Yeoman of the Dales
(Their Times, Friends and Connections)



Brooksbank House_001.jpg

This book, now out of print, was scanned  from a photocopy by John Barker (October 2006)


In die nomine amen the xiiij day of februarey in the yeare of our lord god a thousand fyve hundrethe fyfti eight. I John Broikysbanke of thornton within the parishe of bradford beynge of good mynde and of hole memory do order and make my last will and testament in this maner folyng first I geve and bequeath my soule vnto god almyghtye my creator and redemer to our blyssed lady and to all the holy company in heven and my body to be buried within the church yeard in bradford beforesaid. Item, I geve and bequeath vnto ellyn my wyff the take and leace of my fermold duringe hir lyf and after hir decease the one half of the said fermold to remayne vnto william broikysbanke my son and to his wyf and his children and the other half vnto Edward my son and to his assignes. Item, I geve and bequeath vnto John my son one whye which shalbe ij yeres old. Item, I bequeath vnto William my son one whye which shalbe ij yeres. Item, I bequeath vnto William Phyllyp my son-in­lawe on redd why ofii yeres old. Item, I bequeath vnto Richard broikysbanke on why which shalbe ij yeres old. I tern, I bequeath vnto Agnes my dowghter on cowe or xIs in money. Item, I geve and bequeath vnto the forsaid edward my son all my gere within my shopp whiche he dothe work with. Item, I will that the forsaid ellyn my wyff shall suffer the forsaid Edward my son and Jennett my dowghter to be in my howse vnder hir to help hir to occupie the said fermold. The residewe of all my goodes and cattelles I geve and bequeath vnto the forsaid Edward my son and to Jennet my dowghter whome I do order and make my executor and executrix also I do make Mr Richard latTey, John Mydgelay and gylbert broikesbanke super visores of this my said last will and testament this beinge witnesse Mr Richard laffey & Richard frankland, John mygelay and william broikysbanke with other. Et xij° die mensis aprilis Anno domini millesimo, etc.

(And on the 12th day of the month of April in the year of our lord one thousand five hundred and fifty-nine the Dean of Pontefract has certified that he has approved the said testament by virtue of a commission etc; by the three last-named witnesses having been sworn, etc., and the administration of the goods of the same man was granted to the executors named in the same testament in the presence of the same dean as he certified to us formerly in form of law, having been sworn, etc. Saving the right of whomsoever.)

Transcribed and translated by Christopher Marsden, MA archivist


CHAPTER 1 1379 - and All That                                                                                                  1

CHAPTER 2 Thornton Grammar School                                                                                    10

CHAPTER 3 Abraham Brooksbank, Vicar of Bradford      11

CHAPTER 4 Non-Conformists and Rescue from Raging River                                              19

CHAPTER 5 Brooksbanks of Great Horton                                                                                23

CHAPTER 6 "Knighthood for Sale"                                                                                             30

CHAPTER 7 Brooksbanks of Elland and Healaugh Hall and "Brooksbank School"               36

CHAPTERS Brooksbanks of Lamplugh                                                                                      40

CHAPTER 9 The Murder of Sir Gilbert Brooksbank                                                                 42

CHAPTER 10 Dante's Inferno                                                                                                     46

CHAPTER 11 Teachers and Tanners                                                                                           51

CHAPTER 12 Northcliffe Farm                                                                                                    55

CHAPTER 13 "My Kingdom for a Horse"                                                                                   56

CHAPTER 14 "Bonny Brooksbank"                                                                                             67

CHAPTER 15 "Oh For the Wings of a Dove"                                                                              71

EPILOGUE                                                                                                                                    74

Chapter 1 1379 - AND ALL THAT

IT WAS a firmly held belief amongst the older generation of Shipley Brooksbanks that they were mentioned in the Domesday Book; this, of course, is nonsense, few Saxons are named. The Domesday entry for Bradford is:

"In Bradford, with six berewicks, Gamel had 15 carucates ofland to be taxed, where there may be eight ploughs. Ilbert has it and it is waste. In King Edward's time it was worth £4. Pasturable woodland half a league in length and half a league in breadth."

For Shipley:

''In Scipleia Ravenchil had three carucates of land to be taxed where there may be two ploughs. Ilbert has it and it is waste. Value in King Edward's time 10s. Wood pasture one mile long and half a mile broad."

Ilbert is Ilbert de Lacie. Gamel was a Saxon Thane and his family can no longer be traced. Ravenchil is a Danish name and nothing more is known of him.

"IT IS WASTE!" Sinister, spine-chilling words. When William the Bastard had done his worst in the "Harrying of the North" Bradford and Shipley were desolate wastes, every living creature exterminated, houses and crops burnt, the whole area devastated.

No one knows how soon it was before people began to drift back into what had once been fertile country. Perhaps it was ten years. Maybe some Brooksbank ancestors had hidden in the woods and on the moors to escape the holocaust, feeding on rats and mice and a few berries in order to survive. It would be pleasing to think so. Later predations by the wild Scots, followed by the plague further decimated the small population. Rumour had it that every family in the Scottish borderlands possessed an English slave - could one have been a Brooksbank? Dreadful thought! One hopes not.

Further research brought to light the fact that the first mention of the name Brooksbank was in the Lay Subsidy of 1379 for the township of WARLEY in the parish of Halifax:

Thomas Brokesbanke and uxor  iiijd      (4d)

and in ALLERTON in Bradford-dale:­

Johannes Brokesbanke and uxor iiijd

(If Thomas was, say fifty years old in 1379, then he would have been born c.1329, and John could be his son).

Thomas Bithebrokebank, (Brooksbank) John Bythewater, Thomas del Oldfield, junior; and Richard de Whitelee were elected in 1371 to supervise the reparation of the palisades of Erringden Park, for a small fee (see page 48).

Pages 2/3

Full page chart 1379 Thomas Brooksbank of Warley

Full page chart Gilbert Brooksbank of Thorton and Horton

Thomas de Brokesbank, John de Murgatrode, and Thomas del Oldfield were in 1379 ordered to supervise the removal of the corn mill at Warley, rebuild it at Luddenden, and dam up the water. l

All of which suggests that it is a West Riding name originating in Halifax, and the evidence indicates that the Brooksbanks spread into Airedale; John possibly being the first one to make the move. They had all departed from Warley before the end of the 17th century.

In many books of English surnames Brooksbank is not mentioned; there are many Brooks and Banks but not a combination of the two. "Brok" is of Germanic origin meaning a stream, and over the years the spelling has varied - Bithebrokebank, Brokebank, Broiklebank, Brockesbanke, Brookesbancke, Broyklebank, and even Brusebank.

Halifax and Bradford are neighbouring towns, and probably the Brooksbanks of Halifax migrated from Calderdale, via Ovenden, Elland, Northowram, Shelf, Clayton, etc., over the moors to Airedale, buying good agricultural land in the environs of Bradford - Shipley, Horton, Allerton, Wilsden, Thornton, Harden, Bingley and Cullingworth. Some settled in Guiseley, Leeds and Adel; John Brukesbank ventured as far as Otley in Wharfedale.

There is in Wakefield a small plot of land by the river called "Brooksbank", but no record exists of a family of that name living there.

In Cumbria there is a district called "Brocklebank" first referred to in 1317 in the register of Holm Cultram Abbey, and in 1641 the Cumberland Protestation Subsidy included the name Brockbank and Brocklebank in Corney and several places in Cumbria, but there does not appear to be any connection with the W R Brooksbanks.

According to Dr George Redmonds, the numbers and situations of the family name were as follows:

                 West Riding                               Lancs            London                Bristol      Newcastle

              1379 1545 1641 1965                       1965                 1968                   1963      1965

                    2 6 37 86                                     30                       20                    3           3

The documents regarding the Manor of Shipley are missing, but amongst the West Yorkshire Deeds is the will of Edward Brooksbank of Shipley who died in 1599.

Edward, born c.1530, son of John of Thornton, was a clothier, and like other yeomen, he ran his farm of about 36 acres and all members of his family, plus perhaps several apprentices, joined in the spinning, weaving and finishing of the cloth. He bequeathed his soul unto the hands of All Mighty God and his body to be buried in the Church or Churchyard at Bradford. To his son William he left a pair of looms, tenter, sheirs, etc. belonging to cloth making, except the least pair of walker sheirs which he bequeathed to his son Richard. The pewter was to be shared between Alice, his wife, and his daughters, and Alice was to have 20 pounds of wool and yam. His apparel was to be shared between his sons, and everything else to be divided equally between his children.  (Bl 28A1F87)

According to "A Particular Note of all the Oxgangs in the Towne of Shipley", apparently written about 1644, William had 2 and 2/3rds and 1/6th oxgangs - nearly three oxgangs, approximately 36 acres, leased from Mr Murgatroyd but purchased from him by John Brooksbank sometime before 1688.

William, born 1580, married firstly Elizabeth Rodley and secondly, Susanah, and he had four sons, Abraham, William born 1607, John born 1610, Edward born 1612, and six daughters including Grace, born 1622. He died intestate in 1644.

William junior, died in 1691, and as his wife Marie was dead, he devised half his house to his mother-in-law and the other half to his sister Elizabeth, and after their deaths to his brother John. To brother Abraham he left £3 and one chest standing in the parlour. Sister Elizabeth was bequeathed the bed and all the bedding in which "I now lye", one cupboard, one table, one chest, two chairs, one range and three pounds in money. Everything else was left to brother John who was sole executor. (BI Pontefract D Sep. 1691)

In 1664 he had sold a messuage and land at West Marton, and in 1677 he received £10 in deed of foeffment from James Ellis of Hackney, London, his brother-in-law.

From the list of freeholders in Shipley's Town Book in 1688 we find that according to the constable's assessment:

Edward Brooksbank had 2 and a half oxgangs of land
assessed at 3s 9d

John Brooksbank had two oxgangs, 213rds and 1/6th assessed at 4s 3d

making them two of the largest freeholders in Shipley. We do not know when Edward bought his land.

An oxgang was as much land as an ox could plough in a year, i.e. a season. There seems to be a difference of opinion as to how much land this was, possibly about twelve acres.

Mr Preston, the historian, states evidence that the Brooksbanks were a large and prosperous, well-established yeoman family centred in this locality, is to be found in the court rolls of the Manor Court of Crossley Hall belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. It is obvious that the Brooksbanks of Shipley, Thornton and Horton were closely related because their names appear together on the same deeds.

John Brooksbank of Shipley, born c.1640, took an active part in the township's affairs. He was constable of Shipley in 1691, 1692 and 1698, and in 1693 he collected the Shipley tax for the war with France - £52 15s 2d.(note 3). On the 24th June, 1699, the "vigorous war with France" being over, John Brooksbank, together with Jeremy Dixon, was an assessor, and the collector of "An Assessment of £44 3s 7d Charged Upon Shipley for Disbanding the Armie, Providing for the Navi, and other Occasions!" He himself contributed £1 13s 0d.

In 1707 he purchased a messuage and land at Eldwick from Richard Longbottom, being part of the property of the dissolved Priory of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Nicholas de Marays, a superior of the Order, had lands granted to him before 1287 and in 1316 he was Lord of the Manor of Shipley. The Knights of St. John held land in Shipley and the surrounding area for several hundred years, and we find their emblem, a stone lantern, on some old surviving buildings, the Old Chapel and The Grange at Idle, being two of them.

In 1709 John Brooksbank and other freeholders of Shipley signed an agreement not to build any more cottages, or let cottages without the major consent of the freeholders, in order to prevent poor people becoming a burden on the town.

Shipley was still held under the Crown in 1709 as parcel of the Honour of Pontefract, and the Court Leet was held at Adwaiton, where the constable was required to summon all the King's tenants and such free holders as were required to do "suit, service and fealty".

John farmed a considerable amount of land, and in the Land Tax levied in 1704 he paid £2 3s 8d for his Shipley lands and 9s 10d for his Idle lands: Also he had a messuage and lands at Heaton Royds. In 1703 and 1704 he was Overseer of Shipley. On the 28th October, 1703, The Manor Court of Crossley, held at Cottingley, presented: "That John Brooksbank must appear at the next court and doe his fealty and pay his releife on paine of 10s" for the farm at Eldwick which he had purchased. He died intestate in February 1716, and administration was granted to his son John, who only survived him by a few months.

This John Brooksbank, born 1665, was buried at Bradford on 28 November, 1716. In his will, black with mildew, he craved pardon for his sins through the death and passion of Jesus Christ his only Saviour and Redeemer. He devised his whole estate to his son John when he reached 20 years of age, and £160 of lawful British money to his daughter Ann when she attained 20 years. Concerned about his children he appointed three trustees for them.  (BI)

Ann Brooksbank married firstly, William Booth of another old family, and secondly, Jacob Rawson, yeoman, whose family acquired the manor of Shipley in 1570 when William Rawson of Bradford married the daughter and heiress of William Gascoigne. The Rawsons were also lords of the manor of Bradford. Mr Cudworth goes on to tell us that William Gascoigne was a noted recusant, and a "nourisher and mayntayner of recusants".

Abraham, born 1632, brother of John, was a schoolmaster in Shipley - his own school-before becoming the first Brooksbank Headmaster of Thornton Grammar School. He died in 1712 and after his demise, Abraham, son of John born c.1640, became the second Brooksbank Master of Thornton Grammar School. He was born in 1676 and was buried at Thornton Chapel, 29th May, 1768, aged 92. In 1711 he married Mercy Rushworth of Allerton. The Rushworths were descendants of the Rushworth who was granted land at Horton for which he had to assist in the horn blowing ceremony at the Market Place when John Northrop who killed the wild boar,

[page 5:]

said, "Come, heir of Rushworth, hold me my dog that I may blow three blasts on my horn to pay the Martinmas rent".

Abraham owned land and a well on School Green, Thomton, and land at Eldwick settled on him by his father, for which he did fealty at Crossley Court.

In Round About Bradford, Mr Cudworth says that, in 1715 His German Majesty George 1st was in dread of the Pretender and the Jacobites, and Abraham Brooksbank, schoolmaster, was one of the people of Thomton liable to take the oath of allegiance.

He owned the only house on the upper side of the Main Street in Thornton where he lived for eighty-six years, which was bought, together with a large portion of adjacent land and also land on the low side of the new road, by his father. In Thornton Chapel he had two pews.

Tryphena and Sarah Brooksbank, his daughters, were the executors of his will, and he devised the house, barns, buildings, etc. where he lived to them with instructions to enclose land containing the draw-well and pump, with a way out onto School Green. They had to pay Mercy, their mother, 20s p.a.

Mercy, "His well-beloved" was to have the kitchen, the chamber over it, the back-kitchen, her bed and household goods that she needed. (The new dresser, pewter, clock and spice cupboard excepted).

To his son Abraham, gentleman of Thornton, born 1714, he left a dwelling house in Shipley, formerly a school, (which he sold in 1773) and half his clothes, books and silver.

Previously, in 1746, he had given Abraham messuage and lands in Eldwick, in consideration of which he had to pay Mercy 30s p.a. Abraham sold the land in Eldwick to John Stead for £190.

John, the eldest son, was bequeathed Allerton or Smithy Farm, from which he had to pay £90 to his sisters, Tryphena and Sarah; also building and land in Thornton from which he had to pay Mercy 30s p.a.; one half of the draw-well in Duckerwife Field Close with liberty to water his cattle and horses; bed and bedding in the North Parlour, a large oval table, and half his clothes, books and silver. (BI)

He became the third successive Brooksbank Master of Thornton Grammar School. Besides teaching English and Latin he was a calimancoe maker. Calimancoes and shalloons were types of worsted cloth made in this unique area. He owned messuages and lands at Harrop and Lower Pickedlee in Allerton, plus 9 closes, three closes in Siddall, messuage and closes called Crossley Brook, Allerton, an inherited house in Shipley, and in 1751 he sold two cottages and a croft at Allerton. In 1776 he granted to John Warburton of Clayton, yeoman, a piece of common or unenclosed land near Closehead allotted to the said John Brooksbank by the Commissioners appointed for deciding the waste and common grounds in the township and manor of Thornton in Bradford-dale, which allotment was number 70, containing ten days work.

During the Manor of Thornton Court held there 20 October 1766, the jury present: "That Mr John Brooksbank hath lately enclosed part of the Lord's Waste at School Green". (SS MSS)

John was buried at Thornton Chapel on the 23rd October, 1793. He devised to his son John, stuffmaker of Thornton, born 1735, all the messuages; etc. now in the possession of Joseph Aykroyd, and all the land, appurtances of Smithy Farm and five closes of land in Thornton, inherited from his father, paying out of the same £200 to his daughter Ann and an annuity of £4 10s 0d to his wife Mary. Also one half of the draw-well and pump.

To his daughter, Ann a load of Oaten Meal, one bed and bedding, a silver pint mug, clothes chest, tea table and all his pewter. To his wife Mary one bed and bedding, a little chest, oval table and two candlesticks. Residue to his son John. (BI. Pontefract D.)

