Civil War And Bradford.
Earl Of Newcastle arrived in Yorkshire with a force of
8 to 9,000 men in 1642. His main target was to take
Bradford from parliamentarian hands. The people of
Bradford were not real soldiers they were just
ordinary people who wanted to save their town from
attack .They barricaded the city and waited to see
what the Earl of Newcastle would do. The Earls army
advanced slowly but each time they tried to attack the
city they were beaten back by musket fire from
buildings on the outskirts of Bradford.
Earl however had another problem the Queen had arrived
in Yorkshire and needed a safe escort to the king who
was in Oxford so the Earl had to give up some of his
men to guard the Queen. 7,000 men were sent with the
Queen to Oxford.
his army weakened the Earl now had to face Thomas
Fairfax and his parliamentarian army who had arrived
from Halifax to help the people of Bradford. On June
30th 1642 the Battle of Adwalton Moor took place, the
royalists out numbered the parliamentarians and
defeated Fairfax's' men. The Earl of Newcastle now
turned towards Bradford ,he made his headquarters at
Bolling Hall and his army surrounded the town. There
is a story that while the Earl was at Bolling hall he
was visited by a ghost who told him not to harm the
people of Bradford this may have been the reason why
very few of the people of Bradford were harmed when
the Earls men finally entered the town.
eye witness Joseph Lister tells us what it was like in
Bradford at this time. He "found few people left,
but most of them scattered and fled away. I lodged in
a cellar that night, but oh what a change was made in
the town ....nothing was left to eat or drink, or
lodge upon, the streets being full of chaff and
feathers, and meal, the enemies having emptied all the
town of what was worth carrying away, and were now
encamped near Bowling hall, and there kept fair and
sold the things that would sell."
this point historians think the Earl should have
marched south to help the King but he did not do this.
Instead he stayed at Bolling Hall until July sending
messages to enemy garrisons to surrender to him. At
the end of 1643 he sent his army to Hull where he
wasted men trying to defeat the parliamentarians. The
Earl was finally beaten in 1644 when the Scots invaded
from the North and Bradford was once more in
parliamentarian hands. If The Earl had marched South
to help the King it might have changed the outcome of
the whole civil war.
here to try a vocabulary activity on Bradford in
the Civil War.