Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bright, John (1619-1688)
BRIGHT, Sir JOHN (1619–1688), parliamentarian, of Carbrook and Badsworth, Yorkshire, born in 1619, 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 (August 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 (Journals of the House of Commons). In 1654 and 1655 he was high sheriff of Yorkshire, and he also acted as governor of York and of Hull. 'He may be presumed to have concurred in the measures for bringing about the Restoration, for we find that as early as July 1660 he was admitted into the order of baronets, having been previously knighted' (Hunter). He died on 13 Sept. 1688.
[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 (February 1658) resigning the government of Hull; there is an account of his funeral in Boothroyd's Pontefract, pp. 294-5.]