John Brooksbank of Shipley and Horton, shalloon maker, born c.1710, married Elizabeth Parkinson who owned lands in Horton. He possessed lands in Shipley, Heaton Royds and Eldwick, for which he did fealty when he became of age in 1734. He sold a house in Shipley, messuage and land in Eldwick, to Abraham Brooksbank of Thornton (schoolmaster). He was living at Horton in 1734. His will was proved at York in 1741, and he was very concerned about the tuition of his children. He left everything to his son John and trusted that his wife would leave her Horton lands to John who was only a child. Joseph Pollard and William Hodgson of Crossley Hall were appointed guardians of his children and executors  (BI Pontefract D.)

John Brooksbank of Horton, born c.1734, married into the Robinson family, and in his will proved at York, 30th April, 1759, he left all his messuages and lands, etc. at Shipley, Heaton Royds and Horton to his sister Mary, and if she did not have any "lawful" issue, everything would go to his sisters-in-law, Ann and Elizabeth Robinson, daughters of John Robinson. (BI Pontefract D. and Bfd. Ant. Vol. 8 Rosse MSS)

Mary Brooksbank married James Swaine on 15 April 1761. The Swaines were an old Bradford family with many possessions in this region. There is an indenture dated 1734 between John Brooksbank and the Swaines regarding messuage, two dwellings, eight closes of land at Eldwick containing 29 days of work, and messuage and ten closes containing forty days work at Heaton Royds, in the tenure of Samuel Swaine.

The fortunes of the Brooksbanks of Shipley and the Dawson family were intertwined. A Marie Brooksbank married a Thomas Dawson of Bradford in 1629. William Dawson owned lands in Idle and Addingham.

In 1640 Marie Brooksbank, daughter of Edward Brooksbank of Wilsden, married Joshua Dawson of Wilsden, formerly of Addingham, and they were living at Bate's Farm, Wilsden, in 1652. More about this later.

The Brooksbank Farm at Heaton Royds came into the possession of the Dawsons of Wrose by marriage, and sometime c.1790 John Dawson moved to Heaton Royds. He had two brothers, Martin Dawson, attorney, (one of a succession of Martin Dawsons) and Brooksbank Dawson, 1767-1794.

John Dawson of Heaton Royds had a son - another Martin Dawson - of Windhill Cragg, and another Brooksbank Dawson, born 1792, farmer at Heaton Royds, and Benjamin Dawson who also had a son called Brooksbank Dawson. There were four Brooksbank Dawsons and a Harry Brooksbank Dawson between 1767 and 1860; one, of Busy Lane, WindhiIl, died in 1867 and is buried in Shipley Parish Churchyard.

John Dawson in 1809 sold Dawson Farm at Heaton Royds which had belonged to the Brooksbanks for several generations, to Joshua Field, Esq., of Heaton Hall, for £2,100. The sale included seven houses, a barn and ten closes of land containing forty days work.

The Dawsons were an old Wrose family of yeomen appearing as freeholders in 1577 in Calverley registers. Joseph Dawson, minister at Idle Chapel, and later Toad Lane Chapel, was a partner in Low Moor Ironworks. He lived at Royds Hall, Low Moor, and was buried at Toad Lane in 1813. He was a friend of Joseph Priestley, the scientist.

At the Centenary Dinner of the Low Moor Company, 1891, at Roydes Hall, John Brooksbank was one of the guests.


AN INVENTORY of all the goods, chattells, debts and credits of JOHN BROOKSBANK late of Shipley in the parish of Bradford and diocese of York, valued and apprised this eighth day of December, 1716, by us whose names are hereunto subscribed and exhibited into the Exchequer Court at York by way of exposition to add alter or diminish as the estate of the said John Brooksbank shall issue to the hands of his executors.

                                                                                                                                                                                    £       s    d

Imprimis: His purse and apparel                                                                                                                  3       5    0

In the housebody:

1 Range, 10 lbs material thereto                                                                                                    5      6   0

1 cupboard, 2 porter dishes                                                                                                              5       19  0

1 long settle, 3s. 4 chairs and cushions                                                                                        3       6    0

3 pans; 1 ark; 1 dresser; 1 brass pott                                                                                              1       14  0

1 clock; 1 bread fleack and a seeing-glass                                                                                   10     0

In the Milkhouse:

1 churn and staff; 10 other small wood vessels                                                                         3       9

In the Chamber:

1 bed and bedding                                                                                                                               1       8    0

1 brass fender; 10 irons and heaters                                                                                             2       6

1 bedstead; 1 counter and old trunk                                                                                             10     0

3 chairs; 1 coffer; 1 table

1 pair looms                                                                                                                                            8       0

4 mantles; 5 pettycoats; 1 pr. Stairs                                                                                              1       4    0

1 ridingcoat and hood                                                                                                                         3       0

4 sheets and 2 drawers; 1 linen apron; 1 silk apron and 1 white waistcoat                     6       0

In the Barn:

20 days work of corn                                                                                                                           30    10  0

5 cows; 2 oxon; and a calf; 1 old cow                                                                                              22     0    0

1 sorrel horse £3; 1 large bay mare, £2                                                                                         5      0    0

1 old mare, 10s; 1 foal, £2 10s 0d ...                                                                                               3       0   0

10 sheep                                                                                                                                                  1       10  0

furniture of horses and other hustlements                                                                                1       12  6

1 swine, £1 12s 6d; hay, £5 ...                                                                                                           6       12  6

5 days work of sawn wheat                                                                                                               3       0    0

Money owing by the testator.

Imprimis to William Bolling                                                                                                            5       9    6

To Wm Lister £10; Tim. Booth, £5 15                                                                                             0        0

To Mr Rawson                                                                                                                                       ... ... ... .

To Wm Lister Lister for rent £4 9s 1d; to Chris. Musgrave £1 10s                                      5       19  1

To Mr Bernard for rent                                                                                                                       4       19  1

Money owing to the testator.

Imprimis, by John Aykroyd                                                                                                             10     0    0

By George Pickard ...                                                                                                                          3       0    0

By Ffrancis Jackson                                                                                                                            5       0    0

William BoIling, John Cliffe, Christopher Musgrave, Joseph Hodgson

John Brooksbank owned land at Eldwiok for which he did fealty at Crossley Court, mess. and land at Heaton Royds, besides his mess. and land at Shipley. He left it all to his son John and £160 to his daughter Ann who married Jacob Rawson, yeoman of Shipley.

He is the grandfather of John Brooksbank of Shipley, Heaton Royds and Horton who left everything to his sister Mary who married James Swaine. (Will of John Brooksbank of Bradford, proved at York, 30th April, 1759.)  Grandson of John of Shipley.



March 3, 1756. Probate copy of the will of John Brooksbank, of Bradford, yeoman. Testator gives all his freehold and leasehold messuages, cottages, lands and tenements whatsoever situate at Shipley, Heaton Royds, and Horton, and all his real and personal estate to his sister, Mary Brooksbank and her heirs, subject to the payment of 50li. apiece to his other two sisters, Ann and Elizabeth Robinson, daughters of his father-in-law, John Robinson, at the age of twenty one years. Should Mary Brooksbank die without issue, then he gives all his estates to Ann and Elizabeth Robinson as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. He appoints his sister, Mary, sole executrix, and his father-in-law trustee and guardian for Mary, his sister, during her minority. Witnesses: Abraham Sharp, Reuben Holmes, Jno. Bentley.' (Will proved at York by Mary Brooksbank, April 30, 1759).



GRACE BROOKSBANK, born 1622, daughter of William of Shipley, married James Ellis, born 1601, who was the founder of Thornton Grammar School; he made his fortune in London as a cook or caterer, and gave some of his wealth for the benefit of the people of Bradford.

In 1672 he granted land in Godmanend (modem day Laisterdyke) towards the maintenance and support of a schoolmaster to "well and truly instruct the children of Thornton and Allerton in English and Latin". He did this from the love and affection he bore towards the inhabitants of Thornton and Allerton amongst whom he and his ancestors were born, with the intention that part of his wealth with which God and his own industry had blessed him would be employed for the good instruction and education of the children in literature and good manners. The Ellis land proved to be one of the school's most valuable possessions.

Mr L. Simpson, Headmaster in 1967, said, "The Founders of Thornton Grammar School were wise men who realised the significance of "giving your attention to wisdom and your mind to understanding", and they knew also that "only fools despise learning". Being men of foresight they understood that the world required men and women of learning to enable it to progress. Incidentally, the school was founded for both girls and boys, making it one of the oldest co-educational schools in the country.

Grace Ellis probably persuaded Abraham, her nephew, to become headmaster of Thornton Grammar School.

During the eighteenth century the school was dominated by the Brooksbanks: Abraham, son of John, was also a Headmaster, followed by his son John, who owned much of the surrounding land.

When he died James left £10 each to his brothers-in-law, William and Edward Brooksbank of Shipley, and £100 towards the conveying of water through pipes from Randwell Spring to Bradford Cross for the inhabitants of Bradford. A most delightful touch was £10 for a dinner for the Company of Cookes! Evidently he was a man who enjoyed life - a bon vivant!

Edward Brooksbank had a son named after him, Edward, who like his uncle John was Shipley Constable 1704-5 and Overseer 1707-8.

James Ellis obtained a coat-of-arms which is in the entrance hall of the present school. He was appointed Steward of the Inner Temple in the City of London and Overseer of the Poor and Surveyor of Highways in Hackney.

A postscript to the life of James is an intriguing titbit from the Yorkshire Evening Argus of Thursday, July 16th, 1925, which said that: "His matrimonial life was so inharmonious that on one occasion he chained up his wife!" Was this Grace or a previous wife?


Chapter 3


THE BROOKSBANKS appeared to have a penchant for producing teachers and priests, the most famous of whom was Abraham, Vicar of Bradford, son of William Brooksbank of Eccleshill, attorney.

William Brooksbank of Halifax, born 1601, son of John and Grace Brooksbank (nee Barraclough) was apprenticed to Abraham Lister, well-known Bolling attorney, and became a lawyer. In 1627 he married, at Halifax, Abraham Lister's daughter Sarah, and eventually inherited Abraham's practice. William's son Abraham, Cambridge luminary, was destined to become the Vicar of Bradford.

In 1631 he bought land in Eccleshill, thus becoming William of Eccleshill, and owned lands in Ovenden, Illingworth and Barkisland. He ran his farm in Eccleshill and carried on with his legal practice, his name frequently appearing on legal documents.

On November 2nd, 1636, he married his second wife, Sarah Balmforth, and they had issue, John baptised 1637, Joshua baptised 1640, and Marie baptised 1643. His three sons were exceptional - they all went to Cambridge, and Joshua became Deacon of Ely Cathedral in 1664.

The Bradford historians did not know where William was born, it was conjectured that he was one of the Horton Brooksbanks and closely related to the Shipley family, but after much searching I unravelled the mystery of his birth and marriage.

William had a very exciting visit to the Painted Chamber in the House of Lords in London.

Generations of benefactors had granted lands to the Foeffees of Bradford Grammar School for the maintenance of the school and schoolmaster, so when the Archbishop of York usurped the right of the people of Bradford to select the headmaster there was a public outcry.

Thomas Wilcoke, "right able and honest schoolmaster" of Bradford Grammar School died in 1635, and the Archbishop of York appointed Gervas Worrall headmaster. The people of Bradford, bitterly resenting this infringement of their long-established rights, petitioned Parliament on this matter and also regarding the appointment of a Vicar who was nominated by the Archbishop, over-riding the rights of Sir John Maynard, patron of the living.

The petition in 1641 complained that Gervas Worrall had for four years taken the profits of the lands given by generous Bradford people for the schoolmaster and claimed them as his own.

On "Die Jovis, 4th March, 1641", the reply from the House of Lords summoned William Brooksbank, Richard Tempest, John Midgley, William Aked, WilIiam Cooke, Isaac Hammond, John Sharpe, Richard Brighouse and Jeremy Taylor to testify before their Lordships in the Painted Chamber at 2 o'clock, on Monday, 10th day of May next.

Another petition "To the Rt. Hon. Lords, Knights and Burgesses of the House of Commons" complains about the new vicar Edward Hudson, installed by the late Archbishop of York, "who has gone to London, but still says he 'would be vicar for three years despite the devil' and made many other profane and lewd speeches which makes the petitioners think he is of turbulent spirit and not fitted to be a vicar."

A petition to Lord Saville, Baron of Pontefract, and one of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, humbly prays that Gervas Worrall may be called to answer the petition and bring any evidences concerning the school which he has in his custody, and that John Midgley the younger, William Cooke, William Aked, Isaac Hammond, William Brooksbank, Richard Brighouse and John Sharpe may be called as witnesses.

The signatures of the Foeffees of the Grammar School and other witnesses, including Gilbert Brooksbank and William Brooksbank are appended.

William died intestate August 22nd, 1643.

Abraham Brooksbank was admitted Sizar at Clare College, Cambridge, in 1650; he was a Lord Exeter Scholar and a Johnson Exhibitioner 1654-55, and became a Fellow at Christ's College, 1655. From Dr. C. P. Courtney, Librarian, and Mr Henry G. Button, Honorary Archivist at Christ's College, I have received the following interesting details - Abraham studied theology, mathematics, Greek and Latin; in 1665 he occupied the 6th Chamber in the Old Court; and in common with other Fellows he received a payment of £1 a quarter!

From 1660 to 1667 he was the tutor of John Sharp of Bradford who later became the Archbishop of York, and from 1667-1677 he was Vicar of Bradford. Mr A.E. Simpson in his Bradford Cathedral Guide says:

"Abraham Brooksbank, 1667, was tutor to John Sharp, Archbishop of York in the reign of Queen Anne. John Sharp was born near the present Unicorn Inn in Ivegate, and is the only Archbishop ever born in Bradford. He procured the living at St. Mary's, Reading, for his old tutor in 1677. When he was raised to the archbishopric he secured for the same friend a prebend in Salisbury Cathedral."

William Cudworth says, "John Sharp was accordingly admitted to Christ's College, Cambridge, in April, 1660, just before the restoration of the King, his tutor being Abraham Brooksbank, afterwards Vicar of Bradford."

Nothing much was known about Abraham by the old historians, in fact John James stated: "He died in 1677 but is not buried in Bradford." However, by delving into Bradford Archives I have discovered the above facts that in 1677 he became the Rector of St. Mary's Minster Church, Reading, and Prebend of Salisbury in 1692. He died in Reading in 1711, aged 79.

In Wm. Cudworth's Life and Correspondence of Abraham Sharp we see that Abraham Brooksbank was a witness to the will of Thomas Sharp, father of the Archbishop, dated 5th September, 1670. Abraham Sharp, of course, was the distinguished mathematician who lived in Little Horton Hall, and was a friend of world-renowned astronomer Flamstead who made 'him his assistant at Greenwich Observatory which had been recently built.

John James tells us that: "King Charles 1st sold the Rectory and Manor of Bradford to the citizens of London, who disposed of it to Sir Hugh Middleton, and he to Mary, wife of Sir John Maynard of Tooting, Knight, Keeper of the Great Seal to Charles 1st, who, during the Protectorate, was absolute owner of it in right of his wife. He appointed John Sharp of Little Horton, Parliamentarian, receiver of the rents of the glebe lands and tithes, which even then were troublesome to collect. It appears from the Sharp MSS that in January 1649 there was some law proceeding respecting them. There is a memorial window in Bradford Church to Lady Maynard.

The Dowager Lady Maynard, together with Jonas Waterhouse, Clerk of Bradford, and father of Thomas Waterhouse, Fellow of Christ's College, presented Abraham Brooksbank of the living at Bradford in 1667. "He was a good man, able minister and a very moderate man." Bradford Parish Church is now Bradford Cathedral and today Abraham Brooksbank would be "Bishop of Bradford".

Whilst he was the Vicar of Bradford he lived in Birstall and owned lands at Adwalton, and at Eccleshill from Norman Lane to Idle Moor and down to Greengates. There is a deed, dated 20th January, 1678:

"Joseph Wood, Gent. of Eccleshill, for consideration of £13 15s 0d granted to Abraham Brooksbank, Rector of St. Mary's, Reading, Berks., the tithes of sheaves, corn, grain, grass, hay, wool and lamb yearly renewing and coming upon one moiety of one close of land called Norman Lane in Eccleshill containing one and a half days ploughing, and adjoining a certain lane called Norman Lane on the South part and to Idle Moor on the West part, and also the moiety of tithes of all the other lands of the said Abraham in Eccleshill now in the occupation of James Fletcher, John Roe, Nathan Holdsworth, which John Stanhope late bought of John Reyner of Leeds, dec. called Haigues, Haigh Close, Paddock.

Warranty against the heirs of John Reyner of Eccleshill, yeoman, dec. late grandfather of Joseph Wood."

Abraham was a friend of Sir Henry More, the philosopher, and the Rev. Oliver Heywood, the notable dissenter; and he had leanings towards dissent. John Crompton, a nephew of Oliver Heywood, was a regular attendant at his lectures.

Jonas Waterhouse was suspected of being implicated in the Farnley Wood Plot. More about this and Oliver Heywood's diaries later.

In Archbishop Sharp's MSS there is a list of Bradford vicars, with the following entry:- "1667, Abraham Brooksbank, my tutor." When Thomas Sharp, eldest brother of Abraham Sharp, retired to his father's house at Little Horton he attended Bradford Church where "That worthy person, Mr Abraham Brooksbank, was vicar."

"ABRAHAM BROKESBANK, A.M. 1667" appears on the list of Vicars of Bradford on the memorial] tablet for the Rev. John Robertson, at the western end of Bradford Cathedral. As Vicar of Bradford he was also a Governor of Bradford Grammar School.

