Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bradshaw, James (1717-1746)

BRADSHAW, JAMES (1717–1746), Jacobite rebel, born in 1717, was the only child of a well-to-do Roman catholic in trade at Manchester. He was educated at the free school, and learned some classics there. About 1734 he was bound apprentice to Mr. Charles Worral, a Manchester factor, trading at the Golden Ball, Lawrence Lane, London. In 1740 Bradshaw was called back to Manchester through the illness of his father, and after his father's death he found himself in possession of a thriving trade and several thousand pounds. Very quickly (about 1741) he took a London partner, Mr. James Dawson, near the Axe Inn, Aldermanbury, and he married a Miss Waggstaff of Manchester. She and an only child both died in 1743. Bradshaw thereupon threw in his lot with the Pretender. He was one of the rebel courtiers assembled at Carlisle on 10 Nov. 1745. He visited his own city on 29 Nov., where he busied himself in recruiting at the Bell Inn. He was a member of the council of war, and received his fellow-rebels in his own house. Having accepted a captaincy in Colonel Towneley's regiment he marched to Derby, paying his men out of his own purse; he headed his company on horseback in the skirmish at Clifton Moor; he attended the Pretender's levée on the retreat through Carlisle in December; and preferring to be in Lord Elcho's troop of horse when the rebels were striving to keep together in Scotland in the early weeks of 1746, he fought at Falkirk. He was at Stirling, Perth, Strathbogie, and finally at Culloden, on 16 April in the same year, where in the rout he was taken prisoner. His passage to London was by ship, with forty-two fellow-prisoners. He was taken to the New Gaol, Southwark; his trial took place at St. Margaret's Hill on 27 Oct. On that occasion he was dressed in new green cloth, and bore himself somewhat gaily. His counsel urged that he had always had 'lunatick pranks,' and had been driven entirely mad by the death of his wife and child. He was found guilty, and having been kept in gaol nearly a month more, he was executed on Kennington Common, 28 Nov. 1746, aged only 29.

[Howell's State Trials, xviii. 415-24.]

J. H.