John Brearcliffe 1618-1682 by Mick Blaylock

I went to Heath Grammar School in Halifax and have had an interest in Old Boys of the school and what they went on to achieve.  They include Captains of England rugby union sides and distinguished lawyers and then I came across this chap, John Brearcliffe with a connection with Heptonstall. John was the son of Edmund Brearcliffe who was Halifax Parish Clerk.  He was the godson of Rev Dr John Favour, Vicar of Halifax (1593-1623) founder of Heath Grammar School in 1597. John Brearcliffe was educated at Heath Grammar School and became an apothecary.  John was a puritan and during the Civil War he fought for the parliamentary side and eventually had to flee to Bury in Lancashire where he married and had three children.  He returned to Yorkshire and was a member of the parliamentary garrison at Heptonstall. with Colonel Bradshaw and acted as medical Officer and Surgeon to the garrison.  John tended to Colonel Bradshaw until his death at Greenwood Lee after being injured in the Battle of Heptonstall. John died at 5 o’clock on the 4th December 1682 having been sick with a raging fever for 14 days and was buried at Halifax Parish Church.

Greenwood Lee – photo Bruce Cutts.

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