It is a great pity that there is not a portrait of Abraham, this erudite, scholarly man, with his brilliant brain; so beloved by his students, as evinced by John Sharp, subsequently Archbishop of York, and John Crompton, Oliver Heywood's nephew. What a pleasure it would have been to know him and attend his Cambridge lectures and Bradford services. Imagination must transport us back to those stirring times of Cromwell and the Civil War, the Restoration of Charles 2nd, and the troubles between the Church of England and the dissenters. He was Vicar of Bradford for only ten years, but Bradford's loss was Reading's gain.

Abraham's wife was called Mary, and they had the following issue:

1.       John of Reading had son Abraham

2.      William Bp.l668 Birstall.

Went to Reading School. Cambridge aged 14. 1682-3
MA 1690,
Deacon of Lincoln 1689,
Priest (London) 1691
Master at Grammar School New Brentford 1694

3.      Abraham Bp. 1673

4.      Lydia Bp.1792 Buried at Stillingfleet, 1718*

5.      Mary Bp.1669 Birstall

6.      Elizabeth Bp. 1671

7.      Sarah Bp.1675 Dd.l676

8.      Margaret who married Howsley Freeman, 1709

*His daughter Lydia died in 1718 and is buried at Stillingfleet, Yorkshire, under the Sanctuary floor:

''Under this marble lies interr'd the body of Mrs. Lydia Brooksbank Daughter of the Rev. Abraham Brooksbank late Rector of St. Mary's in Reading in the County of Berks. Who departed this life, the third of December, 1718 and in the 27th year of her age."



(Arms of Abraham, Vicar of Bradford and Reading)

page 14

There is a memorial of a will to be registered at Wakefield, 4th August, 1710, in the West Riding Cartulary, in which Abraham devises his messuage, lands and cottages in Adwalton, plus his messuage, barn and lands in Eccleshill to his sons John and Abraham Brooksbank.

In 1704 the Land Tax paid by the Occupiers of Brooksbank lands in Eccleshill was £2 3s 6d.

At 11 o'clock of the forenoon on 20th September, 1722, John Brooksbank, son, and Abraham Brooksbank, grandson of the vicar, sold all the property and lands in Adwalton, Drighlington and Birstall which they had inherited, together with all gardens, liberties, waterways, woods, etc., for £211 1s 0d of lawful British money.

By law the clergymen had only to preach on Sunday mornings, but in order that the devout might have a sermon in the afternoon, Peter Sunderland of Fairweather Green, made over to Abraham Brooksbank, Vicar of Bradford, Richard Hooke, Vicar of Halifax, Thomas Lister of Manningham, John Weddell of Bradford, and Josias Midgley of Headley, Thornton, an annuity of £40 out of his property in Kirkgate, the messuage known as the "Talbot" and all lands, orchards and backsides, etc. belonging, a messuage called the "King's Head" in Kirkgate, and the messuage called the "Falcon" near Ivebridge, and three crofts.

At the dissolution of the smaller monasteries the proceeds of the monastery of St. Oswald which was connected with Nostell Priory, were given to the King, and the King gave the Rectory of Birstall to Trinity College, Cambridge. Apparently the fact that Abraham lived at Birstall whilst he was Vicar of Bradford derived from him being a fellow of Christ's College.

We learn from John James that the rectory and advowson of Bradford came into the hands of Jonas Waterhouse, a member of the ancient Waterhouse family of Halifax which settled at Tooting, Surrey, where he was born, but in 1662 he was ejected from Bradford Church because of his non-conformist views. He held tenaciously to the vicarage at Bradford and had litigation over it: he owned quite a lot of land in the Barkerend area, and died in 1716 aged 90.

There was in 1663 a half-baked scheme by the Roundhead party in the West Riding to overturn the government, and many Bradford people were implicated.

On the 12th October a considerable number of conspirators met in Farnley Wood, near Leeds, but expecting a large body of troops being sent against them, they dispersed, some going abroad. Twenty-one were convicted and executed at York in January, 1664, but not one from Bradford was executed. Jonas Waterhouse was suspected of being involved in the plot.



Chapter 4

NON-CONFORMISTS and Rescue from Raging River

DISSENTERS were morally brave men who had the courage of their convictions and, not agreeing with the doctrines of the Church of England, they defended the right to worship according to one's conscience. The early Puritans had to hide and hold meetings in secret. Bradford was a hotbed of dissention and harsh laws against them by Charles 2nd were felt by many Bradfordians. After the Five-Mile-Act recusant clergy were forbidden to go within five miles of their chapels.

Rev. Oliver Heywood of Coley, Nr. Halifax, was a great non-conformist, equivalent to a bishop, in the West Riding and South Lancashire. and he founded Bingley Baptists. After finishing at Trinity College, Cambridge he was invited to Coley at an income of £36 per annum. He was arrested at Farnley Wood with Captain Hodgson, but later released.

In 1662 he was evicted from Coley Chapel and was a wanderer, often starving, for many years. Captain Hodgson gave him shelter at Coley Hall, and when, twelve years later, he was again licensed to preach, he bought a house and two crofts at Northowram and erected a chapel there.

Oliver Heywood was a very big man weighing 17 1/2 stones. He needed a large horse and had many falls on frosty roads; during his preaching tours he covered 1400 miles per year. His stipend never exceeded £36 p.a. but in spite of his poverty he gave bread and broth to many people. He died in 1702 aged 73.

Along with his diaries he compiled the Northowram Register (surreptitiously) which records many Brooksbank births, marriages and deaths.

From his diaries, Vol 1, edited by J.H. Turner, we glean the following evidence of his friendship with the Brooksbanks.

Rev. Oliver Heywood's Diaries

Benjamin Heywood of Stanley Hall, Nr. Wakefield, son of Arthur Heywood of Liverpool, had daughter Hannah, born Wakefield c.1788, who married the Rev. Edward Hawke Brooksbank, Vicar of Tickhill.

John Crompton, nephew of Oliver, brought up to be a fustian weaver, but desired to be a scholar, sent to Christ College, Cambridge under Mr Stanford, but not minding him, he frequented Mr Abraham Brooksbank's lectures and came on wonderfully well in all sorts of literature.

Feb. 8, 1667-8. Rode to Idle and preached; Monday to Rawdon and on Thursday to Bradford, visited Mr Brooksbank; called at Mr Sharp's.

Mch. 29, 1667-8. Spent the sabboth at James Brooksbankes.

Feb. 14, 1669-70. Baptised James Brooksbank's son Joseph. Kept with him a day of thanksgiving, preached in my own house on Wed.

Thursday, called on Mr Kemp a glad house, the young wife delivered of a boy. But she died the next day. Monday we went to the funeral. Mr Brooksbank preached.

Tuesday, went to see one Sam Brooksbank lying sick of consumption, brought on by his intemperance; he seems penitent.

1672. Munday, kept a private day at Eden Brooksbank's of Norwood Green.

Jan. 6, 1673. Went to funeral of Ester Clarkson to Bradford. Mr Brooksbank preached. (Her father was minister of Adel).

June, 1673. Visited Jeremiah Brooksbank who was very ill.

June 28, 1673. To Elland, lodged at Mr J. Brooksbank's - in the morning we rode to Lassel Hall where I preached.

Nov. 1st. Went to J. Brooksbank at Elland, baptised his child.

May 5, 1676. Being at Mr John Brooksbank's we had discourse about university degrees on the occasion of my sons going to Scotland.

Dec. 27, 1676. Preached at Morley. Lodged all night at John Brooksbanks.

Mch. 20, 1678. Many matrimonial cases and advice - NO.5. Mr Jo: Brooksbank, Mtris gathorn, broken.

1673, Wed. Sept. 10th and Thur. Sept. 11th, greatest flood in memory of man, taken away many bridges as Otley great bridge Colne, incredible mischief done by the water. One Birch a boy of James Brooksbank going for bark upon Friday, near Huthersfield went over a bridge as he went but as he came back the bridge being gone he attempted to ride through, fell off in the water, was carryed a quarter of a mile, a man seeing him took one of his horses, rid into the water, got hold of him and he is got home alive.

Samuel Wadington had a son aged 18, not very witty, could not do his work well. They dealt sharply with him and struck him. On Thursday, Jer: Brooksbank being in the house discoursing about the great rain and hurt done by the water, the young man went out and they found him dead in a ditch,

1673, Monday morning, Nov. 10th. There came an apparition from York and one from Halifax and apprehended James Brooksbank and Robert Ramsden (two of our members) upon a writ de excommunicato capiendo, the occasion whereof was their refusing to take the churchwarden's oath, though they faithfully served the office - when they were excommunicated (as they call it) they consulted with us what to do, fearing the capias we desired them to send to York and get it off if a little money would doe it, but Dr. Hook (our goodly vicar) had put a bar on it so it could not be done, so that it's run up to this and this day Nov, 11th, they are gone towards York Castle which they must do unless they would have given 8 li. a peece for their release. God allmighty goe with them. We had a solemn day of prayer and sent them away with prayer. On Friday night they came home, were not in the castle but at Yark paid their 6 li. apeece to Flaxby, the apparition general and were released, blessed be god.

1672-3, Jan. 22. I was sent to visit and pray for Susanna Brooksbank of Shelf, widow, but she died after prayer.

1690. Timothy Collier, M.A. and Minister at Bradford that came from Heddon (Yeadon) in Guiseley parish dyed at Widow Brooksbank's in Shelf under Dr. Threaplands hand of a cancer, March 1st, carryed home dead in a horse litter, March 2nd, 1690-91, aged 69.

What a vivid picture these extracts give us of his wandering life and the hospitality and friendship he received from the Brooksbanks. His graphic description of the great flood and Birch Brooksbank's rescue from drowning in the raging water is very exciting.

Following the Toleration Act in 1689, in the first year of the reign of King Will and Queen Mary, the house of John Brooksbank of Elland was chosen for the service of God, and in 1697 Joshua Brooksbank's house in Penistone was appointed a house of worship for God, "for his friends called Quakers." And in 1689 Idle Chappell was to be restored to the Church of England. (Northowram Register)

The Independent Chapel at Kipping, Thornton, was one of the earliest establishments, and in the register there are quite a few Brooksbank names, including Susy, daughter of William and Mary Brooksbank, who was baptised in 1791 by Rev, 1. Cockin, a well-known preacher.

The Methodists had a school at Old Todley and James Brooksbank was a Trustee in 1815.

Shipley lacked a place of worship until the Bethel Baptist Church was formed in 1758, followed in 1866 by Rosse Street Chapel, composed originally of members dismissed from Bethel to provide a nucleus; John and Mercy Brooksbank were founder members. The Church Register and Minute Book contain some interesting items - Hannah Brooksbank subscribed "6d for Gas Deeds" in 1851. One can imagine the delight of the congregation when the wonderful illumination of gas superseded oil lamps and candles.

Chapter 5


GILBERT BROOKSBANK, born c.1530, of Thornton, late of Northowram, executor of John of Thornton's will in 1558, had twin sons in 1569, Abraham and Gilbert of Great Horton.

Gilbert was the favourite name for many generations of Brooksbanks in Horton. In the subsidy roll of Great Horton Freeholders dated 1608, Gilbertus Brooksbank No.2 was assessed at xxs and paid ijs viijd. (20s and 2s 8d).

A complaint was registered against him in 1602 for having enclosed waste land in Horton. Besides his Horton property he owned messuages and lands in Ovenden and Thornton, and a messuage, fulling mill and land in Midgley. In 1638 Gilbert Brooksbank was the principal contributor to the tythes, paying £35 on five oxgangs of land.

In 1606 he married, firstly, Marie Field. The Fields were a very ancient family of wealthy yeoman clothiers who had estates at Horton, Heaton, Shipley and Ardsley. Joseph Field was Lord of the Manor of Heaton in 1635; later John Wilmer Field was also Lord of the Manor of Shipley. His daughter Mary married Lord Oxmonton, who became the Earl of Rosse, and lived at Birr Castle, Ireland.

Gilbert's second wife was Agnes Sugden. He died in 1645.

Jeremiah Brooksbank, one of his sons, born 1620 was a neighbour of Captain Hodgson of Coley Hall, an officer in Fairfax's army, who when the news came that the Royalists were attacking Bradford, together with others rode there, and caused a diversion, some of the men using home-made weapons.

There does not appear to be any record of Brooksbanks in the Civil War and siege of Bradford, but in Captain Hodgson's report of the troubles that befell him when he was imprisoned in October, 1660, Jeremiah vouched for him. One night, after the King had returned to London, a group of armed men came with Joseph Lyster, clerk to Sir John Armitage, with a warrant to arrest John Hodgson for treason and take him to York Castle.

The information against him was that he had allegedly said, "There is a crown provided, but the King will never wear it", and that he had never taken the oath of allegiance. Then Jeremiah Brooksbank swore he heard Lyster say that, "If ever times changed he would sit on Hodgson's skirts". The Grand Jury found him not guilty and when the judge asked why he had not taken the oath of allegiance, John Hodgson replied that he was waiting to see what government the King would maintain.

Gilbert Brooksbank, yeoman, born 1626, perhaps we should call him Gilbert No.3, married Beatrice Rowlinson in 1644. This is the Gilbert who, in 1674, built the "Four Ashes Inn" at Primrose Hill, Horton (regretfully demolished when Grange Road was made) and Tan House at Tan House Beck down Grange Road, once a very pleasant place surrounded by trees and was both a residence and tannery. In 1666 he paid tax on two hearths. Nine years later he proved the will of Richard Brooksbank of Oxheys, Norwood Green, and retained the document in his own possession under a bond of £40 to produce it to Sir William Horton, Lord of the Manor, when required. Gilbert died in 1694.

During the reign of Charles 2nd the only regular army was the militia raised by the wealthy people, and there is an order dated 1673 among Sharp's MSS from three magistrates addressed to Thomas Sharp, principal, Job Lister, Gilbert Brooksbank and James Sale (contributors) owners and occupiers of land in Horton for them to send for the militia "One Pike Man with Pike, Corslet, Headgear and Sword", and to contribute towards the costs according to their estates.

"Four Ashes Inn" so called from the four ash trees which all grew from one root (blown down in 1835) at the top of Grange Road was formerly a farmstead; on the inside doorway was the date - "G-B 1674". During the days of the stagecoaches it was a landmark as the coach travellers considered it to be halfway between York and Manchester. When elections were held a greasy pole with a leg of mutton at the top was erected outside the inn, and men and boys tried to reach the prize, which was often won by a chimney sweep, well used to climbing inside chimneys.

Gilbert and Beatrice had two sons and two daughters. Daughter Susannah married Nathan Jowett, son of Edward Jowett of Idle, in 1677. (see page 27).

Son Gilbert No.4, born 1652, married Rebecca Lancaster in 1684 and died in 1731. In 1704 he paid the largest land tax in Horton, £4 17s 7d, and collected the tax for the other inhabitants of Horton. Their union was blessed with the only clergyman in the Horton family, the Rev. Joseph Brooksbank, who went to Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1700, was ordained deacon of York 1707 and became curate of Luddenden non-conformist chapel in 1723. He died in 1740 at Shipley. (John, his son, married a cousin, Mary Pollard, by licence in 1732). Of their other children, daughter Mary Brooksbank married James Pollard of Allerton and Rebecca married Richard Naylor of Birstall.

Their son, Gilbert No.5, born 1690, in 1718 married Mary Bolling whose family previously owned Bolling Hall. They had resided at Bowling from soon after the conquest until the late fifteenth century. In the fourteenth century they built the pele tower which forms the earliest section of Bolling Hall.

William Bolling married Mary, daughter of James Lister of Frizinghall, and died in 1731. He granted in trust to Gilbert Brooksbank, his son-in-law, and William Bolling, his nephew, son of his late brother John, a messuage at Chellow where John had dwelt, and extensive properties in Bai1don, Bradford, Heaton and Manningham, for his grandchild Mary Bolling.

Gilbert Brooksbank, yeoman, and William Bolling, gent., were subpoenaed to appear in His Majesty's High Court of Chancery to answer a Bill of Complaint brought against them by Mary Bolling, an Infant, by Ann Bolling, widow, her mother, on the 4th November, 1740, between 3 and 5 of the afternoon, at the dwelling house of William Tong in Bradford, no doubt in respect of the Trust. (Bfd. Ant. Hemmingway MSS)

Edward Bolling of Chellow Grange, formerly a possession of Selby Abbey, opened a coal mine in the common at Chellow Heights from which he obtained a quantity of coal until water flooded the mine and he had to abandon it. Later it became a case in Chancery.

A witness in Chancery, Nicholas Pollard, yeoman of Manningham and Shuttleworth Hall, an old man of 83, reported that, as a boy, he remembered Edward Bolling getting coal on Chellow Common. When he stopped, Pollard's father bought Bolling's scoups as he intended mining coal on his own lands.

Gilbert Brooksbank, then aged 72, testified that he recalled Edward Bolling getting stones from the common which reputedly belonged to Chellow Grange. The stones were made into millstones for a malt mill.

Gilbert No.5 is mentioned in a tripartite deed dated 1735-6, with Abraham Brooksbank of Thornton, and John Brooksbank of Shipley, concerning a messuage and lands at Heaton Royds, Shipley. He was a Governor of Bradford Grammar School.

