BRADFORD, a market and parish-town, in Morley-division of Agbrigg and Morley, liberty of Pontefract; 6 miles from Bingley, 8 from Halifax, 10 from Leeds, Keighley, and Otley, 14 from Huddersfield, 15 from Wakefield, 34 from York, 196 from London. Market, Thursday. Fairs, March 3, June 17 and 18, December 9 and 10, for horned cattle, horses, pigs, &c. Bankers, Messrs. Peckover, Harris, and Co. draw on Messrs. Sir James Esdaile, and Co. 21, Lombard Street. Principal Inns, the Sun, and the Talbot. Pop. 13,064. The Church is a vicarage, dedicated to St. Peter, in the deanry of Pontefract, value, £20. Patron, Richard Fawcett, Esq. Here is also a Chapel of ease, called Christ's Church, in Darley Street, built by subscription, and consecrated in 1815.
This Manor belonged to John of Gaunt, who granted to John Northorp Manningham and his heirs, an adjoining village, three messuages and six bovates of land, to come to Bradford, on the blowing of a horn, on St. Martins Day, in Winter, and wait on him and his heirs, in their way from Blackburnshire, with a lance and hunting dog for thirty days, and for going with the receiver or bailiff to conduct him safe to the castle of Pontefract. A descendant of Northorp afterwards granted land in Horton to Rushworth, of Horton, another adjoining village, to hold the hound while Northorp's man blew the horn. These are called Hornmen or Hornblower Lands, and the custom is still kept up; a man coming into the market place with a horn, halbert, and dog, is met by the owner of the lands in Horton. After proclamation is made, the former calls out aloud, "Heirs of Rushworth, come hold my hound whilst I blow three blasts of my horn, to pay the rent due to our Sovereign Lord the King." He then delivers the string to the man from Horton, and winds his horn thrice. The original horn, resembling that of Tutbury, in Staffordshire, is still preserved, though stripped of its silver ornaments. --Blount's Anc. Tenures. --Gough's Camden.
Bradford, pleasantly situated on one of the tributary streams of the river Aire, formerly belonging to the great family of Lacy, Earls of Lincoln, who had here a Manor House, where previously had been a castle, the site of which is not at this time known. This place, like many other manufacturing towns, espoused the cause of parliament, in the great contest between that body and Charles I. was garrisoned, and maintained a siege against the royalists. Sir Thomas Fairfax came to the assistance of the garrison with 800 foot and 60 horse, which brought down upon them the powerful army, commanded by the Duke of Newcastle, who invested the town, and attempted to storm it in several places. Sir Thomas Fairfax made a vigorous defence, but having exhausted his ammunition, he offered to capitulate; the enemy, however, refusing to grant the conditions he, with 50 horses, cut his way through their lines, and made good his retreat. A full account of the siege of Bradford is affixed to the memoirs of Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Bradford is situated in the very heart of a manufacturing county, and possesses every advantage for trade; it is in the neighbourhood of coal and iron ore, and has the convenience of a navigable Canal, which is cut from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, near the village of Shipley, and penetrates into the heart of the town. It has several manufactories of the finest broad and narrow cloths &c. There are large iron works near the town, where the most ponderous work is executed. The town is tolerably well built, chiefly of stone, and has probably increased in size more than any other town in the county; the soil is dry, and the air is keen and salubrious.
Here is a Free Grammar School founded as early as Edward VI. and was incorporated by King Charles II. in the 14th year of his reign, by letters patent, dated the 10th of Oct. 1653. It is open to boys of the parish free of expence; who are admitted, when qualified to begin the Latin accidence. It is entitled to send a candidate for the exhibitions of Lady Elizabeth Hastings. --Carlisle's Gram. Schools.
A new School has been lately erected, with a dwelling house for the master, in an airy part of this town; to which is attached a library, and porters lodge. Amongst the eminent men educated at this school, was the learned and worthy prelate Dr. John Sharp, who was born here in 1644. His amiable disposition and unshaken integrity, his distinguished learning and extensive charity, will transmit his name to latest ages, as one of the greatest ornaments of his country. His Sermons, in 7 vols. 8vo. have always been admired, as written with clearness, and they were delivered with grace and justness. He died at Bath, February 2, 1713/14, and was buried in his Cathedral at York, where a handsome monument is erected to his memory, a plate of which is given in Drake's Eboracum. --Chalmer's Biog. Dict. --Nichol's Anecdotes.
In Bradford also was born, in 1622, David Clarkson, a divine, and educated at Clarehall, Cambridge, of which society he became Fellow, and had Mr, afterwards Archbishop, Tillotson, for his pupil. He held the living of Mortlake, in Surrey, but was dispossessed of it in 1662, for non conformity. He then officiated to an Independent congregation in London, and died in 1686 He wrote some controversial pieces; and a volume of Sermons was printed in folio, after his death. --Calamy.
[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]