Horton

HORTON, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Bradford, wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 2 miles (S. W. by W.) from Bradford; containing 17,615 inhabitants. This place, noticed in the Domesday survey as a berewick, or hamlet, in the manor of Bradford, subsequenty formed part of the ample possessions of the Lacys, earls of Lincoln, who were lords of nearly all the lands from Pontefract to Clitheroe, in the county of Lancaster. In the reign of Henry II., the manor was granted by Robert de Lacy to the ancestor of the Hortons. The chapelry is within the borough, and forms a suburb, of Bradford; it comprises by computation 1824 acres, whereof 1505 are chiefly high moorland pasture, and 310 arable. The surface is boldly varied, and the scenery of considerable interest; the soil of the lands under cultivation is fertile, and the substratum abounds with coal and flagstone, which have been worked for several centuries for the supply of the adjacent district. Horton Hall, the residence of Samuel Hailstone, Esq., was for many generations the seat of the family of Sharp, of whom John Sharp, for his zealous attachment to the parliamentary cause in the reign of Charles I., received from the house of commons, during the Protectorate, a gold medal with the figure of Fairfax on the obverse: his son, Abraham, was one of the most eminent mathematicians of his time, and assisted Flamsteed at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The Hall is a very ancient structure, consisting of a square massive tower in the centre, and two wings, one of which was taken down, and rebuilt in a handsome modern style, by the late proprietor. At a short distance from the Hall, is the seat of Francis Sharp Bridges, Esq., a descendant from a younger branch of the same family, who were zealous adherents of the royal cause in the civil war, and of whom John Sharp was severely wounded in an engagement with the parliamentarian forces. The township is pleasantly situated on an acclivity rising gradually from the town of Bradford to the Clayton Heights; and includes the villages of Great and Little Horton, with those of Lidget-Green and Scholis-Moor. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the coal-mines, and in the worsted manufacture, for which there are not less than 22 mills, 13 in Little and 9 in Great Horton, the machinery of which is propelled by 23 steam-engines of an aggregate power of 674 horses. A large fair for cattle is held on the 5th of September.

The chapel (at Great Horton) was built by subscription, in 1807, at an expense of £1200; it has since been improved, and contains 750 sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Bradford; net income, £150. The church dedicated to St. James, in the lower part of Little Horton, was erected in 1840, at the cost of John Wood, Esq., a native of this place, at an expense of £10,000; it is a handsome structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a well-proportioned spire, and contains 1500 sittings, of which 600 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £250 per annum by the founder, in whom the patronage is vested: the residence of the minister is of appropriate character. A church dedicated to St. John was erected in 1840, at a cost of £5000, defrayed by Edward Lyon Berthon and Thomas Frankland Preston, Esqrs.; it is a cruciform edifice in the early English style, with a tower surmounted by a spire, and contains 1100 sittings: the living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the Founders. There are places of worship for Moravians, Wesleyans, Independents, Unitarians, and Primitive Methodists. In 1712, John Ashton bequeathed several cottages, a barn, and 16 acres of land, now producing £57. 10. per annum, for distribution among the poor. The Baptist College at Horton, or "Northern Baptist Education Society," for young men intended for the ministry of that denomination, was first founded in 1804; and the premises, which have undergone successive alterations and additions, are now adapted to the accommodation of 30 students. The institution is supported by subscription, and the proceeds of a bequest of £5000 by Samuel Broadley, Esq., formerly treasurer to the college.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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