As the tannery business was thriving, in 1739 he built a house at Great Horton which is now known as the "King's Arms" inn, - it was a coaching-inn where the High Flyer from Leeds to Manchester and the Cotton Coach refreshed their horses and passengers. Over the door is the date 1739 and the initials "G-B."

Continuing to prosper, in 1746 Gilbert erected the fine gentleman's residence called "Brooksbank House", an imposing building still standing, but after the vicissitudes of two and a half centuries, it has, unfortunately, been divided into two dwellings. What an asset to Bradford it would be if it could be restored to its original state and furnished in the period style!

Bradford has a dearth of old houses, due to the wanton demolition of Horton Hall, etc., and Brooksbank Old Hall would be an additional tourist attraction to Bolling Hall, and of course it is part of Bradford's heritage. When it was first erected there was only the tiny hamlet of Old Todley opposite, just a few low cottages, a school, a burial ground and a blacksmith's shop which formed the centre of Great Horton. Regrettably, this was all replaced with a huge mill.

Bradfordians strongly supported the Hanovarian succession, and from a subscription list for the defence of the Protestant succession during the Rebellion of 1745 we see that Robert Stansfield contributed £30, Timothy Sterne (Laurence Sterne's family) £10, Gilbert Brooksbank £10, Richard Sawrey £10, John Field (Heaton) £10, Jeremiah Rawson £10, Charles Booth £10, Sam. Lister Junr. £10, John Stanhope £10, Richard Holden £10 and there were several smaller donations.

Mary Brooksbank, nee Bolling, wife of Gilbert No.5 died in 1719 and, unfortunately, they did not have any children.

Gilbert's will was proved at York on 26th January, 1763, and he left his vast estate of messuages, shops, warehouses, tanyards, bark houses, cottages, buildings, meadows, woods, pastures etc. in Skircote, Norland, Shelf, Midgley, Norwood Green, Clayton, Ovenden, and Great Horton to his nieces and nephews, William, John, Thomas, Richard and George Naylor; William, Joseph and John Pollard; nephew John Brooksbank, John's daughter Betty and son John the younger; nephew Gilbert Brooksbank, and niece Rebecca Atkinson, plus bequests of £100 to his sister Rebecca Naylor, and £30 each to fifteen nieces and nephews.

Rebecca Atkinson, daughter of Gilbert's sister Mary and Joseph Pollard, married Jonas Atkinson, clerk of Tong.

When the Shuttleworth Hall estate was divided, Joseph Pollard, husband of Mary Brooksbank, and father of Rebecca, purchased the Hall and outbuildings for £525.13

Gilbert devised Brooksbank Old Hall and estate to Rebecca Atkinson. (BI Pontefract D. 1763)

John Brooksbank received £160 in his grandfather Joseph Pollard's will, and a farm, messuage, lands, etc. from uncle John Pollard.

Joseph Brooksbank also received 2/3rds of Joseph Pollard's estate comprising messuages and tenements in Allerton, Manningham, Horton, Stanbury, Sutton, Bingley, Featherstone and elsewhere, plus an estate from uncle John Pollard in Horton.

Betty (Elizabeth) Brooksbank received £100 from uncle John Pollard.

Joseph Pollard's estate included coals in Lady Royd, Manningham, capital messuage in Tong, messuage and lands in North Bierley and Fairweather Green.

Along with Brooksbank Old Hall, Rebecca Atkinson inherited two tenements and four dwelling houses.

Rebecca's daughter Elizabeth Atkinson, married Richard Gorton, merchant of Salford, and from a deed dated 1779 we see that, "All that capital mansion at Great Horton in the occupation of Joseph Swain, three fields called the West Croft, the Moorland and Stunsteads; a messuage and three closes; and the large Cragg where the quarry is, the Ing or Coal Pit Close", were released to John Hill and Samuel Lister in trust for the young children of Richard and Elizabeth Gorton.

Richard Gorton died intestate in 1816 leaving eight young children, and in 1821 the trustees sold to Benjamin Knight, who had erected the cotton mill opposite Brooksbank Hall, "All that mansion occupied by Joseph Swain, the West Croft., Stunsteads, etc." for £2,500. So Brooksbank Hall was sold to provide for the Gorton children, Rebecca's grandchildren.

John Gorton, son of Elizabeth and Richard, lived at Cragg Farm formerly owned by the Brooksbanks, and all the rest left the district.

Gilbert No.6, nephew of Gilbert, married his first wife, Elizabeth Pollard in 1755, and his second wife Ann, daughter of James Parkinson of Hetton in Burnsall, gent. in 1766. He subscribed £5 5s 0d to the construction of the Selby-Halifax Road.

Moving to the next generation, Gilbert No. 7 was a worsted manufacturer, his address given as York Castle in 1799. Brother James Brooksbank was a cotton manufacturer residing at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, in 1798.

The Brooksbanks, a very large family, were extensive landowners, and although Brooksbank Hall passed from the male heirs in 1763, many other possessions remained in the hands of the family.

Brooksbank Hall was eventually sold to Bradford Council, together with the "King's Arms".

Through marriages much of the Horton property came into the hands of the Barracloughs and Charnocks. Mary Hodgson Charnock in 1845 left her property equally between Thomas Brooksbank Charnock and Martha Hanson Charnock, who married Thomas Horsfall and resided at the Paper Hall in Barkerend, later moving to Burley Hall.

Mr Cudworth says, unfortunately, later members of the Brooksbank family were improvident, one having "swallowed five farms" during the course of an intemperate life!

Susannah Brooksbank, born 1655, daughter of Gilbert No.3 and Beatrice, married Nathan Jowett, son of William Jowett, clothier, of Idle Thorp. His father, Edward Jowett of Idle, held from Sir Ingram Clifford of Skipton Castle a lease, dated 1568, of a tenement and lands at Thorp called Southroydes, Thorp Garth, Nether Garth, Faltis, Brownroyd, Hangingroyd, Southflatts, Highfield, and Idlaw.

Susannah thus became the ancestor of Nathan Atkinson Jowett, (Gilbert Brooksbank No.5 left Brooksbank Hall and estates to his niece Rebecca Atkinson) who was heir to the valuable Clockhouse estate and was the cause of a famous litigation. The Clockhouse land was only a small part of the property contested which comprised 145 farms and tenements at Idle, Bradford, Bolton, Eccleshill, Manningham, Heaton, Allerton, Wilsden, Clayton, Northowram, Keighley, and other places in the East and West Ridings. George Baron, Esq., (to whom the estates had been left by his cousin Miss Sarah Jowett) in 1851 devised his estates to the malt: heir of Nathan Atkinson of Bolton (Bradford) whose mother was a Jowett of Clockhouse.

In Chancery it was confirmed that Nathan Atkinson of Bolton - who had taken the name of Jowett by Royal Licence - answered to this description. Joseph Jowett disputed this and alleged that all the Atkinsons were extinct. He took the fight to the House of Lords, but lost the case, even though many people considered him to be the rightful heir.

Nathan Atkinson Jowett, who lived at Bolton Road, was reluctant to claim his rights, and even after moving to the Clockhouse, Manningham Lane, he was still very careful and thrifty.


Chapter 6


RICHARD BROOKSBANK of Barnes in Northowram, clothier, and son of John of Thornton, owned a property called "Calderfall" in Hipperholme and, together with his son Edward, purchased lands in Wilsden in the 20th of Elizabeth, 1578. He bought Ingoxheys and lands in Shelf and Hipperholme from Alexander Rishworth, gent, for £140 in ]572 (Horton MSS, Manor of BatIey) and was involved in litigation regarding the Manor of Kildwick, etc. in 1581.

From Ancient Bingley by J.H. Turner, we learn that Edward Brooksbank of Wilsden, born c.1558, had Harden Grange in 1584 and half of the Manor. A Chancery suit between the Paslews of Riddlesden Hall and the Freeholders of Bingley tells of the chief tenants of the time, including Edward Brooksbank.

Rievaulx Abbey possessed the Manor of Harden until the dissolution when it was bought by Walter Paslew in ]540. Unfortunately, he died only four years later, and it was his grandson Walter Paslew who lost the manor after taking part in the Rebellion of the North, being accused of treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London, although later released.

Consequently the Paslews were in difficulties and had to dispose of their inheritance, including Harden.

In 1596 Edward Brooksbank bought two messuages in Harden, and in 1597 he brought a warrant against Gilbert Drake for two messuages in Harden. He bought Lum Hirst House, Harden, in 1602 for £50. His son, Edward of Wilsden, born 1586, married Bridget Bates at Bradford in 1622 and had three daughters, Martha, Marie and Ellen.

Edward Brooksbank, junior, inherited land in Horton in 1592, and he purchased lands from Thomas Hodgson, Thomas Sharp, Robert Booth and William Feild which he granted by enfeoffment to his two grandsons Jonathan and Michael Drake in 1643. In the Subsidy Roll of 1621 he paid £2 2s 8d land tax.

All this shows the rapid rise of the yeoman who was a farmer and clothier making a good living. The price of wool was very high; sheep and wool were worth more than cattle and corn. A yeoman who could lease a farm for £10 a year could call himself a gentleman.

Looking into the Stansfield family papers we see that Edward Brooksbank of Wilsden, yeoman, in 1628 purchased two messuages and ten acres of land in Wilsden and Allerton from Susan Smith, heiress of Joseph Bates, and also received a £10 legacy from Joseph Bates. The lands were held by knight's service; annual value 6s 8d. In addition to his other possessions Edward bought three acres of waste land or common of Allerton and Wilsden, rent 2d p.a., Wilsden Watercorn Mill, Threapland Farm in Wilsden, Ackroid Farm in Wilsden and Allerton, a cottage called Heighfeilde Cote, and twenty-five acres of land in Wilsden, together with a further cottage.

A glance at the Bingley Parish Register "Shewinge in What Pews or Stalls", dated 23rd July, 1634, shows that Edward Brookesbank de Hardinge had several "auncient seats and paid 4s for mending them."

Edward was obviously a man of substance. Charles 1st was, as usual, in need of money and he decided to compel men of property to pay to become knights, the drawback being that the fees of £60 or £70 would be paid to the Heralds and not the King, so he had the brilliant, crafty idea of issuing the command on January 30th, 1626, that all persons had to pay in London the next day, January 31st which, of course, was impossible for people residing in Yorkshire.

In the Book of Compositions for NOT taking the Order of Knighthood at the Coronation of King Charles 1st, 1630-1632, from the Wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley, Edward Brooksbank paid £10, a fine which went to the King.

Here are some contemporary satirical verses:

"Come all you farmers out of the country,

Carters, plowmen, hedgers and all . . .

Honor invites you to delights,

Come to the Court and all be made knights.

Knighthood in ancient times was an honor,

Which the best spirits did not disdaine,

But now it is used in such a base manner

That it is no credit but rather a staine.

Now to conclude, and shutt up my sonnett,

Leave of the cart, whipp, hedge-bill and tlaile.

This is my counsell, thinke well upon it,

Knighthood and Honor are now putt to saile.

Then make haste quickly, and lett out your farmes,

And take my advise in blazing your armes."

(Hunter's Hallamshire, YAS Local Record Series, Vol. 61)

Edward was the overseer of the will, dated 1629, of Gilbert Brooksbank of Bradshaw in Ovenden.

Edward Brooksbank died in 1647 and left money and lands to his grandchildren. (BI Pontefract D/Prog.)

His daughter Martha, baptised 10th June, 1627 at Bingley, married in 1645 Benjamin Ferrand, son and heir of Robert Ferrand of Harden Grange.

In a marriage indenture dated 1645 between Edward Brooksbank of Wilsden and Robert Ferrand, Edward granted nine messuages, lands, etc., a watercorn mill, kiln, and buildings and appurtances, to his daughter Martha and son-in-law Benjamin Ferrand, with the condition that, if he and Martha did not have any lawfully begotten children, then the property would go to his daughter Marie, wife of Joshua Dawson.

Robert Ferrand, father of Benjamin, granted them the messuage, lands and hereditaments occupied by himself, Harden Grange.

Benjamin and Martha had eight children and Edward left £10 to his first grandchild, "That is, or may be gotten by Benjamin on the body of Martha."

Martha and Benjamin lived at Old Harden Grange, built with mullioned windows in the Elizabethan style with a "peep hole" at the entrance and over the door the initials BFM and the date 1680. The same initials appear on an out office at Harden Hall where General Fairfax stayed.

The remains of iron-smelting are visible and the Hall stands on buried scoriae. No records of iron-smelting exist, but for centuries the monks of Rievaulx Abbey were the owners of the valley of Harden and the Grange; they also had a grange at Faweather on Rumbolds Moor valued at £4 13s 4d at the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and possessed iron-mines in the vicinity. Perhaps the cinder heaps and iron scoriae found at Harden Hall were the results of the monks having iron works in Harden. (The scoriae, known locally as the "cinder caves", between Eldwick and Shipley Glen were a favourite childhood haunt).

Harden Grange is now St. Ives.

Benjamin and Martha Ferrand had a law suit regarding the mills in Allerton and Wilsden, versus Peter Sunderland; also a dispute over lands in Wilsden claimed by the defendants by descent through the Bates family. In 1686 there were Articles of Agreement between Benjamin and William Brook of Goit Stock in Harden, concerning the building of a fulling mill by Wm. Brook and diversion of Harden Beck, on the banks of which Benjamin Ferrand had a corn mill.

Martha and Benjamin both died in 1699. Referring to the funeral of Benjamin, Sir Walter Calverley of New Calverley, now called Esholt Hall, says in his notebook: "I was at the burial of old Mr Ferrand who was interred at Bingley. We had only Gloves, 15th February, 1699."  J.H. Turner - Ancient Bingley)

It was the custom in the seventeenth century for relatives of the deceased to give mourning garments, mainly a black cloak or scarf, to mourners and the clergyman, so naturally Sir Walter was disappointed at only receiving gloves! Martha's thrifty Brooksbank nature would not "thoil" squandering such extravagance as funeral cloaks on wealthy mourners.

Martha died in November 1699, and the Northowram Register said that: "Her son David, a major, came out of the south, fell sick, and was buried with her."

The Ferrands were friends of Oliver Heywood and Harden Grange was recorded as a preaching house.

One of the Ferrands took part in the Crusade against the Saracens in 1190. He was so badly injured at the siege of Acre that he was unrecognizable. When the Earls of Albemarle came to the manor of Skipton they made Hugh Ferrand custodian of the gate of Skipton Castle, an important position which they held for many centuries. They owed their advancement to their loyalty to the Cliffords of Skipton Castle, and obtained their arms in 1586 at the request of Francis, Lord Clifford, who became Earl of Cumberland.

The Bingley Ferrands are descended from this family and they have lived in Bingley since the middle of the sixteenth century. Benjamin Ferrand, born 1730, is the first one to be mentioned as of St. Ives. They owned much property and land in Harden and Bingley. Present day St. Ives is a large stone-built mansion standing in beautiful gardens and extensive wooded grounds, including a golf-course. Squirrels scamper amongst the trees. Benjamin built a folly, a tower with an arched window, covered with ivy, in Ruin Bank Woods in 1794.


Marie Brooksbank, baptised 1623, married Joshua Dawson, yeoman of Wilsden in 1640. He was a Quaker, and was ex-communicated at the Archdeacon's visitation to Bingley in 1664! They were living at Bate's Farm, Wilsden, in 1653.

Joshua Dawson was descended from John Dawson of Addingham, his great grandfather: his father, John Dawson the younger, owned a water corn mill in Addingham in 1646. Joshua, a Public Notary of the City of York, was baptised at Addingham in 1616, and frequently moved house from Addingham to Wilsden, Bingley, and back to Addingham. He was buried in the Friend's Burial Ground at Keighley in 1690. Together with his wife Marie they had two sons and three daughters. Their son William Dawson received £10 from the will of his grandfather, Edward Brooksbank.

Ellen Brooksbank married John Drake, yeoman, of Allerton and she had a marriage settlement of £16 p.a. from premises at Thornton. Their daughter Bathshua also received £10 from her grandfather, Edward Brooksbank.

John Drake senior, of Pikedlee, owned a lot of land in Allerton and Denholme, together with the mines and quarries. Besides leaving money to Ellen Brooksbank, wife of his son John Drake, junior, and John and Abraham Brooksbank of Allerton, sons of William Brooksbank, late of Northowram, he left money to the poor people of Allerton, Thornton and Bradford, in his will of 1613. (BI Pro.reg.32, ff.520-521v)

Ellen's son, John Drake, married Susan Sager of Pikedlee, Allerton, and together with his brother Michael in 1647, for consideration of £130, sold all the land and property which their grandfather Edward Brooksbank had given them.

Thus, sadly, all Edward Brooksbank's land and property in Wilsden and Bingley, disappeared into the hands of the Ferrands and Drakes.


Richard Brooksbank's son, Abraham, inherited "Calderfall" in Coley, Nr. Hipperholme, from his father and, like his nephew Edward, he paid a fine of £10 NOT to become a knight at the coronation of Charles 1st.

Gilbert of Hipperholme, born c.1568, brother of Abraham and Edward, had three sons, Richard, Gilbert and James who married Elizabeth. From Batley Court Rolls we discover that in 1615 there was litigation between Richard and Gilbert and James and Elizabeth for a moeity of "Calderfall".

