Why the Boars Head on the Club Badge?

I am often asked why there is a boar on the club badge so I thought I would post an article to answer the question once and for all. The short answer is that it is from the Bradford Coat of Arms but that only answers part of the question, because the next logical question is “Why is there a boar on the Bradford Coat of Arms”?

The Bradford Coat of Arms
The Bradford Coat of Arms

The Story Goes

In the 1300s Bradford was terrorised by a great wild boar that frequented the Cliffe Wood in the region of the Parish Church (now the Cathedral). The attacks on people property and cattle alike became so intolerable that the townsfolk approached the Lord of the Manor at Bolling Hall to ask that something be done about the situation. A reward was offered and the hunt began.

A Picture that hangs in City Hall of the killing of the Boar:
A Picture that hangs in City Hall of the killing of the Boar:

John de Northrop waited near the Spink Well in Cliffe Wood where the boar was known to drink. He killed the Boar with two arrows to the chest and finished the job with his spear. Severing the Boar’s head, Northrop set out to claim his reward, however he quickly realised how heavy it was and decided it would be sufficient proof of his kill if he just took the tongue.

Northrop must have taken his time, because at some point one Roger de Manningham discovered the body and head of the dead Boar, and taking up the head of the boar, set off to the Manor House to claim the reward and actually managed to arrive there before Northrop.

As Manningham was claiming the spoils, Northrop entered, and quickly presented the tongue from the head of the slain beast as evidence of his kill.

Roger de Manninghame was imprisoned and John de Northrop was rewarded by the gift of a large area of land near Bradford, and the rest as they say is History!

As a condition of his gift of land Northrop was obliged to thrice blow the Horn in the Market Square in Bradford on St Martins Day (11th November) each year. Northrop and his wife died childless and this duty transferred to his wife’s family – the Rushforths.

Horn Blowing In Bradford
Horn Blowing In Bradford

John Rushforth continued thereafter to blow the horn at the annual ceremony on St Martins Day – 11th November – to welcome John of Gaunt into Bradford on his way to Pontefract Castle from Lancaster. The lands awarded to the Northrops / Rushworths were thereafter known as the “Hornblow” or “Hornblowing” lands and boundary markers can still be seen if you know where to look.