Bright, Sir John 1619-1688, parliamentarian, of Carbrook and Badsworth, Yorkshire, born in 1619, was son of Stephen Bright (1583-1642), lord of the manor of Ecclesall, by his first wife, Jane, daughter of George Westby, of Whaley. He took up arms for the parliament at the outbreak of the civil war. He 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 (1 April 1643). About the same date he became a colonel of foot: He was but young when he first had the command, but he grew very valiant and prudent, and had his officers and soldiers under good conduct (Memoirs of Captain John Hodgson, p. 102). He accompanied Sir T. Fairfax in his expedition into Cheshire, commanded a brigade at the battle of Selby, and on the surrender of the castle of Sheffield was appointed governor of that place (Aug. 1644), and a little later military governor of York. In the second civil war he served under Cromwell in Scotland, and also took part in the siege of Pontefract. On Cromwell's second expedition into Scotland, Bright threw up his commission when the army arrived at Newcastle, in consequence of the refusal of a fortnight's leave (Hodgson, Memoirs). Nevertheless he continued to take an active part in public affairs. In 1651 he was commissioned to raise a regiment to oppose the march of Charles II into England (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser.), and he undertook the same service 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 1654. He supported the Restoration, and on 16 July 1660 was admitted into the order of baronets, having been previously knighted (Hunter). He died on 13 Sept. 1688. Sir John married four times. His only surviving issue was Catherine, by his first wife Catherine, daughter of Sir Richard Hawksworth, widow of William Lister, of Thornton in Craven. The daughter (d. 1703) married Sir Henry Liddell, Bart., of Ravensworth Castle, Durham.

     Hunter's History of Hallamshire (ed. Gatty), 3rd ed., contains the pedigree of Bright's family, and an account of his life
     The Memoirs of Captain John Hodgson, who served under him, give some of the details of his military services
     in the Fairfax Correspondence (Memoirs of the Civil Wars, i. 83-113), two of Bright's letters during the first civil war are printed, and the Baynes correspondence in the British Museum contains a large number of his letters relating to the financial affairs of his regiment
     in the Thurloe State Papers, vi. 784, is a letter from Bright to Cromwell (Feb. 1658) resigning the government of Hull
     there is an account of his funeral in Boothroyd's Pontefract, pp. 294-5.

Contributor: C. H. F. [Charles Harding Firth]

Published: 1885