When the monasteries were dissolved in 1536-40, the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem were allowed to exist longer: they were extremely wealthy and had many grandpriories in Yorkshire. Their properties were sold very slowly until Queen Elizabeth 1st disposed of the best portions, leaving a number of smaller lands and quit rents ranging from Id to l0s and upward.

Richard Sunderland of Coley bought some and in 1670 nearly all the smaller rents were ten to twenty years in arrears. The Manor of Coley was bought by the Rishworths. Gilbert and James Brooksbank owed 6d for thirteen years arrears for Nether Oxheys and one close called "Calderfall", late parcel of the demesne of Coley, and late the lands of John Rishworth.

Richard Brooksbank owed four shillings for thirteen years arrears for Elliottfeilde Moor, alias Upper Heys and all lands belonging thereto in Shelf. He died in 1675 and his will was proved by Gilbert Brooksbank of Horton.

James Brooksbank, born c.l540, owned Ox Heys Farm in 1573, Jake Royde Farm, and a water corn mill in the woods below the farm. It had to be reached by pack horses from Shelf and Norwood Green, down a bridle stile near Rob Dene Farm. Ox Heys once belonged to the Knights of S1. John.

Jake Royde was situated in a beautiful place surrounded with woods, hills and dales; it was rebuilt in the seventeenth century and a stone over the doorway was inscribed:

G.B. J.B.

Edward Brooksbank of Ox Heys built some houses at Robber's Cave, Berry Bottoms, Shelf, where a gang of robbers had hidden their loot in a cave.

A stone on the end of one of the houses said:

- E. - B. - 1688

The houses were burnt down in 1902. (Hipperholme to Tong, J. Parker)

James Brooksbank had a court case in 1592 against Gilbert and Samuel Saltenstall regarding a messuage, cottage and land in Hipperholme.

James, born c.1618, son of James and Elizabeth, who had coal pits at Oxheys, died in 1706 and by his will granted a messuage and lands at Norwood Green to Samuel Riddlesden and Eliezer Tettley upon trust that: "they should pay the yearly rent charge of 6s 8d to the poorest people in Norwood Green". Oliver Heywood called him: "My dear friend and neighbour and member of our church at Northowram".

He had a son, Lewis of Halifax, born 1646 in Northowram, a tanner, who with his son Joshua Brooksbank, yeoman, in 1693 sold to Abraham Langley, gentleman, of Priestley in Hipperholme, a messuage, six closes and a cottage, for the consideration of £180 and three pieces of gold, value 23/6d called "Broadpieces".

Joshua Brooksbank, yeoman of Oxheys in Shelf, born 1672 in Halifax, married Sarah Best, daughter of Charles Best, yeoman of Shelf, at Northowram in 1711, but unfortunately, she died in childbed in 1727.

The Joshua Brooksbank of Shelf, yeoman, who died in 1666, son of Richard Brooksbank and Susan Stansfield, left all his houses, lands, etc. in Shelf to his brother John, who had to pay £300 to his sister Martha, and £150 to sister Susan. He bequeathed £3 to his uncle and aunt Stansfield, and amongst sundry legacies, "his best dublitt, coat and breeches to Timothy Stansfield, his cousin, and other coats, dublitts, boots and breeches to Joshua Stansfield, John Holmes and Edward Broadley". One chest was for Martha and one bed for Susan. (West Yorkshire Deeds»)5


Chapter 7


THE BROOKSBANKS domiciled in Elland were, to use an over-worked phrase, "The Jewels in the Crown" of the family.

William Brooksbank of Alford, Lincolnshire, son of John Brooksbank, born c.l510, and grandson of John Brooksbank, born c.l480 (living in the time of Henry VIIth) who heads the visitation pedigree, married Elizabeth Forset, daughter and heiress of Francis Forset, also of Lincolnshire.

They had a son, John Brooksbank, the first to be mentioned as of Elland, who, with his wife Grace, had a son Gilbert, born 1616, who went to Oxford in 1635, Nicholas who never married, and John Brooksbank of Elland, born 1611, who married Judith Thornhill in 1640, and died in 1685 after siring a very talented and evidently dissenting family.

Nicholas, the second son born 1647, went to Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1664 aged 17, and was ordained a priest in London in 1672. Later he became a preacher in Elland, dying in 1690.

John Brooksbank, born c.l642, married firstly, Mary Bailey of Allerton in the parish of Bradford, sister and heiress of Samuel Bailey, a non-conformist minister of Topcliffe and Morley, and secondly, Bathshua, daughter of Christopher Marshall, also a non-conformist minister at Topcliffe.

Mary Bailey inherited lands and tenements in Cottingley from her brother Samuel, several closes of land in Bolton from her uncle Joshua, and in 1679, at the Court Baron of Brian Sunderland, armiger, held at Cottingley, the jurors said: "That Joshua Bayley held a manor or part of a manor and when he died it was amicably transferred to John Brookesbanke (Mary's husband) and for which he did fealty."

Mary Bailey's cousin, Sarah Denton, married Joseph Lister, the historian who, as an eye-witness, wrote a very accurate and truthful account of the Siege of Bradford. Joseph's son, Accepted Lister, was a renowned non-conformist minister at Kipping Chapel, Thornton, and Bingley. His mother christened him "Accepted" because she considered him to be accepted by the Lord. The Listers, of course, are a very ancient and famous Bradford family who originally, like the Brooksbanks, came from Halifax.

It was said that John Brooksbank was "A man of extraordinary piety and usefulness and he was a founder at Elland". A funeral sermon was printed for him. His daughter Mary married Nathaniel Robinson, a wholesale mercer of Gainsborough, who bequeathed a library of 350 books to the town.

Nathaniel Robinson devised land in Stockey Close, Bolton, which his wife Mary Brooksbank had inherited from her father John Brooksbank of Elland, to their daughter Sarah, and land at Bolton to their daughter Grace. Grace left the Bolton land to her niece Mary Whittaker (Sarah's daughter) who sold the estate to Nathan Jowett of Bolton in 1789. (See page 27).

Springing from the union of John and Bethshua was Joseph Brooksbank, merchant. His second spouse was Mary, daughter of Rev. Matthew Smith, another non-conformist minister at Mixenden, (previously an early minister at Kipping Independent Chapel who kept a very interesting diary of their secret meetings and persecutions) and they had a very large family, several of whom died young.

However, the "star" of the family was the son of John and Judith, Joseph Brooksbank who became a Warehouseman, Citizen and Haberdasher of Cateaton Street, London, and a prominent non-conformist. Born in 1654, he married Mary, daughter and heiress of Richard Stamp of Reading, elder brother of Sir Thomas Stamp, Alderman of London, in September 1679.

Joseph Brooksbank, who purchased Healaugh Hall in 1702, endowed a school for the children of Elland in 1712, his grandson Joseph augmenting the endowment in 1756. Originally the tuition was fairly basic, but in 1933 it became "Elland Grammar School". New buildings were added in 1959 and it was renamed ''THE BROOKSBANK SCHOOL" in 1968. Now it is extremely well-equipped, catering for science, technology, music, art, etc., with laboratories, libraries, gymnasiums and outdoor recreational facilities. Today it is a co-educational County Comprehensive School, Mr Morton Roberts is the present Headmaster, and it aims to educate the pupils for life.

Oliver Heywood said, "Mr Joseph Brooksbank of London, died 11th June, 1724, very rich, religious and Usefull, a very great loss."

Perhaps the most illustrious person was Joseph's son Stamp Brooksbank of Hackney, where he built the fine mansion, Hackney House. Travelling a long way from the yeomen of the dales, he was Governor of the Bank of England, and member of Parliament for Colchester and later Saltash.

Baptised at the Independent Chapel, Stepney, in 1694, he married Elizabeth Thompson of Hackney. At Wakefield in 1742 he paid a heriot for Edge End in Warley.

His son, Stamp Brooksbank the younger, married his second wife, Ann Gataker of Kensington at St. George's, Hanover Square, London, in 1771. His first wife was Miss Lambourne of Hackney who he married in 1750.

Joseph Brooksbank, born 1725, of Healaugh Hall, son of Stamp the elder, married Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Bond, merchant of London, and her second husband was William Snell, a Director of the Bank of England.

Joseph Brooksbank of Hackney and Healaugh Manor, in an indenture of 1756 granted a messuage called "Cinder Hills" in Southowram, and eight closes of land, the rent of which to pay "£10 p.a. to the minister of the congregation of protestant dissenters in the meeting-house at Elland so long as worship by dissenters was allowed by the laws of the land". Also from the rent to spend forty shillings yearly on the purchase of "good, devout books" for the forty poor children at the ElIand free school which was founded and endowed by his grandfather, Joseph Brooksbank. The indenture included a proviso that, if divine worship was not permitted in the chapel, then the messuage and lands would revert to the Brooksbank heirs.

Benjamin Brooksbank of Healaugh, son of Joseph, married Philippa, sister of Colonel Clitherow and had three sons and two daughters.

Edward Hawke Brooksbank, second son, Vicar of Tickhill, was born in 1790. He became a priest at York in 1814 and Vicar of Tickhill, Nr. Doncaster, 1819-1856, resigning on succeeding to Healaugh at the death of his elder brother Stamp who was a lawyer and a Major in the 3rd West Yorks Militia.

In the Wakefield archives there is a note relating to the Rev. Edward Hawke Brooksbank, Magistrate: "Lately come to live in Wakefield. Taken over house lately occupied by John Egremont. Takes Benjamin Woodson to court for assault in 1841". Curiosity makes us wonder what dastardly deed is hidden here!

His first wife was Hannah, daughter of Benjamin Heywood of Stanley Hall, Wakefield, (a relation of Oliver Heywood) whom he married in 1835, and he died at Healaugh Hall in 1883, aged 93.

His son, Edward Brooksbank, born 1826, called to the Bar in 1852, had sons: Sir Edward Clitherow Brooksbank, Philip, William, Stamp and William Edward Constable Brooksbank. A JP for the West Riding he died in 1916 aged 90.

Jane Brooksbank of Healaugh Hall married John Lamplugh Lamplugh-Raper in 1813, the 29th of Lamplugh, who decessit sine prole in 1867, and she died in 1878.

James Brooksbank of Durham, third son of Benjamin (who had a son and a daughter who both married into the Raper family) married Anne Raper of Lotherton Hall, Aberford, Yorks and Lamplugh.

The Raper family lived at Lotherton Hall for many years until 1825 when they moved down to London. The estate was sold to the Gascoignes who extended the old hall and built the present Lotherton Hall around it. In the grounds stands a tiny Norman private chapel belonging to the old manor house which formerly occupied this site.

An un-named daughter of Benjamin married Count Pecchio.

James and Anne Brooksbank had a son James, born 1816, barrister, who had a son Walter Lamplugh Brooksbank of Lamplugh Hall. (The history of the Lamplughs commences on page 40).

Arthur Brooksbank of Middleton Hall, Beverley, Gent JP, Hon. Col. of Yorkshire Artillery, second son of Edward Hawke Brooksbank, born 1831, married in 1855 Anna Maria, daughter of Rev. Gylby Lonsdale, Rector of Bolton, Yorks., and had five sons: John Lonsdale Brooksdale, George Brooksbank, Richard Gylby Brooksbank, Hugh Lonsdale Brooksbank, and the eldest, Arthur Heywood Brooksbank, Gent. JP, Captain 19th Hussars, born in 1856. In 1890 he married Dora Helen Baggaley, and they had one son, Percy Arthur Brooksbank, born 1897, who married Annabelle Ralphs of California.

A Beaker was found in a sandpit at Middleton-on-the-Wolds about 1894. It was in the hands of Colonel Arthur Brooksbank of Middleton Hall when the family moved to the south of England, but in 1954 a member of the family presented it to the parish church of Middleton-on-the-Wolds.

The Beaker Folk, so called because they buried beakers with their dead, symbolising food and drink for the spirit's journey into the next life, migrated from Europe about 1800 to 1500 BC, spreading over the Yorkshire Wolds by way of the Humber, and a few crossed the York moraines into West Yorkshire.

Sir Edward Clitherow Brooksbank, born 1858, Lord of the Manor of Healaugh, and officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, was created Baronet in 1919. His wife was Katharine Graham Lang, and for four decades he was Chairman of the Barston Ash Conservative Association. Two of his three sons were killed in the First World War.

Lt. Col. Sir Edward William Brooksbank, the 2nd Bart., born 1915, married Ann, daughter of Col. Thomas Claud Clitherow of Hotham Hall, Brough, in 1943 and died in 1983.

Sir Edward Nicholas Brooksbank is the 3rd Bart.

Philip Brooksbank, brother of Sir Edward Clitherow Brooksbank, became a Sugar Planter in Brisbane and a fruit-farmer in British Columbia.

Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage and Fox-Davis Armorial Families


Chapter 8


FROM Burke's Landed Gentry it emerges that we have moved into another world, an aristocratic world of Royalty, coats of arms and liveried footmen; a far cry from the humble yeomen farmers and clothiers of the dales. .

The Lamplugh family is of very ancient lineage being descended from Sir Robert de Lamplugh of Lamplugh Hall in Cumberland and Hailford in Lancashire, living in the time of Henry II (1154-1189).

They were bishops, archbishops, Lords of the Manor, JPs, high-ranking military officers, etc.

The wife of the Rev. Thomas Lamplugh was Honor, 14th in descent, through the families of Foulis, de Grey, Percy and Mortimer, etc., from King Edward III.

Ann Lamplugh in 1750 married John Raper of Lotherton Hall, Aberford, and had a son, John Raper, who inherited his uncle's estate and so became the 28th of Lamplugh. He married in 1789 his cousin Katharine, and they had two sons, John Lamplugh Raper and Henry Lamplugh Raper, and a daughter, Ann Lamplugh Raper who married in 1815, James Brooksbank of Durham, third son of Benjamin Brooksbank of Healaugh Hall. They had a son, James Brooksbank, who had a son Walter Lamplugh Brooksbank.

John Lamplugh-Lamplugh-Raper, 29th of Lamplugh, born 1790, by Royal Licence in 1825 added the surname and arms of Lamplugh, and married in 1813 Jane, the daughter of Benjamin Brooksbank of Healaugh Hall, and decessit sine prole in 1867, when he was succeeded by his brother Henry Raper, 30th of Lamplugh, Barrister. Born 1795 he married his cousin Georgina, granddaughter of John Raper of Lotherton Hall. He died without issue and Lamplugh Hall came to Walter Lamplugh Brooksbank, 31st of Lamplugh, who had a son James.

James Lamplugh Brooksbank, 32nd of Lamplugh, married firstly, Monica Grace, a marriage which ended in divorce. They had two daughters and a son, Benjamin Walter Lamplugh Brooksbank, B.Sc.. Ph.D. of Epsom, Surrey.

James's second wife was Madeleine Susan, widow, who wrote short stories and light verses for The Field. She died in June, 1988, aged 87.


Oh Why do people come and live
In rural villages and give
Nothing to the community?
In cars we see them come and go
And yet themselves we do not know.
They want complete immunity.

Their money in the town is spent,
The village shop they don't frequent,
The Church they shun.
We seldom meet them, night or day,
They sleep here, then they go away
And miss the fun From all our little friendly 'do's'
To isolate themselves they choose.
They'll never know how much they lose.

Susan Brooksbank (published in The Field 1980)

The Daily Telegraph printed her obituary on 17th June 1988, saying that she was a public-spirited county lady who devoted herself to the Gloucester Bench, prison visiting, diocesan committees, Cheltenham Ladies' College and the Country Landowners' Association. The father of her first husband was a patron of Elgar.

The Rev. Alan Brooksbank, Vicar of St. Saviour's Church, Hagley, Worcs. is a member of the Lamplugh Brooksbanks, and he was born at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.


Another branch of the Lamplugh family resided at Cottingley. The Rev. William Lamplugh of Cottingley (of the Archbishop Lamplugh of York family) Prebendary of Ripon, Vicar of Dewsbury, married Elizabeth Dobson of Cottingley. Their daughter Elizabeth Lamplugh married in 1761 Henry Wickham of Bingley, who was descended from William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester, founder of New College, Oxford, and Winchester College. Henry Wickham was a magistrate, and they had two sons, William Wickham, who became Secretary of State, Lord of the Treasury, etc., and the Rev. Lamplugh Wickham of Low Moor House, whose first wife was Sarah Elizabeth Hird and his second spouse was Hannah Frances Lascelles.

One of their three sons was Henry Wickham Wickham, M.P. for Bradford, Magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for the West Riding. Another son, Lamplugh Wickham Wickham was Managing Director of Low Moor Iron Works. (John James, History of Bradford


Chapter 9


SO FAR in our narrative we have mainly followed the migration into Airedale, but now it is time to return to our roots in Warley.

Gilbert Brooksbank re-built Bank House, a substantial, solid house with mullioned windows in the seventeenth century, but as we know, the antiquity of the Brooksbanks goes back to before 1371. It is a fine old building in a very pleasant and isolated position.

The Brooksbanks were one of the leading families in Warley, and below Bank House they had Holme House, a comfortable homestead; two messuages at the lower end of Cold Edge, Peasecote and Newhouse; two fulling mills and a dam, plus a messuage at Dean, and half of all the timber growing at Booth Knowl. The mills were later developed into the Bracken paper mills.

