ADWALTON, in the township of Drighlington, and parish of Birstall, Morley-division of Agbrigg and Morley, liberty of Pontefract; 5.25 miles from Bradford, 6.75 from Leeds, 8.75 from Wakefield. No Market. Fairs, Feb. 26, Thursdays in Easter and Whitsun Weeks, for horses and horned cattle; and every other Thursday until Sept 29, for lean cattle.
A battle was fought on Adwalton Moor in 1642 between the Earl of Newcastle, who commanded the royalists' troops, and the Lord Fairfax and his son, who commanded the Parliamentarian forces; the latter were totally routed. The old Lord fled to Bradford; Sir Thomas took the road to Halifax, but the next day joined his father at Bradford with his division, where Newcastle prepared to siege them in form. Newcastle's head quarters were at Bowling Hall, from which place he now brought his cannon to bear upon the town, church, and steeple, the last of which was protected by wool sacks. Fairfax now saw his danger, and determined to make his escape by a sally; this he effected with considerable loss, and fought his way to Leeds, whence he retreated to Hull. In this sally, Lady Fairfax, who had bravely accompanied her husband through this campaign, was taken prisoner on horseback, but was generously sent back with an escort by Newcastle in his own coach.
The town having now fallen into Newcastle's hands, he ordered it 'tis said, to be given up to military execution; whether the order was really given or not, it certainly was not put in execution; and tradition assigns the following reason for his forbearence: on the night preceding, Newcastle, while in bed at Bowling Hall, was accosted by an apparition of a female form, which implored him to spare the town, and either affrighted, or melted him into compliance; thus saved the lives of the unarmed inhabitants, and the place became a garrison for the King. Fairfax's Memoirs. --Whitaker's Loidis et Elmete.
Click to return to YOUR ROOTS