List of Bradford’s Bishop Blaize Procession on 3rd Feb. 1825

26 Jan

I have copied the list at the bottom of this entry from John James’ HISTORY AND TOPOGRAPHY OF BRADFORD MDCCCXLI.

As the book was published just 16 years after 1825 and the last ever celebration of St. Blaise by the whole of Bradford, we can be certain it is correct.

The Event

The event was organised by the wool-combers, who were self employed skilled men. Their job was to separate the long and short hair in a fleece (the tops and noils) using big metal combs heated in a pot of burning charcoal. The tops were used to make higher grade worsted cloth, the noils for woollens.

The wool-combers had been in a very strong economic position, but things were changing fast in 1825. They went on strike 4 months after the triumph of St. Blaises’s day, lost, and St. Blaise was never celebrated again.

Still, if you look at how big, and complicated, the procession was you cannot help but be astonished by it. There are 860 people counted in the list, plus 3 bands and uncounted numbers of charcoal burners, shepherds and shepherdesses and colour (or flag) bearers. So surely over a thousand in total! All done when a man on a horse was the fastest way to communicate!

The spelling and spacing is as the original, so this is now a primary source.

The Spelling of Blaise, or Blaize, varied even in 1825. Now the two streets named after him in Bradford use a s instead of a z, and so do I.

Listing Bradford’s Bishop Blaize Procession on 3rd Feb. 1825.

Herald, bearing a flag

Twenty-four Woolstaplers on horseback, each horse caparisoned with a fleece.

Thirty-eight Worsted-Spinners and Manufacturers on horseback, in white stuff waistcoats, with each a sliver of wool over his shoulders and a white stuff sash: the horses’ necks covered with nets made of thick yarn.

Six merchants on horseback, with coloured sashes.

Three Guards. Masters’ Colours. Three Guards.

Fifty-six Apprentices and Masters’ Sons on horseback, with ornamental caps, scar-
let coloured coats, white stuff waistcoats, and blue pantaloons.

Bradford and Keighley Bands

Macebearer, on foot.

Six Guards. King. Queen. Six Guards.

Guards. Jason. Princess Medea. Guards.

Bishop’s Chaplin.

Shepherd and Shepherdess.

One hundred and sixty Woolsorters on horseback, with ornamental
caps and various coloured slivers.

Thirty comb-makers.

Charcoal Burners.

Combers’ Colours.


Four hundred and seventy Wool-combers, with wool wigs, &c.


Forty Dyers, with red cockades, blue aprons, and crossed slivers of red and blue.

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