John Brooksbank in 1490 was Greave for Warley. In 1518 and 1528 Richard Brooksbank served on the Jury at the Manor Court; Gilbert was a juror in 1520 and 1539, but Edward was fined 8d for not appearing as a juror in 1535.

Wills are often the only source of information about the early families. Edward of Warley, in his will dated 1566, gave 13s 4d to the poor to be distributed by his brother Gilbert and Edward Saltonstall. There are Warley Brooksbanks wills dated 1537, 1584,1554, 1588,1606, 1635 and 1627. John of Warley in his 1584 will mentions his sons Gilbert, John, and Richard, and daughters Agnes and Elizabeth. Gilbert lived at Booth, another son, Edward, who was dead at the time of his father's will, lived at Sowerby Bridge, leaving several sons. Elizabeth married Thomas Oldfield of Warley, and Richard married Jennet, a daughter of Edward Saltonstall.

They had seats in Luddenden Parish Church.

The will of Gilbert of Booth is an interesting genealogical document

"Gilbert Brokesbanke of Booth, in Midgley, yeoman, dated 6th Oct. 1627, to Richard, son of the late Richard Brooksbank of Bank House, and John son of the late Edward Brooksbank of Sowerby Bridge, the two fulling mills called Dean Mills, with a messuage and half of all the timber growing on a messuage called Booth Knowl.

To Richard and Gilbert, sons of my brother Edward, the reversion of a moiety of a messuage called Booth in my occupation.

To the heirs of John of Bankhouse the reversion of lease to me of a messuage called Roodgreave.

To my nephew John £40.

To Thomas Oldfield £10, to Prudence Oldfield £10.

To my sister Elizabeth Oldfield £30.

To John and James Oldfield, Grace Briggs, Jane Crowther 40s each.

And many more bequests of 40s and 20s. To Mr Nathaniel Walsh, Vicar ofLuddenden, "the best horse or mare" that I have at the time of my decease. To Alice, wife of the late John Brooksbank, the "woman's saddle" which was my wife's".

In the values of 1913, the amount distributed was upwards of £2,300, not to mention the best horse and the value of the mills, messuages and lands.

At Wakefield in 1625 the daughters of John Brooksbank late of Bank House, gave a heriot to take a messuage and 31 acres of land in Saltonstall and Warley in the graveship of Sowerby.

The Subsidy Roll of the Wapentake of Morley and Agbrigg, 15th year of Henry VII (1524) lists:

Christopher Brokesbanke for 40s lands, guds 12d
Richard Brokesbanke for 40s lands and 2s lands

and we may presume that they go back to say, 1474.

Richard Brookesbank of Warley married Chrystabelle Saltonstall in 1575 at Halifax. Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, Gilbert Saltonstall of Halifax purchased Rookes Hall, and he had a son Richard Saltonstall, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1597.

The sixteenth century was a period of terrible trouble and Vicar Holdsworth of Halifax was drawn into it. There was a great feud and strife between men who lived in Wakefield and those who lived in Pontefract. The rival leaders were Sir Richard Tempest of Bolling Hall, Bradford, and Sir Harry Savile of Thornhill. Sir Richard Tempest had been one of King Henry's bodyguards and fought at Flodden Field. He became steward of the Royal Manor of Wakefield.

In battles between the knights Roger Tempest killed Thomas Longley in 1518 at Brighouse and fled to Durham Cathedral to seek sanctuary.

Sir Gilbert Brooksbank, (probably of Bank House, Warley) inoffensive, innocuous priest of Heptonstall, was murdered in 1536 by Robert Briggs, one of Sir Richard Tempest's men, because he had in some way displeased the knight!

Sir Richard Tempest was involved in the Pilgrimage of Grace when northern people rebelled against Henry the VIIIth's closure of the smaller monasteries, and he was thrown into the Tower of London to await trial, but he died of the plague in that grim prison - divine retribution for killing Sir Gilbert Brooksbank!

The old Parish Church where Sir Gilbert was priest now stands in gaunt ruins alongside the new church, like the disconsolate ghost of Gilbert forever bewailing the cruel fate that befell him. The stark shell, the huge burial ground with a hundred thousand corpses is atmospheric, evocative of un-guessed tragedies and unbearable sorrow. And Sir Gilbert haunts it still.

Commissioners sat at Halifax on the 9th May, 1536, to receive evidence. The witnesses included Hugh Lacy of Brearley, esq., William Greenwood of Heptonstall, John Midgley of Erringden, etc.

Those days of duels and high-handed murder were dangerous times indeed, and the Brooksbanks had their share of violence. Another Brooksbank of Bank House in Warley was murdered in a duel by Richard Deyne of Dean House, Warley! In expiation of his sin, on the 6th March, 1526, Richard Deyne left: "one yearly rent of 13s 4d" to the chaplain of Luddenden and his successors.

Every duelling scene in a film will conjure up visions of our ancestor! One never dreams of exciting events such as these occurring in one's own supposedly hum-drum family. We shall never know the cause, only speculate was it money, love, land, insults, gambling, politics, religion?

Thomas Cromwell, the King's secretary, became in possession of Halifax Church and his spies reported that Vicar Holdsworth had said that, "If the King reigned a long time he would take everything from the church, so he wished him a short reign". He was summoned to London and fined. The Halifax vicarage was pillaged for the fifth time on the 8th May, 1556, and the priest slain! He is buried in the Parish Church in the Holdsworth Chapel which he had built.

Amongst the Halifax wills we find the following Elland wills:

Nicholas, born c.1500, in his will dated 10th January, 1558, gave to his wife Agnes, besides her third part and portion of his goods, his bay horse, and the "tacke" of his fermold during her life and then to which child that "shall please her best". He bequeathed a counter, a cupboard, a feather bed and his "barnes parte" to Necoles, his son. And to Nicholas and Jennett all his sheep; the residue to Agnes his wife, and Thomas, Gilbert, Nicholas, John, Jennet and Agnes, his children.

Agnes did not survive her husband long; her will was proved on the 18th May, 1559. She bequeathed to Thomas, the eldest son, the tenement or farmehold and all the lands belonging at Elland which she and Nicholas held by the grant of Lady Elizabeth Saville. To Nicholas, John and Gilbert her sons, she gave £10 each, and a yewe shepe to each of the children of Thomas. The residue to Ellyn Kay, Jennet Brooksbank, and Agnes Cosyn, her daughters. Also to Nicholas a paire of beades which were his grandfathers, to Agnes her best gowne, to Jennet a paire of crokes of silver, and to Gilbert a maser dight with silver. Her three daughters were the executors.

During the period 1520 to 1536 several wills at Elland were witnessed by Sir John Brooksbank, chaplain.

In 1520 he witnessed the will of Richard Wheteley of Elland, who devised a ram to the church at Elland. and iiijs to the chapel of Rebunden. Residue to Agnes his wife and George his son.

Thomas Brokesbanke was also a chaplain at Elland in 1522.

Another old will was that of Thomas Brokesbank of Souerby, in the parish of Halyfax, dated 22nd August, 1557.

"Thomas Brokesbanke to be buryed in the churcheyard of St. John Baptiste at Halyfax emongest the bodyes of other faythfull people of God, and one mortuarye to the vicar of the same churche accordinge to the kinges grace actes and statutes. Item, I do ordayne and make Wyllm. Brokesbanke and Richard Brokesbanke, my sonnes, my true and laufull executors of all my goodes in whose hande or custodye so euer they be, excepte iij Ii. whiche I do gyve to Margaret Brokesbanke, my doughter. Item, I will that the said Wm. Brokesbanke and Richard Brokesbanke haue my horse and to the said Wm. Brukesbanke and Richard Brukesbanke, my executors, xls and then the said executors but to haue ther parte of the xIs. Item, I will that Margaret, my wyfe, requyre no thinge concernygne myne executorshipp but to be content wythe the thyrd parte of all my goodes onlye, and my said executors to pay all my dettes. Thes wytnes, Wyllm. Waddesworthe, of the Hollens, Thomas Ryley, Richard Soittell, Thomas Ryley, yonger."

Thomas, the eldest son, not mentioned, inherited all his lands. He paid vs heriot for one part of one messuage called Blakewood and 7.5 acres of land called le Holme and Owtebank, and the third part of 7.5 acres called Oldehouseroide, le Carr and le Acre, and one close called Oldehouseroide in the graveship of Souerby after the death of his father.

The Murgatroyds are another family who came from Warley. In 1379 John de Murgatrode was ordered, with Thomas de Brokesbanke, to remove the corn mill from Warley and rebuilt it at Luddenden. James Murgatroyd, wealthy clothier, purchased East Riddlesden Hall from the Rishworths, rebuilt it, and his and his wife's initials, with the date 1640, are over a door. His descendants were profligates, one was imprisoned in the Tower of London, and after terrible tribulations they lost the Hall. "Ruddigore", the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, is based on the story of the Bad Baronet Murgatroyds of Riddlesden Hall.

The Murgatroyds also had land and houses in Shipley bought from the Rawsons. John Murgatroyd built Greenhill Hall, Bingley, in 1692; later it was occupied as a farmhouse and a new Hall was built.

James Murgatroyd of Greenhill and Stubbings House, Bingley, and Adwalton, in his will dated 1769, left legacies of £10 p.a. for life to Mary Brooksbank (nee Murgatroyd) wife of Abraham Brooksbank of Southowram (with the proviso that her husband could not touch it!) and £100 each to her sons, Thomas and John Brooksbank. James was reputed to be worth £2,000 a year - an enormous sum for those days.


Chapter 10


ONE of the very early Brooksbanks was Sir William Broklebank, priest of Corney in 1443. In YAS Vol. 4 there are the following fascinating details:

Registers of the Archdeaconry of Richmond
1443, 5th April, Institution of Sir William Brokelbank, priest to the church of Corney, vacant by the resignation of Sir John Preston, the last rector, at the pres. of the Abbot and Convent of St. Mary's York. Admitted in the person of his proctor, Sir Richard Kirkby, chaplain. (Corney is in Cumbria)

Exhaustive enquiries have failed to elicit any information regarding Sir William, leaving us curious as to his antecedents and very regretful that our knowledge is so limited. Probably he came from Brocklebank in Cumbria, and he would be born c.1400.

From the History of Wakefield we find more enchanting glimpses into the past and yet another Brooksbank priest.

In 1545 the Commissioners described the chantry:

"The Chauntrie of our Lady in the paroch of Grete Sandall. John Brokbanke, incumbent. Of the foundacion of John Lake and other feoffies of certen copiehold lands Iyenge in Ossett and other wher, as ' apperyth by a dede dated iiij die Maii,anno Domini, 1496. To th'entent to pray for the sowles of the founders, and to help dyvyne service in the quere in his surples, and to mynystre to the inhabitants of the said paroche in the tyme of necessitie, being of howslynge people, the numbre of 1,300 and above, and to make one yerlie obbet and to distribute at the same time to poore people yerlye 6s."

The annual value of the chantry was £5 3s 5d.

In 1548 John Broklesbanke, the incumbent, was described as "60 years of age and very sickly". (Born 1488).

Sir Waiter Myldemaye, knight, and Robert Keylewaye, esquire, the Commissioners, assigned a pension of 100s a year for life to John Brocklebank.

The chantries were then dissolved and came into the King's hands. Leonard Baytes of Lupset was appointed collector, and he himself purchased a lot of chantry property, and built Almshouses. In his will of 1580 he left money to provide "blak gownes" for thirteen poore men and thirteen poore women: the part of his will relating to the "poore foolkes" was to remain forever in a "chist bound with iron, tied to a post, and with four keys for the poore foolkes!

These Almshouses were situated at "Brooksbank", Westgate, west of the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene; in 1866 they were closed because they were dilapidated.

Page 46

“Brooksbank" Site of Bate's Almshouses2!

The site of the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

John Brooksbank of Park Hill Gardens, Wakefield, was rather unlucky; part of his garden was occupied by the new Wakefield Bridge, a slip of his land was required for widening the turnpike road in 1804, and the proposed new road was to run through his land in 1809. Or perhaps he did well out of the deals!

A man who would have some stirring tales to tell was W. Brooksbank, who in 1788, was a Clerk under the Secretary of the Board of Ordnance in the "Tower of London"! (The Court and City Register, 1788).

Halifax Parish Registers go further back than those of Bradford. Isobella, wife of Richard Brooksbank of Warley, died in 1539, her date of birth possibly being 1479, and in 1539 Edward, son of Edward Brooksbank of Warley was baptised. There are numerous Brooksbanks mentioned in the sixteenth century. Christopher Brokesbank de Hall was buried in 1591.

Bradford Parish Registers record the death of Leonard Brooksbank of Shipley in 1599, but his life is a mystery. A Leonard Brooksbank ofThorcleby, near Hull, died in 1590; perhaps he moved to Hull in order to export his pieces of cloth.

From the Yorkshire Archaeology Society Record Series Feets of Fines, we discover fascinating facts about the wide spread of Brooksbank properties in the Tudor and Stuart Periods, particularly the 1573 item, Plaintiffs Richard Brokesbanke and John Hollyney, two messuages and lands in Shelfe to be held to Richard and Elizabeth Hogg for a "peppercorn rent", and 1581 item regarding the Manor of Kildwick and 20 messuages, 12 cottages, 3 watermilIs with lands in Kildwick, Sutton, Bingley and Bradley, etc., one plaintiff again being Richard Brokesbanke, son and heir of John Brokesbanke. Another very interesting item was dated 1623 between Edward Brookesbancke, Anne Watters, and Samuel Driver, plaintiffs, and seven couples as deforicants. Warranty was given against the heirs of William Vavasor, Knight, and Peter Middleton, Knight.

There were a lot of messuages and lands in the Hull district - Ferriby, Anlaby, Swanland, Hessle, etc., included in the list, and a windmill in Tranby, possibly owned by the descendants of Leonard Brooksbank of Thorcleby.         .

Feets of Fines were rather deceptive. They appear to be court cases, but in reality were devices to ensure that the property remained in the family.

At the Court Baron of Sir John Savile, held at Wakefield Rectory, 8th October, 1659, as a Tenant by Coppy of Court Roll, John Brookesbanke, yeoman, paid iiijd (4d). He was in good company because the list of tenants included Sir George Savile, Barronett, and Sir Thomas Middleton, Knight. "Barronetts" paid 5s, knights, 3s, esquires, 2s, gentlemen, 1s, and yeomen 4d.

An assignment was made on the 8th February, 1799, from John Walker to William Brookesbanke and Samuel Witherell of a watercorn mill and drying kiln called "Hoo Hole Mill" in Erringden and "Hoo Hole House", for the residue of a term of 21 years for £60 p.a.

Erringden was a Norman hunting forest in the parish of Heptonstall, probably enclosed before the Heptonstall Chapel was built in 1260. You will, no doubt, remember that in the beginning of this narrative Thomas Bithebrokbank was ordered in 1371 to supervise the reparation of the palisades. The park was despailed about 1449 when it was divided into parcels and the game killed off, by order of Henry VIth, and let to "ferme to good and sufficient men".

John Brockbank, 1700 and Charles Brookbank, 1758 were registered as "Freemen of York". (Surtees Soc. 96.102).

Mrs. Susannah Brooksbank of Birks, in Ovenden, married Thomas Danson, gent. of Winsley House, Hartwith, Nidderdale, in York Minster in 1709, and John Brooksbank of "this cytie" married Alice Norfolk also in York Minster in 1720.

Evoking visions of the dandified maitre du danse in Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, we make the startling discovery of a "dancing master"! Joseph Brooksbank, of Thornton, born c.1700, described himself as a dancing master, and one wonders how this breed of down-to-earth farmers, stolid clothiers, dedicated teachers, and pious priests ever managed to produce anyone as frivolous and fopish as a dancing master? Fopish or not, he sired a daughter, Betty, and three sons, John who married Sarah Jowett, Thomas and William.

Timothy Brooksbank, carpenter and churchwarden, spent five days and five hours making two cupboards and two doors for the Old Bell Chapel at Thornton, for which he was paid the princely sum of 6s, in 1733.

Abraham and John, schoolmasters, were also churchwardens at Thornton Chapel. Gilbert of Warley and Abraham of Shelf were churchwardens at Halifax Parish Church.

Progressing another hundred years there emerges another talented member of the family - Thomas Brooksbank, born 1824, son and heir of Thomas Brooksbank, solicitor of Grey's Inn and Tottenham, Middx., who translated Dante's Inferno. Mr Thomas Brooksbank, senior, voted in the West Riding elections of1835 at Thornton.

Apparently the salubrious air of Thornton was conducive to longevity because John James, in his History of Bradford, included in the list of people who had attained 90 years and over:

Abraham Brooksbank, age 90, yeoman, Main Street, Thornton, died 31st April, 1854.

Born 1764, he married Priscilla, and had two votes in the 1848 election, and was listed in the 1853 Leeds Directory. He was an old man of 87 with a small farm of three acres in the 1851 census. All his children were registered at Kipping Chapel. His son Abraham, born 1803, married two sisters, firstly Phebe, and secondly Sarah, Waddington, and moved to Haworth. Grandson Eli Waddington Brooksbank became an innkeeper in Bradford, and grandson Hiram was a dentist at 40, Drewton Street, Bradford, in 1887.

