Records of Bradford Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, 1698-1968 (22 vols.) [N 1, 3-6, 12-17, 25-34]; rough minutes, 1701-1765, 1886-1897 (16 vols.) [N 8a-8o, 35-36]; Minutes of Women's Preparative Meeting, 1709-1769, 1790-1901 (4 vols.) [N 2, 7, 18, 37]; Minutes of Meetings on Ministry and Oversight, later of Overseers, 1876-1906, 1919-1930 (2 vols.) [N 38-39]; Finance (later Finance and Property) Committee minutes, 1925-1974 (3 vols.) [N 134-136]; Social Arrangements Committee minutes, 1897-1902 (1 vol.) [N 107]; Record book of Fellowship Group, 1951-1952 (1 vol.) [N 108]; Record of sufferings, 1661-1752 [N 9]; Lists of members, 1839-1926 (2 vols.) [N 44-45]; Register of births, 1652-1922 (1 vol.) [N 46]; Birth notes, 1827-1961 (10 vols.) [N 50-59]; Register of marriages, 1650-1926 (1 vol.) [N 47]; Register of burials, 1656-1926 (1 vol.) [N 48]; Burial notes, 1827-1961 (21 vols.) [N 60-80]; Orders for burials in Undercliffe Cemetery, 1862-1962 (7 vols.) [N 81-87]; Grave book for Undercliffe Cemetery, 1856-1952 (1 vol.) [N 90]; List of names for gravestones, Goodman's End burial ground, 1769-1855 (1 vol.) [N 88]; Correspondence, papers and receipts re. burials, 1839-1959 (8 bundles) [N 49, 89, 91-96]; Accounts, 1882-1956 (2 vols. & 1 bundle) [N 137-139]; Accounts of Bradford Trust property, 1834-1869 (1 vol.) [N 149]; Accounts of John Swaine's legacy, 1806-1847, 1863-1909 (2 vols.) [N 143-144]; Subscription and collection lists, 1843-1847 (1 bundle) [N 142]; Papers re. Cemetery trust fund, 1925-1927 (1 bundle) [CC 10]; Property register and correspondence file, 1963-1968 (1 vol. & 1 file) [N 152]; Title deeds re. Idle burial ground, 1690-1812 (7 items) [T 4/1-7]; Title deeds re. Bridge Street Meeting House, 1809-1876 (9 items) [CC 5]; Papers re. Fountain Street Meeting House, 1875-1897 (2 bundles & 1 item) [N 158-160]; Plans of Meeting Houses, post-1802-1974 (11 items) [DD 15]; Epistles, minutes and advices received: From Yearly Meeting and Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting, 1707-1769, 1796-1798 (2 bundles & 2 items) [N 8p-q, 163-164]; H. R. Hodgson, "The Society of Friends in Bradford" (c.1926), with author's ms. amendments [CC 9]; Photographs, 20th century (1 bundle) [DD 12/1980]

Administrative / Biographical History

A Meeting was settled in Bradford around 1652 by Christopher Taylor of Chapel-in-the-Bryer, who had been convinced by the preaching of William Dewsbury. A group of Quakers from Bradford was amongst those imprisoned in York Castle in early 1661. John Wynn and his wife Deborah Kitchin were both early ministers and held meetings at their home. When the structure of the Society was formalised in 1669, Bradford Friends became part of Brighouse Preparative Meeting. This arrangement did not last beyond 1670 or 1671, when an independent Meeting in Bradford is recorded by Besse. A burial ground was acquired in 1672 at Goodman's End and the first Meeting House opened on the same site in 1698. The journal of William Edmundson gives evidence of the strength of Quakerism in the area in the 1690s. Over the following centuries, Bradford Meeting had amongst its members the Bartlett, Hustler, Seebohm, Peckover, Harris, Maud and Priestman families. Local Quakers were involved in the wool trade, banking and insurance (the Friends Provident Institution was founded in the city in 1832); large numbers of them were also apothecaries and doctors. In 1732 a new Meeting House was built on the same site; this was demolished and replaced by a new building in 1811. Despite successive improvements, the whole property was sold in 1876 and a new Meeting House opened in Fountain Street two years later. 11 Melbourne Place, was bought in 1951, following a decline in membership; the Meeting has been housed in Russell Street since 1995. Quaker burials took place in the municipal cemetery at Undercliffe from 1856 onwards. The Meeting has historically been part of Brighouse Monthly Meeting.


The records are numbered and arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Conditions Governing Access

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting Housem, Carlton Hill, Leeds, 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Records of Bradford Friends Essay and Discussion Society, Bradford Friends First Day School, Bradford Friends Literary Association, Bradford ("Heaton") Friends Adult School, Bradford Friends Schools, Eastbrook, Bradford Friends School Band of Hope, Bradford Friends Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society, and Brighouse Monthly Meeting


See H. R. Hodgson, The Society of Friends in Bradford (Percy Lund, Humphries & Co., 1926)

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends

Personal Names