FARNLEY, in the borough and parish of Leeds, Morley-division of Agbrigg and Morley, liberty of Pontefract; (the seat of Edward Armitage, Esq.) 4 miles W. of Leeds, 7 from Bradford. Pop. 1,332. The Church is a perpetual curacy, value p.r. £122. 6s. Patron, the Vicar of Leeds.
Here Sir Wm. Harrington, 5th Henry V. obtained license to found a chantry for a priest to celebrate divine service daily. By the survey under Hen. VIII. in 1545 it was returned at £11. 10s. 8d. This Lordship anciently belonged to Sir John Danville, and passed, by marriage into the family of the Nevilles: from whom it descended to the Harringtons, Langtons, and Danbys. Farnley Hall was erected, as appears from an inscription on the front, in 1586, by Sir Thomas Danby, Knt. --Whitaker's Ducatus Leodiensis. The manor and estate, after remaining in the family of Danby for six centuries, was sold in 1799 by Wm. Danby, Esq. of Swinton, near Masham, to Mr. James Armitage, merchant of Leeds.
After the battle of Marston Moor, in 1644, a party of flying cavaliers took post in the wood, near this place, where they remained some time. A particular account of what passed during their stay, may be seen in "The Memoirs of a Cavalier," written by one of the party.
In 1663, an insurrection took place in this county, upon the reforming principles, the chief rendezvous of the party being in Farnley Wood, it obtained the name of "Farnley Wood Plot." Their pretences for rebellion were to redeem themselves from the excise, and all subsidies; to re establish a Gospel Magistracy and Ministry, to reform all orders, especially lawyers and Clergymen; but the time and place of rendezvous being known, a body of troops was sent against them, who seized on several of them, of which twenty one were convicted and executed. --Drake.
[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]