Thornton's most famous family, the Brontes, would have been well known to the Brooksbanks, because in 1819 Grace Brooksbank, daughter of John and Judith, was baptised by the Rev. Patrick Bronte, and Branwell, Charlotte, Emily and Ann Bronte were all born at Thornton between 1816 and 1820.

Page 49





Chapter 11


SINCE early days the Brooksbanks were yeomen farmers, clothiers, and tanners, the main industries of our region. In the 1887 Directory of Bradford there are the following entries:

Jonathan Brooksbank, Tanner, Flappit, Cullingworth

Edwin Brooksbank, Farmer, Cullingworth

Matthew Brooksbank, Farmer, Flappit Springs, Cullingworth

M. & W. Brooksbank, Tanners, 22 and 24 Lower Ernest St, Bfd.


Job Brooksbank, Tanner & Currier Manufacturers of Belting, Picking Straps, Combing Leathers, Roller Leather, Buffers and all Kinds of Sewing Laces

St. James Tannery, Lower Ernest St., Leeds Rd, Bfd

Res. Rydal House, Upper Rushton Rd.

Jonas Brooksbank of Allerton, born 1765, was descended from John of Thornton c.1500-1558, his son William of Allerton, c.1533-1598, John of Allerton born c.1700 (see page 57) and John of Allerton 1737-1775. He married Betty Haworth and had two daughters, Hannah and Ann, and two sons, John and Joseph, all registered at Kipping Chapel. John married Martha and had a son Jonathan, tanner of Flappit. Joseph, a weaver, married Mary Foster and had three daughters and two sons, Matthew born 1827, farmer, Flappit Springs, and William, born 1832, tanner and waggoner.

William married Sarah Halliday, and died in 1896 at Oak House, Peel Street, Laisterdyke. They had four sons, Frank Halliday Brooksbank, Matthew, Job, and Jonas, currier, of Lower Rushton Road, Bradford, and a daughter Mary of Cullingworth. Matthew and William became M. & W. Brooksbank, Tanners and Curriers, 22/24, Lower Ernest Street.

Frank Halliday Brooksbank, born 1864, Hazzlehurst, Northowram, a tanner (but left the family firm) lived in Otley Road, Bradford, and married Aleathea Marie Annie Catton, matron of Richmond Hospital, at Bradford Parish Church on the 18th February, 1896. Frank died at Dewsbury in 1945 at the age of 80. They had a son, Raymond, and a daughter, Ina Muriel.

Raymond, born 1896, was a director of Walker and Smith, textile engineers. He designed and made a chair lift up the staircase, and other ingenious devices at their home. In his youth he was an enthusiastic collector of Scott motorcycles, and Ina also rode one. Their uncle, 1. Walker, owned Saltaire Garage in 1913, which later belonged to the Ferguson family. (See page 69). Raymond's wife, Doris Col beck, buyer, died in 1976 and he died in 1982 aged 86.

Ina Muriel Brooksbank, born 1898, at Colne, went to Dewsbury School in 1902, won a scholarship to Wheelwright Grammar School, and two scholarships to St. Hugh's College, Oxford. She passed the final examinations in 1920, unfortunately a few years before women were awarded formal degrees. From 1920 to 1937 she taught English at Bingley Grammar School, and from 1937 to 1954 at Pontefract Grammar School.

Amongst her many talents are wood-working - clever inlaid work - rather surprising, and dressmaking; she drove her car until reaching 80 years!

Her early memories are of visiting Uncle Job and Aunt Emma at Thornbury, who were members of Eastbrook Chapel in Bradford.

During her three years at Oxford she wrote regularly to her mother, and many extracts from the letters are included in a book celebrating the centenary of St. Hugh's: the letters are now in the archives of St. Hugh's.

Her posture at 90 is upright and straight, and her mind is keen and sharp. At the advanced age of 80 she became the author of a book, The Church and Its People, 1827-/1977, about the Church of St. John The Evangelist, Dewsbury Moor, which she also illustrated.

Whereas most church histories deal only with the actual buildings and clergy, Miss Brooksbank has written an engrossing account, not only of the building of St. John's Church, but also of the lives of the parishioners for whom the church was erected: the hardships they endured and the pleasure they had in the church which was a great source of comfort to them, bringing light, education and entertainment into their drab lives.

St. John's Church, Dewsbury Moor, was one of the so-called "Million" Churches built with the aid of a Parliament grant of one million pounds in 1818, "For the building of Churches in populous districts".

As a result of the Industrial Revolution families were leaving the country and settling in the towns where there was work in the mills and mines of the north.

In her Oxford letters Ina Brooksbank mentions: "Professor Wright's lectures and classes on Gothic and Old English. He was a Yorkshireman who taught himself to read at 18, not having been to school for a whole day in his life ... He and his wife had students to tea every Sunday and I went several times. He amused himself by speaking in dialect to me .. , He was a great and lovable man".

Professor Wright lived at Thackley and Windhill when he was young and very poor. Shipley U.D.C. Meeting on Tuesday, 27th January, 1925, commenced with the chairman referring to the announcement that: "Dr. Joseph Wright, Professor of Philogy at Oxford University, had retired at 70 years of age. Dr. Wright was formerly a millboy at Salts Mill and spent his youth in humble circumstances at Windhill. He attained his present high position wholly by his own efforts and perseverance". The chairman moved that a letter be sent to Dr. Wright congratulating him upon entering his well-earned retirement and wishing him good health to enjoy it.

Joseph Wright wrote a book on the dialect of Windhill. "Joseph Wright Court" has recently been built at Thackley.

Job Brooksbank, tanner, of St. James' Tannery, Leeds Road, Bradford, lived at Rydal House, Upper Rushton Road, Bradford, and later at New Close Road, Shipley. He and his wife Emma had a son, Wallace, who founded Brooksbank Tanners, Embsay, Nr. Skipton, and lived in The Grove, Ilkley. Their daughter, Nellie, married Bloebe Heap and has a son Alan, and a daughter Margaret (married name Hainsworth) who lives in Harrogate and has a son and two daughters.

Wallace' son, W. Ronald Brooksbank, mechanical engineer, lives at Helton, Nr. Skipton. Brooksbank Tanners now trade as Brooksbank Industries Ltd., Tanners and Textile Accessories, and Brooksbank Valves Ltd., both of Embsay.

Elkanah and Joseph Brooksbank, farmers of Ling Bob, Wilsden, were voters in the 1835 West Riding Elections, and in the 1848 elections they were entitled to two votes each.

Ling Bob was the home of a notorious fortune-teller called the "Ling Bob Witch". Her real name was Hannah Green and she died leaving savings of £1,000 - a wealthy woman for the time. Perhaps she told the fortunes of Joseph and Elkanah!

David Brooksbank, with the farm at Longcauseway, also voted in the 1835 W.R. elections, as did William Brooksbank, farmer of Haworth. Joseph Brooksbank had a farm of 87 acres at Harrop Edge, but he does not appear to have voted in either election.

Mrs. Anthea V. Bickley, Keeper of History at Bolling Hall, very kindly let me see the following document:


A list of persons entitled to vote in the election of members for the Borough of Bradford in respect of property occupied within the township of Bradford, by virtue of an Act passed in the second year of the reign of King William the Fourth, entitled: "An Act to amend the representation of the people in England and Wales",

Name                                             Nature of Classification                             Street, Lane, Road

Brooksbank, John                    House                                                               Market Street

James Rennie                            (Overseers of the)                                       W.H. Holloway

James Firth                                (said Township )                                         Joshua Lupton

Bradford, July 31st, 1834
Stansfield, Printers, Bradford

Biblical names abounded in the eighteenth century, but surely "Pharoh" is most unusual! In a glass display case in the Bronte Chapel in Haworth Church, under the heading, "Burials 1763" there is the name of Rev. William Grimshaw of Haworth, the zealous parson who "whipped" the loiterers into the church! Above his name is the entry for "Pharoh", son of William Brooksbank of Keighley.

From the History of Bingley Grammar School by Mr Dodd, we learn that a Mr 'Bertram Brooksbank was appointed to the staff in 1915. He was wounded in the war, and resumed teaching at Bingley Grammar School, becoming Second Master. Regretfully, he died from his wounds in 1923.

In 1863, William Brooksbank, a "kindly, genial man", Clockmaker, Silversmith and Optician at 64, Market Street, Bradford, was elected to Bradford Town Council where he helped to promote the town's prosperity. He was a member of Bradford Floral Society, and contributed to the charities of the town. He died in 1874.

Michael Brooksbank, a Surgeon Dentist, lived at the same address.


Chapter 12


JAMES BROOKSBANK, born 1792, was descended from Edward Brooksbank of Shipley, born c.1530, his son William who inherited the oxgangs of land, William's son Edward born 1612, who in 1688 had 1.5 oxgangs, and his son Edward, Constable of Shipley in 1704 and Overseer in 1705.

From the 1841 Census we see that James was a collier living in Church Lane, now Kirkgate, Shipley. His children were colliers, woolcombers and stuff weavers. The miners would probably be working in the pits at Moorhead Lane.

Son Abraham and wife Alice paid Ground Rent at Bethel Baptist Church, l0s 6d in 1850. Initially he was a collier, but changed to worsted power loom weaving in 1851. They had a son James born 1850, and Edward born 1852.

William, a woolcomber who married Hannah, was living at Stock Hill (top of the old Market Place in Shipley) in 1851. By 1861 he was a grocer and confectioner in Briggate. They had a daughter Sabina, another worsted power loom weaver, and a son James, born 1853.

James, born 1823, lived at Barr House, near the Branch, Shipley, part of the estate belonging to the Earl of Rosse.

Joseph Brooksbank, born 1857, who married a lady named Carrie, was a milk dealer in 1881. Later he became a Farmer and Wheelwright at "Northcliffe Farm", Bradford Road, Shipley. This comprised 50 acres rented from the Earl of Rosse at £100 p.a., including a wheelwright shop, farm house, piggeries, mistals, barns, plus tennis courts, golf links, woods and fields.

On the occasion of Lord Oxmanton's coming of age in October, 1894, the Earl of Rosse invited the tenants to a celebration dinner and Joseph was one of the guests.

When Lord Rosse sold all his Shipley estates in 1911, Northcliffe Farm was presented to the inhabitants of Shipley, who to this day, enjoy the wide, open, hill-top space, beautiful woods, tennis courts, flower beds, allotments and golf course, now known as Northcliffe Playing Fields, Northcliffe Woods and Northcliffe Golf Club.

Joseph and Carrie had two daughters, Ethel and Mary, and a son, Lewis, all baptised at Shipley Parish Church. Frank, the son of Lewis, was listed in the 1924 Bradford Directory as a farmer at Northcliffe Farm.

Apparently the wheelwright business had separated from the farm, because in the same directory there is an entry for Brooksbank and Birch, wheelwrights, of Bradford Road, Shipley, who supplied Shipley U.D.C. with the new body for a lorry in 1923, and also two carts for £38 1s 6d.

James Brooksbank, Jobbing Mason and Monumental Sculptor, of Bradford, is also entered in the 1924 directory.


Chapter 13


ALTHOUGH John Brooksbank, the first to migrate to Airedale, was mentioned in the lay subsidy of 1379 for Allerton, there is a gap until we come to John Brooksbank of Thornton, late of Northowram.

In the "CHAPTER HOUSE BOOK - MUSTERS, WEST RIDING", in the time of Henry VIII, (1539), the Muster of armed men, archers, horsemen and men on foot in the Liberty of Bradford, viewed by knights Sir Robert Nevill and Sir Thomas Tempest, included for Thornton:


John, born c.l500, died in 1558. He had four sons and two daughters and in his will he devised his fermold (a form of leasehold) to his wife Ellen and after her demise to be equally divided between sons William and Edward; Edward was also to have "all my gere within my shopp which he dothe work with", and Ellen must suffer him and daughter Jennett to live with her and help her to run the fermold. Amongst the bequests was "one redd whye" (a heifer) to son-in-law William Phillips, and one cowe or lis to daughter Agnes. Residue of all his goods and cattelles to Edward and Jennet who were executors of the will.

Gilbert Broikysbanke of Thornton and Horton and John Midgley were overseers.   (BI Prob. reg. 15C f.336)

Gilbert Broikysbanke of Thornton and Horton, late of Northowram, was the proginator of all the Gilbert Brooksbanks of Great Horton.

John of Thornton had four sons, John who received an annuity in 1601 from Alice Maude, widow of Marmaduke Maude, of 6s 8d from the rent of a messuage at Wilsden Hill in the tenure of Nicholas Threapland; (the Maude family owned East Riddlesden Hall until 1402 when Elizabeth Maude married Robert Paslew). Richard who became Richard of Barnes in Northowram, "Calderfall" in Hipperholme, and father of Edward Brooksbank of Wilsden; Edward who became Edward of Shipley, ancestor of three Thornton schoolmasters; and William, yeoman, who remained to run the farm.

William, c.l533-1598, and his wife Ann, had a son William c.l575-1643, who married Alice Smallpage of Thornton. He owned a messuage called "Nether Pikedlee" in Allerton, and also two messuages and lands in Horton and Northowram. His sons, Abraham, clothier, and John, yeoman, were mentioned in 1613 in the will of John Drake who owned lands, mines and quarries in Thornton and Denholme. You may remember that John Drake, junior, married Ellen Brooksbank, daughter of Edward of Wilsden, and sister of Martha who married Benjamin Ferrand.

Abraham, clothier, owned land in Ovenden and in 1655 granted a messuage, houses, etc. in Weetshaw, Denholme, to his son John for £30 of "good and lawful money of England". Land and messuage previously rented to John Foster for "three peppercorns, two fatt hens or 12d".

The third son, William of Allerton, 1603-1666, married Dorothy Popplewell, and their son John, born 1647, married Susanah Dean, possibly of Dean House, Allerton, built by Robert Dean in 1605, and turned into a Workhouse in 1787. Their youngest son, Abraham, married Ann Greengate in 1681 before going to Cambridge in 1681.

Apparently, John of Allerton born 1675 had two sons, John of Allerton born c.l700, ancestor of Jonas of Allerton (see page 51) and Abraham of Allerton. Thornton's records are missing for a period of thirty-five to forty years from 1684 so it is impossible to be precise.

Abraham of Allerton and Thornton, 1725-1797, had four sons: Jonas of Shipley, another John of Allerton born 1762, Jonathan born 1752, and David of Denholme.

David of Denholme, collier, late of Harrop Edge, died in 1798 at the home of his son David, innkeeper. In 1826 David was mine host of the "Black Bull" Denholme and in the 1851 census his daughter Susey was the landlady.

David of Denholme had shares in leasehold mines, and it is probable that his brother Jonathan of Denholme, his father Abraham of Thornton and grandfather Abraham of Allerton, all colliers, also had shares in mines. The term "collier" does not denote whether a man was a worker down the pit or a colliery owner. John Brooksbank, schoolmaster, owned land at Harrop Edge and Norr Hill where there were mines, and yeomen often sank pits which were miniscule in their own lands, or leased mines from the Lord of the Manor.

Jonathan's wife died giving birth to Jonas in 1790, after having David in 1789 and several children previously. Presumably Jonas and David were brought up by their Aunt Lydia and Uncle Jonas, a weaver, who took them to Shipley where they both became weavers. They married two sisters - David married Hannah Pickard and Jonas married Sarah Pickard.

In the words of the old song, father used to sing:

'Two little girls in blue. lads.
Two little girls in blue.
They were sisters,
And we were brothers.
And we learnt to love the two."

The Pickards were an old Shipley family who built Pickard House in 1629, which was only demolished when Shipley centre was redeveloped in the 1950s.

David died of "Palsy, terminating in consumption" at the age of 53, at the home of his brother Jonas at Moor End, Shipley, on the 28th November. 1842.

Four months later, on the 13th March. 1843. Jonas, aged 52, died of "Galloping consumption in twenty-one days".

David and Hannah, who had a son William, born 1836. lived at Moor Head, Shipley. In the 1841 Census, at the age of tour, William was living with his Uncle Jonas at Moor End. The 1851 census showed him aged 14 dwelling with his widowed mother at Low Lane, Shipley; in 1861 he was a Grocery and Provisions Dealer of Saltaire Road. Obviously an enterprising young man, in 1881, at only 44, he had retired from groceries and was residing at Ivy Cottage, Moorhead Lane, Shipley.

A conspicuous landmark in Bingley was "Brooksbanks" at 59, Main Street - it has now moved to the opposite side of the road - a shop selling fine porcelain and exquisite glassware which delighted the eye of the passer-by and attracted customers from far and wide.

William established the shop sometime after 1881.

All his life he was a great stalwart of Rosse Street Baptist Chapel, Shipley, where he was baptised in 1855. He held many positions, deacon, choirmaster, treasurer, visitor, messenger (an official representative) etc. He left this earth in 1912 aged 76; his wife Elizabeth Holmes Brooksbank, died in 1923 aged 87.

After his demise his two daughters, Hannah Maria and Alice, continued the business until Hannah died in 1938 and Alice retired about 1950, when the shop was sold. There have been several changes of ownership since then, but the name "Brooksbank" has always been retained.

