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Bright of Badsworth and Carbrook Hall

Carbrook Hall
Carbrook-Hall was formerly the residence the Bright family. Stephen Bright of Carbrook who died in 1642 - was the founder of the family fortunes, and bailiff for the Hallamshire Sheffield estates of the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke. His first wife, was Joan Westby, daughter of George Westby of Whaley, Derbyshire.

The family came from humble origins. Stephen's father was a yeoman farmer and one of his uncles a husbandman. The family's rise in wealth and status during the early seventeenth century was largely the work of Stephen Bright , who used the profits from his office as bailiff of the Earls of Arundel in the Sheffield area to help purchase lands worth about 600 a year.


Bright of Badsworth and Carbrook Hall
Bright of Badsworth and Sheffield

Sir John Bright, was baptized on 14 October 1619, the third but only surviving son of Stephen Bright and Joan Westby.

A leading figure among the West Riding parliamentarians, he took up arms for the parliament at the outbreak of the Civil war and raised several companies in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, and received a Captain's commission from Lord Fairfax. He was also named one of the sequestration commissioners for the West Riding, in 1643. About the same time, he became a Colonel of foot. He accompanied Sir Thomas Fairfax in his expedition into Cheshire, commanded a brigade at the battle of Selby, and on the surrender of Sheffield Castle, was appointed governor in August, 1644; he was also military governor of York. In the second civil war he served under Cromwell in Scotland, and also took part in the Siege of Pontefract. In 1651 he was commissioned to raise a regiment to oppose the march of Charles II into England, and again in 1659, on the rising headed by Sir George Booth. In 1654 and 1655 he was High Sheriff of Yorkshire, and he acted as governor of York and of Hull. He was M.P. for the East Riding in 1654. He supported the Restoration, and on 16 July 1660 was admitted into the order of baronets, having been previously knighted.

Like his father, Bright was a ruthless operator in the Yorkshire land-market. His estate almost tripled in value between 1642 and 1660, much of this expansion driven by his exploitation of the profits of military office and his privileged position as one of the West Riding's leading administrators. His most significant purchase came in 1653, when he acquired the forfeited manor of Badsworth, for 8600, which became his principal residence. After 1660 most of his income derived from rent receipts, money-lending, and marriage portions.

Bright married four times. He married first, about 1645, Catherine Lister, daughter of Sir Richard Hawksworth, who died in January 1663. Secondly, about 1665, he married Elizabeth Norcliffe (b. 1623/4), daughter of Sir Thomas Norcliffe, who died aged fifty on 26 June 1674. In July 1682 he married Susanna Vane (b. 1658/9), daughter of Sir Thomas Liddell, second baronet, and widow of Thomas Vane, who died in November 1682. Fourthly Bright married on 7 June 1683 Susannah Wharton (1650/511737), daughter of Michael Wharton. His last two wives were some forty and thirty years younger than him. It has been recorded that he had around fourteen thousand pounds by his wives, and at his death his estate was worth 3210 a year.

After a notable career in the Parliamentary army, he settled down as a country gentleman with estates mainly at Badsworth and Ecclesall. He was appointed Sheriff of Yorkshire 1654-1656. He died on 13 September 1688 and was buried with great pomp in the chancel of Badsworth church on 21 September. There is a wall monument in Badsworth Church paying tribute to Sir John.

He left his estates to John Liddell, son of his only surviving child, Catherine, wife of Sir Henry Liddell, Ravensworth Castle, Durham, who assumed the name of Bright on coming into his estates.

Mary Bright (1735-1804)

In 1752, Mary Bright, daughter of Thomas Bright of Badsworth and Margaret, heiress of the Brights, married the Marquis of Rockingham,Charles Watson-Wentworth (17301782). After her mother's death in 1775, she was Lord of the Manor of Ecclesall and owner of extensive estates. On the decease of her husband the Marquis, this manor formed a very small part of the estates which became merged in the Wentworth estate and descended to his nephew Earl William Wentworth Fitzwilliam.


A John Bright married Elizabeth Revell on 17 Jan 1613 at Dronfield

In 1628 James Bright married Ann Spencer of Sheffield. She was daughter of William Spencer, of Attercliffe. Married 27 Aug., 1628. (Dugdale states she afterwards married John Dawson, of Misterton, co. Notts.)

» Bright of Banner Cross

» Bright of Graystones

» Bright of Whirlow

» See also Westby of Ravenfield

» See also Gill

» See also Jessop

» See also Spencer of Attercliffe and Bramley

» See also Lyster of Thorneton

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