New Yorkshire Gazetteer (1828) page 37
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W. R. (8) a hamlet in the township of
Bradfield, parish of Ecclesfield, wa-
pentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, 8
miles N. W. from Sheffield.

Bradford, W. R. (4) a parish,
township, and market town, in the wa-
pentake of Morley, 8 miles N. from
Halifax, 34 W. S. W. from York, 196
from London ; inhabitants, 13,064 ; a
vicarage, value 20/.; patron, R. Faw-
cett, Esq.; market, Thursday; fairs,
March 3, June 17, 18, December 9,
10. Here is a free grammar school,
founded in the reign of Edward VI.; it
is open to boys of the parish, free of
expense. The midsummer quarter ses-
sions are held in this town. Bradford
is pleasantly situated at the junction of
three beautiful and extensive vallies ; it
is built almost entirely of stone, and the
air, though sharp, is salubrious. Coal
and iron are found in great abundance
in the neighbourhood; and here is a
navigable canal, which branches from
the Leeds and Liverpool canal, at Ship-
ley, about three miles distant: with
these advantages, and seated in the
very heart of the manufacturing dis-
trict, it being a central point between
Halifax, Keighley, Leeds, Wakefield,
Dewsbury, and Huddersfield, it is no
wonder that the traveller hears the
rattling of looms, and sees the smoke
of steam engines on all sides, as he
passes along the road. Worsted stuffs
and the spinning of worsted yarn, are
the staple manufactures of the place;
but the fabrication of woollen cloth is
considerable, and some branches of the
cotton manufacture have found their
way into this district; and at the Low
Moor and Bowling iron founderies, the
most ponderous works are executed in
malleable and cast iron. The church
is of the age of Henry VI., and is spa-
cious, but rather gloomy; the tower
is of somewhat later date. A new
chapel of ease, called Christ Church, is
commodious, and has a handsome ap-
pearance. The Piece Hall is a con-
venient mart for the disposal of stuff
goods, and is divided into two apart-
ments ; the upper chamber is appro-
priated to the purpose of selling worsted
yarn in the gross, and here are held,
occasionally, the sessions and parochial
business ; the ground floor has a range
of closets, to contain the goods of the
merchants. A new school, in a very
superior style, has lately been erected,
with a dwelling-house for the master.
Bradford is described by Leland, in the
reign of Henry VIII., “ as a praty
quik market toune ; it standeth much
by clothing.” It does not appear to
have been of any great note in ancient
times, and its history is rather meagre.
In the civil wars it strenuously adhered
to the parliament, and maintained a
siege against the royalists, which was
attended with circumstances somewhat
more interesting than usually befell
those unhappy contests. Sir Thomas
Fairfax having heard that the inhabi-
tants had twice repulsed a large body
of the King’s troops, came to their
assistance with 800 foot and 60 horse;
this brought upon them a powerful
army, commanded by the Earl of New-
castle, who invested the town, and at-
tempted to storm it in several places;
Sir Thomas made a vigorous defence,
but having exhausted his ammunition,
he offered to capitulate; the enemy,
however, refusing to grant the required
conditions, he, with fifty horse, cut his
vray through their lines, and made good
his retreat. The siege was now pressed
with great vigour, and the steeple of
the church, which was the citadel, was
hung round with woolpacks; the town,
however, fell into the hands of New-
castle, who had determined to give it
up to military execution: from this
sanguinary purpose he was dissuaded
by an apparition in female form, which
appeared to him while he slept at Bowd-
ing Hall, in the neighbourhood, who,
with the cry of “ pity poor Bradford,”
implored him to spare the town: the


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