WILLIAM Cudworth had an encyclopedic knowledge of Bradford and its surrounding villages.

He wrote many books on 19th century Bradford, undertaking painstaking research, and the words he wrote have recorded for posterity the history of our great Victorian city.

But what was Bradford like in Cudworth’s time? What were its institutions? How did it develop into the city it became, and who were the people that shaped its development and made it the wool capital of the world?

Undercliffe Cemetery will shed light on William Cudworth in the next tour at the historic site.

Called Cudworth’s Bradford, the tour will reveal some of the men who made Bradford and the institutions that were put in place to manage the rapidly growing town which became a great industrial city.

Mayors, aldermen and councillors all played their part along with the wool merchants and cloth manufacturers. A selected number of mayors and manufacturers will be covered in the tour, along with the people who helped William Cudworth with his second book on Bradford.

The book was written in 1881 and was entitled Historical Notes on the Bradford Corporation. Many of the people Cudworth wrote about in his book were laid to rest at Undercliffe Cemetery, as well as the photographer, the illustrators and Cudworth himself.

The book, which tells the story about the community that built Bradford, will be referred to throughout the tour.

As a special addition to the event, the tour will include the story of Nancy De Garr, who was Charlotte Bronte’s nurse, later promoted to the family’s cook and assistant housekeeper, and lived with the Brontes for eight years at Thornton and Haworth.

As reported by the Telegraph & Argus this week, Nancy died aged 82 in Bradford Workhouse and is buried in an unmarked grave at Undercliffe Cemetery. The Friends of the Cemetery are aiming to raise around £3,000 for a headstone with her name on, which they hope will become part of the Bronte Trail.

Nancy is to be included in a list of “Bradford Worthies” researched by Undercliffe Cemetery volunteers. The Victorian term ‘worthy’ meant important, influential people, including leading civic and industrial figures. As well as those who shaped Bradford, including the men Cudworth wrote about, the cemetery’s “Worthies” list includes ordinary working people who, like Nancy, made a difference in their own way.

Their stories are told at QR sites around the cemetery. By scanning their phones on the QR codes, visitors can learn more about those buried there.

* The Cudworth’s Bradford tour is at Undercliffe Cemetery on Saturday, June 1, starting at 11am from the cemetery lodge. Refreshments are available from 10.30am.

A fee of £5 per person will be towards maintenance costs of the cemetery. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite. Please follow the links via the Undercliffe Cemetery website, undercliffecemetery.co.uk

Emma Clayton