Mrs Kathleen A. Thomis of Cottingley, was his great grand-daughter, but very sadly, she died suddenly on the 16th May, 1989, and was buried at Bingley United Reform Church on Monday, 22nd May.

She will be greatly missed, especially by Bingley Gilbert and Sullivan Society of which she was President. She also was an executive member of Bingley Amateur Operatic Society, an elder of Bingley United Reform Church, and chief distributor and organiser of the local "Meals on Wheels" service.

Jonas and Sarah were living at Wrose Hill side, Idle, (possibly a small farm) in 1816, and evidently moved to Moor End (the area of Low Moor between St. Paul's Church and Saltaire Road) in 1819. They had three daughters, Lydia, Hannah and Elizabeth, and three sons, Joseph, John and William, born 1833. They were also looking after their nephew William whilst his father David was ill. Sarah died in 1847, aged 51.

Son Joseph had a grocers shop at 64, Saltaire Road, and his daughter Mary and sons Albert and Alfred were working for him.

Alfred Brooksbank married Mary Jowett, and in the 1887 Bradford Directory he was listed as the proprietor of Airedale Soap Co., living at 52, Thompson Street. In 1900 he was classed as a gentleman of Carlton Terrace, Bingley Road, Shipley; in 1912 he was a builder and contractor.

Alfred and Mary had two sons, war hero Captain George Emil Brooksbank, M.e., of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was wounded twice in the First World War and received the Military Cross for gallantry; and Stanley Albert Jowett Brooksbank, born 1910.

Emil had two sons, Sydney, who had two sons and a daughter, and John  Gordon, Departmental Manager of the National Provincial Building Society. He married Lorna Margaret Insull and they also had two sons, Stephen John who lives in Reading, and designs computer systems, and Michael Charles, Department Manager of Asda, who married Philipa.

Stanley married Florence Stillings of Lucy Hall Drive, Baildon, and now lives in Cottingley. He was a telephone engineer and Assistant Controller of Bradford Citv Ambulance fleet. His son Graham, a painter and decorator, married Denise, ~ teacher, and lives in Durham; his daughter, Audrey Greenwood has two daughters, Sally and Julie.

John Brooksbank, gentleman, the eldest son of Jonas and Sarah, married Mercy Stirk of Gil stead, and had four sons, Jonas, Arthur, John and Thomas, and five daughters, Jane, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Ann Eliza and Sarah.

From being a stone-mason, weaving overlooker and a draper, he was so successful that he achieved independent means, and in the 1900 Bradford Directory he was listed as a gentleman. He lived at 32, Thompson Street, and he and Mercy wer~ dismissed from Shipley Bethel Baptist Church to form Rosse Street Chapel.

Their son John, a drysalter, purchased the Airedale Soap Co. from Alfred Brooksbank, and lived at 52, Thompson Street. He was the founder of Tit Bits Sauce Co. Ltd. which he sold to Fletchers of Selby in 1916 (now owned by HP Foods Ltd). It is believed that he created the recipe for the sauce.

Jonas Brooksbank, Head Warper, born 1853 at Hill Top, Shipley, likewise lived in Thompson Street at No.35. His wife was Elizabeth Thompson, born in East Keswick, Wetherby. They had one daughter and five sons. In the 1881 census their eldest son, Arthur Thompson Brooksbank was four years old and John William was entered as "John Willie", aged one year.

Maude Brooksbank, their only daughter, married late in life, Edward Clark to whom she had been engaged in her youth. When his wife died he came to Shipley looking for his old sweetheart and, as in all the best romances, they married and went to live in Derbyshire, where he was a manager of the Rolls Royce factory.

Norman Brooksbank had a shoemakers shop in Coach Row, Barkerend Road.

Bradford. During the 1st World War he was wounded twice, in 1917 and again in 1918 only a few days before the armistice. His wife was called Jinnie and they had a son Harry, also engaged in the leather trade. He lives in Beverley, and has a son and a daughter, both members of the Salvation Army.

Jonas Brooksbank bought No.60 Thompson Street, a detached house, plus six terrace houses above, in 1909. Thompson Street, a precipitous cobbled thoroughfare running from Kirkgate to Saltaire Road, was dangerous in icy weather; once a horse dragging a coal cart slipped and had to be shot. Beyond the River Aire Hope Hill rises steeply, thickly wooded at the base, crowned with "lamb-haunted" moorland and a pre-historic burial site.

No.60 had a large garden. In the back, Jonas and his sons, all keen pigeon fanciers, had a big pigeon loft containing three sections, two for the cooing birds and one where he liked to sit with his cronies. He also owned the land at the back of the terrace houses, which was an orchard and a hen run. Doris Brooksbank used to lean out of their little back window and steal the apples.

Trophies - silver cups and salvers, copper kettles, etc. filled the house, and over the dining room mantlepiece hung a portrait of "Not Much", a champion bird initially not considered to be worth much.

Jonas left a legacy to Maude who had looked after him and Elizabeth, and the residue of his worldly goods to be divided equally between all his children.

Arthur Thompson Brooksbank, eldest son, a boot and shoe maker, married Clara Milner of Harden.

Before the partition of the Paslew Estate, the Bailiff to the Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey, made the first Compotus of the Manor of Harden in 1538, and the Bailiff was John Milner. It was written in Latin."

The Milners held Harden Grange, cottages, lands and water corn mills. They were listed in the Lay Subsidy of 1379. After the partition Harden Grange was sold to Robert Ferrand, cloth merchant, and Crossgates was bought by John Milner, clothier, whose family had lived there for generations.

The Milners and Ferrands were neighbours, and Robert Ferrand married Sarah Milner, widow of John Milner of Cross gates and Skipton Castle, where he was bailiff to Lady Ann Clifford. In 1664, Benjamin Ferrand, husband of Martha Brooksbank, bought two cottages from John Milner. The Milners were mentioned in the Chancery suit between the Paslews and the Freeholders of Bingley; they had a dispute with Robert Laycock respecting the road through Bilbank Wood, and litigation respecting the grant by John Milner of a house in Greenhill to provide a rent of 5s for the schoolmaster. The grant to provide 5s yearly for the schoolmaster to teach Latin "in the town of Bingley for ever" was the beginning of Bingley Grammar School, 1528.

John Milner in 1682 was excommunicated and sent to prison at York Castle for three years for refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance, proving that he was a man of independent spirit.

From J. Horsfall Turner in Ancient Bingley and Old Bingley by Harry Speight, we learn that Milner Fields belonged to the old Bingley family called Milner who were known to have lived there during the fourteenth century, but they lost possession about 1572. In 1869 Admiral Dunscombe sold it to Titus Salt, junior, who built his imposing mansion on the site but retained the name, Milner Fields.

Retracing our steps we come back to the present century and Arthur and Clara Brooksbank, who had two sons, Jack and Cyril, and two daughters, Doris and Hilda.

Arthur and Clara lived at No.64 Thompson Street, belonging to Jonas, and after his demise they moved into No.60. During the war, Doris, born 1904, managed one of Alfred Driver's grocery shops in Frizinghall; she now is a resident of Thackley Grange Residential Home. Doris has a fund of entertaining memories. Great Uncle

Arthur went to Paris and tried to invent perpetual motion! He made a record of Auntie Maude and a friend singing a hymn. !.

Hilda Brooksbank worked in the Women's Land Army in World War 2. She married Raymond Dover who had a thriving dairy 'business at Crossflatts, and later they moved to Woodbottom, Baildon. A very brave lady, when dying of cancer she said, "I don't want any sympathy!" Born 1911, she died on the 8th September, 1982.

Cyril's wife Marie, was a nurse, and they had a grocery shop at Thackley, Their daughter Josephine married Edward Hoddy, an overlooker at Salts Mill, and when the mill finally closed they emigrated with their daughter Joanna to South Africa.

Jack Brooksbank, whose wife Phyllis was a music teacher, lives in Baildon.

Early in his career he managed a shoe shop in Lord Street, Southport, and later bought two shoe shops in Baildon, and Uncle Noonan's shop in Bradford. They have three children, Keith, Beryl and Dorothy.

Dorothy married Raymond Batters who is retired due to ill-health, and lives at Bolton. She helps in her sister's shop. Their daughter, Jill Susan, married name Woodrow, is a Management Secretary at Barclays International.

Beryl married Keith Waters, and they have a flourishing Grocery and Off­Licence Shop in Park Road, Bradford. Anthony Keith (Tony), their son is a partner in the business.

Keith Brooksbank is Financial Director of the Arnold Laver Group. He resides at Burley Woodhead.



THE HISTORY of the Brooksbanks is the history of the West Riding, the very stuff of English history. Their lives echo the rise and decline of the wool textile industry; the rise and decline of non-conformist religion in particular, and religion in general.

Over six hundred years of history have passed since Thomas de Brokesbank moved the mill at Warley to Luddenden in 1379 and repaired the palisades of Erringden Park. The Brooksbanks were at their zenith during the reigns of Henry 8th, Queen Elizabeth 1st, Charles 1st, Charles 2nd and George 2nd. They were able to buy farms and lands at the dissolution of the monasteries and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem.

Abraham was Vicar of Bradford, Sir Gilbert was murdered, one was killed in a duel, and Birch Brooksbank was rescued from a raging river. Edward and Abraham paid NOT to become knights, Stamp Brooksbank was Governor of the Bank of England, Joseph endowed Brooksbank School and a chapel, and amongst all the sober, industrious yeomen, clothiers, teachers and priests, we had a dancing master, a translator, an author, and singers and actors to represent the arts.

They have been involved in all the local trades - farming, spinning, weaving, dyeing, tanning, corn milling, fell mongering, mining and building. Some were watchmakers and silversmiths, lawyers, architects, publicans, shopkeepers, etc.

A few of our ancestors made the transition from yeomen clothiers to millowners, especially Brooksbank Ltd., Worsted Spinners of Cannon Mills, Bradford, but now, they too, have passed into oblivion. The Shipley Brooksbanks at one stage held the Dowley Gap fellmongers and the New Hirst Mill which was demolished in the 1920s. ("Brooksbank" is carved into the stepping stones over the Aire). However, the majority were defeated by the power looms, and their lands passed into other families or were sold.

A few are still farmers; Brooksbanks in Leeds have several fruit and vegetable stalls in Leeds Market.

Great Horton is a Mecca for Brooksbanks. Coming up the hill from Bradford, one sees first of all the old "King's Arms" built by Gilbert No.5 in 1739, and a few yards further on is "Brooksbank House", still impressive in decline, silently crying out to be rescued and restored to its former glory. Opposite, tucked in besides Knight's Mill, is the "Four Ashes Restaurant", previously the "Four Ashes Inn". When the Four Ashes Inn at Grange Road was pulled down, the licence was transferred here.

Continuing the "pilgrimage", following in reverse the footsteps of the "pioneer" Brooksbanks, as we cross' over the mountain top at Queensbury, we are rewarded by a vast panorama of hills, dales and moors on all sides, an almost sheer drop as we descend into Calderdale, and the spectacular high bridge at Halifax.

We have lifted a corner of the veil that obscures the past, and had an absorbing, yet tantalising glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. They have come to life through their wills showing concern about their children, and we have an affinity with them. Tantalising because so much data has been divulged but more is hidden.

Reluctantly I must draw this narrative to a conclusion. Many questions remain unanswered. I failed to discover the exact location of the oxgangs of land, but delving into the archives has been a source of great pleasure, and handling ancestral parchment documents and rolls, redolent of centuries of history, gave me a tremendous thrill. Perhaps some future Brooksbank with an enquiring mind will continue the saga and unearth the answers to the unsolved enigmas. A knowledge of Latin and palaeography would be useful in order to read the rolls of Crossley Hall Manor Court.

Our sturdy farmer forbears travelled from the banks of the Calder to Bradford­dale and the banks of the Aire, their yeoman blood flows strongly in our veins, and the Brooksbank tree is firmly rooted in lovely Airedale. Indubitably, many branches will still be dwelling by the Brook's Banks in these beautiful dales, and glorious Wharfedale, in the twenty-first century.



Transactions of the Halifax Antiquarian Society.

Bradford Antiquary Volume 8

Bradford Antiquary Volume 1

Bradford Antiquary Volume 1

Bradford Antiquary Volume 8

Bradford Antiquary Volume 2 West Yorkshire Deeds Local Record Series

Bradford Antiquary Volume 6

Bradford Antiquary Volume 3 West Riding Cartulary

Bradford Antiquary Volume

Bradford Antiquary

Bradford Antiquary

Bradford Antiquary

Bradford Antiquary

Bradford Antiquary

Bradford Antiquary Volume  West Riding Deeds

Bradford Antiquary Volume 3

1 Trans. of the Hal. Ant. Soc. 1913

Trans. of the Hal. Ant. Soc. and "The History of Old Halifax" by T. W. Hanson

Trans. of the Hal. Ant. Soc. and Halifax Deeds. NB. "A 'maser' was a bowl or goblet decorated with silver, very valuable and highly prized.

Trans. of the Halifax Ant. Society

Bradford Antiquary Vol. 4

Bradford Antiquary Vol. 8

Map of Warley - Trans. of the Halifax Ant. Society.

Front Cover - Picture of "Bank House", Warley, by courtesy of Trans. of Halifax Ant. Society

Picture of "Brooksbank House", Great Horton, by courtesy of Bradford Libraries and Information Services



My grateful thanks to the following:-

Mr Barry Smith, Chief Librarian, Bradford Central Library.

Miss Elvira Willmott, Special Librarian for Local Studies, and the very friendly and helpful staff of the Central Library.

Mr David lJames, and the very helpful and friendly staff at Bradford Archives"

The Borthwick Institute, York University - Mr C.C. Webb. Archivist (Records).

Mrs. D.M. Owen. Keeper of the Archives, Cambridge University.

Mr Henry G. Button, Hon. Archivist, Christ's College. Cambridge.

Mrs. S.C. Johnston, Archivist, Clare College. Cambridge.

Dr. C.P. Courtney. Librarian, Christ's College. Cambridge.

Mr S.J.K. Baker, Archivist, Bradford Cathedral.

Mr M.S. Dorrington, Archivist. York Minster.

Rev. Gerald D. Restall, Rector and Vicar. St. Mary the Virgin with St. Laurence, Minster Church of Reading.

Miss Suzanne Eward, Librarian and Keeper of Muniments. Cathedral Library. Salisbury Cathedral.

Dr. G.A. Knight. Principal Archivist. Lincolnshire County Council and Lincoln Diocesan Record Office.

Mrs. S. Thomas. Archivist. West Yorkshire Archive Service Registry of Deeds. Wakefield.

Mr Robert Frost.

Dr. A. Betteridge. Calderdale District Archivist, Halifax.

Mr M.E. Corbett. Calderdale Central Librarian. Halifax.

Mr John Goodchild. Principal Local Studies Officer and Archivist. City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council.

Mr G.J.F. Twisleton, Headmaster. and Mrs, I.S. Faithorn, Head of History. Thornton School.

Mrs. A.V. Bickley. Keeper of History. Bolling Hall Museum.

Mr D.M. Bowcock. Assistant County Archivist. Cumbria County Council.

Mrs. A. Heap. Local History Librarian. Leeds City Council.

Mrs. Sarah Nichols. Keeper of Lotherton Hall.

The Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Claremont. Leeds.

Miss M. MacDonald. Assistant Archivist. Bodleian Library. Oxford University.

The Earl of Rosse. Birr Castle. Co. Offaly, Ireland.

Councillor Stanlev King. Lord of the Manor of Heaton.

Mr David C. Simpson. Chief Superintendent Registrar. Leeds City Council.

The Society of Genealogists. London.

Mrs. Brenda Parker. Patrons Services. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Huddersfield.

The Editor. The Field Magazine. London.

The Superintendent Registrar. Bradford Register Office,

And a special "thank you" to Christopher Marsden. MA. Archivist. who transcribed and translated the early wills.



dfji d A tors Philip Rushworth.

Retracing Your Bra OTi • nees dIS iety 1600-1870 George Sheeran. Village to Mill Town, Shlp!e>! an C td o~h

Round About Bradford Wil~la!D CU ~o flh

Rambles Around Horton Wilham u wo .

History of Bradford loJ:m James.

Old Bingley Harry Speight. .

Lower Wharfedale Harry Speight.

History of Halifax John Crabtree.

Story of Old Halifax T.W. Hanson.

Hipperholme to Tong 1. Parker.

The Old Kingdom of Elmet Ed{?Und B~~'A Venn Alumni Cantabrigienses lohn enn and . d .

West Riding Surnames Dr. G~g:o~fh~~~S STaylor. History of Wakefield, Rectory a 1 W Wiker Wakefield, Its History and People. . a .

Bradford Antiquary S h I Mr Dodd

History of Bingley Gr~mml Sar cty°Record Serie; and Journal. Yorkshire Archaeologica oaety,

Chronicles of Shipley Dale 1. Horsfall Turner.

St. Ives 1. Horsfal.l TuHrner. d 1 Horsfall Turner. The Diaries of Oliver eywoo .

Ancient Bingley 1. Horsfall Turner.

Debrett's l//ustrated Peerage and Handbook. Burke's Landed Gentry ~nd General Armory. Familiae Minorum Gentlu"!.

Amorial Families Fox-Davies, A.c.

Bells. Funeral Customs.

The Halifax Antiquary.

Halifax Wills Clay and Crossley.