter of whom were attempting to relieve Bradford, then besieged by the King's Troops. After a most obstinate and wall contested engagement, the troops under the Fairfaxes were defeated; Lord Fairfax taking the road to Bradford with part of his scattered army, and Sir Thomas took towards Halifax with the other part; and joined his father at Bradford the next day. Lord Fairfax, the night following, retired to Leeds, to secure it; and a few days afterwards, Sir Thomas, with his officers and a handful of men, cut his way through the enemy, and retired to Leeds. --Memoirs of Gen. Fairfax.
The Free Grammar School at Drighlington, owes its origin to the benevolence of James Margetson, Archbishop of Armagh, a native of this village, who having built a school here, but not having endowed the same in his life time, by his Will, dated the 31st of May, 1678, gave all his lands, tenements, &c. in Drighlington and Newhall, to his son, Robert Margetson, and his heirs, to pay yearly for ever towards the maintenance of the school, £60. out of the rents and profits of those lands, which King William and Queen Mary, by their letters patent, in 1691, granted that Sir John Tempest, Bart. and other persons there-in named, should be a body corporate; by the name of "the Governors of the Free School of James Margetson, late Lord Archbishop of Armagh," with perpetual succession, and be able to receive the said yearly sum of £60. &c. &c. The right of nominating the head master, was vested in the master and senior fellows of Peterhouse, in Cambridge. The number of governors being reduced to one, the survivor, in 1811, chose eight others; since which several regulations and ordinances conducive to the welfare of the institution have been made. The head master receives the whole of the £60. although originally only £40. the rest being paid to the Usher, £13. 6s. 8d. --English master, £6. 13s. 4d. --Carlisle.
[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]